If you've seen George Lucas' film, "American Grafitti," you've seen Mel's. It's a great, fun place to grab a bite to eat, and they're open late.
There are several Mel's Drive-ins in San Francisco, but my favorite is the one on Lombard Street across from the Cow Hollow Inn.
Mel's is a 1950's style American diner: hamburgers, fries, salads. They're known for their killer milkshakes! It's a popular place, so there's sometimes a long wait for a table; you need to be patient. Ask for a table with a mini-jukebox on it, keep feeding quarters into it, and rock out to the Oldies.
From Herb Caen's column in the San Francisco Chronicle, 8/24/95:
"...Scott Gross of Calistoga... was at Mel's Drive-in the other night and waited 20 minutes to be waited on and another 15 minutes to get his order. Meanwhile, in walked the Giants' `Neon Deion' Sanders and his girlfriend, disguised in matching Alcatraz T-shirts. After waiting 15 minutes without attention, they got up and left. `If he'd held out another 5 minutes,' says Scott, `he'd have been home free. The burgers were good that night. However, my real pleasure came when I realized that in San Francisco eateries, I get the same treatment as stars like Deion Sanders. GOD, I LOVE THIS CITY!' ''
Open Sunday through Thursday: 6am--3am, Friday and Saturday: 24 hours
Favorite Dish: The last time I was there, I had a cheeseburger, curly fries, and a strawberry shake.
Mel's milkshakes are like a meal in themselves, made with real ice cream and served in a tall glass with the metal shaker on the side for refills.
They also make a very nice veggie burger and an Asian-style salad and are also open for breakfast.
The Mission Street Mel's is situated in the heart of SoMa, one of San Francisco's most exciting neighbourhoods. We are right across the street from the Sony Metreon, a 250,000 square-foot complex filled with shopping and entertainment destinations including a 15-screen cinema and the West Coast's largest IMAX theatre. Also nearby is the Moscone Center, a conference center and major trade show host that occupies three city blocks. Those wishing to tap into San Francisco's rich cultural offerings won't be disappointed either, as Mel's makes a perfect stop-off after an afternoon spent exploring the Museum of Modern Art or the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The kids can pick up one of our children's meals served in a Mel's classic car before heading off to Zeum or the ice-skating rink at the nearby children's park.
Favorite Dish: Everything! I wish I had a larger stomach and appetite for this place!
This diner was located around the corner from our restarant and we ate here a couple of mornings for breakfast.
Its based on the Mels diner that was used in American Graffitti and there is evidance of this in the many photos on the walls.
Basic diner style diner, different for us as we don't have many of these in Ireland!
Food was good, iced tea a bit disappointing.
Favorite Dish: Waffles were really good, but again, in Ireland, we dont have these type of waffles so they were something I have always liked since the first time I visited the USA.
The french toast was good, but I didnt think too much of the sausages, eeuuw
Mel's is your typical city diner. The best thing about this place is that they are open 24 hours and there are several throughout the city. I usually stop by Chevy's after a late night with friends. Usually an order of french fries and a banana split at 11pm:)
This is the diner of the movies, the picture inside your head, your dream!
Great interior with lots of movie star posters, a long bar counter, jukeboxes, a great menu, really nice staff - and you feel like travelled back in time into the 1950s. The first Mel's was opened in 1947 and it feels like nothing has changed since then. A perfect American Experience!
Favorite Dish: I had pancakes with lots of maple sirup and lots and lots of coffee - it was like in the "coffee and cigarettes" movie, once your coffee had the right colour and taste, your waiter came with the big refill.
By the way, on the webpage they have a list of celebreties who have been seen at Mel's - you're in great company :-) And they have some jukebox music on the webpage as well.
we had diner here after we went to the cinema.
the food was good
van ness & geary
s-th 6 am 12 am
f-sat 6 am 4 am
2165 lombard street
f-sat 24 hours
3355 geary blvd
Favorite Dish: marinaded chicken.
50's American Graffiti lives on at Mel's. The movie "American Graffiti" was filmed at the Original Mel's previously located at Mission and So. Van Ness. The original opened in 1947 has long been torn down but Mel's was revived and now continues to serve 50's diner style fare in San Francisco.
Famous from the movie American Graffetti a tourist trap of sorts but still fun and its open 24 hours .
Favorite Dish: Steak and eggs and real homefries for $7.95
It is a reproduction of a fithty's restaurant.
They have vinyl booths, formica tables, pushbutton jukeboxes.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
Favorite Dish: Meat and salad