16 LA Restaurants We’re Pretty Sure Are Haunted guide image


16 LA Restaurants We’re Pretty Sure Are Haunted

LA is a haunted city. Here are some restaurants that capitalize on the spookiness.

Compared to many major American cities, Los Angeles is young. After all, we weren’t even incorporated until 1850—people in New England have socks older than that.

But if you think a relative lack of history means this sprawling metropolis is any less haunted, think again. LA is spooky as f*ck. We’ll let you deep-dive into Charles Manson, Black Dahlia, and the Los Feliz murder house on your own time, we’re here to discuss restaurants. And in particular, the ones where ghosts fully run the show. From a classic Beverly Hills steakhouse to a saloon in the Santa Monica Mountains, here are 16 LA restaurants that are definitely haunted. Probably.


The Magic Castle review image

The Magic Castle


7001 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles
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Frankly speaking, if you spend a night roaming around The Magic Castle and don’t see a supernatural event, you’re just unlucky—or perhaps even more egregious, a non-believer. This members-only magicians club is located inside a giant (and legitimately haunted) Hollywood mansion where evenings include everything from sleight-of-hand magic to actual séances to Old Fashioneds that’ll have you believing anything you want. It’s one of our favorite nights out in Los Angeles, and even if the food at dinner isn’t anything special, you’ll be more than satiated with celestial anticipation.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

The Old Place review image

The Old Place

Walking into The Old Place is like entering into the first level of Westworld, and if that alone doesn’t chill you to your core, nothing will. This iconic steakhouse/saloon in the Santa Monica Mountains has been open since the '70s, but the building itself dates back to 1915 when it was a general store and post office. Needless to say, these walls have seen some things, and if you keep your eyes peeled as you eat a perfectly cooked steak and the best mac and cheese in LA, you probably will too.

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The Dresden in Los Feliz is broken up into two distinct areas—the main dining room and the bar/lounge. While you can certainly come to this Old Hollywood spot and have a fine prime rib, the real move is to skip dinner altogether and hang out with the ghosts in the lounge instead. Here you’ll probably catch a live music act of some kind (sadly, Marty Roberts of the iconic jazz duo Marty And Elayne passed in January 2022), drink too many Blood & Sand cocktails, and contemplate if the mysterious energy in the air is random paranormal activity or Marty's grand return. Be sure to get there early on show nights as the lounge fills up quickly—from both sides of the veil.

If you have the guts to dine on a 90-year-old ocean liner docked off the coast of Long Beach, we imagine being outnumbered by ghouls must be an aphrodisiac for you. Rest assured, you’re gonna see weird sh*t here. The 350-room ship has several different dining options—including an equally haunted observation bar—but if you’re just coming for dinner, you’ll eat at Sir Winston’s. The menu is filled with typical steakhouse stuff like porterhouses, jumbo shrimp, and well-dressed Caesar salads, but the food probably won’t be the star here. That award goes to the ornate dining room with ocean views and apparitions patiently waiting to pull pranks on you.

Note: The Queen Mary is currently closed for renovations and is expected to open by the end of 2022. Check here for updates.

The Tam O’Shanter imageoverride image

The Tam O'Shanter



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With a plotline that features poisonous apples, talking mirrors, and a disheveled cabin filled with seven sexless men, Snow White is easily the scariest movie in the Disney vault. If you’re in the mood for something similar, head immediately to Tam O’Shanter. The classic Scottish-themed steakhouse in Atwater Village might not possess those exact elements, but it does boast aggressive Tudor-style architecture that, at least for a few hours, will make you believe you’re stuck in an enchanted forest. Open since 1922, it’s one of LA’s oldest restaurants and counted Walt Disney himself as a regular, so watch your back—and the mirrors.

OK, in all honesty, we have no idea if this place has actual ghosts inside. That said, there’s little denying that this is one of the most objectively terrifying places to eat in LA. A secret restaurant inside a Victorian doll emporium where real children make appointments at fake day spas so “Samantha” can get a body scrub before coming home sounds like the pitch for Netflix’s newest horror series. And yet, it’s a real place and also one of LA’s only year-round haunted houses. If you’re looking for some comfort amongst all the frights, we recommend burying your face in some chicken tenders or their famed “Macaroni With A Lot Of Cheese.” Chucky walked so these girls could run.

Note: The American Girl store recently relocated to Westfield Century City, with the cafe slated to reopen in 2023.

Walking into this nautical-themed dive bar in Ktown is a feast for the senses. The place feels like stepping into steerage of a fishing barge that got lost at sea in the ’40s and has been floating around ever since. There are musty leather booths, “Careless Whisper” quietly playing over the intercom, and scattered tables filled with solo diners eating steak and sipping well tequila from a shot glass. There’s an above-average chance every single person inside here is an apparition, but you’ll never really know for sure because it’s so damn dark you can’t see more than two feet in front of you. Once you do find a table though, be sure to order some fried calamari, a baseball steak, and one of our favorite shrimp cocktails in town.

The Old Hollywood Restaurant Guide  guide image

LA Guide

The Old Hollywood Restaurant Guide

Perhaps it’s the woman at the bar with a rhinestone cane, or Rhea Perlman ripping shots of gin with the maitre d’, but the energy inside Dan Tana’s has always felt a bit otherworldly. In the likely event of an actual poltergeist, don’t plan on making a quick exit, however, because you can’t—this West Hollywood Italian restaurant is cramped, chaotic, and that woman at the bar isn’t moving her cane for anybody. So just take a deep breath and offer that otherwordly visitor some chicken parm and a swig of your martini. That’s what it came back for anyway.

Formosa Cafe recently finished a multi-year restoration that saw the return of its original 1940s design and character, and the results are tremendous. But you know who loves the renovation even more than we do? Ghosts. The moment you walk into this iconic West Hollywood bar/restaurant, you can feel the history seeping from its floors, and it doesn’t take a trained imagination to picture John Wayne and Ava Gardner lounging around the bar. Or maybe that actually was them. Either way, find an open seat, order some chile wontons, and wait for the next cold gust of air to brush across your neck.

This Hollywood institution has been around since 1919, and therefore, is the recipient of our Highest Probability Of Flirting With A Bartender Who Is Also A Ghost Award. In truth, Musso & Frank is filled mostly with brochure-toting tourists and food that hasn’t changed much since opening day, but if you leave here in a bad mood, you can only blame yourself. The martinis are some of our favorite in town, the waiters all still wear red jackets and bowties, and there’s a hidden phone booth in the back in the event things get hot and heavy with your ghost-tender.

The Best Bars In Santa Monica guide image

LA Guide

The Best Bars In Santa Monica

Open since 1970, this underground jazz club is a Studio City classic. It’s a place where you’ll find crusty dudes who’ve been coming here for 50 years and ghosts who probably used to play a mean sax back in the day. The legendary space has been frequented by some of the biggest names in the industry, so whichever night you go, you’ll likely be sitting next to somebody famous—even if you can’t see them. As for the food, it’s in the name: baked potatoes. There are 24 varieties, in fact, with toppings ranging from maple ham to salty teriyaki chicken. Listening to world-class jazz, eating potatoes the size of your head, and feeling the breeze of a shadowy spirit who’s probably just trying to bum a cigarette—it’s no wonder this place sells out nightly. Be sure to grab tickets online in advance.

Scary movies taught us that ghosts are mostly widows in Victorian dresses and hollow-eyed children with unhealthy doll obsessions, but walk into Chez Jay in Santa Monica, and you’ll realize every apparition here is a bitter sea pirate looking for a light. Open since 1959, this nautical-themed drinking hole is where you go when you’re tired of Ocean Blvd.’s glossy apartment complexes and generic Italian restaurants and need to feel something authentic. Or at the very least, something borderline metaphysical. There are peanut shells on the floor, a jukebox that probably doesn’t play anything later than Earth, Wind & Fire, and a giant fish on the wall that you’re almost positive is staring at you. It is—and so are all the framed photos.

It takes one midnight Google search of “Sharon Tate” to realize that some pretty strange stuff has gone down at this ancient Mexican restaurant. Open since well before dinosaurs roamed Beverly Blvd., El Coyote certainly doesn’t have the best food in town, but if you’re coming here for a thoughtful take on menudo, you got the wrong memo. You’re here because the margaritas are the strongest in LA and the cavernous dining room is always one round away from being a full-on house party. And you better believe the spirits are down to get a little weird.

It’s common knowledge that the spirit world feels extremely comfortable on a cruise ship, so don’t be surprised if you see a few specters floating around Lawry’s. This Beverly Hills original has been open for more than 80 years, but today looks more like a 1980s cruise liner sailing into the Gulf of Mexico. There are giant ballrooms filled with ornate chandeliers, massive round tables, and golden carts of prime rib zipping past your table. It’s a classic LA dining experience and one that will only be heightened by a high-heeled shadow in the corner.

The Best Restaurants In Malibu guide image

LA Guide

The Best Restaurants In Malibu

Geoffrey’s is a Malibu institution, and if you think a few renovations over the years have deterred the ghosts from getting in on the action, you’re obviously unaware of just how much ghosts love Malibu. And honestly, can you blame them? The views are spectacular, the rent is finally free, and the food hasn’t changed much since they were in the flesh. It’s a triple-threat scenario for the paranormal, so as you’re snacking on some better-than-expected crab cakes, stay alert—there are definitely some see-through vultures looking to snag a bite.

Built as a private residence in 1914 and converted into its current form in 1960, Yamashiro is a massive Japanese restaurant overlooking Hollywood, and a place where ghosts can truly be themselves (the 600-year-old pagoda that sits on the grounds probably helps). The decor is admittedly pretty gaudy, and the food isn’t much better than anything you’d find at Hollywood/Highland, but at the end of the day, a tacky ghost is a fun ghost. So order a couple rounds of house martinis and an oversauced sushi roll platter, and join the party.

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