Review: Studio City’s Good Neighbor Restaurant is the perfect small town spot


Photo credit: Lola Thomas

My meal included pancakes and a side of bacon and scrambled eggs. After one bite, I was immediately hooked. I knew that the Good Neighbor Diner would forever be one of my all-time favorite restaurants.

By Lola Thomas, Senior Reporter

Through a blurry haze of fancy restaurants, trapezing through Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and racing to try any new food truck I could find, I forgot about one source of happiness: The Good Neighbor Restaurant.

From an early age, I’ve always had one restaurant that I hold dear to my heart. I appreciate its warm atmosphere, hustle and bustle and, of course, the food. While exploring new places around Studio City, traveling to different countries and trying many different cuisines, The Good Neighbor Restaurant has always been my tried-and-true favorite place.

Owned by the couple Betty and Rick Nowinski, this restaurant has served the Studio City neighborhood since 1972 and operates from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, except Mondays. Betty Nowinski began as a Good Neighbor Restaurant waiter and became a co-owner with her husband after many years. To this day, they still work at The Good Neighbor Restaurant.

Upon entering the restaurant, you are hit with an overwhelming sense of warmth and home and the pleasant aroma of bacon and coffee. On a recent visit to the restaurant, I realized how much I missed it. Almost every employee waved, smiled or said “welcome” when I entered — a routine that I’d grown fond of over the years. Families were waiting with one another to be seated, and the hustle and bustle of the place excited me.

I waited for about 10 minutes to be seated. I was astonished by how short the wait time was, as Sunday mornings are extremely busy. “Today’s a slow day,” a waiter said to me, as I was waiting to be seated. I already felt like I was part of a small family about to eat breakfast with one another.

With over 50 items on its menu, the Good Neighbor Restaurant has a wide range of classic lunch and breakfast items, from buttermilk pancakes to homemade soup and pastrami sandwiches. The restaurant also has an extension on the other side of the building called The Good Neighborista, which serves iced coffees, tea and other pastries. I decided to order an iced latte to go along with my meal. The coffee surpassed Starbucks by far, as it wasn’t too bitter but also not too sweet.

While waiting for our food, a waiter gave my little brother crayons and a piece of paper. His Spiderman illustration and wide smile beside me amplified my feeling of warmth.

I ordered the buttermilk pancake meal, which was three pancakes for $8.95. The pancakes were buttery, wholesome and warm. They weren’t too dry or spongy — the perfect pancake, in my opinion. One pancake was very filling, so splitting the short stack between two people was more than enough.

My brother and I also split a plate of bacon for $5.96. The bacon wasn’t too greasy and came very warm. After trying it, my brother insisted that he take the whole plate.

We also tried an omelet with cheddar cheese, spinach and mushrooms for $14.50. The mushrooms and spinach were very fresh, the cheese was stretchy and the eggs were well-cooked. The omelet was my favorite part of this very filling meal.

Overall, the food felt classic, homemade and tasty, and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

My brother and I were sent off with a smile and friendly energy by the people working there. On our way out, there was a candy bowl for the kids. While watching my little brother hastily stuff his drawstring backpack with sweets, I once again felt that this place was like a second home. I anticipate many more well-enjoyed Sunday mornings as a member of the Good Neighbor family.

  • Food
  • Ambiance
  • Service


The Good Neighbor Restaurant has definitely made it to the top of my list of favorite restaurants. The food was delicious, and the service was top-tier. The employees were kind and friendly from the second I walked in. My food was classic and had big portions for an affordable price. I highly recommend paying a visit to the Good Neighbor Restaurant.