Map &

Been here?
Rate it

Top Tours

Small-Group Tour of Los Angeles from Long Beach and San Pedro
"After morning pickup from your Long Beach hotel travel in a luxury Mercedes Benz coach about 25 miles north toward Los Angeles. On the way see the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles one of the largest ports in the US. Make your way to downtown Los Angeles and stop for 15 minutes at the Los Angeles Coliseum a popular location for concerts and sporting events. Continue to the Walt Disney Concert Hall a distinctive stainless steel building designed by Frank Gehry that’s home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Check out Angels Flight a funicular railway that goes up Bunker Hill and holds the title of being the world's shortest railway. Then head to Olvera Street
From $99.00
Team Challenge Game in Downtown LA
"Race to save Los Angeles from a deadly outbreak of the “playgue”. This off-beat game is played by teams of 2-4 people. Armed with only your wits and your cell phones you will try to help a team of completely inept scientists discover the cure to a mysterious disease known as “the playgue”.As you travel to different outbreaks within a 4 block radius (starting at Central Library in downtown Los Angeles) be prepared to solve scavenger hunt questions pub-style trivia and brain puzzles at each location to earn points. Points earned are lives saved. Your entire team must work together using their collective knowledge and the ability to find all of the world’s information on their mobile phones.The game permits as long as it is during daylight hours."""
From $45.00
Private Sightseeing Tour of Los Angeles with a Vegan Touch
"On this tour you’ll be taken to the highlights of Los Angeles as well as dine on scrumptious vegan cuisine from your choice of LA’s top vegan restaurants including Au Lac Veggie Grill Café Gratitude Plant Food & Wine and Real Food Daily. After we pick you up in a brand-new luxurious SUV and get a fresh cold-pressed energizing juice in your hand
From $249.00

Cole's Tips (7)

Cole's: Simple, Delicious Menu

Cole's is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Los Angeles. From 1908, Cole's menu is simple - French Dip sandwiches - just choose the kind of meat and maybe a side dish, and that's it. No matter what you get it'll be good.
They claim, like Phillipe's does, that the French Dip sandwich was invented here. Their version of the invention differs from Phillipe's so maybe they both invented it at the same time (Phillipe's has been around about the same length of time)? Whatever the circumstances, it's a great invention and an LA original (not too many things can we Los Angelenos claim as our very own).

Favorite Dish The chefs prepare your sandwich in the main part of restaurant. The buns are soft and the au jus is on the side so you can dip as much or little as you want. It's all good.

DueSer's Profile Photo
Jan 20, 2009

Cole's: Home of the French Dip

Before leaving Los Angeles, Sony and I decided to have lunch at a little spot in downtown LA's fashion district called Cole's that is famous for it's French Dip sandwich which originated in 1908. The restaurant is very charming, comfortable and cozy. It reminds me somewhat of John's Grill in San Francisco for it's ambiance and flavor. It is located within a historical landmark building and also houses a speakeasy in the back room. We wanted to get a glimpse of the room while there but they were so busy that afternoon that we just did not get a chance to see it.

The waitstaff was friendly and got our food to us very quickly. Because I was going to be flying back home to San Francisco shortly after our lunch I did not want to have a big meal. I don't like flying whether it be 45 minutes or 14 hours and I never like flying on a full stomach. So, we decided to split our order.

We had the Beef french dip sandwich, a side of bacon potato salad and a basket of garlic fries. The sandwich was very tasty on a crisp bun with the au jus on the side which I liked. So many other restaurants deliver the order with au jus already infused onto the sandwich which makes for a soggy mess. This was much more enjoyable. The potato salad had a distinct Mediterranean flavor. I'm not sure exactly what intensified this taste but whatever it was, it certainly made for a unique and scrumptious side dish. The garlic fries were delicious to say the least. Garlic roasted, crispy shoestring fries in a huge basket? You just can't get any better than that. It was truly a tasty afternoon treat and again, had I not been flying I would have had an order myself along with dessert. Next time I'll make sure to have lunch there again on the day I arrive rather than the day I leave.

We had a great time there and we'll definitely be going back again.

It is located on 6th and South Main street. It is very close to Pershing square and accessible public transportation. If you are in the Hollywood area, just take the Metro Red Line to Pershing square and walk a couple of blocks. It takes all of 15 minutes to get there. For more information visit Cole's Home of the French Dip.

Thanks Sone.

Favorite Dish I'd have to say the garlic fries and bacon potato salad. Of course the french dip is a given.

poetjo's Profile Photo
Nov 06, 2009

Coles PE Buffet - Coles claims...

Coles PE Buffet - Coles claims to be the inventor of the French Dip Sandwich in 1908 and is the oldest restaurant in LA.
Don't expect anything fancy here, but it is definately unique. This is the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles, and the interior keeps this theme. Many of the decorations are from 1908, check out the Tiffany stained glass that is all over the inside. There are signs from the period, lots of old photos of early LA, and tons of photos of actors. Last time I was here I started talking with Marty (owner?) and he gave our group an informal tour after we were done eating. He had lots of fun stories about the old Red Car that ran right by here, the many movies and TV shows filmed here, and stock exchange stories (I guess it used to be right by here).

Favorite Dish French Dip - Beef or Brisket (have other meats, too). About $5.50. Add a Coke for under $2, and a side of potatoes, rice, or vegetables for $2. All this would be right around $10. It was $9.98 for me in April 2002.

blaird's Profile Photo
Aug 26, 2002

Cole's: Great Old Eatery & Home of French Dip

This is a great old restaurant, the likes of which one almost never finds in, and does not generally associate with, Southern California. It has been in business since 1908 and has the old-style early 90th century feel and decor that is more often found in San Francisco. It has barely changed since it opened, with dark wood panels, little round sconce lights, an old bar, etc., located in the basement level of the Pacific Electric light rail buildings.

It is also noted for being one of the two LA eateries that lays claim to the French Dip sandwhich, of which Cole's serves several versions. The sandwiches, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, and other dishes are great, as are the home-made pies.

Service is great, too, in our experience.

Favorite Dish French dip, die, pole slaw.

WulfstanTraveller's Profile Photo
Mar 30, 2012
Sponsored Listings

Hotels Near Cole's

431 W. Seventh Street, Los Angeles, California, 90014, United States
Show Prices
535 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90071, United States
Show Prices
506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90071-2607, United States
Show Prices
838 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90017, United States
Show Prices
711 South Hope Street, Los Angeles, California, 90017, United States
Show Prices
550 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, California, 90071, United States
Show Prices

Cole's PE Buffet (French Dip): Avoid This Restaurant

My wife and I each had a beef french dip. What a joke! The meat tasted boiled rather than roasted - no flavor. There were chunks of beef fat on the sandwich. Very little meat, barely enough to cover the bread. I don't know what all the hype is about. Sure it looks nostalgic and "old timey" but my God, if they food sucks then why bother?

We also had the bacon potato salad and that was below average as well - I've had better salads at KFC. I honestly don't know why they would go to all the trouble of renovating this restaurant only to serve up substandard food at ridiculous prices. $8 for a french dip with just a little meat and a huge roll? No way.

Also, parking was a pain.

If you want a GREAT french dip go to Phillipe's

Favorite Dish Nothing good to write about this place.

Dec 13, 2008

Coles PE Buffet: Great Food - Lousy Area

Cole's is said to be the place which originated the French Dip Sandwich.

A French Dip involves tipping the french rolls in the meat juice so the bread would not be so hard.

In April 1908, Henry Cole introduced the French Dip Sandwich as the new Daily Special at Cole's P.E. Buffet.

The food is great and the place has a certain run-down quality which gives it some ambience. I felt very comfortable reading a book and chatting to the bartender whilst wolfing down the house speciality.

NB. It's location is in a basement at the southern end of Skid Row and to get there you have to walk down some pretty ugly back streets that I, personally. found worrying even in daylight.

Still, the fact that it's lasted nearly 100 years is a testament to the quality and taste of the food.

Paulie_D's Profile Photo
Feb 13, 2005

Cole's P&E Buffet: L.A.'s oldest-Since 1908!!!

Ok,many out of towners tell me that L.A. has no history etc,well,tucked in the heart of downtown is Cole's P&E Buffet.The name is significant because it is in the old Pacific Electric building,near the corner of 6th and main.Many saloons of that era were called "buffet" to denote a free lunch counter but also to disguise the fact it was a drinking establishment and men could conceal from their wives where they really were.(The bar!!)Probably you should go in a group or in the daytime.The area is actually getting better these days.
When you first see Cole's,you will see an old neon sign,and an old storefront on the ground floor.There is also an old railing in front that was once used to tie horses to! You then walk downstairs,just like the show "Cheers"
and you end up in the Restaurant/bar.Cole's claims to be the originator of the french dip sandwich(beef brisket on a roll with au jus gravy) Phillipe's in L.A. also claims to be the originator.try them both and decide who is better.The sandwich at Cole's is carved off a huge brisket as you order it from the chef who has worked there 30 years plus.
the atmosphere is a very dank and dark bar,this was supposedly an old pacific Electric car barn.Some of the tables are made of old P&E car sides.There is tiffany glass everywhere.real or not,who cares?
This place is full of interesting citizens of dowtown and also professionals and cops.
The cops have their own reserved table.This place has a great early 1900's atmosphere with all the old wooden paneling and the wooden bar looks like they haven't cleaned this place since 1908. The poet Charles Bukowski supposedly drank in here.The bartender Jimmy Barela,who retired in 1997,had worked there 65 years!!!(he still came in to drink after retirement).if you are driving,there is a parking lot around the corner for a few dollars,or sometimes you can park across the street at a meter.try to go during the day or in a big group at night.Cole's has been the location of many movies.

Favorite Dish French Dip sandwich(beef brisket) Pastrami Dip,Corned beef dip.Spaten beer on tap.

Jun 26, 2003

Top 5 Los Angeles Writers

Yaqui's Profile Photo


""El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles""
View Member
marinarena's Profile Photo


"Getting at the Heart of L.A."
View Member
GracesTrips's Profile Photo


"Coming to LA, see what all of SoCal has to offer!"
View Member
Dabs's Profile Photo


"Los Angeles"
View Member
Erin74's Profile Photo


"My Hometown: Los Angeles"
View Member

Things to Do Near Cole's

Things to Do

Pershing Square

Once known as La Plaza Abaja (Lower Plaza), Pershing Square is a fun, lesser known spot in the heart of Downtown L.A. During the First World War, it was used as a militia post and was named after...
View More
Things to Do

Angel's Flight

Angeles Flight was built by Olivet and Sinai as a funicular railway in 1901 to carter to its wealthy passengers who lived up and above in the Bunker Hill. It was billed as the Shortest railway in the...
View More
Things to Do

Bradbury Building

This is a beautiful, well-known landmark in downtown Los Angeles. The building is lovely and worth a visit for itself, especially the inside, and visitors are free to roam the lobby and stairs, but...
View More
Things to Do

Grand Central Market

I have lived in LA my entire life. In 2016, that is 57 years! And, this is my first visit to the Grand Central Market. It's kinda like a large food court. There are stalls that sell produce, meat,...
View More
Things to Do

Central Library - Los Angeles Public Library

I visited the Central Library, renamed for LA mayor Richard Riordan in 2001, on the LA Conservancy Historic Core tour but if you want a more in depth look at the history and architecture, our guide...
View More
Things to Do

Little Tokyo

Located in Downtown LA, this neighbourhood was home to some of the earliest Japanese immigrants in California in the early 20th century. The Japanese population here went through a traumatically...
View More

Getting to Cole's


118 East Sixth Street


  • Sunday 11:00 to 22:00
  • Monday 11:00 to 22:00
  • Tuesday 11:00 to 22:00
  • Wednesday 11:00 to 22:00
  • Thursday 11:00 to 23:00
  • Friday 11:00 to 01:00
  • Saturday 11:00 to 01:00