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Root Beer

writerinla Oct 10, 2007 11:50 AM

I'm looking for recommendations on places to get a good old-fashioned fountain root beer, not bottled. The place doesn't necessarily have to serve food as well, but that would be nice.

Most places that bill themselves as soda fountains, such as the Fair Oaks pharmacy in South Pasadena, do have some good soda selections, but not good root beer.

  1. sku Oct 10, 2007 12:51 PM

    Lucky Devils, in Hollywood usually has a root beer on tap. I don't remember what kind.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sku
      Diana Oct 10, 2007 01:03 PM

      Usually Abita, which is a GREAT root beer.

    2. d
      Diana Oct 10, 2007 01:03 PM

      All BJ's make and serves their own root beer on tap. No, it isn't alcoholic.

      You can sometimes find an A&W around. Simi, hawthorne, Bell, Torrance, Crenshaw, Norwalk.

      1. n
        nick_r Oct 10, 2007 02:31 PM

        I think Westwood Brewing Company has a root beer on tap as well.

        And possibly Gordon Biersch.

        1. c
          calabasas_trafalgar Oct 10, 2007 04:07 PM

          A & W, if you can still find one.

          5 Replies
          1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
            Velvet Elvis Oct 10, 2007 04:13 PM

            There is one in San Dimas.

            I had the Root Beer at BJ's once. It was ok, but I was hoping for something a little more smooth and creamy like IBC or A&W. BJ's had a little more bite to it.

            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar
              Diana Oct 11, 2007 06:34 AM

              Quoting from my prior response above about A&W

              "You can sometimes find an A&W around. Simi, Hawthorne, Bell, Torrance, Crenshaw, Norwalk."

              1. re: Diana
                writerinla Oct 11, 2007 10:11 AM

                There's used to be an A&W in the food court of the Beverly Center. That's the only one I know of in LA proper. I don't know if it's still there.

                1. re: writerinla
                  annagranfors Oct 11, 2007 12:12 PM

                  I said it before, I'll say it again...anyone who could open a *complete replica* of a 50s-60s A&W drive-in, replete with waitresses on rollerskates and those trays they hung off your window and the "family" burgers (Mama/Papa/Teen etc) and most of all, that creamy, wonderful root beer (gimme a glass gallon jug to go!) would have a runaway success on their hands.

                  1. re: writerinla
                    Marvin Oct 16, 2007 11:20 AM

                    I could have sworn that there's an A&W on Pico next to Factor's Deli?

              2. f
                foodie21 Oct 10, 2007 06:26 PM

                The Stand on Ventura Blvd. in Encino has an excellent draft root beer from the fountain. They have burgers, fries and hot dogs which are pretty good, but I remember being really impressed by the root beer. And I'm pretty picky about my root beer.

                5 Replies
                1. re: foodie21
                  writerinla Oct 11, 2007 10:17 AM

                  I'm pretty picky about root beer, too, so that's why I threw the question out on the board. You can get it pretty much at any restaurant that serves soft drinks, but getting good root beer is another matter.

                  Thanks for the suggestions, all.

                  1. re: writerinla
                    ElJeffe Nov 1, 2007 01:24 PM

                    While no distribution in CA, Sprecher root beer is the best I've ever had. Sprecher Brewing (they are a major beer distributor in the Midwest) sells it online.


                    1. re: ElJeffe
                      sodaman Nov 4, 2007 08:44 PM

                      What do you mean No Distribution in LA? Real Soda has had Sprecher Root Beer (and the other flavors including my favorite the cream soda) for like a decade. You can find the site online at www.realsoda.com but you can also drive up to the warehouse in Torrance (their phone is 310 326 9202) and buy Sprecher by the case, all the flavors. They have the best soda selection anywhere by the way... you'll see so much soda you'll really not have a car big enough to haul away all that you want to buy; the pricing is also kind of cheap if you buy it by the case, cheaper than retail.

                      1. re: sodaman
                        ElJeffe Nov 5, 2007 07:36 PM

                        That's great. I checked the Sprecher website and no California hits popped up but thats even better!!

                    2. re: writerinla
                      sodaman Nov 4, 2007 08:46 PM

                      Oops I put my reply on the wrong one but I was wanting to say that Sprecher sodas are available in Torrance from Real Soda and also you can as another writer wrote... buy it at most BevMo's. Where else... hmmm... Sainsbury Deli on Amherst & Wilshire in West LA (great sandwiches) and many of the Bristol Farms have it too. But if you like to get it by the case just go to Real Soda; it'll cost you less than a buck a bottle there. (16oz).

                  2. v
                    Velvet Elvis Oct 11, 2007 11:06 AM

                    Not really what you asked for, but my current favorite bottled RB is Buckin' Root Beer from Jackson Hole Soda Company. We found it at BevMo and love it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Velvet Elvis
                      sherpa50 Oct 11, 2007 11:47 AM

                      I think Houston's in Century City has root beer on tap. Never had it, though.

                    2. brekkie_fan Oct 13, 2007 04:23 AM

                      I would stick with A&W and most breweries (not incl BJs, in your case). I've had one 'with bite' at Newport Beach Brewing Co.

                      1. t
                        tahitiginger Nov 1, 2007 10:47 AM

                        I'm a root beer freak too so I'll be checking out some of these places. Recently I had a hankering for sasparilla. I can't even remember what it tasted like exactly- had it in a ghost town in Nevada I think. I wonder if it's to be had anywhere around here.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: tahitiginger
                          Velvet Elvis Nov 1, 2007 11:20 AM

                          Several varieties are available by the bottle at your local BevMo.

                          1. re: tahitiginger
                            sku Nov 1, 2007 12:01 PM

                            An absolutely fabulous sarsparilla is Snake River. It's probably my all time favorite soda. Available at Surfas or on-lline:


                          2. Foodandwine Nov 4, 2007 08:50 PM

                            I was at the Torrance Farmers Market yesterday. There was a guy with a fountain selling only Root Beer. I did not try it. He did have bottles to take home a $2 a pop ( no pun intended ) However, he was hawking the fountain stuff to drink on the spot. BTW the Market is a pretty good one! He only sells Root Beer nothing else..

                            Torrance Certified Farmers Market
                            2400 Jefferson St, Torrance, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Foodandwine
                              Mattapoisett in LA Apr 21, 2009 01:35 PM

                              Is this vendor still there? Does anyone know if they are at other markets?

                            2. wowimadog Nov 4, 2007 09:14 PM

                              i haven't been here, so i'm not sure, but have you tried watson's drug in orange? apparently, it's an authentic soda fountain, oldest in orange county (established 1899).

                              watson's drug
                              116 e. chapman avenue
                              orange, ca 92866
                              714 633 1050

                              1. c
                                Chris B Apr 21, 2009 12:57 PM

                                I don't think I saw GALCO'S SODA POP STOP in Highland Park mentioned anywhere. They've got a TON of bottled root beer. The owner is always there and happy to aid you amidst the massive selection. Try AMERICANA - it's my favorite, bar none!!! Note: I highly recommend staying away from non cane sugar root beers. They're simply not as good.

                                Galco's Soda Pop Stop
                                5702 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Chris B
                                  Mattapoisett in LA Apr 21, 2009 01:34 PM

                                  The OP wanted only Keg or Fountain not bottled options which is why Galco's was not mentioned.

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