6) Tom's Diner
601 East Colfax
It may not be neon, but Tom's Diner's eye-catching sign, with its wash of red flashing bulbs, has its own appeal to passersby. The diner's big windows have a fishbowl effect -- day or night, watching the people inside and out is as much a part of the experience as the food. But it's the greasy spoon's bright and bold sign that gets patrons in the door in the first place.
5) Pete's Kitchen
1962 East Colfax
A Colfax institution open 24 hours a day, this diner may be the best-loved part of Pete Contos's restaurant and bar empire; in the '60s he took over a spot that had been cooking since 1942 and made it his own. Longtime patrons and first timers come all through the day and night for the classic diner vibe and quick and greasy fare, perfectly advertised by the jolly cook flipping pancakes with an outline of neon tubing that brings it all to life.
3503 East Colfax
Opened in 1958 on the site of an old drive-in and still operated by the Bastien family, the Bastien's Restaurant building is an example of classic California Googie architecture -- and it's got a great sign to match. Made up of six individual signs together on a stylized set of posts, the mix of lettering styles accentuated by bright neon makes Bastien's visual calling card one of a kind.