Famous not just for its location shots (think HBO's Luck and the movie Seabiscuit), Clocker's Corner, next to where the horses train at Santa Anita Park in the mornings, takes you back to racing's glory days. The little café is tucked away at the west end of the racetrack, accessible through Gate 8. Once there, instead of bumping elbows with people staring at smartphones or reading the Los Angeles Times, you're more likely to see trainers, owners and jockeys poring over the day's Racing Form, critiquing horses, eating generous-sized, heart attack–inducing croissant sandwiches and downing a good solid cup of joe. Some say that if you eavesdrop, you might pick up a few betting tips. There's sit-down service during racing season (December through April) and counter service all year. What makes Clocker's Corner a singular morning hangout is the equine excitement set against the backdrop of the spectacular San Gabriel Mountains. 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia. (626) 574-7223, santaanita.com.

—Katie Datko

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