Philippe The Original is one of the most beloved and oldest restaurants found in Los Angeles.
The restaurant was first established in 1908 by a French immigrant, Philippe Mathieu, who was known for his famous sandwiches. However, the real story of Philippe’s begins in 1918 when a total happy accident occurred. It is said that one fine day an officer walked in and asked for a sandwich. While making the sandwich, Mathieu accidentally dropped the French bread into the flavorful meat juices found in the oven. Despite this mistake, the officer accepted the sandwich with no issue and went on his way. The very next day the officer returned with friends requesting the exact same dipped sandwich. It was a serendipitous moment that would change the legacy of Phlippe’s forever, and as they put it, “The rest is history.”
In 1927, Mathieu sold Philippe’s to Harry, Dave and Frank Martin. Since then the business has survived through the 1929 depression, World War II, and even the recent pandemic—by sheer perseverance and dedication. In 1951 they were forced to move to Alameda St. and today Philippe’s can still be found at the same location. The restaurant is now run by fourth-generation owner Andrew Binder, the great-grand child of Frank Martin.
Although there is much debate over who created the original French-dip, Philippe’s is often given that credit after all these years. It is also worth noting that their sandwiches are pre-dipped, whereas others often come with a side of sauce. Sandwiches aren’t the only thing they serve up though. Their menu is full of hearty food that satisfies any craving. From homemade chili to a slice of sweet carrot cake, they have it all. It’s no wonder why generations of Angelenos have loved this place for over a century.
“They consider it their home… their restaurant, and that’s such a charming, cool aspect of the restaurant itself,” said Binder on the Philippe The Original site. “We have our regulars: At 6A.M. when the doors open, we know what half of the people are ordering and it’s already made for them.”
It’s safe to say, Philippe’s is here to stay.
Location: Philippe The Original, 1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles, CA 90012