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A tasty bite of history at Philippe's in downtown L.A.

Crunchy dill pickle spears
Crunchy dill pickle spears

The double-dipped beef French dip with jack cheese

There’s a reason everyone raves about Philippe’s.

From the moment you walk through the door, you’re transported back to a simpler time. A time when delis and diners were all the rage, when a woman in a hairnet handed you your meal on a tray, when a hungry working stiff could get a filling lunch without emptying their wallet.

Stroll across the sawdust-strewn floor to join one of the numerous lines stretching from the counter to the rear wall of the restaurant. Don’t panic – the ladies behind the counter are seasoned experts who know how to keep everything moving at a steady pace.

Philippe the Original, more commonly known as Philippe's, is famous for their French dip sandwich, which they claim to have invented early in the restaurant’s 100-year history. Today they have a variety of meats available for your French dip, from the traditional beef to a comforting turkey, or even the more exotic choice of lamb.

Order your sandwich dipped, double-dipped, or (if you’re feeling daring) wet. They dip the crusty roll directly into the homemade au jus - I recommend going with the double-dipped option, as it gives a nice amount of flavor and softness without completely drenching your sandwich.

The beef sandwich is a steal at $5.55, and for just a buck more you can add a plate of crunchy dill pickle spears that provide a wonderful zesty contrast to the earthy beef. The $1.10 coleslaw is another fantastic option – while some may find its simplicity boring, I myself am a huge fan of the sweet creaminess of this dish.

A century-old restaurant steeped in tradition is a rare find in Los Angeles, and this place truly does feel like a beloved visitor from a bygone era. Philippe’s more than lives up to its promise of delicious, fantastically simple food at rock-bottom prices.

Philippe the Original
1001 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012