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real american diners

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Visiting from Scotland next week. Starting in LA and driving up to San Franciso over a few days. I want to visit a real old fashioned american diner like the ones you see in films - desperate to extend my knowledge of diner food beyond a stack of pancakes and coffee!! any recommendations on Highway 1?

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    1. If you pass through San Luis Obispo, you could try Margie's Diner. I used to go to college there and it was pretty popular. http://www.margiesdiner.com/

      Not 100% sure of your route, but Highway 1 does go right through San Luis Obispo.

      1. Go across the bay from San Francisco into Berkeley and squeeze yourself into a booth at Bette's Oceanview Diner...or sit at the counter. (On weekends, there is a wait, so go early or if possible, go on a weekday.)

        1. And be sure to order Bette's pancakes! The Best!

          1. Mel's Diner is a chain of old-fashioned diners that isn't a bad approximation.
            Maybe check out Sears Fine Food (the restaurant, not the store) in San Francisco, too. More for the style than the food.
            Not a diner per se, although it does have a counter, but Hoover's Beef Palace in Templeton, Calif., on Highway 101 just south of Paso Robles, is a good example of diner food served in agricultural areas.