100 Places Where You Can Experience Retro Los Angeles

The city’s vintage charm is alive and well—if you know where to look


34. Esotouric’s Real Black Dahlia tour

Makes stops throughout L.A., Fairfax. 

This decade-defining murder remains a cold case. Gather evidence for yourself on this exhaustively thorough tour.

35. Kip’s Toyland

The Original Farmer’s Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., Fairfax. 

L.A.’s oldest toy store still sells fantastic retro toys with timeless appeal.

36. Langer’s Deli

704 S. Alvarado St., Westlake. 

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Don’t ask questions, just order a #19.

37. Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

5702 York Blvd., Highland Park. 

Classic bottled colas at their absolute finest.

38. See’s La Cienega

3431 S. La Cienega Blvd., Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw. 

It was here that Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance mastered the art of assembly line chocolate dipping for their “Job Switching” episode.

39. Greenspan’s Original Clothing Store

3405 Tweedy Blvd., South Gate. 

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Buy a classic Pendleton board shirt or Zoot suit at the iconic South Gate store.

40. Battleship USS Iowa

250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro. 

Wander through the innards of a ship that served in WWII and carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to meet with Churchill and Stalin.

41. The first ever Tommy’s

2575 Beverly Blvd., Westlake. 

It’s imperative that you order their double chili cheeseburger at least once, preferably from the original location.

42. The first ever Foster’s Freeze

999 S. La Brea Ave., Inglewood.

This place has been dishing up soft serve in Inglewood for 70 years.

43. Chris & Pitt’s

9839 Artesia Blvd., Bellflower.

This outpost of the barbecue chain boasts a faux log cabin exterior, cushy leather booths, and red linoleum. Some might call it dated. Some might call it delightfully vintage.

44. Oxman’s Surplus

14128 Rosecrans Ave., Santa Fe Springs.

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It’s hard to fully get a sense epic shadow WWII cast over the world, but perusing the collection at Oxman’s—and, say, looking through a bomb sight—can begin to put things into perspective.

45. Carter Sexton

5308 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village.

The Valley Village art store, with it’s neon artist’s palette sign, harkens back to the birth of the suburbs and the postwar rise of easy-modern living.

46. Jay-Dee Cafe

1843 W. Main St., Alhambra.

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This place is basically a time machine, and the burgers hold up.

47. Bullocks Pasadena Children’s Barber Shop

401 S. Lake Ave 3rd Fl., Pasadena.

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The orange and yellow salon chairs and framed silhouette portraits are a throwback.

48. Fosselman’s

1824 W. Main St., Alhambra.

The soda fountain retains all its 1940s glory.

49. Candela’s Guitar

2724 East Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Boyle Heights. 

Thomas Delgado crafts some of the finest guitars in the world in this timeless shop, which opened in 1948.


50. Aero Theatre in Santa Monica

1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.

Catch a Hitchcock film on the big screen.

51. Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop

4639 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz.

Get a proper straight razor shave.

52. Pann’s

6710 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester. 

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Basic diner breakfast in one of the greatest Googie coffee shops.

53. The Apple Pan

10801 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles.

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You can never go wrong with the coconut cream pie.

54. Mel’s Drive-In

Locations in Sherman Oaks, Hollywood, and West Hollywood.

Good old-fashioned diner. Good old-fashioned shakes.

55. Canterbury records

805 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. 

Their vinyl collection gigantic.

56. Dal Rae Steakhouse

9023 Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera.

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They’ve kept the signage and menu true to the ’50s.

57. Oldest McDonald’s

10207 Lakewood Blvd., Downey.

This is the only McDonald’s in the world that still serves the original deep-fried apple pies.

58. Frank’s Coffee Shop

916 W. Olive Ave., Burbank.

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Burbank’s classic coffee shop serves the hits—burgers, milkshakes, coffee, pie—to patrons seated in brown leather-upholstered stools at a polished wood counter. We might not call it “good” per se, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful.

59. Barone’s Pizza

13726 Oxnard St., Valley Glen.

These long-time purveyors of rectangular pizza picked up and moved locations in 2006, but the new place (which was first a German restaurant, then a Swiss restaurant), and the interior remains virtually unchanged.

60. Lolita’s Tamales

6050 Whittier Blvd., East Los Angeles. 


This East Los establishment has been in business for three generations. Do not underestimate their rajas tamales with cheese.

61. The Dresden Room

1760 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. 


Jazz duo Marty and Elayne have been holding down the fort for 36 years.

62. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 

If you haven’t swum in the Roosevelt Hotel pool, you haven’t lived.

63. Old Tony’s on the Pier

210 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach.

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A seaside icon.

Continue on to the next page for the ’60s, and ’70s.