There’s just something relaxing and restful when you pop by a diner, you know? It’s a great place to hang out for a while in the middle of the workday or to nurse a hangover. You’ve got your counter and the swivel chairs, the leather booths, and the mugs of strong coffee. There’s plenty of food, and the servers are friendly. It somehow reminds you of home.
If you’re in LA, at least you have lots of diners to choose from. Here are the best places where you will certainly feel the most welcome:
Cindy’s Eagle Rock (1500 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock)
Even from the parking lot, it has the diner vibe down pat. There’s the vintage sign to greet you in various fonts, and inside there’s charming wallpaper and the red booths. The food is great, and you even have menu items that you don’t normally find in diners. If you’re in the mood for gumbo or catfish sandwich, you need to come here pronto.
The Original Pantry (877 S Figueroa St, downtown Los Angeles)
Diners aren’t usually trendy places with long lines of diners trying to get in. But that’s the Pantry for you. The prices may be a bit more expensive, and every now and then there’s a film crew shooting a movie. But this place doesn’t scrimp when it comes to the amount of the servings they offer. The pancakes are huge and the slices of ham are ginormous. Combine that with the no-nonsense veteran staff, and it’s a winner.
The Coffee Cup Café (3734 E 4th St, Long Beach)
This Long Beach hangout at first glance doesn’t seem like a diner at all. But then you sit down and the experience becomes instantly familiar. The coffee is hot and good, the plates of scrambles and pancakes keep coming, and there are the usual syrup dispensers. For a filling breakfast and a homey atmosphere, this is a spot to savor.
Nick’s Coffee Shop & Deli (8536 W Pico Blvd. in Pico-Robertson)
This place is a feast for the senses. You get the aroma of the good coffee, the luxurious feel of the leather booths, and the unmistakable sounds of the sizzling grill. The menu has everything a diner can offer for your taste buds. You can even see the cooks and the grills if you’re on the counter.
Rae’s Restaurant (2901 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica)
This place is literally old-school, as it’s been a Santa Monica hangout for decades. In fact, coming here feels like time travel to a more innocent time. Astoundingly, even the prices didn’t seem to enter the modern age, so you can feel full at a cost of $10 to $15. That includes the tip too.
Le Roy’s Restaurant (523 W Huntington Dr, Monrovia)
It’s mostly known for its fantastic pancakes stacked high and the terrific tater tots. Dishes are served virtually overflowing and you can have any kind of classic sandwich from the hoagie to the Reuben. It’s been here since 1976, and it’s a timeless place that offers a welcoming vibe.
Millie’s Café (3524 W Sunset Blvd, Silver Lake)
Places on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake keep changing over the years, yet somehow Millie’s Café remains untouched by the passage of time. It’s been here since 1926, and all these years they insist on doing things the old-fashioned way. They cook food by hand and from scratch, and the quality is so high that the place is always full.
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S&W Country Diner (9748 Washington Blvd, Culver City)
If you like lots of food options in your menu, you’ll love the S&W. its menu is as long as an almanac. Along with the usual diner fare, you also get a traditional Southern fare as well as country fried steak. The vibe is quite charming, and it feels like home.
Nickel Diner (524 S Main St, downtown Los Angeles)
This place has been constant in downtown LA, and the food is constantly plenty and hot. The dishes feel familiar, but they always have that hint of something new that excites the foodie in you.
101 Coffee Shop (6145 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood)
It’s not in any way kitschy, yet the old-style interior and the subdued lights may easily remind you of earlier times. This place was featured in the 1996 movie Swingers but the décor has changed and so has the menu. It’s not a bad change, as it has a lot more variety.