By Krista Carlson

Classic American Diners may be a dime a dozen in Los Angeles–some are emblazoned with funky signs and lots have retro charm–but what really makes a standout diner is great food at a good price. Add in good service, a variety of staple and signature dishes, along with a welcoming atmosphere and you’ve got a diner that’s truly worth its weight in bacon and eggs.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Headlines Diner & Press Club

10922 Kinross Ave
Westwood, CA 90024
(310) 208-2424
Hours: Mon to Fri 6pm-10pm; Sat to Sun 7am-10pm
Website & Reviews

Extra! Extra! Eat all about it! The portions are enormous at this dimly lit diner, the food comes out fast and the prices are unbeatable. Headlines has something for everyone, with a menu that encompasses breakfast fare, burgers, tacos, seafood, and hot dogs–all with a good dose of greasiness. Go for the Bruin Special at this UCLA-adjacent eatery; a meal of three eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage and pancakes that, for only $7.25, could satisfy any hungry bear. And if breakfast isn’t your bag, there are a number of burger specials under $7, all served with fries and all-you-can-drink soda.

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Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club Cafe

1880 Academy Dr.
Elysian Park, CA 90012
(323) 221-5222
Hours: Mon to Fri 6am-2pm

This hide-away diner is inarguably the safest place to eat in L.A. Located on the Police Academy grounds, yet open to the public, few know about this daytime diner, where everything on the menu is under $8. This place is clean and classic, the epitome of noir-era 1940’s L.A., with polished wood counters, a friendly staff and low-key atmosphere (minus the occasional rounds of gunfire from the Academy’s shooting range). With daily specials and salad options, a mix of American and Mexican favorites and consistently good New England Clam Chowder. After a meal here, check out the gift shop for law-enforcement paraphernalia, or take a walk through the rock garden and head up the hill for a great view of Dodger Stadium.

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Harry’s Family Restaurant

920 N San Fernando Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91504
(818) 842-8755
Hours: 24/7
Website & Reviews

Both the exterior and interior are definitively unimpressive–think “quaint”–but don’t let that deter you. If simple and satisfying is what you seek, Harry’s will fulfill your wishes without leaving a hole in your wallet, and at any hour of the day. Standard comfort food classics make up the menu here, where the vibe is equally unpretentious.

Photo Credit: Nat's Early Bite

Nat’s Early Bite

14115 Burbank Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91497
(818) 781-3040
Hours: Mon to Fri 6am-3pm; Sat 6:30am-4pm; Sun 7am-4pm
Website & Reviews

The best thing about Nat’s is pretty much everything. Both the food and service are consistently great; top-notch are the hearty omelets, which go best with a glass fresh-squeezed orange juice, thick with pulp. Forgo the jelly and spread some house-made marmalade on your toast, too. Sometimes there may be a wait to get a table, especially on the weekends, but the servers are always cheerful and accommodating, and the atmosphere is nothing but comfortable. Nat’s is a true local favorite, and one trip will make it easy to see why.

Photo Credit: House of Pies

House of Pies

1869 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 666-9961
Hours: Daily 6:30 am – 2 am
Website & Reviews

The name says it all. For a great piece of pie (or two) and a hot cup of coffee, this is where you want to be. House of Pies actually has a lot more to offer besides pie, with a rather extensive menu, and boasts the best pastrami west of Manhattan, but whatever you order–if you have a meal at all–make sure you save room for pie! The German chocolate cream, tangy lemon meringue, and signature Southern pecan are some of the best, but with more than 20 kinds of pie, all under $5 a slice, there’s a piece of pie to please every palate. Great for dates, a late-night dessert, or a group get-together.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

S & W Country Diner

9748 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 204-5136
Hours: Mon to Fri 7am-2pm; Sat to Sun 8am-3pm
Website & Reviews

This hole-in-the-wall diner can get packed on the weekends, so come early or later, but be prepared to wait if you arrive around 11am–or just pop by mid-week. The service is known to be hit-and-miss, but the eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce (with ham, chicken or spinach) and Sam’s special hot chocolate made with vanilla nut coffee are top-notch at all times. For an extra kick, skip the hash browns and opt for a side of fried tomatoes.

Krista Carlson is a native Angeleno whose passion for adventure continues to lead her to destinations both urban and wild. She writes about her experiences at Kryxtanicole’s Blog.