Phillippe the Original Restaurant, Los Angeles

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 Reviews

1001 North Alameda Street (213) 628-3781
  • bite of Philippe French dipped sandwich, L.A.
    bite of Philippe French dipped sandwich,...
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  • Bagged Philippe sandwich, Los Angeles, CA
    Bagged Philippe sandwich, Los Angeles,...
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  • French Dipped Sandwich, Cold Slaw, & Custard
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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Philippe The Original/ Philippe's: Get Old Fashioned Simple & Good in Fancy L.A.

    by marinarena Written Jun 20, 2015

    Just a comfortable few blocks away from Union Station is an absolute Los Angeles must-try. Philippe's is well noted for its simple charm and delicious old fashioned sandwiches, including the French Dip Roast Beef Au Jus, supposedly first created here. There is not much fu-fu here. Philippe is a throwback restaurant, like, out of the 50s or 60s. Actually it started in 1908.


    You will be served by very customer service oriented "carvers". They tend to be very efficient and have everything ready within a few minutes.

    Lines (queues) get long here generally. Be patient. The sandwiches and sides are that good.

    There is a non-sandwich line where you can get very fast service for items like yummy fruit pie slices.

    On my visit here, cash was only accepted but on website it says that cash or credit cards can be used to pay.

    bite of Philippe French dipped sandwich, L.A. Bagged Philippe sandwich, Los Angeles, CA
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    Philippe's: Original French Dipped Sandwich

    by atufft Updated Jun 28, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Philippe's is one of LA oldest traditions and still going strong. Supposedly the French Dip sandwich was invented here, but what really makes this place great is a combination of and extensive reasonably priced menu in a cafeteria style presentation. The waiting staff wear Woolworth era outfits and serve standing behind a refrigerated display case. The menu includes a 9 cent cup of coffee, and a variety of mass produced desserts. Pork, Lamb, Beef, and Chicken are available for the dip sandwich. Sawdust is on the floor with large utilitarian tables for eating. This type of eating actually has its origin in the cafeteria chow lines of the Great Depression.

    Philippe's in LA Receiving Line at Philippe's French Dipped Sandwich, Cold Slaw, & Custard Philippe's Interior Philippe's Exteriro
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    Phillippe the Original Restaurant: Home of the Frech Dipped Sandwich

    by tpal Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Philippe The Original is the kind of place you expect to find in a small town (in my home Buffalo, NY you would be sure to visit the Anchor Bar for original chicken wings) but not in urbane and stylish LA. And, while it might not be worth fighting the LA rush hour to get is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.

    Established (in a different location) in 1926, Philippe's is the home of the original French Dipped Sandwich. Food is ordered from a deli style counter and made fresh to your taste. The floor is covered with peanut shells and the tall, long tables and pull-up stools provide you with new instant lunch companions. The food is great but it's the atmosphere that you will take home with you.

    You can learn more than you will ever hope to know about Philippe The Original at their web site below.

    Philippe The Original Informal dining at Philippe's Ordering the famous French Dippeed Sandwich

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    by juliafatima Written May 10, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    nothing but the name is french!
    Simple sandwich without any enjoyment, very disappointing, rubbery bread, canteen atmosphere, no decoration, unpleasant staff even if there were few persons.
    I so heard about this "restaurant" that i absolutely wanted to eat there.
    it was downright bad, i eventually bought to eat in Mc Do.
    My Friend didn't like it either, he had a stomach ache all evening long.
    i think it's the worst restaurant of the city.
    Otherwise, pleasantly surprised by the food in LA, it's good and really cheap!
    I have to say the waitresses are very nicer than in France... =)

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  • phillipe: none

    by kowana Written Aug 31, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As a long time customer of Phillipe. I want to make a suggestion that the restaurant need to change to one line waiting systems .
    the line should start a right hand around the water supply.
    1. people with a large order,other customer don't have to wait so long.
    2. customers don't get in their way when carry food out.
    3.customers don;t have stand behind while other customers eating. it's noise and no privacy.

    Favorite Dish: none

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  • phillipe: none

    by kowana Written Aug 31, 2008

    As a long time customer of Phillipe. I want to make a suggestion that the restaurant need to change to one line waiting systems .
    the line should start a right hand around the water supply.
    1. people with a large order,other customer don't have to wait so long.
    2. customers don't get in their way when carry food out.
    3.customers don;t have stand behind while other customers eating. it's noise and no privacy.

    Favorite Dish: none

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    Philippe the Original: The original French dip

    by Dabs Written Oct 29, 2007

    I've been slowly working my way through the list of LA iconic food, 1st I tried In and Out Burger and then a Tommy Burger and on this trip it was time for a French dip from Philippe's. I've still got Musso and Frank's, Pink's hot dogs and Apple Pan on the list...

    It's said that the French dip originated here by accident when the owner, a Frenchman named Philippe Mathieu, dropped a French roll into the drippings of a roasting pan. The policeman who ordered it liked it so much he came back the next day and ordered another and a sandwich was born. Philippe opened the restaurant in 1908 and sold it in 1927 but the name stuck.

    This is a low cost lunch, parking is free, you order at the counter, ice tea is 55 cents, lemonade is 65 cents. Seating is at communal tables, pull up a chair and eat your lunch.

    Favorite Dish: I wish I had eaten my French dip sandwiches in a different order, after trying the $17 prime rib French dip from Houston's a few days before, poor Philippe's didn't have a chance. It was an OK sandwich, priced a bit more reasonably at $5.15 but my particular sandwich didn't have much meat and instead of giving you the au jus to dip it in, they dip it for you. Where's the fun in that? You can get it double dipped, maybe I should have tried that. I wouldn't go out of my way to come here except for perhaps the nostalgia factor. I did find it a little curious that the last "rave review" listed on their website was from 1993, resting on their laurels perhaps?

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    Phillippe the Original Restaurant: What a wine list!

    by touristgal Updated Mar 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ok, as everyone says, this is a diner with sawdust on the floor. Prices are low. Coffee is 9 cents a cup. What I like and it really takes me back is the wine list. They have outstanding wines here. My date and I last week had a glass of silver oak cab 2003 for 14 dollars a glass. If that same glass was at Spago it would be well over 25 dollars. They offer Plumbjack, CakeBread,Duckhorn, Culter-Sonmona and etc... by the glass. Some are offered at 6 dollars. A great price, believe me, I know wine prices. It was fun to be here drinking wine and watching the people.

    Favorite Dish: Of course the wine. I like the side of beets with my 3.75 salad that was great.

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    Phillippe the Original Restaurant: The French Dip Sanwich...

    by malianrob Updated Dec 26, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The restaurant is located one block from Olvera street. It is said to be where the French Dip Sandwich was invented. There is another restaurant Coles that says they invented it first, so who really knows.
    Phillippe 's has been around for over 80 years and is a very popular place to go to. It is so popular infact that if you go during the week day, lunch hour, it will be a long wait. This place is also very popular because the food is very inexpensive. Alittle cheaper than the Pantry. Coffee is .09 cents, lemonade .60 cents, and ice tea .50 cents.
    The food here is simple but delicious. The bread is fresh and the sandwiches are made right in front of you. Also try the chili and the tapioca pudding. The place is decorated with old train, dodger and city memorabilia. They are opened here at 6am for breakfast and close about 10:30 pm.

    the beef french dip enjoying my sandwich old fashioned telephone booths
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    Philippe the Original, the...

    by blaird Updated Oct 6, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The last restaurant I reviewed was Coles, and they say they are the oldest in LA, but Phillippe's is almost that old...since 1908.

    Now, Coles said they invented the French Dip sandwich, but Phillipe's also claims to be the inventor. Phillipe's say that Philippe Mathieu immigrated from France and invented it in his Deli in 1918. I don't know who was first, but they are both good.

    When you arrive, you will find long lines leading up to the counter. While in line, check out the various menus, but mainly the big black menu on the side wall. Figure out what you want, although you may change your mind when you get to teh counter and see the pies and salads in the galss casing.

    It is not a pretty restaurant, but it is fun!

    Favorite Dish: French Dip - They serve lamb here, yum. You can also order all kinds of sides like maccaroni salad, pickled eggs, cole slaw, a wedge of pie, pickles, candies apples, and lots of other stuff. Coffee is $0.09!

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    Phillippe the Original: The Best French Dip Sandwiches in the World!

    by califdweller Updated May 23, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Philippe's is great to have lunch in after walking through Chinatown.
    Dave likes the Lamb Dip best..but I love their Beef Dip. Their coffee is still 9 cents a cup!

    Beef French Dip 4.40
    Pork French Dip 4.40
    Lamb French Dip 4.70
    Ham French Dip 4.40
    Oven Roasted Turkey French Dip 4.40

    Current sandwich sure to ask for double dip because they dip it for you!

    It's a great place complete with sawdust on the floor and it's been a L.A. Landmark since 1908! It has cafeteria style seating without table service, but you won't mind...and don't forget to stop by their gift shop on the way out.

    Favorite Dish: My favorite dish is their coleslaw...homemade and has excellent flavor.

    Philippe the Original!

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    Phillippe the Original: An LA Classic

    by Stasigrace Updated Nov 20, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sawdust on the floor, clown posters on the wall, a room full of miniature trains, and pickled eggs on the counter. Philippes has been a staple of the downtown dining scene since 1908. The home of the French Dip sandwich (a title much debated by the not-too-distant Cole's), this restaurant offers a great selection for reasonable prices.

    Come for breakfast (at which you'll see construction workers chomping down French Dips and Policemen flirting with the counter ladies), lunch, dinner, late night dessert. It's almost always crowded and it's worth the wait.

    A couple notes: you have to stand in one of the lines behind a cash register to get waited on. You'll be given a tray to put your money on--don't hand it to the counter lady. There are free water & glasses around the corner from the counter (across from the TV). Beware the spicy mustard on the table. It seems benign, but will make you cry and your nose burn!

    Favorite Dish: French Dip--I like lamb w/bleu cheese

    Breakfast--for $5 you can get a hearty meal with eggs, pancakes, & juice

    Coffee--still just 9 cents plus a penny tax (alas, they charge you another dime for refills!)

    Wine--a truly impressive wine list for a shared-bench establishment. Available by the glass and cheap.

    Come for a sandwich! says Philippe
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  • kiwi's Profile Photo

    Philippe the Original: America as seen in the old movies.

    by kiwi Updated Aug 20, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of those places that locals love to come to, and as a tourist, I was the odd one out. Of course it is known to tourists, but it is still a "local haunt". Especially when the Dodgers have a home game, and the place fills with fans buying food to take to the stadium with them.
    Opening in 1908 it is one of the oldest places still operating. Had to relocate to the present site back in 1951, to make way for 101 freeway.
    It is interesting how the servery works. There are 10 lines to the long counter and as many people to serve you. These people not only take your order, they set about to fix it! The lines move pretty fast, and there is food and drinks for everyone. Then you can sit in someone elses parcels, or you cat hit into the goal, to redeem one's team support!!

    Favorite Dish: These dipped sandwiches are great, so many to chose from.
    Big secret tip here is the coffee! Cheapest in town, Apffels coffee only 9cents plus tax per cup! Truly a bargain.

    Open 7 days a week, 6am - 10pm. Except Thanksgiving and Christmas.


    Original Restaurant.
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  • giampiero6's Profile Photo

    Philippe's: A Noir Cafeteria

    by giampiero6 Written Nov 19, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Philippes is a throw back to the 1930's and LA's Noir roots. It's a cafeteria where you order dipped meat sandwiches at a counter and then retire to tables and booths. Eating here makes you feel like you just stepped into a Raymond Chandler novel.

    Favorite Dish: Lamb Sandwich. Order some coleslaw on the side. Prices are really cheap..I think coffee is still like a quarter or something.

    Raymond Chadler Would Eat Here

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  • Phillipe's: Phillipe's

    by go4broke Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Order your sandwiches from one of ten ladies at the counter, make your way across the sawdust covered floor, and sit at one of the long linoleum coveres tables or grab a booth for privacy.

    Favorite Dish: The Original French Dip Sandwich (double dipped), coleslaw, a pickle, & lemonade

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