Pete's Cafe & Bar

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Pete's Cafe & Bar Pete's Cafe & Bar in Downtown Los Angeles is a classy but casual restaurant great for pre-gaming & post-shopping. Drop in to this LA staple with Party Earth. Los Angeles United States 34.047824 -118.247352
3.38 11
Pete's Cafe & Bar - Bar | Café in Los Angeles.
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Party Earth Review Walking the geographic tightrope between skid row and gallery row, Pete’s Cafe & Bar is a large restaurant in LA’s historic Bank District that caters to trendy shoppers, businessmen, and diverse pre-gamers looking to nosh... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Purple, Red Lines: Pershing Square‎

  • Phone:


  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 11am–2am, Sa–Su 9am–2am
    Food served until last call

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Pete's Cafe & Bar Review

The Scene

Pete's Cafe & Bar in Downtown Los Angeles is a classy but casual restaurant great for pre-gaming & post-shopping. Drop in to this LA staple with Party Earth.

Walking the geographic tightrope between skid row and gallery row, Pete’s Cafe & Bar is a large restaurant in LA’s historic Bank District that caters to trendy shoppers, businessmen, and diverse pre-gamers looking to nosh on upscale twists of American classics.

Guests nestle in among perfectly groomed shrubs on the heated patio, which acts as a haven for smokers, dog owners, and people-watchers entertained by the un-choreographed street theater created by the passersby.

With its high ceilings, thick stone pillars, and intricate tiled floors, there’s plenty to look at throughout the cavernous space, though most of the regular lunch crowd is more focused on work or checking out their recent purchases to notice.

Posh groups of girls take to the plush booths and high-top tables that line the large dining room to snack on baked mac and cheese and share bottles from the sizeable wine list, as mellow suits sidle up to the art deco bar to throw back one of the few draft beers.

Dinner usually finds dapper theatergoers sharing space with a younger set of kids stopping in before hitting a nearby club, though the restaurant’s size means the place usually doesn’t get too crowed.

Weekends are a casual affair as sleepy neighborhood denizens drop by for pancakes and breakfast burritos and try to resist the temptation of the Bloody Mary bar.

No matter the time, Pete’s Cafe & Bar is that rare venue that combines upscale flair with the attitude of a neighborhood diner.

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Tip from Emma:

Sometimes nothing beats a high-end burger, and Pete’s Hellman Burger – topped with smoked aioli and fontina cheese – is exactly what you need to either shop the day or dance the night away. The owners obviously think so too – there’s a painting above the bar of a nun praying over five burgers.

  • Crowd

    A diverse sampling of the Downtown population, including area lawyers and other suits, local loft owners, trendy shoppers, fashion mavens, older couples, tourists, gallery types, and pre-clubbers, mid-20s to 40s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Handful of flat-screens around the bar usually tuned to sports. People-watching from the street-side patio.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Menu of mostly American classics with an upscale or modern twist, including pulled pork sandwiches, grilled cheese, seafood pasta, mac & cheese, burgers, and soups and salads. Happy Hour daily 5–7pm and 11pm–2am.

  • Prices

    Brunch menu $7–$23, appetizers $7–$15+, entrées $14–$30, late night menu $8–$23. Beer $6–$10, cocktails $10–$15, wine $6–$16/glass or $24–$90+/bottle.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Trendy casual to business: suits, blazers, designer jeans, cute skirts, tight black dresses.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursday through Saturday nights to join the pre-club and barhopping crowd, or weekends for a casual brunch and a few Bloody Marys to shake out the cobwebs from the night before.

  • Close By

    The Crocker Club (453 South Spring Street) is a swanky lounge that also has some cool history. Formerly a bank, there are an assortment of private rooms, a large dance floor, and ghosts that allegedly roam the halls.

Pete's Cafe & Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
great food and super good time
Ellie L. Nov 28, 2012
I have only been to the restaurant once and never the bar, but the food seemed good to me. I thought it was decent American food, and I would definitely recommend the fries! I thought the service was great, they were quick and always asking if things are okay. Parking was easy. They are open late which is awesome, so I'm sure going to the bar would be fun too! It's a great place for a celebration of any sort or just somewhere to go with friends and eat good food and have a few drinks! I would definitely recommend coming here. I think they should make these other places around LA!
Good food, cute atmosphere
Madeline B. Nov 14, 2012
I really enjoyed Pete's. I went there for the food, not the bar. The place is dimly lit, not too loud, and definitely a good place for dates. My meal was above average. The service was very quick too. Get the shoe-string fries!
Bleh Food, bleh place.
Melchor M. Oct 5, 2012
Food is bleh. It's not really a restuarant, not really a bar. A good example of making sure you do at least ONE thing right. I guess if you want to meet up for drinks mostly and eat some regular American menu food, this is fine, but can't picture myself eating here for a dinner out on the town. Nor can I see myself telling someone to meet for drinks here. As such, the crowd here is mostly locals or office locals. Which is fine for them because they want to patronize their local place, but I wouldn't go out of my way for this place.
Delish food, great ambiance!
Stacy F. Oct 4, 2012
Pete's is a GREAT place to go before or after a show at the Ahmanson or the Disney Music Hall. The space is beautiful. It's in the historic San Fernando Building downtown on South Main St. The building's been around since the early 1900s and was declared a Historic-Cultural Monument in the early 2000s. They are open until 2am every day so you can easily stop in for a drink or two. There are a couple of choices. Either hang out on the bar side, which is bustling with casual yet upscale business-folk and theater goers. Or have a more intimate dinner on the quieter, calmer, restaurant side. The food is pretty great. Very fresh, local produce, great cheeses, delish soups, they have a yummy burger, and a to die for lamb bolognese. They also have 8 (EIGHT!!) different kinds of french fries -- garlic, "magic," blue cheese, and bacon cheddar to name a few. On the more casual bar side, they typical bar food but prepared deliciously (i.e. nachos, corn dogs, mac & cheese [must have], grilled cheese, etc). I'm more of a wine person and beer person (which are plentiful) but they also had a pretty lengthy specialty cocktail menu as well. It's a nice date place, great to take out of towners, or just a fun place to hang after work or before/after a show.
Open late!
Ross S. Sep 17, 2012
This place is great because they are open really late & have a variety of dishes on their menu. The prices are a little steep, but worth it to find somewhere in downtown open after 11:00pm. Parking is fairly easy and it's in a safer part of DTLA. I have only been here a handful of times but will definitely be back. Wish they had one in Culver City!
Classy classics
R.D. C. Aug 22, 2012
At first, the casually grand atmosphere of this handsome eatery evokes the business district, but on slipping inside a big booth, it seems suited to the nearby arty part of downtown, jammed with lively galleries on art walk nights. The high-end comfort food delivers an appealing menu, including memorable mac’n’jack and delectable pub burgers. With warm service and reliably good fare, there’s something for everyone’s tastes. Brunch on weekends and weekday happy hours at the popular bar have turned this into a destination spot for a wide array of diners, from hip to hungry.
Alex K. Aug 7, 2012
I went here with a larger group, about 8 people to celebrate a birthday. I had a fun time and the service was great, but the food just wasn’t where I thought it should be. It wasn’t all that great and honestly, not very memorable at all. All I remember is that the fries were the best part. I have heard however, that they have a nice bar scene, which I have yet to check out. If I come here again, I can assure you it won’t be for dinner. The bar scene will probably be my reason to go back.
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