A diner is a friendly place where people gather for a hearty meal, a hot cup of coffee, and Stomp-style cutlery jam sessions. Keep the beat on a plate of home fries with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of diner fare at Raphael's Shutter Cafe in El Cerrito.
Otis at Raphael's Shutter Cafe has been in the breakfast- and burger-slinging business for 30 years, and still proudly serves a menu of casual grilled and griddled cuisine. Among the breakfast dishes served all day, omelets ($7.25–$8.95) embrace fillings such as cheese, veggies, and meat in their fluffy golden folds, and the pancake combination plate hosts a round of The Newlywed Game, testing which couples make the best match between two flapjacks, two bacon strips, and two eggs ($8.50). Taste buds mingle with a burger built from beef, pork, turkey, or chicken ($5.95–$7.95) or a grilled-cheese sandwich made au naturel, with bacon, or with ham ($6.50–$7.50). Jazz musicians serenade guests amid the café's red-topped tables on the weekends to sate hungry eardrums' appetites, and the gallery's current exhibit of artwork by Raymond Saunders makes eyeballs drool with joy.
10064 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, California 94530