the grilled cheese

171 Nut Tree Parkway, Vacaville
Also in Sacramento and Roseville
Daily Open 24 hours (except for in Sac)
Web site
Apparently none
Price range
$4-$6 breakfast, $6-$8 lunch, $8-$12 dinner

Mel's Diner is a chain of 50's style diners, made famous by the George Lucas film American Graffiti, and being decorated with collectables and other memorabilia from the film, and having an art deco stainless steel and neon 50's feel. The environment is relaxed — somewhat study friendly — as you can order coffee and sit there for hours. Plenty of parking, right by the freeway, and not in a scary location. It's also right by In-N-Out. It's a pretty popular spot for the locals to meet-up, or just hang out.

Other locations include the western edge of Sacramento near CSUS on Howe Ave. (a smaller, non-24-hour location), in Roseville off I-80 (24-hour), and a few locations between Davis and the Bay Area.

Note: The actual name of this place is Original Mel's. Do not confuse this with the other diners named Mel's located around the country, especially the nearby and somewhat similarly themed Mel's Drive-in which has the same bloodline as that featured in American Graffiti. Here is some historical info. Also do not confuse this with Mel's Diner, a Florida chain founded in 1989 or the Mel's Diner in central Pennsylvania near Harrisburg.


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2007-07-01 21:47:47   Personally, I think their food is a little overpriced. They do have good chili cheese fries though. It's true that it is somewhat study friendly, but only if you go late at night. —at86

2008-05-13 09:44:53   This place is delicious! —BretCorzine

2009-04-13 11:16:50   Do they really not have a website? VERY strange. —SacTownGuy

2010-02-10 14:07:27   I think this place is kind of gross, honestly. I guess it's ok if you're drunk at 3am and want huge milkshakes, but nothing I've ordered here while sober has tasted very good. —bear

2010-02-19 13:39:49   For an establishment that, as fa as I can see uses no advertising in the mass media market, relying almost entirely on word of mouth since the 1950's. this is one of the better retro diners I have been to. Some staff are better than others, certain times of the day the food quality is better than at others... but overall it is a fine establishment that is a nice escape from the day to day grind of the modern world for quality food and good times even if it takes a little drive to get there. Worth checking out if you have never been. —WesOne