A diner's oversized booths and oversized pies have long been a beacon of hope for teens dumped after prom and frowny clowns looking for new novelty-sized props. Take refuge in the crispy crust of an old-fashioned eatery with today's Groupon: for $8, you get $20 worth of nostalgic nibbles at Cafe 50’s, which has two locations.
Cafe 50's serves traditional diner fare, including all-day breakfast. Coat your stomach in sugaryness with malted waffles ($6.95), chocolate chip pancakes ($7.69), or cinnamon banana french toast ($8.95), or find yolkjoy with Cafe 50’s omelette selection ($8.95–$11.95), each made with three grade-AA eggs. The lunch and dinner options are seemingly endless: choose from hamburgers ($6.95–$11.95), salads ($4.29–$10.95), and sandwiches. Cafe 50’s also specializes in old-fashioned shakes, offering 46 flavors to choose from. Try the snicker-bar shake, a shivery sip blended with butterscotch, peanut butter, and chocolate ice cream ($4.79).
Owner Craig Martin complements the classic diner formula (kitschy memorabilia, late-night hours, home-cooked fare, man in corner swinging antique golf clubs) with vintage accents, including a 1957 Seeburg jukebox, old-fashioned booths, and an adjoining memorabilia room full of B-movie posters, I Love Lucy reruns, and Cold War–era newspapers.
Growing up in the 1950s on a US military base in Germany, Craig Martin spent his evenings curled up next to the radio, trying to sneak in rock 'n' roll music and midnight broadcasts of The Wolfman Jack Show. Longing to revisit that era, Martin went on to build Cafe 50's, a place packed with memorabilia, 1950s-style American food, and tennis-shoe-clad servers dressed in crisp red-and-white striped uniforms.
Fast-forward to 2017, with the diner's 30th anniversary just around the corner. Despite its expansion to multiple locations and accolades from contemporaries—including a nod from FOX 11 News for being the best diner in LA—the establishment stays true to its founder's vision, keeping its spirit firmly rooted in a time when everything was just swell.
Though the interiors of its locations may differ—some house crooning Seeburg jukeboxes while others display boxy boob tubes and candy-dispensing cigarette machines—all of these spots have one thing in common. With breakfast served around the clock and 48 deluxe milkshakes available, they all cater to kids and the young-at-heart. During weekend brunches, house magicians charm children with boothside magic tricks, leaving adults free to make entrées like the breakfast burger disappear from their plate. Meanwhile, servers replenish shakes and pour out cocktails near the soda fountain. But the real cherry on top comes toward the end of the meal, when they dress up ice cream or nonfat yogurt with housemade fudge brownies and fresh banana slices.