You know the feeling. It’s the particular nostalgia for a half-imagined Old Los Angeles that compels you to pop in the rose-tinted contact lenses and relive a bygone era. The itch is easy to scratch; our streets are peppered with relics—dim watering holes where Sinatra wiled the night away and roadside diners that haven’t aged a day. Most of the places on this list are genuine holdovers from another time. Some are devoted recreations. All of them tap into that particular old-school allure that keeps us looking back.
Early 1900s and before
Let the Los Angeles Conservancy guide you among the Victorian homes that have been preserved along this street in Echo Park.
401 E. M St., Wilmington.
Eighteen rooms inside the home of Phineas Banning, “The Father of the Port of Los Angeles,” have been restored to their Victorian glory and are open to the public.
1450 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica.
This Victorian curiosity in Santa Monica projects images of the outside world onto a disk in a darkened room.
4. Gamble House
4 Westmoreland Pl., Pasadena.
Built in the early 1900s by legendary Craftsman architects Charles and Henry Greene, it now offers one of the greatest architectural house tours in the city.
5. A to Z Mart
12734 Whittier Blvd., Whittier.
Exemplary dealers in antique furniture and collectibles.
Before it was a colorful tourist destination, Olvera Street cut through the heart of the original pueblo.
7. Baron Hats
1619 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank.
They’ve done hats for Westworld, Indiana Jones, The Hateful Eight, and you can order those exact designs and many more from any era.
816 S. Lorena St., Boyle Heights.
The small Boyle Heights shop began as a literal wagon and has been peddling beef jerky and some killer chili lime peanuts for time immemorial.
6333 W. 3rd St., Fairfax.
Watching them churn peanut butter at their Original Farmers Market stall is absolutely mesmerising.
10. Cicada Club
617 S. Olive St., Downtown L.A.
Swing dance in period dress on Sunday nights in this downtown club tucked inside the Art Deco Oviatt Building.
52 Windward Ave, Venice.
Hidden below the Townhouse bar (Venice’s oldest), it’s one of the few legit prohibition speakeasies in the city.
Shows around the L.A. area
These dapper guys keep it lively with their spin on jazz and ragtime classics.
118 E 6th St., Downtown L.A.
Who knows (or cares) whether they invented the French Dip sandwich? The place has been around since 1908 and retains an era-appropriate ambiance.
548 S Los Angeles St., Downtown L.A.
When you need the material to recreate, say, and old fashioned pinstripe suit, this is where you go. They specializes in wool fabrics and have been around since 1922.
1310 W. 6th St., Westlake.
Classic steaks. The classic-est.
877 S. Figueroa St., Downtown L.A.
This place has been open since 1924—as in, they don’t even have locks on the doors because they’re always there dishing up steaming heaps of hash browns, eggs over easy, and thick slabs of sourdough toast.
17. El Cholo
1121 S. Western Ave., Harvard Heights.
Many of the recipes at this L.A. institution, like their egg-topped Sonora style enchilada, date back to its founding in 1923.
18. Tam O’Shanter
2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village.
The storybook style restaurant was designed by architect Harry Oliver (the guy behind the Witch’s House of Beverly Hills. Tam O’Shanter was close by Walt Disney’s original studios, and Disney himself was a devoted regular.
19. HMS Bounty
3357 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown.
The dingy nautical-themed dive in the lobby of the Gaylord apartments offers stiff drinks for cheap and a vintage ambiance for free.
20. Hollyhock House
Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood.
Conceived as part of an arts complex for oil heiress Aline Barnsdale, it’s the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in L.A. that offers interior tours, and it’s unique for its temple-like layout and abstracted hollyhock motif.
648 S. Broadway St., Downtown L.A.
Newly revived in all its kitschy splendor, Clifton’s is a throwback to the pre-Souplantation golden age of cafeteria style restaurants.
22. Logan’s Candies
125 W. B St., Ontario.
They’re famous for their ribbon candy. When the holidays roll around, you can line up to watch them making candy cane.
1432 4th St., Santa Monica.
Dim lighting, red booths, and burlesque dancers set the tone.
24. The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach.
Spend the night aboard a ’30s-era ocean liner with a gorgeous Art Deco stateroom. Be wary when booking a room—some are beautiful with porthole views, others are little more than windowless cabins.
25. Musso and Frank
6667 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
A martini is a must.
26. Canter’s Deli
419 N Fairfax Ave., Fairfax.
One of the oldest delis in the state, it first opened in Boyle Heights before moving to Fairfax.
840 S. Fairfax Ave., Mid-Wilshire.
If you show up at the bar frequently enough, you’ll earn a cardboard shamrock with your name on it tacked to the wall—keep an eye out for Cary Grant’s.
The Original Farmer’s Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Fairfax.
The restaurant in the Original Farmers Market has been crafting their legendary pies for decades on end.
6644 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
A substantial stretch of Hollywood Boulevard used to be known as “Booksellers Row.” Of the 20-some shops that once drew the likes of Raymond Chandler and William Falukner, Larry Edmunds is the only one that remains; its specialty is movie books and memorabilia.
5200 Zoo Dr., Los Angeles.
The lavish first class car—you can see it at the Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park—embodies 1930s nostalgia for the 1890s.
31. King Eddy Saloon
131 E. 5th St., Downtown L.A.
For decades on end, this Skid Row bar has been going strong.
32. Dunbar Hotel
4225 S. Central Ave., Historic South-Central.
Though it’s been converted into affordable housing for seniors, this hotel was once the heart of West Coast jazz. Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Joe Louis, and Thurgood Marshall all passed through its beautiful Art Deco atrium. You may not be able to go inside, but you can score a jazz tour of the neighborhood, if you know who to ask.
33. Club Fais Do-Do
5257 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams.
This Cajun nightclub in an old Art Deco bank building boasts a spacious floor and plenty of jazz, blues, and more.
Continue on to the next page for the ’40s and ’50s.