22 Vintage Pictures of Old Los Angeles Restaurants with Wacky Shapes

We're used to seeing swanky rooftop restaurants and bars, taco stands and outdoor patios decorated with lights in Los Angeles. But back in the day we had restaurants and food stands that took architecture to the next level, with wacky buildings shaped as actual items like tamales, hot dogs and planes.


The Brown Derby's hat-shaped dome.

This Tail O' The Pup hot dog stand used to be at 300 N. La Cienega Blvd. in West Hollywood.

Mother Goose Pantry was a restaurant shaped as a Mother Goose shoe and was located at 1951 East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.

Airplane Café would sell hamburgers, chili and coffee.

Angel Food Donuts shop had a giant donut on top of roof. It was located at Western Ave. and Compton Blvd. in Gardena, and this photo was taken in October 1974.

This was one of six Chili Bowl restaurants, in the shape of an actual bowl. This one was located at 3012 Crenshaw Blvd.

The teepee ice cream stand was located on 2nd Street and Covina Avenue in Long Beach.

Zep Diner was in the shape of a zeppelin (AKA blimp). It was located at 515 W. Florence Ave, and this photo was taken on March 21, 1931.

This was originally an ice cream parlor, but later became the Feed Rack restaurant during the Depression.

The Dugout sandwich stand had a prop plane looking like it crashed into its roof. It was located at 6157 E. Whittier Blvd., and this photo was snapped on October 10, 1929.

At Jail Cafe, there was police officer watching from a guard tower on the roof. It was located at 4212 Sunset Blvd.

A fast-food restaurant shaped like a pig in Los Angeles.

The Hoot Owl Cafe was built in 1926-1927, and Tillie Hattrup ran this refreshment stand for 50 years. Her husband, Roy Hattrup built and designed the cafe. It was torn down in 1979.

The Igloo, an igloo-shaped ice cream parlor, located at 4302 W. Pico St. This photo was taken on August 12, 1927.

The Freezer was an ice cream parlor where the building was in the shape of an ice cream maker with a crank. It was located at W. Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Wilshire Coffee Pot restaurant, located at 8601 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, had a giant coffee pot on the top of its building.

The Toonerville Trolley Sandwich Special's building was an old streetcar. The restaurant was located at 1635 W. Manchester Ave.

The Tiree Castle residence was built by Alexander McLean, and later became a restaurant in 1935. It was located in Alhambra.

This tamale-shaped restaurant called "The Tamale," served Latino foods, malted milk and hamburgers. It's at 6421 Whittier Blvd. in East L.A.

The Pup was a hamburger and hot dog stand in the shape of a dog, located at 12728 Washington Blvd. in Venice. You would enter the restaurant through a door on the dog's belly.

Chicken Boy restaurant located at 450 S. Broadway. The statue now sits on top of Future Studio Design & Gallery in Highland Park.

The Cream Can drink stand was in the shape of a milk can. They sold beverages like orange juice and root beer.

(Photos courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection, via LAist)

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