Where: 1972 Cliff Drive, 966-5303
What: Friendly neighborhood cafe most loved for its breakfasts; open since 1984
How much? Breakfast $4.95-$9.95, lunch $5.95-$9.95, dinner $7.95-$13.95
The dish: An old-fashioned locals’ hang-out and for good reason, hearty fare at more than fair prices. You can have cocktails and cioppino for dinner, pulled pork for lunch, and gorge at breakfast for under a ten spot. You’ll have to wait for a table – it’s very popular, especially at weekend brunch hour – but once you sit down you can enjoy a chili verde omelet with succulent pork and try not to eat the whole hunk of cornbread. Seven scrambles, four Benedicts, all good. The Mesa Cafe is what the New Jersey-ite in me thinks of as California’s answer to the diner.