A Traditional Corner in Downtown L.A. Since 1924

Have you ever been to a cafe that never closes? That’s what we found while looking for a place to have breakfast in Downtown L.A. My mother and I passed by a corner restaurant called The Original Pantry Cafe, there was a line outside of people waiting to be seated. We commented on why would people be in line, since the place didn’t look very appealing and with a quick glance noticed prices were not that low.

We continued looking for a different breakfast place, Caffe Primo, however when we got there it was no longer operating so we decided to venture back to that busy corner cafe, just to see what the fuss was about. There were only 4 people in line by the time we got back so not too bad and people were seated quickly, we had less than a 15 minute wait. Once inside you can see the story of the place which made it even more appealing.

Turns out this place has been open since 1924… and has never closed, not once! It is a 24-hour, 7 day a week cafe offering breakfast all day long.

The menus are not offered at the table since the original menu boards are all around the walls of the cafe with the different items available. People are seated quickly and the entire 45 minutes we were there, there was not a single empty table.

Our waiter was Jose, an older looking man with a friendly demeanor. He quickly offered us coffee and took our order. Our food was freshly made and arrived quickly at our table. It was so much food! and delicious too!

Alfredo was the bus boy, cleaning the tables for the next group of people and walking around with a pot of coffee offering to each table. He was very humble and happy serving coffee with a warm smile. (Fun Fact: Restaurants in LA don’t serve you water unless you ask for it as part of the drought regulation.)

When you are ready to pay they give you the receipt and you take it to the front of the restaurant where the original cashier window from 1924 still stands and as it is tradition since 1924, you can only pay in cash.

Since we had so much food left over we asked for a to-go box, packed it up and on our way out handed it over to a young woman sitting across the street.

If you ever find yourself in Downtown LA, give this place a try you won’t be disappointed!

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