Travel Guides for Un-tourists


Historic LA Restaurants

by Dorsia

posted on October 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy: Musso and Frank

Los Angeles has always been proud of its food. But more than that, this changeable town gets a serious kick out of its own history. There are more places to eat that take you back in time in LA than practically anywhere else, so dive into the past with this guide to some of the most beloved eateries in the City of Angels.

Photo Courtesy: michaelericfox

Since 1923, El Cholo has been serving Mexican-American comfort food and margaritas from a gorgeous, comfortable space that's great for big groups. Check out the dates on the menu. This place has been around for a long time, and they're proud of it.

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Chimichangas, Sonoran enchiladas, table-side guacamole, green corn tamales

Photo Courtesy: Cole's

Cole's, the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles, has an irreverent sense of humor an

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French Dip sandwiches, classic cocktails, pie

Photo Courtesy: sneeekycheeky

Pie 'n Burger is the undisputed king of the Pasadena burger game. There's a reason why: they're consistent. From the waitresses (one has worked there since 1963) to the menu, it's the same as it ever was. Grab some pie and a burger, and give thanks.

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Burgers, shakes, fries, pie

Photo Courtesy: losfo

This beloved burger joint looks retro now, but that's because it's barely changed in the 70 years it's been open. With renowned burgers and house-made pies, the Apple Pan has truly earned its motto of "Quality Forever."

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Hickoryburger, Steakburger, Apple pie a la mode

Photo Courtesy: alisonmartino

Musso's, as the regulars call it, is a bar, a restaurant, and a Hollywood icon. When they're closed, someone is filming here. When they're open, you might spy a celebrity. Frank Sinatra ate steaks and got drunk here. We won't tell if you do too.

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Steaks, Martinis, Welsh rarebit, Fettucine alfredo

Photo Courtesy: pacificdiningcar

One of LA's classiest old-school gems, and the only 24-hour steakhouse in town, this elegant spot has been open since 1921. Housed in a replica train car, they're famous for nonjudgmental service, a time-warp setting, and consistently great food.

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Steaks, asparagus, eggs benedict. Pro-tip: It's said that they'll make you anything you want if you ask nicely.

Photo Courtesy: advance_kao

Entering the Pantry is a trip in a time machine. There are many historical restaurants in LA, but none is quite as unchanged as this cash-only, 24-hour gem. The staff wear bow-ties and the specials haven't changed since 1924. Embrace the experience.

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Pancakes, ham steak and eggs, hash browns, steaks, peach cobbler

Photo Courtesy: cassellshamburgers

Since he opened his burger stand in 1948, Al Cassell (and his food) were beloved by all. While his spot is no more, this new incarnation is doing him justice. Order a cheeseburger and some potato salad as a salute to a man who loved his craft.

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Cheeseburger, Patty Melt, B'fast Burrito, Wedge salad, Potato salad, Chocolate malt

Photo Courtesy: _dan_tanas_

For 50 years, this Italian spot has welcomed all comers with a clubby vibe, classic menu, and a hefty helping of Hollywood history. From the besuited waiters to the chicken parmigiana, the staff at this little yellow house want you to feel at home.

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Fried ravioli, caesar salad, garlic toast, chicken parmigiana, potatoes Beckerman

Photo Courtesy: j_gonatos

Philippe's opened in 1908 and they've been serving French dip sandwiches for almost as long. Regardless of whether they invented it, they make a mean one. Pro-tips: decide what you want long before you get in line, and try the spicy mustard.

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French dip sandwich with roast beef or lamb, pickled eggs, chili, macaroni salad

Photo Courtesy: tamoshanterla

Owned and operated since 1922 by the Lawry's family of seasoned salt fame, this Scottish hunting lodge-themed restaurant was a favorite haunt of Walt Disney's, and has been unchanged since. He probably ordered the prime rib, and you should too.

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Prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, brisket sandwich, soufflés

Photo Courtesy: outfrontdecaux

Since the 1950s, Langer's Deli has been serving the best pastrami in LA. Some say the best in the world. Regardless, between the famous #19 sandwich and their menu of Jewish classics like blintzes and kugel, this place isn't going anywhere.

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#19, pastrami fries, #54, plain pastrami sandwich

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