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 nostalgic fare such as homemade pies and half-pound burgers

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Jan 17, 2013. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per table. Valid only for option purchased. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

The hamburger is an edible American icon, much like coleslaw made with shredded Norman Rockwell paintings. Bread, bite, and chew with this Groupon.

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

This Groupon is valid at the Geary Boulevard, Lombard Street, Fourth and Mission, and Van Ness Avenue locations. All locations are open until midnight, and Van Ness is open until 3 a.m.

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 ($5.25+). 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 ($8.25) or dip forks into a house-made, double-crust apple pie ($5.25).

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

Thank you for honoring my Groupon even though it had expired!
Christy N. · October 6, 2013
Good food. Lots of different stuff, although mostly typical "diner fare," but done pretty well. The place is too noisy, though. There is nothing to absorb sound, only reflect it. The place is cool, though. It's kind of fun to go there. And I really like having lots on the menu to choose from.
Tom R. · June 13, 2013
Thanks to our server Chrystal, and the manager Julio, our group of eight that was celebrating the 21st birthday for one of us, our experience was truly wonderful.
GLORIA J. · April 6, 2013

By purchasing this deal you'll unlock points which can be spent on discounts and rewards. Every 5,000 points can be redeemed for $5 Off your next purchase.