Diners in Sonoma

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At Marin Murder Mysteries, dinner mates may ask you to pass the rolls just before they begin chipping away at your alibi. That’s because guests are both suspects and sleuths during the theater troupe’s interactive performances, attempting to tally the clues and pinpoint the culprit's motive. Each year, the cast and crew serve up three to four different shows that inject generous portions of slapstick into the familiar detective genre. The writers and directors have a particular fondness for the noir-soaked era of the 1950s, with such past plays as Remains to be Seen, Murder Me, Always, and Death of a Doornail. During the show, guests have the option to dine on a gourmet dinner or sip cocktails from a cash bar.

931 4th St
San Rafael,
CA
US

A small family owned bar & grill. Serving comfort food for Lunch and Dinner.

1016 Court St
San Rafael,
CA
US

For more than 50 years, Tiburon Diner was known as Dave and Mike's—an "Adult Day Care Center," as its menu proclaimed. Dave retired in early 2012, and the business adopted its current moniker, changing its name but remaining a place for Tiburonites to sit down at the counter over cups of coffee, browse the eatery's free WiFi , and eat their morning newspapers. In the kitchen, Mike (the head chef) prepares heartier helpings of large pancakes and three-cheese omelets for breakfast and patty melts and half-pound burgers for lunch, serving each plate amid the diner's homey decor of blue trim and vintage photographs of Old Tiburon.

1640 Tiburon Blvd
Belvedere Tiburon,
CA
US

Working with farmers, ranchers, merchants, and bakers, Saul's ingredient pantry is stocked with the freshest, up-to-snuff ingredients. Count on finding cage-free eggs, locally sourced produce, and high-quality meats at this certified Bay Area Green Business. Each of the three potato pancakes is crafted from wholesome ingredients, such as organic and cage-free eggs. Pair the potato-y goodness with a pitcher of local, artisanal microbrew. Like the exchange rate between cumin and paprika, Saul's selection of brews changes often. Current thirst quenchers include Sebastopol's Ace Apple Cider, SF's own Anchor Steam, and Carlsberg. Check out the drink menu here.

1475 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley,
CA
US

Retro memorabilia overlooks the aqua and crimson formica booths of Hubcaps Diner, where the friendly waitstaff hums along to hit tunes from the '50s and '60s as they serve up trays of Dryer’s old-fashioned milkshakes and classic diner eats. Chefs man the breakfast griddle all day long, churning out waffles and gravy-slathered biscuits alongside a plethora of omelet and scramble options made with a choice of eggs, egg whites, or Eggbeaters. The diner also specializes in hearty American comfort food, such as Evergood polish sausages, chicken-fried steak, and albacore-tuna melts, which can be washed down with a steaming slice of pie à la mode or a choice of beer or wine. Rounding out the diner feel, the shop mixes up soda-fountain favorites, fashioning Dryer’s premium ice cream into banana splits, sundaes layered in hot fudge, and foamy root-beer floats you can hide your date's keys in.

1548 Bonanza St
Walnut Creek,
CA
US

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.

3355 Geary Blvd
San Francisco,
CA
US