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American, Cafe, Diner, Caucasian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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Reviewed 1 week ago

The last diner on Route 66 is a trip —literally, figuratively, and gastronomically. Just a few miles from the terminus at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, Café 50’s is the last diner on the quintessential American highway. And the owners, staff, ambiance, and menu...live and breathe a bygone era when (at least for us in "flyover" country) California was thought of as a State of Mind. To their credit, management requires proof of vaccination to eat inside, and the wait staff all wear masks in addition to classic '50s ice cream parlor dresses and shirts. And it's obvious they love working there; they don't just take your order but chat you up about your day and food choices. They're delightful. The food is what you expect from a diner: comfort food, well-made and reasonably priced, with breakfast served all day. Growing up in the '50s, I expected the usual malts and shakes. But there's the "Sputnik Turkey & Swiss Melt" sandwich, the "Leave it to Beaver omelette," "California Burger," and blueberry pancakes. In addition, there is what we think of as "typical" of California: Avocado and spinach omelette, the "Healthy Fresh Sandwich," and "Deviled Eggs." We settled on a typical diner breakfast that included two eggs, breakfast potatoes, turkey sausages, and whole-wheat toast; all washed down with freshly made coffee. Excellent! While waiting for our food to arrive, I scanned the small jukebox mounted on the wall in our booth (filled with '50s rock 'n' roll classics that also blared from speakers throughout) and then got up and walk around the dining room trying to absorb the overwhelming collection of '50s memorabilia displayed floor to ceiling and the ceiling. Words can't describe the array of items, including many consumer brands that no longer exist and Saturday afternoon B movie posters. It's a trip for the stomach and the mind. I love this place!More

Date of visit: May 2022
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We heard about this place by word of mouth. What luck! This is a charming restaurant or diner that is reminiscent of the 1950’s. Lots of memorabilia on the walls and ceilings. Great menu and friendly service that focused on following all recommended Covid protocols...with a smile. They checked fir vaccination status and everyone including staff wore masks unless you are seated and eating. The food was delicious and ample. We enjoyed sandwiches, cole slaw, burgers, fries, onion rings and specialty milk shakes. We will definitely be back. These challenging times for restaurants make their business a hard slog uphill…you can help by being a cooperative patron and customer.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Reviewed January 17, 2022

Rude service, using allergens more than once. Only excuse from the same manager 3 separate times at night time. "We're busy". No apology or refund.

Date of visit: November 2021
Reviewed February 25, 2020 via mobile

It’s not just the decor that is great here, the food was really good, and the service too. The walls and ceiling are plastered with 50s Americana with 50s music playing in the background and a retro TV on the wall. The food was great,...juicy burger and excellent pancakes. Service was excellent too and the owner was really friendly, Haring time for a chat with our group. Definitely we will be making a return visit when we are in LA again.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed October 13, 2019

We were looking for a place to have breakfast and found this place. It was filled with a lot of memorabilia from the 50's. The staff was friendly and the food was good. Fun place to sit and have a good meal.

Date of visit: September 2019
Reviewed July 21, 2019 via mobile

We searched a restaurant around 11 pm and found this one. The restaurant was decorated very very sweet for me as a tourist it looks like a real american restaurant. We had a sandwich and a salat the total price was 37 dollar. Was a...little to much for me.More

Date of visit: July 2019
Reviewed June 24, 2019 via mobile

Ran across this place by accident and are SO very glad we did. Loved the 50s theme and the food was outstanding- be sure to save room for the chocolate cake. Service was very friendly but not very attentive which is why the rating is...only a 4.More

Date of visit: June 2019
Reviewed June 8, 2019 via mobile

I adore Cafe 50's. I'm a fan of the era so was naturally drawn to it. I've been several times and am never disappointed. The decor is fabulous, very faithful to the 1950s era. The menu is themed of course and the food is excellent....The staff are very attentive and even the music is terrific. I wish the male restrooms weren't situated in the kitchen but that's my only minor complaint.More

Date of visit: May 2019
Reviewed May 21, 2019

Like a trip back to the fifties. Great decorations. It smelled great as we walked in the door. The service was great. We both got patti melts and they were wonderful. We highly recommend it and will definately stop by again.

Date of visit: May 2019
Reviewed May 15, 2019

We love Cafe 50's. It is located in WLA and close to the 405 Fwy. It can get busy and I don't think they take reservations, but the line, if any moves fast and you will be glad you waited. Parking for the most part...is on the street. Mind the signs. You will find a spot, we always do. It is just fun. They have toys for the kids and often have a magician there going from table to table (if you want) doing fun tricks. My grandson just loves this place. He gets a toy and plays with that while having one of their great milkshakes. They serve all classic American. Their breakfast is great and their burgers are super tasty. They have blueberry blintzes, grits, and real maple syrup for those great pancakes and waffles. Cafe 50's has booths and a counter. It is decorated with movie posters, adverts from the 50's. They have a classic Seeburg Jukebox, and I think it about 25 cents for a few songs. But there is always music playing. The service is fast and very friendly. We love it. It is packed with locals but tourist friendly and super kid friendly. Have a great time. This area of WLA is very safe, day or night.More

Date of visit: May 2019
Reviewed April 11, 2019 via mobile

Ok so been to LA twice and each time we have gone to Cafe 50 for breakfast/Lunch. Kim is amazing she makes you feel that you’re welcome and stepping back in time to a traditional diner back in the 50’s/60’s. The food choice is fantastic...and great value for money for LA. We loved it so much that we went 3 out of our 5 times during our stay in LA. You have to go once, it’s a must stop and worth the drive even if you’re staying a distance away. Parking outside for $2 per hour and convenient. Kim you made our trip and experience and you didn’t disappoint, this was our second trip to LA and about our 7th visit here!!!!! Kim has 30 years experience working there and didn’t disappoint. Benji was always asking us if ok and made us feel welcome, what a great team!!!!!More

Date of visit: April 2019
Reviewed March 16, 2019 via mobile

Popped in for dinner before a show at the nearby theatre. The perfect US diner experience! So many fabulous artefacts, great atmosphere and really nice friendly staff. Food was excellent too! Best burgers of our holiday!

Date of visit: March 2019
Reviewed January 25, 2019

Burgers, milkshakes, traditional American dinners and a great breakfast menu. Look for the good value "Blue Plate Specials" and don't miss turning the menu completely over and checking out the back for the daily specials, which are good value and could otherwise be easily missed.

Date of visit: January 2019
Reviewed November 29, 2018 via mobile

This is a happy place. Bummer we only found it on our last day in Santa Monica or we would have returned. Good coffee, great service, fantastic food. Kim, Benny, appreciate the friendly service. And cheers to the kitchen — the scrambled eggs with chorizo...and refried beans was full of flavor. I’ll get back here one day.More

Date of visit: November 2018
Reviewed October 2, 2018 via mobile

This place is so cool. They have movie posters slathered to the wall and ceiling. Some my family looked up and found them on Netflix service.

Date of visit: September 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions about Cafe 50's

Yes, Cafe 50's offers takeout services.

Cafe 50's is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 5