EatsSan FranciscoSlider

Howard’s Cafe, A True-Blue Diner.

Updated: Dec 05, 2016 13:50
The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

Don’t order the specials

Howard’s Café is a diner in the Inner Sunset.  Remarkable? Not particularly, and that isn’t to its detriment.

American diners represent comfortable familiarity with a twist of that quality us State-Siders would like to think we invented: individuality.  They’re all very much alike, but with little design quirks and decorative memorabilia that lend them a sense of singularity and history amidst the heavenly scent of frying bacon. I usually ensconce myself at the counter, where one can be comfortably anonymous while stirring over-easy eggs into crackling hash browns and sipping coffee while browsing through a newspaper.   A good diner is one which you can’t imagine having a beginning or an end; they just are.  That kind of lived-in atmosphere is hard to convincingly manufacture, a fact none of the gazillion new retro joints that have popped up in the past few years have understood (or perhaps care about).

The space is large, square and high-ceilinged, with an odd horseshoe-shaped bar in the middle butting up against the kitchen, which is separated from the dining room by a low wall made of beat-up, paneled particle board. Howard’s food is cut from exactly the same cloth as any other old diner in the country, and god bless them for it.  Their prices are inflation-proof, something essential to the diner ethos; I ordered two eggs, two link sausages, three pieces of French Toast, a big plate of hash browns, washed it all down with a refillable cup of non-artisanal, Fuck You Blue Bottle coffee and spent less than ten dollars. The owners are deep San Francisco, clad scalp-to-sole in Niners and Giants gear, a sartorial gesture echoed upon the walls, strewn as they are with sports kitsch but also with framed photographs of family and friends who’ve frequented the place over the years.  Tuck into a big, greasy breakfast at Howard’s, sip slowly from a bottomless cup of coffee and give belly-felt thanks for the American Diner.

Howard’s Cafe
1309 9th Ave.,
[Inner Sunset]

Previous post

The Upside of Fall

Next post

Get Cultured at Smithsonian’s National FREE Museum Day This Saturday

Fatt Mink

Fatt Mink

I was born into a family of bookworms and staunch pinkos in downtown San Jose, California.
I lived in San Francisco from 2002-2016, during which time I studied music and Italian at S.F State and worked as a waiter and bartender in restaurants and bars both foul and divine; I credit my considerable experience in the industry with birthing my eternal burnin' love for food and booze, still a driving force in my life. I lived in Rome for 8 months in 2016 and then moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where I currently write for a newspaper and play music.