There are several reasons you might want to make it a plan to dine at the Original Pantry Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. One is that it is considered the most famous restaurant in Los Angeles. Another is that it has been made a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #255. Then there is the food. It’s so good that the Pantry Cafe constantly has a line outside the door of customers waiting to get in.
Make no mistake here, the Pantry Cafe is a greasy spoon by anyone’s definition of the term. But the food is good and the portions large. For example, the slice of ham on the ham and eggs breakfast is so large that it hangs over the edge of the plate and the fried eggs have to be placed on top of the ham.
Between the volume of customers and the size of the portions the Pantry Cafe serves a LOT of food. It claims to serve 90 tons of bread and 10.5 tons of coffee per year. That’s a lot.
The Original Pantry Cafe opened in 1924 as a very small diner that consisted of one room, a 15-stool counter, a small grill, a hot plate and sink. It is one of the few 24 hour a day restaurants in Los Angeles and in the years since it first opened, it has not been closed for even a day. The cafe doesn’t have a lock on the front door!
The restaurant is currently owned by former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan and has served many celebrities and politicians. I wouldn’t call the Original Pantry Cafe enough of a tourist attraction that I would recommend you put it on your list of place to see while visiting Los Angeles, but if you find yourself hungry while in downtown LA, particularly late at night after an event at one of the many entertainment complexes in the area, then the Pantry Cafe is the place to eat.
It’s located at 877 S. Figueroa St, Los Angeles.