This West LA diner has been serving burgers, pie, and classic American sandwiches at its U-shaped counter since 1947. Not much has changed about The Apple Pan since it opened: the registers are mechanical, the cooks wear soda jerk paper hats, and the red counter stools are still intact. Thankfully, the menu is pretty much the same too, and the signature Hickoryburger, Steakburger, and banana cream pie are as popular as ever. Fun fact: Diner chain Johnny Rockets is modeled after The Apple Pan.
The dish: Pecan Pie
The Apple Pan turns out pies as classic, familiar, and unpretentious as the legendary Los Angeles institution itself. While there’s nothing quite like digging into a slice at their crowded U-shaped counter on Pico, their pies taste just as good at home. And while “apple” is part of their namesake, we go for the rich, gooey, baked-fresh-daily Pecan Pie—which is made using an original family recipe that Ellen Baker (who founded the diner along with her husband Allan in 1947) brought with her from Nebraska. Her recipe dates back to 1909, but over a century later, the kitchen’s still making the Pecan Pie in the exact same way, placing every single nut by hand to create a delicate pattern on top.
How to order: Order online by November 20 for pickup on November 23, while supplies last. A limited quantity of pies will be available for walk-up purchase on November 23.
Head to Apple Pan, wait in line to sit on their new picnicky patio and when it’s your turn get the Hickory burger; immediately you’ll be hit with nostalgia for a time you never knew, a mid-century fever dream of sweet and tangy sauce, cold coca-cola, hot apple pie, and a pat on the back that’s just a little too familiar.