Mels Drive-In (LA and SF)

Multiple Locations

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In a Nutshell

Historic drive-in diner seen in George Lucas's American Graffiti serves up fare such as homemade pies & grass-fed half-pound burgers

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Jan 30, 2014. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per table. Valid only for option purchased. Valid for dine-in or take-out only. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Choose Between Two Options

  • $12 for $24 worth of classic diner fare for a table of two people or more
  • $25 for $50 worth of classic diner fare for a table of four people or more

See the menu of appetizers and entrees and breakfast and drinks.

Mel's Drive-In

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.

Customer Reviews

We always enjoy visiting Mel's on Geary for a fun, throw-back diner dinner. We think Mel's does a much better job than a traditional "greasy spoon" (it is always clean and the food is way better quality), but there are plenty of fried foods on the menu if that's what you are looking for. It is definitely a local's place to go and good for young, old, families and friends... the Geary location feels very neighborhood. You can't go wrong with a place without pretension and good cherry pie!
Christopher S. · February 8, 2014
Good food, good service, good prices
Shirley M. · February 6, 2014
Good experience, service was great, and food to match.
Ebert K. · January 30, 2014

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