Original Pantry Cafe

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Original Pantry Cafe
Industry Restaurant
Founded Los Angeles, California, USA (1924)
Headquarters 877 South Figueroa
Los Angeles CA
Owner Richard Riordan


Reference no. 255
Original Pantry Cafe Los Angeles.jpg

The Original Pantry Cafe is an iconic coffee shop and restaurant in Los Angeles, California. Located at the corner of 9th and Figueroa in Downtown L.A.'s South Park district, The Pantry (as it is known by locals) claims to never have closed or been without a customer since it opened including when it changed locations in 1950 to make room for a freeway off-ramp; it served lunch in the original location and served dinner at the new location the same day.[1][2] It was, however, closed briefly at the order of health inspectors on November 26, 1997, and reopened the next day.[3] The restaurant is currently owned by former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan and has served many celebrities and politicians.


When it was opened in 1924 at 9th and Figueroa, the restaurant consisted of one room, a 15-stool counter, a small grill, a hot plate and sink. It has been designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 255,[4] and has been ranked as the most famous restaurant in Los Angeles.[5]

The restaurant is known for serving coleslaw to all patrons in the evening hours, even if they ultimately decide to order breakfast. It claims to serve 90 tons of bread (or 461 loaves per day) and 10.5 tons (20,000-tree harvest) of coffee per year.

The days of serving free coffee ended after 87 years, in 2011.[6]

Part of the building on Figueroa Street became Riordan's Tavern, also owned by the former mayor.

In popular culture[edit]

The cafe is regularly mentioned or visited by characters in Michael Connelly's series of mystery novels featuring LAPD detective Harry Bosch, including The Black Echo and The Last Coyote.

The restaurant is featured in a scene in Judd Apatow's 2007 comedy Knocked Up, in which Seth Rogen's character informs his father (Harold Ramis) of his girlfriend's pregnancy.


  1. ^ "The ORIGINAL Pantry Cafe". pantrycafe.com. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Never Say Closed : Historic Pantry Diner Hasn't Been Empty of Patrons in 67 Years". LA Times. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  3. ^ "Mayor's Diner Allowed to Reopen". LA Times. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  4. ^ Cultural Heritage Commission, Historic-Cultural Monuments, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, July 1987
  5. ^ Famous Restaurants in Los Angeles
  6. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/28/local/la-me-pantry-coffee-20110728

Coordinates: 34°2′47.1″N 118°15′46.6″W / 34.046417°N 118.262944°W / 34.046417; -118.262944