If you have never been to The Original Pantry Café on the corner of 9th and Figueroa Streets in DTLA, you are missing out. This place is a Los Angeles landmark. It has been open since 1924 and it has never closed. In fact, there are no locks on the front door, so they can’t close. There is nothing fancy about this place. It is just what you’d expect from a 90 year old diner, but for some reason everyone seems to love it, including me.
When we first moved to DTLA we’d drive by The Pantry and see people lined up to get in. The line to get in gets really long in the mornings and late night, especially on weekends. We never really understood the attraction until we tried it ourselves. The place is just cool. The servers are fast and efficient and they dish up some really generous portions. It’s not really cheap. You can eat for less just a block up Figueroa at Denny’s.
We seem to end up here just before 2am when most of the bars are closing down and everyone is heading home, but wants to stop and get something to eat first. There is always a really mixed crowd of people eating here. It’s very L.A. They have a full menu, but I always order the same thing: the bacon and cheese omelette ($11.55) with potatoes. I swear there is close to a pound of bacon in this thing, and at 2am it’s so delicious. My husband goes for the pancakes ($6.75). Sometimes, and we can’t figure out why or when, they give everyone at your table a side of coleslaw.
A word of warning, they only accept cash (no credit cards). There are less than 100 seats inside, but the line moves relatively fast. I say avoid the place on weekend mornings, and go during the week when there is no line.
The Original Pantry Café 877 So. Figueroa Street (at 9th Street) 213.972.9279