What do people do when they come to the USA for the first time? You arrive and go sightseeing right away? No, you look for a good meal. In my case I look for something traditional / iconic for the region. And what is more iconic in the USA than a diner like you see in the movies, especially if you are looking to get breakfast. At the beginning of my US trip I spent a few days in the South Bay of Los Angeles. So, here is a list of my favorite breakfast diners in the South Bay.
Luckily this is the area that Cody actually is from, so we were able to go to places that his parents (South Bay locals of nearly 70 years) go often and highly recommend.
The Original Pancake House in Redondo Beach was my first breakfast diner that I visited in the US. This place made a great impression on me due to many reasons.
First of all, the menu had so many options on traditional American breakfast that at first I got confused and couldn’t decide what I wanted more. Eventually I went with pecan pancakes…. It is a Pancake House after all.
Second, the portions that they serve here are massive. Considering that I was quite hungry, and my pecan pancakes were absolutely delicious, I barely ate half of my portion.
Third, coming from Europe I am not used to such a level of service. All the attention even made me a little bit uneasy at first. In America they really follow the rule that “the customer is always right”.
Oh, one more thing that was weird to me and that I saw for the first time in the Original Pancake House is that in the US they refill your drink for free as many times as you want (as long as it is not alcohol).
Eat At Joe’s is another great breakfast diner in Redondo Beach in the South Bay that serves traditional American food. This diner is a favorite of Cody’s parents who would go nearly every week for 40 years. And I am very glad we went there, it ended up to be a great choice.
Eat At Joe’s diner is not a fancy type of diner (are there any?). It actually reminded me of some of the places that we visited in Asia with a kitchen in a tent and tables on the street. Eat At Joe’s diner, of course, wasn’t exactly the same, but the atmosphere was similar.
At this diner they have a few specialties that we were recommended to try: chicken fried steak. Everything is served with “breakfast” potatoes and toast, so it is a lot of food.
The food here is very delicious and very filling. You probably won’t finish your portions as well, but definitely will be very satisfied.
I found Uncle Bill’s Pancake House a bit different from Eat At Joe’s diner. It reminded me more of something like the diner in Sienfeld because there was an actual diner counter with people sitting there!
Uncle Bill’s diner also has a cute patio that faces Manhattan Beach. But you will have to wait in line to get a table at the patio. We decided not to wait and just got a table inside.
At Uncle Bill’s Pancake House we ordered King’s Hawaiian french toast, the specialty potato stroganoff, and avocado omelet. And although everything tasted very good, my favorite one was potato stroganoff together with their homemade spicy salsa. It was an explosion of flavors in my mouth.
That’s a hard question to answer as they are all so good. I think I would have to say Eat At Joe’s in Redondo Beach was my favorite…but I’d definitely go back to all of them!
I will say that after breakfast at all of them I wasn’t really hungry the entire rest of the day. So I think going for brunch and making it my one meal of the day is the way to go when eating these giant diner portions in America!