1050 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410937.785537 -122.420521
Su-W 6-1am, Th 6-2am, F-Sa 6-4am
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Civic Center
Blast from the past – I was out in SF the other week for a conference and I ate breakfast here because it was walking distance from the hotel. The place is a retro diner so when you step in, it's like going back in time to the 50s/60s. I was seated at a table after less than a minute of waiting. The place was pretty busy but my order was served quickly. I got bacon, eggs over easy, hash browns and a side of toast. The food was okay--maybe a bit better than like Denny's, but nothing special. The price was higher than what I normally would pay at a diner in Chicago, but I'm not sure if it's just this diner or if all things in San Francisco are more expensive.
Overall, an average experience.
Best Burgers – I was early at the AMC Theater so I thought I'd grab a hamburger. A bit pricy, but the burger was perfect to order. A side of mayo, and bottles of ketchup and mustard in old-style bottles. The Big Bopper was singing Chantilly Lace as I chowed down. Rough cut fries, yummy. The service could have been a bit more on the ball, but otherwise, a great place to plop down and eat like your grandma did!
Made famous by "American Graffiti," this '50s-style diner offers a classic American menu and nostalgic decor. – In Short
Modeled after the original Mel's featured in "American Graffiti," this vintage '50s coffee shop is decorated with old-time movie stills and tabletop jukeboxes that pulse with yesteryear's greatest hits. The menu offers classic diner eats, from standard burger options to all-day breakfasts, featuring the Hangover Five Alarm Three-Egg Omelette with cheddar and chili, and the Elvis Scramble with chorizo, peppers and Monterey Jack.
Great Menu – With not only great burgers, but a large variety of other foods, this is one of the best burger places around.
For a late night snack.. – Head on over to the nearest Mel's. I don't know if I'd actually eat here during the daylight, but it sure is tasty after a late night out. I love getting the chili cheese fries and chicken strips. Maybe a sundae too, if I feel up to it!
It's tassty, and it's pretty cheap.
Better than Berkeley (not saying much) – This is my favorite Mel's to eat. I've been fortunate not to have too much trouble with service here and they have gotten my order right every time and so far have cooked my food.. can't say the same about other Mel's I have eaten at in SF.
Every time I've eaten here has been with a group of friends. They've not only gotten the order right but the food was served quick & hot. On the other hand, the follow up isn't as consistant. Water glasses are empty and refills need to be flagged down and requested.
I'm glad you pay up front (cash is best) as waiting for your server to come back can sometimes be painful.
Don't go there – Very poor service: server brought the wrong food and when that was corrected, it was prepared incorrectly. Seemed like he didn't even listen to the order. Food Quality mediocre at best and very greasy.
lombard mel's is the ONLY good one – the mel's on Lombard is the ONLY mel's in SF that merits any praise or begins to be worth the high prices... the other two (VanNess & Richmond distro Geary) are HORRIFIC for both service & food... there are much better diners, with more generous portions and much nicer prices in this city!!!... (add 2 to my overall ratings for the Lombard location...)
Overrated Mel's Smells – Mediocre food and service. Good location and slides by on reputation and convenience.
oldtime fun – it was like a trip back. service was great, food just right :)
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