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Trompers of Eagle Rock Car Club, the first customers to experience Twohey’s curbside car hop in South Pasadena, California
Twohey’s
Courtesy of Twohey’s

9 Southern California Spots for Actual Carhop Service

Burgers, shakes, pizzas, and more — and sometimes even served on roller skates

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Twohey’s
| Courtesy of Twohey’s

Though dining outdoors is a welcome respite for some in 2021, others might still be a bit wary of sitting on a socially-distanced patio while being waited on by servers in face shields. That’s where carhop service comes in.

Southern California is the ideal spot to receive full restaurant service from the comfort of a car, and these businesses and pandemic-era pop-ups lean heavily into this old-school service model, sometimes complete with servers on roller skates. Pick one of these nine car hop restaurants in Southern California, pull up into a designated parking space, place an order, and enjoy.

A number of LA restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Los Angeles Public Health website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bob's Big Boy

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This Los Angeles-based chain is also one of the region’s oldest. Head into the parking lot to get full car service from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Breakfast is available anytime, but so are the broiled burgers, Cobb salads, and outstanding onion rings.

Mel's Drive-In

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Only one Mel’s Drive-In location remains open at the moment, and it’s in Sherman Oaks where outdoor seating and carhop service is available. Try the hangover helper fresh juice from Mel’s juice and smoothie bar, before getting a pancake short stack, or short rib nachos.

Twohey's Restaurant

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Last month, South Pasadena’s Twohey’s revived its carhop service. It’s an easy enough ask for diners: simply call 30 minutes in advance to place an order and reserve one of six designated parking spaces for shakes, fries, or burgers.

Trompers of Eagle Rock Car Club, the first customers to experience Twohey’s curbside car hop in South Pasadena, California
Twohey’s
Courtesy of Twohey’s

Astro Family Restaurant

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Parked on the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Fletcher Drive for decades, Astro opened its parking lot this year for curbside service that includes all the classics. Take your pick, from pancakes to omelettes, sandwiches, fish and chips, and milkshakes.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

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Antica is blessed with a massive outdoor patio, but also has a Thursday through Sunday carhop option with a movie. Just make a reservation to enjoy the Neapolitan-style pizzas, pastas or fried octopus.

Lucky's Malibu

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Lucky’s Steakhouse from Montecito opened its second location in the former Mr. Chow space last December. The carhop service is Wednesdays and Thursdays with less steakhouse vibes, and more burgers, fries, and sandwiches.

Frisco's Carhop Drive-Thru

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Established in 1981, Frisco’s took its cues from 1950s diner culture. Waitresses — sometimes on rollerskates — serve food carside. Owner Takis Stathoulis has a full-on ice cream parlor available, while introducing a bit of Greek elements to the menu, including souvlaki.

Angelo's Hamburgers

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Check out Anaheim’s carhop specialist Angelo’s, where diners have been eating from their cars since 1957. Drive-thru is also an option with items like burgers, sandwiches, and BLT’s. But there’s also one special element: six outdoor tv screens.

Ruby's Diner

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Ruby’s Anaheim asks that you stay put after arriving and calling in an order from their massive diner menu. Just tell them your car’s make and model, and they’ll bring out the shrimp and chips, patty melt, or hot chocolate.

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Bob's Big Boy

This Los Angeles-based chain is also one of the region’s oldest. Head into the parking lot to get full car service from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Breakfast is available anytime, but so are the broiled burgers, Cobb salads, and outstanding onion rings.

Mel's Drive-In

Only one Mel’s Drive-In location remains open at the moment, and it’s in Sherman Oaks where outdoor seating and carhop service is available. Try the hangover helper fresh juice from Mel’s juice and smoothie bar, before getting a pancake short stack, or short rib nachos.

Twohey's Restaurant

Trompers of Eagle Rock Car Club, the first customers to experience Twohey’s curbside car hop in South Pasadena, California
Twohey’s
Courtesy of Twohey’s

Last month, South Pasadena’s Twohey’s revived its carhop service. It’s an easy enough ask for diners: simply call 30 minutes in advance to place an order and reserve one of six designated parking spaces for shakes, fries, or burgers.

Trompers of Eagle Rock Car Club, the first customers to experience Twohey’s curbside car hop in South Pasadena, California
Twohey’s
Courtesy of Twohey’s

Astro Family Restaurant

Parked on the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Fletcher Drive for decades, Astro opened its parking lot this year for curbside service that includes all the classics. Take your pick, from pancakes to omelettes, sandwiches, fish and chips, and milkshakes.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

Antica is blessed with a massive outdoor patio, but also has a Thursday through Sunday carhop option with a movie. Just make a reservation to enjoy the Neapolitan-style pizzas, pastas or fried octopus.

Lucky's Malibu

Lucky’s Steakhouse from Montecito opened its second location in the former Mr. Chow space last December. The carhop service is Wednesdays and Thursdays with less steakhouse vibes, and more burgers, fries, and sandwiches.

Frisco's Carhop Drive-Thru

Established in 1981, Frisco’s took its cues from 1950s diner culture. Waitresses — sometimes on rollerskates — serve food carside. Owner Takis Stathoulis has a full-on ice cream parlor available, while introducing a bit of Greek elements to the menu, including souvlaki.

Angelo's Hamburgers

Check out Anaheim’s carhop specialist Angelo’s, where diners have been eating from their cars since 1957. Drive-thru is also an option with items like burgers, sandwiches, and BLT’s. But there’s also one special element: six outdoor tv screens.

Ruby's Diner

Ruby’s Anaheim asks that you stay put after arriving and calling in an order from their massive diner menu. Just tell them your car’s make and model, and they’ll bring out the shrimp and chips, patty melt, or hot chocolate.

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