L.A.’s Greatest Landmarks: Bob’s Big Boy

I took this photo of Big Boy in 2006

From the towering neon sign to the statue of the rotund boy in his distinctive red and white checked overalls to the 1950’s coffee shop architecture, Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is undoubtedly one of L.A.’s most well-known and beloved landmarks. In 1993, this oldest remaining restaurant in the national chain was restored to its 1949 glory and designated a “California Point of Historical Interest.” At that time, the sign was repaired, the dining room was remodeled, and an outdoor patio was added. Car-hop service was also re-established on Saturday and Sunday nights. Every Friday night, a classic car show is held in the ample parking lot, which fills with shiny hot rods and cruisers from the 1950s and 60s.

I discovered Bob’s Big Boy shortly after moving to L.A. in 1994. We could walk to it from our apartment and more importantly, discovered we could do so 24 hours a day! While we can still walk to Bob’s from our current home, it does take quite a bit longer. Much more frequently, we take advantage of the hours and catch a bite to eat after a concert or movie. It’s become our go-to place after Halloween festivities because the place is packed with other costumed people and the party seems to continue.

If you’re looking for a gourmet meal, Bob’s will not be your first choice, but they do serve up decent, affordable diner fare. You can get breakfast and homemade milk shakes around the clock. The staff is friendly and we recognize other regular customers, as well as the occasional celebrity, when we eat there. I’ll admit that we do go to Bob’s about once a week, often on a particular night to see some friends who have a regular meet up at the restaurant.

Bob’s Big Boy is located at 4211 W Riverside Dr. in Burbank/Toluca Lake. You only have a couple of hours to catch the classic cars, but you have all night to grab a burger or some chili spaghetti.

A full list of the posts in our L.A.’s Great Landmarks series can be found here.

9 thoughts on “L.A.’s Greatest Landmarks: Bob’s Big Boy”

  1. Jodi! You’re awesome. I grew up 1 block from this place. And as I went to Burroughs High School, I was there almost every night (sadly, not an exaggeration). And being such the expert, I intended to give all the cool “insider” tips. But you got them!

    1. Halloween- Oh Emm Gee. Some of the greatest people watching ever. Especially around 1-4am when the parties and bars have let out. And most nights, most of the Halloween Horror Nights cast eats there after work.

    2. I am happy to say I am one of the signatures on the petition that kept Bob’s open in 1993. They were going to turn it into a Coco’s!

    3. Chili Spaghetti- I know. It sounds gross. The only reason I tried it is because one of the waiters offered to give it to me for free if I didn’t like it. Well…..I paid for it. Suck it up and you’ll thank me later.

    4. Bring back the Silver Goblet!!!

  2. …I think the citizens of Toluca Lake would take exception to the claim that this particular institution is located in Burbank…

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