10 Old-School Hollywood Haunts You Have To Try Once

Photo: Courtesy of @weeching1011.
Sure, a shiny new restaurant on your block is great. However, there’s something magical about tucking yourself into a booth at a time-honored neighborhood establishment and ordering off of a menu that probably hasn’t changed in five decades. After all, if it's not broken, don't fix it, right?

If you call Los Angeles home and agree with our above sentiment, we have some good news for you. Our city is teeming with eateries that have stood the test of time. But, the best part is that they're just as magnetic today as they were in Hollywood’s Golden Age.

From the hoppin' piano bar in Swingers to Marilyn Monroe's favorite deli, we've rounded up 10 Hollywood institutions that every Angeleno should visit, at least once. One small tip: Make sure to bring your appetite!
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Photo: Courtesy of Canter's Deli.
Canter’s Deli
Open since 1931

Canter’s Deli was one of Marilyn Monroe's favorites. (Her third husband, Arthur Miller, introduced her to the 24-hour spot.) It offers the kinds of things you’d expect: a salty matzoh ball soup that comes with a nest of small noodles, Reubens, generously stacked pastrami sandwiches, fluffy omelets, and even Thanksgiving dinner every night of the year. On your way out, be sure to buy some smoked fish, bagels, and a thickly frosted black-and-white cookie for the road — or forgo the road for a drink at Kibitz Room, Canter's’ small, dark bar that’s just next door.

Canter's Deli, 419 North Fairfax Avenue (near Oakwood Avenue); 323-651-2030.
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Photo: Courtesy of Farmers Market.
Farmers Market
Open since 1934

You can find nearly everything at the Farmers Market to kill your cravings: churning vats of bright aguas frescas, freshly shucked oysters, tacos, a store devoted entirely to hot sauce, donuts, $3 beers, and lined baskets of fried chicken. Be sure not to miss Littlejohn’s Candies, which has been folding wedges of fudge and slicing delicate squares of their dense-but-flaky, walnut-topped toffee for over 70 years.

Farmers Market, 6333 West 3rd Street (at South Fairfax Avenue); 323-933-9211.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Musso & Frank Grill.
The Musso & Frank Grill
Open since 1919

Wood panels and shiny crimson booths outline the perimeter of The Musso & Frank Grill, one of the oldest restaurants in Hollywood. The menu offers you plenty of opportunities to branch out, with things like like flannel cakes, jellied consommé, and smoked-tongue sandwiches, but you can never go wrong ordering their famous dry martini, oysters, and a perfectly cooked steak.

The Musso & Frank Grill, 6667 Hollywood Boulevard (near North Las Palmas Avenue); 323-467-7788.
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Photo: Courtesy of @weeching1011.
Philippe The Original
Open since 1908

Did Philippe the Original pioneer the French dip sandwich like they claim? We can’t be sure. However, what we do know is that their thinly sliced meat or cheese is placed between slices of crusty, French-roll bread and then dipped not once, not twice, but four times in jus and plopped onto a flimsy paper plate. So, basically, French dip heaven. The house-made spicy French mustard is the potent, recommended accoutrement to a sandwich, and coffee is an unbeatable 45 cents a cup.

Philippe the Original, 1001 North Alameda Street (at Ord Street); 213-628-3781.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pacific Design Car.
Pacific Dining Car
Open since 1921

Emerald and clover walls meet tartan carpeting and still-life oil paintings at this fourth-generation L.A. stalwart. Go for a rack of lamb and a chocolate soufflé at 3 a.m., eggs sardou at 5 a.m., afternoon tea sandwiches and Champagne, or steak and crab cakes in the evening. Why? Pacific Dining Car is always open.

Pacific Dining Car, 1310 West 6th Street (near Columbia Avenue); 213-483-6000.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pink's Hot Dogs.
Pink’s Hot Dogs
Open since 1939

Pink’s is the can’t-miss, candy-striped stand on La Brea that always has a winding line. The menu is made up of "standards" (burgers, fries, onion rings) and “stars,” which include the Brando Dog, the Planet Hollywood Dog, and the Mulholland Dog. Don’t miss the wall of fame inside, which includes fans like Michael Jackson and Snoop Dogg.

Pink's Hot Dogs, 709 North La Brea Avenue (near Melrose Avenue); 323-931-4223.
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Photo: Courtesy of Edelweiss Chocolates.
Edelweiss Chocolates
Open since 1942

Remember the I Love Lucy chocolate-shop episode? It takes place at Edelweiss Chocolates. This institution has been near and dear to people like Katharine Hepburn and Frank Sinatra, too. Chocolate-scented air greets you as you walk into the tiny Beverly Hills jewel box, and the chocolates themselves do not disappoint. Buy a bag of the foil-wrapped dark and milk hearts, which look deceptively run-of-the-mill but are smoother and more delicious than the other similarly packaged wannabes.

Edelweiss Chocolates, 444 North Cañon Drive (near South Santa Monica Boulevard); 310-275-0341.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Dresden.
The Dresden
Open since 1954

Ever see Swingers? The Dresden in Los Feliz is the guys' local hangout — and it’s still hoppin’ today! The large dining room is a throwback dream: It’s filled with buttery-white leather booths, burnt-orange walls, and spiraling wrought-iron light fixtures. Order The Dresden’s signature blood and sand, a warming cocktail consisting of rum and secret ingredients, and watch Marty and Elayne, the infamous couple that has been performing in the lounge for more than 30 years (and in Swingers, too!).

The Dresden, 1760 North Vermont Avenue (near Prospect Avenue); 323-665-4294.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Apple Pan.
The Apple Pan
Open since 1947

The Apple Pan sticks to their no-frills menu of celebrated, paper-wrapped burgers, fries, simple sandwiches, and pies. Try the cream pie: A gigantic, messy wedge of custard with thinly sliced, ripe bananas and a crumbly crust that’s topped with a cloud-like blanket of cream. Structurally, it falls onto the plate as you eat it, but flavor-wise it’s perfectly balanced.

The Apple Pan, 10801 West Pico Boulevard (at Glendon Avenue); 310-475-3585.
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Photo: Courtesy of Chez Jay.
Chez Jay
Open since 1959

Chez Jay is a stone's throw from the beach, the drinks are stiff, and Frank Sinatra was a regular. Need more convincing to go? You can throw peanut shells on the floor and pick your favorite songs on the jukebox. Plus, you can’t miss it: There’s a giant, rippled, silver seashell sculpture right outside that can be spotted from the road.

Chez Jay, 1657 Ocean Avenue (near Olympic Drive); 310-395-1741.
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