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Pacific Diner, San Pedro
Pacific Diner, San Pedro
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13 Picture-Perfect LA Diners You've Never Heard Of

Belly up to the Formica counter

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Pacific Diner, San Pedro
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There are few things as quintessential to a well-rounded Los Angeles experience as spending time in a diner. Preferably one away from the tourist crowds and weekend gawkers, where time moves a little slower and you can really sink into a plate of eggs and some black coffee.

Thankfully this city is full of just such places, from the far reaches of the Valley to San Pedro and beyond. You'll find hidden gem diners in all the best corners of LA — including, in many cases, tucked into a side room off your neighborhood bowling alley — if you're willing to look. And as with almost all great food in the Southland, digging just below the surface is the best bet.

So here now are 13 of the city's best diner jewels, shining alone as beacons to cheap AM meals (usually served seven days a week) that have kept everyone from dockworkers to film extras alive for decades. Presented, of course, in alphabetical order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Andy's Coffee Shop

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1234 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 793-0825
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Following the old Route 66 trail, you’ll still find plenty of diner classics like Andy’s. Few, however, have transitioned as seamlessly over the years as Andy’s; once a breakfast-specific, wood-walled weekend destination, Andy’s now plays with Mexican favorites like huitlacoche spread across their ClipArt menu, too.

2. CJ's Cafe

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5501 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 936-3216
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No place screams neighborhood louder than CJ’s Cafe, with its Mid-City mix of soul food classics, American breakfast specialities, and spiritually Mexican dishes. CJ’s has helped the blossoming neighborhood stay fed for years, and on any given Sunday you’ll find every segment of the community represented inside.

3. Eat n Park

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2517 W Victory Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 953-9302
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Apparently there's no connection between this Eat'n Park and the Atlantic Coast original (which itself was a spinoff from Bob's Big Boy), but no matter: the food here is just as classic. Doing breakfast seven days a week (as all diners should), this Burbank institution rocks AM through lunch hours only, while serving up exactly the kind of stuff you'd expect to see on any diner menu in America.

4. Ed's Coffee Shop

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460 N Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 659-8625
Half a century is a long time for anyone else, but for Ed's Coffee Shop in West Hollywood it's barely the blink of an eye. This timeless classic on Robertson just keeps churning out the basics, from simple egg breakfasts to a hot cup of coffee, in a seriously no-frills dining room packed with locals.

5. Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop

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15707 S Vermont Ave
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 532-0820
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Find a nice mix of traditional diner staples and Hawaiian favorites at Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop. The place still rocks the formica counters and all that, but take a look at the menu and you'll see Spam musubi, loco moco, Portuguese sausage, and yes, lots of eggs. Bonus points for actually being inside a bowling alley, a longtime coffee shop staple move that has since fallen out of fashion.

6. Goody's

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11357 Valley Blvd
El Monte, CA 91731
(626) 444-4046
With decades in the all-day breakfast game, Goody’s in El Monte has learned how to satisfy a crowd. Mostly, you just serve up top-notch short order food for cheap, and serve it with a smile. It’s a simple plan that’s worked for more than two generations.

7. Heritage Family Pantry

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2601 Carson St
Lakewood, CA 90712
(562) 421-1442
Lakewood’s Heritage Family Pantry seems to have fallen out of the 1950’s Palm Springs playbook, complete with tile flooring, faux rock walls, and meals that passed for healthy once. Chicken-fried steak is a major player here, as is anything offered with a weighty spoonful of country gravy. Don’t be afraid to ask for doggie bags either; everyone else is.
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8. Le Roy's Highland Restaurant

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523 W Huntington Dr
Monrovia, CA 91016
(626) 357-5076
If you’re after killer three-egg omelettes and lots of old folks talking about the weather, Le Roy’s is your place. Coffee cups never seem to go empty inside this Monrovia destination, but bellies always leave full.

9. Nat's Early Bite Cafe West

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8336 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Canoga Park, CA 91304
(818) 340-4500
It’s overstuffed booths galore inside Nat’s, the all-day diner option in Canoga Park with an original location down in Sherman Oaks. Slip into one for a sub-$10 steak and eggs order, or one of their housemade sausages with two eggs and toast.

10. Olympic Cafe

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3728 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 731-5405
Dubbed the House of Breakfast, this nearly 45-year old Koreatown institution still does buttermilk pancakes and bacon and egg sandwiches to order, though their expanded menu now includes everything from teriyaki chicken to Portuguese sausage. The mom and pop flavor hasn’t changed one bit.

11. Pacific Diner

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3813 S Pacific Ave
San Pedro, CA 90731
San Pedro is nothing if not timeless, a weatherbeaten outpost off the ocean that's been home to solid cooking and cheap meals for decades. Take Pacific Diner for a example, a blue-awning'd local legend that's been feeding locals breakfast and lunch quietly for more than 35 years.

12. Rae's Diner

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2901 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
With its throwback signage and colorful paint job, Rae’s has become more than just a cash-only breakfast option for anyone in Santa Monica. The 6:30 a.m. eatery remains an icon for the city, serving morning staples in exactly the sort of environment where they’re best enjoyed.

13. Ronnie's Diner

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12740 Culver Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 578-9399
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Ivy-covered strip mall diner spot Ronnie’s is a local favorite within the Marina del Rey / Culver City West community. Small and warm thanks to banks of glass walls, the simple shop does brisk morning business with a menu that only offers one dish above $10: a five egg-white breakfast plate with pancakes and steak.

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1. Andy's Coffee Shop

1234 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106
Following the old Route 66 trail, you’ll still find plenty of diner classics like Andy’s. Few, however, have transitioned as seamlessly over the years as Andy’s; once a breakfast-specific, wood-walled weekend destination, Andy’s now plays with Mexican favorites like huitlacoche spread across their ClipArt menu, too.
1234 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106

2. CJ's Cafe

5501 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
No place screams neighborhood louder than CJ’s Cafe, with its Mid-City mix of soul food classics, American breakfast specialities, and spiritually Mexican dishes. CJ’s has helped the blossoming neighborhood stay fed for years, and on any given Sunday you’ll find every segment of the community represented inside.
5501 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

3. Eat n Park

2517 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
Apparently there's no connection between this Eat'n Park and the Atlantic Coast original (which itself was a spinoff from Bob's Big Boy), but no matter: the food here is just as classic. Doing breakfast seven days a week (as all diners should), this Burbank institution rocks AM through lunch hours only, while serving up exactly the kind of stuff you'd expect to see on any diner menu in America.
2517 W Victory Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

4. Ed's Coffee Shop

460 N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048
Half a century is a long time for anyone else, but for Ed's Coffee Shop in West Hollywood it's barely the blink of an eye. This timeless classic on Robertson just keeps churning out the basics, from simple egg breakfasts to a hot cup of coffee, in a seriously no-frills dining room packed with locals.
460 N Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048

5. Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop

15707 S Vermont Ave, Gardena, CA 90247
Find a nice mix of traditional diner staples and Hawaiian favorites at Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop. The place still rocks the formica counters and all that, but take a look at the menu and you'll see Spam musubi, loco moco, Portuguese sausage, and yes, lots of eggs. Bonus points for actually being inside a bowling alley, a longtime coffee shop staple move that has since fallen out of fashion.
15707 S Vermont Ave
Gardena, CA 90247

6. Goody's

11357 Valley Blvd, El Monte, CA 91731
With decades in the all-day breakfast game, Goody’s in El Monte has learned how to satisfy a crowd. Mostly, you just serve up top-notch short order food for cheap, and serve it with a smile. It’s a simple plan that’s worked for more than two generations.
11357 Valley Blvd
El Monte, CA 91731

7. Heritage Family Pantry

2601 Carson St, Lakewood, CA 90712
Google Maps
Lakewood’s Heritage Family Pantry seems to have fallen out of the 1950’s Palm Springs playbook, complete with tile flooring, faux rock walls, and meals that passed for healthy once. Chicken-fried steak is a major player here, as is anything offered with a weighty spoonful of country gravy. Don’t be afraid to ask for doggie bags either; everyone else is.
2601 Carson St
Lakewood, CA 90712

8. Le Roy's Highland Restaurant

523 W Huntington Dr, Monrovia, CA 91016
If you’re after killer three-egg omelettes and lots of old folks talking about the weather, Le Roy’s is your place. Coffee cups never seem to go empty inside this Monrovia destination, but bellies always leave full.
523 W Huntington Dr
Monrovia, CA 91016

9. Nat's Early Bite Cafe West

8336 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91304
It’s overstuffed booths galore inside Nat’s, the all-day diner option in Canoga Park with an original location down in Sherman Oaks. Slip into one for a sub-$10 steak and eggs order, or one of their housemade sausages with two eggs and toast.
8336 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Canoga Park, CA 91304

10. Olympic Cafe

3728 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Dubbed the House of Breakfast, this nearly 45-year old Koreatown institution still does buttermilk pancakes and bacon and egg sandwiches to order, though their expanded menu now includes everything from teriyaki chicken to Portuguese sausage. The mom and pop flavor hasn’t changed one bit.
3728 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

11. Pacific Diner

3813 S Pacific Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731
San Pedro is nothing if not timeless, a weatherbeaten outpost off the ocean that's been home to solid cooking and cheap meals for decades. Take Pacific Diner for a example, a blue-awning'd local legend that's been feeding locals breakfast and lunch quietly for more than 35 years.
3813 S Pacific Ave
San Pedro, CA 90731

12. Rae's Diner

2901 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
With its throwback signage and colorful paint job, Rae’s has become more than just a cash-only breakfast option for anyone in Santa Monica. The 6:30 a.m. eatery remains an icon for the city, serving morning staples in exactly the sort of environment where they’re best enjoyed.
2901 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405

13. Ronnie's Diner

12740 Culver Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Ivy-covered strip mall diner spot Ronnie’s is a local favorite within the Marina del Rey / Culver City West community. Small and warm thanks to banks of glass walls, the simple shop does brisk morning business with a menu that only offers one dish above $10: a five egg-white breakfast plate with pancakes and steak.
12740 Culver Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

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