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Feb 9, 2001 11:54 AM

A&W in Bay Area?

  • t

The Corn Dog thread got me wondering about this...

A&W is an old fast food favorite of mine (and my son loves them), but I haven't seen any in the immediate Bay Area. There's one out on Highway 12 east of Lodi, but that's the only one I know about. Are there any others around?

(For obvious reasons, it's not easy to do a Yahoo Yellow Pages search.)

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  1. I am pretty sure there is a mall concession in the Tanforan Center. I decline to volunteer for tasting duty, though.

    1. b
      Brandon Nelson

      There is an A&W in San Rafael opposite the Civic Center on 101 (West side). I think you need to use the North San Pedro exit.


      1 Reply
      1. c
        Caitlin McGrath


        Looks like you got your wish with the San Rafael A&W. But...while it's certainly not in the immediate Bay Area, you must remember the A&W on Ocean St. in Santa Cruz? I don't know if it's still there, but it always seemed to be a very popular stop-off for people en route from the boardwalk to Hwy 17 (a straight shot down Ocean). I definitely have an associational thing here; I can't picture that A&W without also thinking of sunburns and sand in the hair (g).

        4 Replies
        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Caitlin, I know I should remember that one (especially since I spent a summer living on Ocean, above Water), but I'm drawing a blank. A&W is a perfect place to stop on a beach trip--in fact, I think of them as the ideal road food generally. Where on Ocean is (was) it?

          1. re: Tom Hilton
            Caitlin McGrath

            Tom, I don't know exactly where it is (and because of the stupid way the online yellows work--they don't see the ampersand--I can't "map it" or even find out if it still exists), but I'd say it was probably a mile or so in the beachward direction from the the foot of Ocean near 17.

            I forgot to mention the thing that makes a visit there *the* classic A&W experience: it's a drive-in. Back in the day, at least, there was an individual speaker/microphone apparatus at each parking spot through which you ordered, and they'd bring the food out to you (no rollerskates, though).

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              Caitlin McGrath

              P.S. There is a web site for A&W restaurants, but it's currently "under revision."


          2. re: Caitlin McGrath

            About 6 miles from Santa Cruz in Felton there is almost an A&W. The Felton A&W recently changed their name to the Burger Place because the A&W corp would not allow them to expand their menu. They basically have the A&W menu (with things by different names), plus some added items, and they still buy their root beer from A&W.

            By the way, if you ever find yourself in Southeast Asia there are LOTS of A&Ws in Singapore and Malaysia.

          3. Not in the immediate Bay Area but I'm pretty sure there is an A & W in St. Helena right on Hiway 29 .... in case you want to have a break from wine tasting.

            2 Replies
            1. re: gordon wing

              Yep. There is one on 29, but it is not even a shadow of its former self. They decided to "modernize" and got rid of their Clover Ice Cream feature and the
              food, which used to be fresh and pretty good is now yuk in my opinion. Better to try Taylor's Refresher. Not as fast but a darn site better. Lots
              of kids too, with room to run and play around picnic
              tables. Great root beer floats, fresh lemonade, a
              good fresh tuna burger with wasabi sauce or more
              traditional things like hot dogs, burgers etc.

              1. re: Ann

                Thank you for the update on the state of things at the A & W on 29 up in St. Helena. Taylor's Refresher sounds like a good alternative. Always good to know where to get a frosty root beer float.

            2. Hey Tom,

              While they aren't in the Bay Area, if y'all are ever heading up to Reno/Tahoe, here are the addresses for two A & W restaurants in Sacramento...

              A & W Family Restaurant 4701 Madison Ave Sacramento, CA (916) 334-1984 (This one is fairly close to the Madison/I-80 offramp)

              A & W Family Restaurant 5936 Freeport Blvd Sacramento, CA (916) 421-5923 (Definitely much more "downtown")


              1 Reply
              1. re: Andy P.

                Thanks, that's actually very helpful--my parents live in Sacramento, so I go up there several times a year, and I usually bring my son.