801 Mission St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410337.784484 -122.404175
Su-W 6-1am, Th 6-2am, F-Sa 24 hrs
Neighborhoods: SoMa, Central East, SoMa (South of Market)
good for pie – Pumpkin pie, Custard Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie and Strawberry Shortcake are all good.
Handy location for the movie theatres too
Made famous by "American Graffiti," this '50s-inspired diner is the quintessential combination of faux reality and nostalgia. – In Short
It's not the original Mel's that was featured in "American Graffiti" but this vintage-style '50s diner has enough kitsch appeal to keep any nostalgia-hungry baby boomer happy. Blow-up movie stills paper the walls and tabletop jukeboxes pulse with '50s tunes. The Famous Melburger is fairly standard, but the Hangover Five Alarm three-egg omelette with cheddar and chili is a dragon-breath wake-up call. The Elvis Scramble--with chorizo, peppers and Monterey Jack--also hits the spot.
Mediocre Food, High Prices For Mediocre Diner Food – This restaurant is very disappointing. Avoid it if you can. I'm not sure if the entire chain is like this now, or just this location near the San Francisco Centre. It obviously is aimed at the tourist and convention trade, so maybe the poor quality is a result of trying to keep the tables open to fit in more customers. The food arrives very, very quickly. So quickly that it would seem the dishes are pre-made, not cooked to order. The open-faced hot turkey sandwich had gravy that tasted like grocery-store condensed cream of chicken soup. And rather stale soup, at that. The meat also tasted old, and the bread was slightly stale. The potatoes were not very warm. My dining mate had a french dip that was also not very good, and tasted warmed-over. I had a good experience dining at the Mel's location in Civic Center a few years ago, so maybe that one is better, or maybe the chain's quality has slipped. But I would not pay to dine at this location again. It's too bad, because there's a need for a basic American-style restaurant in the area.
Mel's Drive-Out – Disappointing American diner. Surprisingly expensive but below average burgers; salad sharks (1/2 tomato, 1/3 cucumber, 1/2 avocado, 4 olives, in a bowl filled with lettuce; for more than $7); greasy sticky menus; snappy (stressed) waitresses (must be the management); loud music (oldies though); fast seated; fast service; good coffee; strange system: paying on way out, people waiting are blocking people from leaving. Convenient if time an issue.
You will get hooked!! – I went to this mel's only because it was convenient, and looked fast. I ordered as soon as I sat down, and the food was in front of me in minutes. Everything was perfect.
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