Many people in Los Angeles depend on Jonathan Gold's 101 List, any of Eater's hot lists, or Instagram influencer feed as their definitive Los Angeles restaurant guide. Although I follow these posts as well, I love incorporating restaurants that don't get a lot of love by our food media. These are established restaurants that have stood the test of time where regulars still frequent. They many not have hottest chefs in the kitchen nor do they have the best pancakes in the city. What they do have is the look and feel of another period of time. A feeling I'm not sure I can explain, but I feel it once I walk in to our historic Los Angeles area restaurants.
Los Angeles' Oldest Restaurants
Sycamore Inn - Rancho Cucumonga - Est. 1848/1939 (oldest outside Los Angeles, so I included it) Cold Spring Tavern - Santa Barbara - Est. 1868 (not in Los Angeles, but worth the day trip) Saugus Cafe - Saugus - Est. 1887 Big Dean's Ocean Front Cafe - SaMo - Est. 1902 King Eddy Saloon - DTLA - Est. 1906 Cole's - DTLA - Est. 1908 Cletus' Chicken Shack - Universal Studios - Est. 1915 Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain Pasadena - Est. 1915 Pacific Dining Car - Westlake - Est. 1921 Mary's Market & Canyon Cafe - Sierra Madre - Est. 1922 The Derby - Arcadia - Est. 1922/1931 El Cholo (oldest Mexican restaurant in LA) - DTLA - Est. 1923 Joe Jost's - Long Beach - Est. 1924 La Golondrina - DTLA - Est. 1924 Greenblatt's Delicatessen - Est. 1926 Lanza Brothers Market - Lincoln Heights - Est. 1926 Millie's Cafe - Silver Lake - Est. 1926 The Prince - Koreatown (The Windsor 1927) - Est. 1927/1991 Rock Inn - Lake Hughes - Est. 1929 Wendill's Chicken House - Pacoima - Est. 1929 El Paseo Inn - DTLA - Est. 1930/1953 Halfway House Cafe - Santa Clarita - Est. 1931 Harvelle's Blues Club - SaMo - Est. 1931 Frolic Room - Hollywood - Est. 1934 Galley - SaMo - Est. 1934 Magee's Kitchen (corned beef) - Fairfax District / Original Farmers Market - Est. 1934 Rainbow Bar & Grill - Hollywood - Est. 1935 Bristol's Farm Cafe (Chasen's) - WeHo - Est. 1936 Tom Bergin's Public House - Fairfax District / Original Farmers Market - Est. 1936 (closed?) Damon's Steak House - Glendale - Est. 1937 Mitla Cafe (Taco Bell "stole" their taco recipe from this place) - San Bernardino - Est. 1937 Phoenix Bakery - Chinatown - Est. 1938 Harbor House Cafe - Sunset Beach - Est. 1939 Hawkins House of Burgers - Watts - Est. 1939 Sarinana's Tamale Factory - Santa Ana - Est. 1939 Vince's Market - Atwater Village - Est. 1939 Art's Famous Chili Dog Stand - South LA - Est. 1939/1944 Ricci's Italian Deli - Bellflower - Est. 1940 Idle Hour Cafe - North Hollywood - Est. 1941 Old Place, The - Agoura Hills - Est. 1941/1970 Vince's Spaghetti - Rancho Cucumonga - Est. 1945/1946 Chili John's - Burbank - Est. 1946 Nick's Coffee - Central LA - Est. 1946 Paul's Kitchen - Old Chinese-American resto - Est. 1946 Pecos Bills BBQ - Glendale - Est. 1946 Valley Inn - Encino - Est. 1947 Cindy's - Eagle Rock - Est. 1948 Domingo's - Encino - Est. 1948 Factor's Famous Deli - Est. 1948 Nick's Cafe - Chinatown - Est. 1948 Roma Deli - North Hollywood - Est. 1948 Bobby's Coffee Shop - Woodland Hills - Est. 1949 Miceli's - Hollywood - Est. 1949 (claims to be the oldest Italian restaurant) Patsy D'Amore's Pizza - Fairfax - Est. 1949 Irv's Burgers - WeHo - Est. 1950 In-N-Out (oldest) - 4th built: 114 East Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena - Est. 1952 Larry's Chili Dog - Burbank - Est. 1953 Taylor's Prime Steakhouse - Koreatown - Est. 1953 Bear Pit - Mission Hills - Est. 1954 Dresden - Est. 1954 Joyce's Coffee Shop - Northridge - Est. 1955 Beep's - Van Nuys - Est. 1956 Casa Vega - Sherman Oaks - Est. 1956 Munch Box - Chatsworth - Est. 1956 Otomisan (oldest Japanese in LA) - Boyle Heights - Est. 1956 Tom's Burgers & Pastrami - City Terrace - Est. 1956 Little Toni's (formerly Italian Cottage Restaurant) - North Hollywood - Est. 1956 Antonio's - Sherman Oaks - Est. 1957 Safari Room - Mission Hills - Est. 1957 Corky's - Sherman Oaks - Est. 1958 Norwood Bar - North Hills - Est. 1958 Rae's - SaMo - Est. 1958 Chez Jay - SaMo - Est. 1959 Red Lion Tavern - Silver Lake - Est. 1959 Cupid's - Winnetka - Est. 1962 Gary Bric's - Burbank - Est. 1962 Pie 'n Burger - Pasadena - Est. 1963 Dan Tana - WeHo - Est. 1964 My Hero Submarine Sandwich Shoppe - Northridge - Est. 1964 Bill's Hamburgers - Van Nuys - Est. 1965 Cupid's - Northridge - Est. 1965 Frank's - Burbank - Est. 1965 Le Petit Chateau - North Hollywood - Est. 1965 Tony's Bella Vista Restaurant - Burbank - Est. 1965 Monte Carlo Italian Deli and Pinocchio's Restaurant - Burbank - Est. 1966 Brent's Deli - Northridge - Est. 1967 Zig's - Reseda - Est. 1967 Sabroso Mexican Restaurant - Winnetka - Est. 1968 Hinano Cafe - Santa Monica- Est. 1969 La Poubelle - Los Feliz - Est. 1969 Taco Treat (deep fried burritos) - Arcadia - Est. 1969 Le Sanglier - Tarzana - Est. 1970 Inn at Seventh Ray - Topanga - Est. 1973 Patrick's Roadhouse - SaMo - Est. 1973 Chowder Barge - Wilmington - Est. 1974 Cafe Tropical - Silver Lake - Est. 1975 Moffet's (pot pies) - Arcadia - Est. 1975 Lulu's Cafe - Van Nuys - Est. 1976 Giamela's Lamplighter Restaurant - Chatsworth - Est. 1977