SUMMER FAMILY FUN: Philippe’s Restaurant

By Jo Anne Disney
July 31, 2013 • 587 views

Another great adventure filled with a lot of history is Philippe’s Restaurant located about 2 blocks for Union Station in Downtown, Los Angeles. It was featured as one of the “64 greatest things about L.A.” in the March 2008 edition of Los Angeles Magazine.

Catch the Metro Gold Line at the Sierra Madre Villa Station. The ride ends at Union Station and as you walk out the front entrance of the Station, Philippe’s is up the street.

As the story goes, Philippe’s is best known for its “French dip sandwiches – single, double and even triple dipped for at least 90 years.” It seems there have been many explanations of how the “dipping” got started, but however it happened, it has more than proven its success.

History tells us that “in 1908 Philippe Mathieu opened the first Philippe restaurant at 300 N. Alameda Avenue. In 1918, he moved to 246 Aliso Street where he first served his French dip sandwiches. Then in 1925 Mathieu bought his own property at 364 Aliso Street and moved the restaurant. He retired and sold the business to brothers named David and Harry Martin. The Martin’s and their in-laws the Binder and the Downey families have run the restaurant ever since. However, they did relocate the restaurant in 1951 due to the building of the 101 Freeway. Philippe’s has been at 1001 N. Alameda Street ever since.”

Philippe’s has been in business for over 100 years. It is one of my favorite restaurants because you never have to worry if the food will be good because it is always fabulous!

Menu items include the infamous French dip sandwich with beef, pork, ham, lamb or turkey. Other sides include chili, stew and beans as well as soups and salads.  Every day they serve fresh baked pie from Martino’s Bakery. They even have homemade tapioca and custard.

If you decide to visit Philippe’s remember they do not accept credit cards. But they do have an ATM available. Philippe’s is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Breakfast is served from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Parking is free. They even have a specialty store where you can purchase authentic items with their logo.

Philippe’s is not only a great place to eat but it even has a small train museum. “The train display is located in the room prior to the restrooms. It features a rotating display of trains and descriptions of their history. It is maintained by The Los Angles Railroad Heritage Foundation.”

Visiting Philippe’s is the perfect way for the entire family to check out a little history while enjoying a fabulous sandwich!

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