Choose Between Two Options
- $12 for $24 worth of diner cuisine for a table of two people or more
- $24 for $50 worth of diner cuisine for a table of four people or more
The menu of appetizers and entrees and breakfast and drinks still offers Mel's favorites, such as the Melburger ($7.25+), a juicy third-pound burger atop a sesame bun that pairs with crisp american fries ($2) as naturally as cowboy boots with a prom dress, and Mel's sliders, such as the goat cheese and turkey slider ($3.75 each) and short rib slider ($4.50 each). Blenders churn McGoo's ice cream into the diner's signature ultra-thick shakes and malts ($5.50+). On a plate of all-American meatloaf ($11.75), homemade gravy tackles lumpy mashed potatoes while a buttered roll referees. With late-night hours, diners can indulge cravings in the wee hours with a plate of Mel's thick-slice french toast ($9.75) or dip forks into a house-made, double-crust apple pie ($5.25).
In 1947, owners Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs assembled a staff of 14 carhops to serve passing motorists at the first Mel's Drive-In. For the next two decades, customers partial to automobile dining flocked to the chain’s 11 California locations, eager to wash down grass-fed half-pound burgers with thick milk shakes. As fast-food outlets outpaced the drive-in's once-speedy service, its popularity declined, and it was eventually scheduled for demolition. The building got a temporary reprieve, however, when filmmaker George Lucas decided to use the drive-in's original location on Lombard Street as the colorful backdrop for his film American Graffiti. As bulldozers destroyed the last remnants of the historic drive-in, American Graffiti opened in theaters.
A decade later, though, Mel's son Steven reopened Mel's Drive-In in an attempt to carry on his father's dream. Steven restored the drive-in's multiple locations to mirror their original motif by stocking each with midcentury must-haves such as illuminated marquees, jukeboxes, and Elvis-themed WiFi passwords. The drive-in’s menu, meanwhile, balances period-appropriate fare, such as hot dogs and burgers, with healthy options, such as the Haven’s Famous vegetarian sandwich, two slices of nine-grain bread topped with avocado, sprouts, and tomatoes.