From Our Editors
Though the walls at Original Mel's Diner are decked out in 1950s memorabilia, the eatery dates back to the 1940s, making its throwback aesthetic something of a natural development and not purely a put-on. The diner also owns another indelible link to the golden age of diners: in 1973, George Lucas featured the restaurant in American Graffiti, his iconic paean to all things swell. The restaurant’s screen time didn’t end there; it would later serve as the setting for the sitcom Alice, as well as the famous breakfast laser shootout in Return of the Jedi.
True to its roots, the eatery's massive menu carries the torch for classic eats. Its bounteous American staples include steaks, third-pound burgers, sandwiches, all-day breakfast. While rocking out to '50s and '60s music from table jukeboxes, diners can sink teeth into Hawaiian burgers with teriyaki-glazed pineapple or cheesesteak hoagies, piled high with grilled sirloin steak, jalapeno, and pepperoncini. Fries come topped with gravy, garlic, cheese, or chili. An ice cream parlor-style dessert menu boasts ice cream sundaes, hand-dipped milkshakes and malts that hearken back to the days when soda jerks still roamed the earth. A banquet room fit for celebrating birthdays, team gatherings, and more seats up to 50 people.