The Original Mel’s Diner (Vacaville)

The Original Mel's Diner (Vacaville)

I recently stopped at the Original Mel’s Diner in Vacaville, California. It’s a chain diner. I thought I had been to a location in San Francisco and but it turns out that it was the Mel’s Drive-In, and the two are not related. So when I found out they were different, I decided to go to the Original Mel’s Diner in Vacaville. I’m not opposed to going to repeat diners or restaurants, but I like to try new things.

The Original Mel's Diner (Vacaville)

Original Mel’s Diner Atmosphere:

Each Original Mel’s Diner is slightly different. There are over 15 in the California-Nevada area. I’ve driven by a few, and each one has a different personality. The one in Vacaville is located in a stand-alone building. While the exterior is a simple building, the inside is filled head to toe with all sorts of old diner memorabilia, license plates, and old school trinkets.

The Original Mel's Diner (Vacaville)

From the outside, you might just expect to be a “regular restaurant,” but once you walk in, you know it’s a diner. It’s one of the coolest California diners I’ve been to.

The Original Mel's Diner (Vacaville)


I didn’t get coffee this time around.

Original Mel’s Diner Food: A

The Original Mel’s Diner menu has everything you want in a diner. You can see the entire menu here. There are plenty of breakfast and lunch options. They do have a few salad options as well and even a “crispy chicken salad.” It says online they are only offering a limited menu, but when I ordered, it appeared like they had plenty of options.

They had a lot of options that appealed to me. I had just done a workout, so I was fairly hungry. A couple of options that interested me were the California Omelet which included Stuffed with Diced Tomato, Bacon, Cheese and Topped with Sliced Avocado as well as the San Franciso Mel Burger, which included Grilled sourdough bread, a Melburger patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, sautéed onion with 1000 island dressing.

The Original Mel's Diner (Vacaville) corned beef and hash

This time at Mel’s Orginal Diner, I decided to order the Corned Beef Hash & Eggs. It came with a lot, including Biscuit & Country Gravy, Scrambled, Mels Potatoes. You had plenty to chose from, including choice of bread, eggs, and type of potatoes. It also came with fresh fruit, and I was pleasantly surprised with how fresh the fruit was.

The Original Mel's Diner (Vacaville) biscuit and gravy

The food was delicious! I always try to remember things should taste good after a run, but everything tasted great, and I would order it again. The meal was also huge. I was shocked that a to-go order meal would be that big, so it was a nice surprise.

Original Mel’s Diner Service: A

The hostess and waitress at the Original Mel’s Diner were friendly. I got a text when my food was ready, and everything was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Original Mel’s Diner Cost: $

For my meal, it was $17, but the food portion and quality were well worth the price.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?

I enjoyed Original Mel’s Diner a lot, and I thought it was one of the best diners I’ve been to so far in California. I would definitely go back.

You can see more diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you been to the Original Mel’s Diner?

What is your favorite retro diner near you? 


  1. These are my favorite posts that you share Hollie. Honestly I love to see all of the various diner’s left in the USA. I live in Minnesota and I don’t feel like there are any of these types of places in my area BUT I feel like you’d be able to find them all! 😉
    What would you say is your absolute FAVORITE Diner meal?? Would you prefer to get breakfast or dinner at a diner if you only had one as an option??

    1. Lindsay!

      I am not sure how far you live from Minneapolis but I really enjoyed the Hi-Lo Diner when I was there!

      I think my favorite diner meal is pork chops but it honestly changes when I see a good-looking special. If I had to choose a diner meal it would be pork chops and a piece of good red velvet cake. Although it’s hard because steak and eggs is my favorite diner breakfast. What would you choose?

      1. I don’t live far from Minneapolis so I will have to check out this diner.

        I too love a good pork chop but I unfortunately have found that most pork chops here in the USA are way too chewy. My mom actually buys our pork chops from a butcher and makes sure that they leave the fat on it so that when grilled it doesn’t get all dry and chewy!

        Now at a diner I always choose an omelet or breakfast sandwich and I love breakfast potatoes … I prefer breakfast potatoes to hashbrowns!

        Are most of the restaurants in California back open now? Have you returned to dining indoors again?

      2. That’s so interesting. I remember you saying that about pork chops Lindsay. I haven’t found any that are too dry to eat but I have found a few that are to thin and I don’t love throughout the years. I love pork chop fat too (and steak fat).

        California indoor restaurants opened back up a few months ago. Truthfully I haven’t had a big reason to dine in lately. I definitely plan too soon, but I just haven’t yet. Plus, we are relatively lucky here that many restaurants do have outdoor dining open most of the year. I still can’t get used to that after being on the East Coast for so long.

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