Where to Find the Most Iconic L.A. Diners From Film and TV

You can even eat at some of them
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A lot can happen at a diner over a mug of coffee and a slice of pie. Take Hawthorne Grill (originally known as Holly’s), which serves as the beginning and end of Pulp Fiction. Or Dinah’s Family Restaurant, which is where The Big Lebowski’s nihilists calmly order lingonberry pancakes. With their cranky patrons and club sandwiches and doors open 24/7, our local diners are unapologetically Americana, which is why they’re used in movies and television shows set everywhere.

Diners You Can Eat At

The 101 Coffee Shop

Swingers
Swingers


You saw The 101 Coffee Shop (formerly known as The Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop) in the movie Swingers and in the TV shows Entourage and Gilmore Girls. Established in the 1960s, the 101 Coffee Shop is an actual diner you can go to and order food. It’s not even that expensive. Smoked Salmon Hash for $12.95? Gimme. > 6145 Franklin Ave., Hollywood

Du-par’s Studio City

duparsvalleygirl2
Valley Girl

If there ever was a diner to exist solely for Nic Cage’s punk rock Randy who finds himself head over heels for a Valley girl, this would be it. Du-par’s, which has four locations, is a nearly 70-year-old establishment. Its Studio City location is where both Boogie Nights and Valley Girl were filmed. > 12036 Ventura Blvd., Studio City

Frank’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop

Larry Crowne
Larry Crowne

Frank’s stands out when you pass by on your way to Burbank’s AMC Theaters. The diner welcomes you with three signs, all stacked on top of each other, saying “FRANK’S,” “COFFEE SHOP,” “PIES.” Oh. Hell. Yes. More than 65 years old, this picturesque coffee shop served as the perfect mealtime scene in Mad Men, Justified, CSI, and Gone Girl> 916 W. Olive Ave., Burbank

Rae’s Restaurant

True Romance
True Romance

Rae’s, with its turquoise walls and petite red booths, is the diner you saw in True Romance, Bowfinger, and Lords of Dogtown. It’s also known for its reasonable breakfast prices. Open since 1958, you can still stop by and order yourself a cheeseburger for $3.25. 2901 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica

Dinah’s Family Restaurant

The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski

Famous for its bucket of chicken mascot and kooky red sign, Dinah’s, which you’ve seen in The Big Lebowski and Nightcrawler, is pretty much the perfect location for a diner scene — except it does *not* serve lingonberry pancakes. (Though hey, guys, maybe it should.) 6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

Pat & Lorraine’s Coffee Shop

Reservoir Dogs
Reservoir Dogs

Another Tarantino set, Pat & Lorraine’s is located in Eagle Rock. This is a special diner because it’s Tarantino’s FIRST film location. According to L.A. Weekly, Tarantino chose Pat & Lorraine’s because it was so close to the warehouse location in Reservoir Dogs — and also because it was cheaper to film there. 4720 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles

George’s ’50s Diner

Cinderella Story
Cinderella Story

True to its name, George’s ‘50s Diner was established in 1952—its original name being Grissinger’s Drive-In (George’s is tres cute, though). It’s somehow the perfect setting for the tween dream Hilary Duff movie A Cinderella Story. It also appeared pretty quickly in Zodiac> 4390 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach

Swinger’s Diner

Swingers Cafe
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion 

This was the diner that inspired the movie Swingers (the director decided to film at The 101 Coffee Shop because it was cheaper), and provided post-hangover and unprotected-sex breakfast in Knocked Up. It also made a quick appearance in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. You can still totally eat in one of those plastic-encased plaid booths. > 802 Broadway, Santa Monica

Diners Used As Sets

Cadillac Jack’s (The Pink Cafe) at the Pink Motel

cadillacjackshighroad
High Road

A review in The Los Angeles Times says while the cafe (originally known as The Pink Cafe) was known as a charming, surreal truck stop, it turned into “a self-conscious ‘50s revival place such as the ones you can find pretty easily anywhere around south of the San Fernando Valley.” Writer Charles Perry adds, with pronounced disdain, “I don’t know how the sophisticated Hollywood fans of the Pink Cafe feel about these changes. I suspect they’d feel the place is ruined now.” Attached to Pink Motel, The Pink Cafe opened in 1949. It’s closed now, but you can stay at the Pink Motel if you want to feel like you’re a part of some retro daydream. The property is mostly used for filming, and besides Drive, you can spot the cafe in The League, Criminal Minds, and CSI> 9457 San Fernando Rd., Sun Valley

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Johnie’s Coffee Shop

The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski

Johnie’s, which was first established in 1956 as Romeo’s Time Square (and then Ram’s, and then finally Johnie’s) is most known for its futuristic-if-the-Jetsons-existed “Googie” architecture. It was bought by the Gold family (founders of 99 Cent store) and then was closed in 2000. So, the bad news is that you can’t actually eat here. Most recently it was adopted by Bernie Sanders activists who called themselves Bernie’s Avengers. The movies filmed here include the Big Lebowski, Reservoir Dogs, Miracle Mile, and American History X> 6099 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

Diners That Are Dead and Gone

Holly’s Diner/Hawthorne Grill

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction

Known as Holly’s Diner originally, it became Hawthorne Grill by the time Pulp Fiction was filmed in 1994. According to archives of The Daily Breeze, you could get chicken fried steak for $1.45 and a milkshake for 35 cents. Sadly, the owner of Hawthorne Grill, Chris Garneriter, filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and the building was demolished to make room for an Autozone. Hawthorne Boulevard and 137th Street in Hawthorne

Caesar’s (Winkie’s Diner)

winkies
Muholland Drive

The David Lynch cinematic nightmare/masterpiece Mulholland Drive is known for its creepiness, and maybe the most creepy is when the very skittish Dan (Patrick Fischer) is ambushed by his own recurring dream, behind Winkie’s Diner (actually called Caesar’s in real life). While this is supposed to be on Sunset, in reality Caesar’s was located in Gardena. Sadly, it recently closed. 1016 W. El Segundo Blvd., Gardena

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