Oceanside, California in North San Diego County is a laid-back beach town that really likes to sport its history as much as the modern elements of life. Highway 101 is an historic part of Oceanside, commemorated in hats, mugs and gifts sold at the California Welcome Center in Oceanside.
Make sure to drive along this classic road Highway 101 that runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean (never far away) and you'll see some of the best shops, things to do and places to eat, including 101 Cafe.
101 Cafe mural on the side of the restaurant building depicts the historic highway as a capsule in time in which roller skating car hops delivered food to your car and stationed the specially made food tray on your car window you rolled down by hand, approx. midway so the tray could stay. Today the carhop service is gone.
101 Cafe opened in 1928 as a 20 seat diner. Greyhound buses used to stop right in front of the cafe in the 1940s when the bus station was located in downtown Oceanside, and the 101 Highway was the main road between San Diego and L.A.
You must go into the classic cafe to order food and sit at a booth, table or counter where the same classic hamburgers, french fries with ketchup, and and malts are listed on the menu. Other items include a decent size salad, chicken fried steak and hearty chili. Classic American faire attracts all ages who stop in the casual cafe to eat a meal at a reasonable price.
101 menu items are a sure bet:
101 Cheeseburger includes lettuce, tomato, secret sauce and your choice of cheese. 101 Cafe Famous Chef Salad is a big, cold bed of lettuce with tons of ingredients. Also try the 101 Cafe Famous Club, 101 Cafe-Made Potato Salad, Omelets, breakfast menu, lunch, and dinner. Open daily. 101cafe.net
Outside bicycles are parked in the bike racks and cars zip by on Highway 101.
Note: There's also a 101 Coffee Shop on Franklin Ave. in Hollywood. It opened in the 1930s.