Every now and then you stumble upon a restaurant that is so inviting in theme and presence that you can’t help but be drawn into its circle of fun. We can’t think of a better place to have “fun” than at Corvette Diner in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. The second you approach the venue you know you’re in for something special. Why? Because you’ve just entered a time warp baby. Welcome to the fifties!
From head-to-toe, Corvette Diner has got its groove on. There are many so-called diners out there that have a fifties theme but we haven’t seen one that got it so right. This isn’t just a “theme” to draw customers in. No way dude, this is the real thing here, you can almost see Elvis or Marilyn seated with Fonzie sipping a milkshake.
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You’ve got waitresses (we know this is very un-P.C. but it fits with the venue, so forgive us) jazzed up in bouffant hairstylings that reach for the sky, wrapped in bobby socks, with quirky jewelry and poodle skirts. Not to be outdone, the waiters strut their stuff in greased back hair and you can almost see the pack of cigarettes rolled up their sleeves (not for real, this is a family restaurant after all). You're surrounded by collectibles and decorations that scream 50's. Check out the circular bar in the middle of the diner, totally hot, man, not to mention the full-size Corvette hanging from the ceiling.
As we were waiting to be seated, we spied an old photo machine that takes the most embarrassing strip of pictures you know you’ll treasure forever. So feel free to cough up a few bucks and duck inside. Upon being seated we were greeted by our server throwing straws at us like a shower of confetti dropping from the sky. It definitely got our attention and brought fun filled smiles to our faces.
Even with all of this dazzling ambience, it still comes down to the food and Corvette Diner brings it on. Every item has a quirky name to entice you. Check out the appetizer items like Garage Plate (tortilla chips & salsa, baby burgers, onion rings, potato skins, fried zucchini) or Buffalo Popcorn Chicken (tossed in a spicy sauce with blue cheese crumbles). We ordered the Two Tone Fries (half & half with white and brown gravy) and Corvette Wings (with celery sticks, hot sauce and their “anti-freeze” dip served on the side). We’re suckers for French fries and to have the added feature of savory gravy on top of them….ahhhhhhh! The Corvette wings delivered as promised and buyer beware, you’re gonna need extra water to cool your engine after a few of them.
There are numerous entres to choose from, like the Blue Plate Daily Specials (Mama Malones Lasagna or Fried Shrimp and Beer Battered Cod Fish), Salads (Chopstix Chicken Salad or Twisted Pesto Pasta Salad), Sandwiches (Open-faced Truck Stop Hot Turkey or Ike & Tina Tuna Melt), Burgers (Hawaii 5-0 or Dante’s Inferno) and Platters (The Mac Daddy Mac & Cheese or Liver & Grilled Onions). There’s also a “Young’uns” menu for the little guys and dolls (Pizza & Fries or Cheese Sandwich).
California Dreamin’ Burger
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We kept it very simple and ordered some great comfort food, namely Sloppy Joes (a diner favorite with lean ground sirloin, American cheese & their special sauce) and a California Dreamin’ Burger (guacamole, green chilies, lettuce, tomato, onion and pepper jack cheese). Okay, so when was the last time you had a chance to order a Sloppy Joe at a restaurant? We totally could not pass that up and boy was it good, just like when you were a kid. The California Dreamin’ burger kept the nightmares away with its moist, tender meat covered with guacamole, chilies and pepper jack cheese giving the burger quite the zip. You just knew your boyfriend’s back and there’s gonna be trouble.
Be sure to loosen your belt because you must sample from the Soda Fountain & Desserts menu. There are shakes in every possible flavor, carrot cake, hot fudge sundaes, cheesecake and apple pie. We tried the Choco-Peppermint Smoothies (a Corvette star attraction) and Giant Chocolate Fudge Fantasy Cake (rich and moist with creamy fudge frosting). The smoothie left your mouth with a zesty mint aftertaste and the cake left you desperately asking "Got Milk?."
Corvette Diner has been recognized on a national level winning the “Tops for Fun Award” from Gourmet magazine and the Gold Medallion Award for “Best Family Dining” from the California Restaurant Association and the esteemed “Best Burger” award from Sign On San Diego. If you really want to “twist and shout” check out their “Limo Party!” which includes a limo ride to and from Corvette Diner for a party of eight, including food, dessert, party favors and more fun than you can imagine.
Great food, great décor, great staff, great prices…..great fun. Jump into your car, put down the top and race over to Corvette Diner. Time to relive your fond memories of the fifties or create some new ones of your own. Enjoy!
- City: San Diego, CA 9210
- Phone: 619-542-1476
- Name: Corvette Diner
- Address: 3946 Fifth Avenue