History Buff Foodies: The Oldest Restaurants in Los Angeles

Sometimes it seems that there is a never ending list of restaurants in Los Angeles with many of them quickly opening and closing. Still, there are quite a few restaurants in Los Angeles that have been up and operating for an entire century!

The Los Angeles Beat recently issued a well researched list of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, found HERE.

According to their article, here are the top 5 oldest restaurants in Los Angeles,

(1905) The Saugus Cafe 
Santa Clarita, CA 

(1908) Cole’s
Downtown Los Angeles, CA 

(1908) Phillipe the Original
Downtown Los Angeles, CA  

(1915) Watson Drugs & Soda Fountain
Orange, CA 

(1915) Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain
Pasadena, CA

Other notable eateries with photographic proof t0 back up their claims of silver screen celebrity clientele include:

(1919) Musso & Frank Grill
Hollywood, CA

They opened when Hollywood Boulevard was little more than a dirt road and famously, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and Douglas Fairbanks would race down the street on horseback to dine here.  Other celeb regulars included Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Elizabeth Taylor, Steve McQueen, Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth, Groucho Marx and John Barrymore.

Marilyn and Joe dining at Musso & Franks

Marilyn and Joe dining at Musso & Franks

(1925) Formosa Cafe
West Hollywood, CA

The walls of the Cafe are lined with over 250 black & white photos of the stars who dined here in the past, a virtual “Who’s Who” of Hollywood: James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman,Humphrey Bogart, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando, Jack Benny, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Webb, Martin & Lewis, Grace Kelly, Elvis Presley and more.

(1941) Polo Lounge
Beverly Hills, CA

Silver screen stars including Will Rogers, Darryl Zanuck, and Tommy Hitchcock would come to drink after polo matches—hence the source of its name, which was bestowed in 1941. Later, The Polo Lounge drew droves of starlets, such as Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor, and was the Rat Pack’s stalwart drinking den.

Marlene Dietrich at the Polo Lounge

Marlene Dietrich at the Polo Lounge

(1959) Chez Jay
Santa Monica, CA

Over by the restrooms you’ll find photos of this hole-in-the-walls celeb customers including Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Liz Taylor, Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, Peter Sellers, Henry Kissinger, Joe DiMaggio, Diana Ross, Robert Redford, Judy Garland, Kevin Spacey, Lana Turner and Johnny Carson.

(1927) Barney’s Beanery
West Hollywood, CA

1920s screen goddess Clara Bow, swashbuckling John Barrymore, and the original blonde bombshell from the 1930s, Jean Harlow made Barney’s Beanery a regular stop while in the area. Into the ’40s, the likes of Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Hoot Gibson, Lawrence Tibbets and Gene Fowler were also counted as famous and familiar customers.

The Doors at Barney's Beanery West Hollywood

The Doors at Barney’s Beanery West Hollywood

(1964) Dan Tana’s
Beverly Hills, CA

Located just down the street from the music venue, the Troubadour, it was and still is frequented by the artists who performed there including the Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkle, Bill Cosby, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Don Rickles, Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Check out the article for even more information on the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles!