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Hickory burger from the Apple Pan in West LA.
Hickory burger from the Apple Pan in West LA.
Matthew Kang

20 Classic Restaurants Every Angeleno Must Try

Throwback to LA's best old school eateries and dives

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Hickory burger from the Apple Pan in West LA.
| Matthew Kang

Los Angeles is a city blessed with a tapestry of long-standing restaurants. Even after decades of service, these places continue to thrive thanks to a loyal following of dedicated regulars who find comfort in dependable cooking and familiar hospitality. Here now are 20 classic restaurants every Angeleno must try at some point.

Removed: The Bull Pen, the Prince, Colombo’s, Matsuhisa, Taylor’s Steakhouse, Newport Seafood

Added: Otomisan, Factor’s Famous Deli, Golden Bull, the San Franciscan, Al & Beas, Jeon Ju

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Golden Bull Restaurant

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170 W Channel Rd
Santa Monica, CA 90402
(310) 230-0402
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Hearkening to an era of stiff martinis and big chops, Golden Bull received a second chance at life with new ownership under Mark Verge, who does Ashland Hill and Margo’s in Santa Monica. The old school vibes continue to charm the beachside restaurant. Order the incredible prime rib.

Prime rib at Golden Bull
Prime rib from Golden Bull
Golden Bull [Official photo]

2. Chez Jay

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1657 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-1741
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Westside dive bar legend Chez Jay is still humming along on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica after all these years. Originally opened in 1959, the charm and kitsch of the place remains as strong as the drinks themselves.

3. Antonio's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant

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13619 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 788-1103
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Sherman Oaks classic Antonio’s keeps longtime fans happy with kitschy decor and hearty food. With over 60 years under its belt, this Italian throwback knows what it takes keep the crowds coming for more.

4. The Apple Pan

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10801 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 475-3585
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A much-beloved Westside institution with Ohio-style burgers served in a humble diner-like stand along Pico, the Apple Pan makes consistently good sandwiches and pies. It’s hard to think of a more enduring greasy spoon in LA.

5. George Petrelli Steak House

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5615 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 397-1438
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Culver City legend George Petrelli offers a bit of steakhouse magnificence. The place seems cool and only slightly retro from the outside but look inside to find 85-plus years of well-worn hospitality.

6. Factor's Famous Deli

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9420 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 278-9175
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Pico Boulevard’s iconic Factor’s Famous Deli could be one of the more unsung Jewish delis left in town. Nate n’ Al and Canter’s Deli tend to take much of the spotlight in this part of LA, but Factor’s has been serving since 1948 in the same location, though the Markowitz family has owned the institution since 1969. Try the sky-high pastrami sandwich or the smoked fish lunch platter.

Factor’s pastrami
Factor’s Famous Deli
Aliza J. Sokolow

7. Dan Tana's

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9071 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 275-9444
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Dan Tana’s is the quintessential old-school Hollywood hangout. Opened in 1964, the Italian-American haunt serves late every night of the week with hits like chicken Parmesan and steaks. In the Before Times, the bar was a legendary place to grab a drink and hobnob with celebrities.

Veal parmigiana and other dishes at Dan Tana’s
Dan Tana’s
Hillary Dixler Canavan

8. Pann's Restaurant

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6710 La Tijera Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(323) 776-3770
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A must-stop on the way to LAX, Pann’s is a diner study in Googie architecture. Though it’s no longer open in the evenings, sitting down to a thick mug of black coffee and a plate of eggs is still a highlight.

Pann’s 2
Pann’s Restaurant
Wonho Frank Lee

9. The San Franciscan

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2520 Sepulveda Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 325-5231
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With fantastic grilled steaks, prime rib, fresh seafood, baked potatoes, and more, this midcentury classic in Torrance is a bit of a South Bay find. Opened in 1963, old school American steakhouse vibes don’t get much better than this.

10. Jeon Ju Korean Bibimbap Restaurant

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2716 W Olympic Blvd Ste #101
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 386-5678
Visit Website

This classic Koreatown restaurant serves stone pot bibimbap in screaming hot bowls, though everything from the banchan to the fried fish are excellent here. Opened in 1997, it’s become one of the oldest Korean restaurants in LA under the ownership of Jennifer Lee, though its popularity continues to grow thanks to celebrities like actress Kiernan Shipka, who loves to feature the restaurant on social media.

11. Langer's Delicatessen

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704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 483-8050
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Serving the greatest pastrami in America, Langer's is a fantastic diner in Westlake offering everything from reuben sandwiches and corned beef to matzo ball soup and lox. It's easily the best Jewish deli in a city full of great delis.

#19 sandwich at Langer’s Deli
#19 sandwich at Langer’s Deli
Wonho Frank Lee

12. Bill's Taco House

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219 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(323) 233-1587

This 1940s-era taco shop packs traditional hamburger ingredients into a tortilla. One bite of Bill’s signature hamburger tacos and it’s clear why this place is a much-beloved classic.

13. Damon's Steak House

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317 N Brand Blvd
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 507-1510
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Glendale’s long running Tiki-style steakhouse opened back in 1937, first on Central and most recently with a prime Brand Boulevard location. Founder Loyal Damon sold his chain of candy stores to open this Polynesian-designed restaurant, passing on ownership and its famous cocktail recipes to his son Loyal Jr., wife Donna, and daughter Jennie. The menu’s simple and easy to love, with grilled steaks, coconut fried shrimp, and weekend pork ribs all at reasonable prices.

Damon’s Steak House
Damon’s Steakhouse cocktail
Damon’s/Facebook

14. Hawkins House of Burgers

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11603 Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059
(323) 563-1129
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This colorful Watts institution has been open since 1939. Current owner Cynthia Hawkins’s father first opened the burger destination after migrating west from Arkansas, and the menu still mostly sticks to hefty burgers stuffed with pastrami, cheese, bacon, as well as breakfast platters, from morning to evening.

Hawkins House of Burgers cheeseburger loaded up.
Hawkins House of Burgers
Hawkin’s House of Burgers [Official photo]

15. Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine

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301 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 629-2812
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Opened in 1965 in the heart of Chinatown, Phoenix has now turned into a veritable empire of bakeries, dessert shops, and restaurants across the county. But it all started here at this big menu destination with traditional preparations of thousand-year-old eggs, cold boneless chicken, and tangerine chicken.

Phoenix Inn, Founded in ‘65, is LA’s Most Authentic Chinese Chain
Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine

16. Cielito Lindo

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23 Olvera St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 687-4391
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Cielito Lindo has been serving its famous rolled tacos since 1934. The proud tradition continues today as the restaurant anchors bustling Olvera Street in Downtown's northern edge.

17. Philippe the Original

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1001 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-3781
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Opened since 1908, Philippe is famous for its bustling lunchtime crowd and made-to-order attention to detail. Served simply with one’s choice of meat — and, crucially, degree of dipped-ness — the century-old French dip is the kind of inexpensive, satisfying, and wholly unique meal that reminds eaters with every bite that Los Angeles has been cooking great food for a very, very long time.

Philippe
Philippe the Original
Wonho Frank Lee

18. Al & Bea's Mexican Food

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2025 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 267-8810
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Opened in 1966, this legendary Boyle Heights restaurant has tremendous bean-and-cheese burritos that were immortalized by the late critic Jonathan Gold. However, the Mexican American community has revered these burritos for much longer than Gold’s review, and this roadside stand has been a fixture in this neighborhood for almost 55 years.

Al & Bea’s
Al & Bea’s
Farley Elliott

19. Otomisan Restaurant

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2506 1/2 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 526-1150

A truly timeless fixture of Boyle Heights, Otomisan is the last remaining Japanese restaurant in the area when it was a melting pot of immigrant cultures. Though now predominantly Latino, the neighborhood was once the second most significant community of Japanese Americans after Little Tokyo. This small, but charming family-run diner serves classics like oyakodon, curry, and sushi.

Japanese curry with pork over rice at Otomisan.
Japanese curry with pork over rice at Otomisan.
Farley Elliott

20. Dal Rae Restaurant

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9023 Washington Blvd
Pico Rivera, CA 90660
(562) 949-2444
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The epitome of an old-school steakhouse, Dal Rae in Pico Rivera dates to the 1950s and is most famous for its pepper steak. Before the pandemic hit, the restaurant was spinning salads tableside and hosting live music.

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1. Golden Bull Restaurant

170 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Prime rib at Golden Bull
Prime rib from Golden Bull
Golden Bull [Official photo]

Hearkening to an era of stiff martinis and big chops, Golden Bull received a second chance at life with new ownership under Mark Verge, who does Ashland Hill and Margo’s in Santa Monica. The old school vibes continue to charm the beachside restaurant. Order the incredible prime rib.

170 W Channel Rd
Santa Monica, CA 90402

2. Chez Jay

1657 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Westside dive bar legend Chez Jay is still humming along on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica after all these years. Originally opened in 1959, the charm and kitsch of the place remains as strong as the drinks themselves.

1657 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401

3. Antonio's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant

13619 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Sherman Oaks classic Antonio’s keeps longtime fans happy with kitschy decor and hearty food. With over 60 years under its belt, this Italian throwback knows what it takes keep the crowds coming for more.

13619 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

4. The Apple Pan

10801 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

A much-beloved Westside institution with Ohio-style burgers served in a humble diner-like stand along Pico, the Apple Pan makes consistently good sandwiches and pies. It’s hard to think of a more enduring greasy spoon in LA.

10801 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

5. George Petrelli Steak House

5615 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

Culver City legend George Petrelli offers a bit of steakhouse magnificence. The place seems cool and only slightly retro from the outside but look inside to find 85-plus years of well-worn hospitality.

5615 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230

6. Factor's Famous Deli

9420 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Factor’s pastrami
Factor’s Famous Deli
Aliza J. Sokolow

Pico Boulevard’s iconic Factor’s Famous Deli could be one of the more unsung Jewish delis left in town. Nate n’ Al and Canter’s Deli tend to take much of the spotlight in this part of LA, but Factor’s has been serving since 1948 in the same location, though the Markowitz family has owned the institution since 1969. Try the sky-high pastrami sandwich or the smoked fish lunch platter.

9420 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

7. Dan Tana's

9071 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Veal parmigiana and other dishes at Dan Tana’s
Dan Tana’s
Hillary Dixler Canavan

Dan Tana’s is the quintessential old-school Hollywood hangout. Opened in 1964, the Italian-American haunt serves late every night of the week with hits like chicken Parmesan and steaks. In the Before Times, the bar was a legendary place to grab a drink and hobnob with celebrities.

9071 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

8. Pann's Restaurant

6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Pann’s 2
Pann’s Restaurant
Wonho Frank Lee

A must-stop on the way to LAX, Pann’s is a diner study in Googie architecture. Though it’s no longer open in the evenings, sitting down to a thick mug of black coffee and a plate of eggs is still a highlight.

6710 La Tijera Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045

9. The San Franciscan

2520 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

With fantastic grilled steaks, prime rib, fresh seafood, baked potatoes, and more, this midcentury classic in Torrance is a bit of a South Bay find. Opened in 1963, old school American steakhouse vibes don’t get much better than this.

2520 Sepulveda Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

10. Jeon Ju Korean Bibimbap Restaurant

2716 W Olympic Blvd Ste #101, Los Angeles, CA 90006

This classic Koreatown restaurant serves stone pot bibimbap in screaming hot bowls, though everything from the banchan to the fried fish are excellent here. Opened in 1997, it’s become one of the oldest Korean restaurants in LA under the ownership of Jennifer Lee, though its popularity continues to grow thanks to celebrities like actress Kiernan Shipka, who loves to feature the restaurant on social media.

2716 W Olympic Blvd Ste #101
Los Angeles, CA 90006

11. Langer's Delicatessen

704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057
#19 sandwich at Langer’s Deli
#19 sandwich at Langer’s Deli
Wonho Frank Lee

Serving the greatest pastrami in America, Langer's is a fantastic diner in Westlake offering everything from reuben sandwiches and corned beef to matzo ball soup and lox. It's easily the best Jewish deli in a city full of great delis.

704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057

12. Bill's Taco House

219 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90011

This 1940s-era taco shop packs traditional hamburger ingredients into a tortilla. One bite of Bill’s signature hamburger tacos and it’s clear why this place is a much-beloved classic.

219 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90011

13. Damon's Steak House

317 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203
Damon’s Steak House
Damon’s Steakhouse cocktail
Damon’s/Facebook

Glendale’s long running Tiki-style steakhouse opened back in 1937, first on Central and most recently with a prime Brand Boulevard location. Founder Loyal Damon sold his chain of candy stores to open this Polynesian-designed restaurant, passing on ownership and its famous cocktail recipes to his son Loyal Jr., wife Donna, and daughter Jennie. The menu’s simple and easy to love, with grilled steaks, coconut fried shrimp, and weekend pork ribs all at reasonable prices.

317 N Brand Blvd
Glendale, CA 91203

14. Hawkins House of Burgers

11603 Slater St, Los Angeles, CA 90059
Hawkins House of Burgers cheeseburger loaded up.
Hawkins House of Burgers
Hawkin’s House of Burgers [Official photo]

This colorful Watts institution has been open since 1939. Current owner Cynthia Hawkins’s father first opened the burger destination after migrating west from Arkansas, and the menu still mostly sticks to hefty burgers stuffed with pastrami, cheese, bacon, as well as breakfast platters, from morning to evening.

11603 Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059

15. Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine

301 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phoenix Inn, Founded in ‘65, is LA’s Most Authentic Chinese Chain
Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine

Opened in 1965 in the heart of Chinatown, Phoenix has now turned into a veritable empire of bakeries, dessert shops, and restaurants across the county. But it all started here at this big menu destination with traditional preparations of thousand-year-old eggs, cold boneless chicken, and tangerine chicken.

301 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Related Maps

16. Cielito Lindo

23 Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Cielito Lindo has been serving its famous rolled tacos since 1934. The proud tradition continues today as the restaurant anchors bustling Olvera Street in Downtown's northern edge.

23 Olvera St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

17. Philippe the Original

1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Philippe
Philippe the Original
Wonho Frank Lee

Opened since 1908, Philippe is famous for its bustling lunchtime crowd and made-to-order attention to detail. Served simply with one’s choice of meat — and, crucially, degree of dipped-ness — the century-old French dip is the kind of inexpensive, satisfying, and wholly unique meal that reminds eaters with every bite that Los Angeles has been cooking great food for a very, very long time.

1001 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

18. Al & Bea's Mexican Food

2025 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Al & Bea’s
Al & Bea’s
Farley Elliott

Opened in 1966, this legendary Boyle Heights restaurant has tremendous bean-and-cheese burritos that were immortalized by the late critic Jonathan Gold. However, the Mexican American community has revered these burritos for much longer than Gold’s review, and this roadside stand has been a fixture in this neighborhood for almost 55 years.

2025 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

19. Otomisan Restaurant

2506 1/2 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Japanese curry with pork over rice at Otomisan.
Japanese curry with pork over rice at Otomisan.
Farley Elliott

A truly timeless fixture of Boyle Heights, Otomisan is the last remaining Japanese restaurant in the area when it was a melting pot of immigrant cultures. Though now predominantly Latino, the neighborhood was once the second most significant community of Japanese Americans after Little Tokyo. This small, but charming family-run diner serves classics like oyakodon, curry, and sushi.

2506 1/2 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033

20. Dal Rae Restaurant

9023 Washington Blvd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660

The epitome of an old-school steakhouse, Dal Rae in Pico Rivera dates to the 1950s and is most famous for its pepper steak. Before the pandemic hit, the restaurant was spinning salads tableside and hosting live music.

9023 Washington Blvd
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Related Maps