California's Crazy Roadside Eateries


Taschen's new "California Crazy" book explores the novelty roadside eateries which once defined the highways of the Wild West!
California's Crazy Roadside Eateries

Big donut drive-ins, owl-shaped ice cream parlors and giant boot shaped cafes ... just a few of the novelty highway eateries once found in the United States' South West, and now documented in California Crazy American Pop Architecture published by Taschen.

This wacky style of roadside architecture became synonymous with the West Coast in the early 20th Century when motor cars were first invented and an appetite for the amazing came about, fuelled by the flourishing movie industry.


The idea being, the larger, more entertaining the street side vendors, snacks souvenirs and services in competition, the more the chance of a car pulling to spend their dollars in their particular outlet.

“Combine a freethinking populace with a desire to reinvent itself, and a climate was created that served as the perfect incubator for the outrageous and amazing,” said Jim Heimann, author.

Take a look and explore some of the eye catching architecture in the images below (click on the images to enlarge).

In the picture above: Mother Goose Pantry, 1959 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, ca. 1929

In the picture above: Tail o' the Pup, 311 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, ca. 1959

In the picture above: Hoot Hoot I Scream, 1201 Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, 1932. Owner: Tillie Hattrup

In the picture above: Big Donut Drive-In, 805 West Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood, ca.1955

In the picture above: Toed Inn, 140 West Channel Road, Santa Monica, ca. 1931

All images ©Taschen, California Crazy