Placerville Area Cafe' & Diner Favorites
Buttercup Pantry has been a family owned favorite in the area for twenty-five years and is unique in their offerings. The menu is mainly good American comfort food, but they also sport a soup bar with three soups, a big salad bar, and an array of home-made pies and pastries that you can even order in advance and pick-up. The interior is nicely decorated with old-time touches and the service is friendly. The menu is huge and they have items for seniors and kids. Breakfast items include Portuguese Benedict, California Benedict, Original Joe's Scramble and many others. For lunch try the Avocado Bacon Cheese Burger, Asian Chicken Wrap, or traditional Fish & Chips. Dinner items include Lasagne, Meatloaf, Scampi, Steaks, or Chicken Monterey. Open 7 days from 6:30am to 9pm. Located at 222 Main St. in Placerville just off highway 50. Click here for Facebook. (530-621-1320)
Cafe' El Dorado is a little diner with a big heart that is popular with the locals of Diamond Springs, El Dorado and the surrounding area. It is just far enough off the beaten path that tourists and visitors are rarely found here. Something else that is missing is WiFi, Smart Phones, lap tops, cell phones, texting, selfies and all the related annoyances. This is where people come to eat with family and friends and it shows in the service, food, and the people that eat here. Cafe' El Dorado is a great example of why diners dot the American landscape wherever you go; great food and friendly faces. Both the breakfast and lunch menus are dotted with Mexican specialties created by the owner, Alberto Flores. Breakfast includes all the favorites like omelets, egg combos, pancakes, Belgian waffles, and specialties like California Benedict, Crab Benedict, Smoked Salmon Scramble, Chorizo Scramble, Chili Rellenos & Eggs, and even Strawberry or Banana Crepes. Lunch includes burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, and has Enchiladas, Chili Rellenos, Chili Verde or Carne Asada too. I had a Patty Melt that was to die for with a side of potato salad that was just perfect. By the way, the burger patties are made by hand and cooked just right. Located at 5787 Pleasant Valley Road in El Dorado. (530-626-8865) Open daily 6am to 2pm.
Diamond Springs Hotel is not a hotel at all, but is a really good place to get "Old Fashioned Country Cooking" like it says on the front of their menu. Located in an historic building on Main Street-Highway 49 in Diamond Springs, the restaurant has long been popular with locals and visitors alike. All of the food here is well prepared and the service is efficient and friendly. The place is set up to handle two diners, as well as large families. For breakfast try the Corned Beef Hash, Original Dan's, or Eggs Benedict. Lunch has a great burger and sandwich line-up including Italian Sausage, Pork Dip, or Monte Cristo. Try the Trout, Meatloaf or Pork Chops for dinner. Closed Mon. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Check the website for days and hours. Located at 545 Main St. in Diamond Springs. (530-621-1730)
The Golden Waffle Cafe changed their name and ownership some time in 2012. While still maintaining the same old fashioned diner atmosphere, the new owners have really stepped up to the plate in terms of service and food. It is simply much better than its previous incarnation. The place has plenty of seating so there is rarely any wait, even on weekends, and you can sit at the counter, in booths, or at tables in a large dining area. The menu is large and has all the usual diner favorites for breakfast and lunch. They have a large number of breakfast combos that serve any size appetite. Breakfast includes pancakes, waffles, scrambles, eggs with anything, and even biscuits & gravy. Lunch is about burgers, sandwiches, and a number of hot lunch specialties. Even when they are packed, the service is fast and friendly. Located just off Hwy 50 at 1449 Broadway in Placerville. Open seven days for breakfast and lunch. (530-642-9322)
Gularte's Great Deli & Pizza is a real rarity in today's world. This is a family owned operation with Mom taking orders and the family making great food. Besides sandwiches, they have excellent take-and-bake pizzas with some original toppings like Emma's Pizza Tostada or Mike's Monster Manwich. But, the magic here is clearly the incredible sandwiches. I know. How good can a sandwich be? You have to go there to find out. For instance the Hangtown Chipotle' with hot turkey, melted cheese, chilis, chipotle' sauce and crispy cold lettuce and tomato on a toasted bun. Wow! They also have beef dip, pulled pork, cheese steak or try The 49er with meatballs, marinara, and cheese on a toasted roll. Ultra friendly service too. Located at 670-B Pleasant Valley Rd. in Diamond Springs. Open 7 days at 8am to 8pm. (530-626-0550)
London Best Fish & Chips is simply THE place to go when you get a craving for the deep fried goodness that only a place like this can deliver. This little cafe is tucked into the corner of a shopping center on Broadway and is easy to miss, but is definitely worth looking for. The menu is much more extensive than just the great Fish & Chips. Here, you can enjoy oysters, scallops, shrimp, clams, chicken, and even soft-shell crab, all fried to yummy perfection. Sides include cole slaw, salad, fries, and a rare southern treat, hush puppies. You can even build you own plate or order combos. The cozy dining area has a number of tables and is so clean it shines. Located at 1216 Broadway just off the highway 50-Broadway exit. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. (530-642-0777)
Old Town Grill is a classic old-school burger cafe' located right in historic downtown Placerville. When you enter, you order from a big menu over the counter, and then head out to find a seat and await your meal to be delivered by the attentive staff. There is very limited seating up front overlooking Main Street with lots of additional seating in the rear dining room and even in a beautiful outdoor patio area. This place does burgers and sandwiches that are definitely a cut above. The service is very friendly and efficient as the staff passes by your table and checks on you frequently. They offer items like a Mushroom Cheeseburger, Pesto Chicken Sandwich, Veggie Burger, a Curly Hot Dog Sandwich, and even buffalo or elk burgers. Sides include yummy stuff like milkshakes and garlic curly fries. They also have salads. Located at 444 Main St. in Placerville. 530-622-2631 Open 11:05am to 3pm Wed. thru Mon. Closed Tuesdays.
Taqueria El Carnaval is a great Mexican style restaurant conveniently located in the Golden Center shopping area along Missouri Flat Road. It sports a fairly large dining room that is always clean and bright and is popular with the Placerville locals. The thing I like best about this place is that they have have all the Mexican favorites and more to choose from and it is all fresh. Meat choices include carnitas, chicken, and asada, but you can also choose from lengua, buche or adovada. They have seafood dishes, as well as sopes and tortas. Everything is FRESH and made to order. On Saturday and Sunday they have menudo and pozole. There are even a few breakfast items like Huevos con Chorizo. Service is fast and friendly. They also serve beer and wine. Located at 4340-C Golden Center Dr. in Placerville. Open 7days for lunch & dinner. 530-344-7246
Tom’s Burger & Frosty is an old-fashioned diner experience that the baby-boomers grew up with. It was one of the very first restaurants to be added to this website. Nothing has changed at Tom's which explains why it was nearly packed on a Monday when we visited. They have continued to maintain a sparkling clean facility and keep serving up the kind of food that wonderful old memories are made of. Tom’s has a solid burger line-up including my favorite, The American, that has a 1/3 pound beef patty perfectly cooked with all totally fresh toppings, including the crunchy lettuce. The crispy onion rings top that off to perfection and the made-to-order thick fries are spot-on. Tom’s also has a good selection of sandwiches including Hot Pastrami, Monterey Turkey, Cheese Steak, and Hot Link. I had a great fish sandwich on my last visit. Great shakes made up fresh are always a favorite and the soft ice cream sundaes and cones will cool a hot day. Add the Root Beer Floats and you have perfection. Prices compete with the crowded, impersonal, huge chains right up the street too! Tom’s Burger & Frosty is located at 567 Placerville Drive in Placerville about a mile north of highway 50. Hours are 11am to 8pm daily. (530-295-8199)
Train Station Coffee Shop is very popular with the locals and is usually pretty busy, especially for breakfast on weekends. This ultra-casual diner is loaded with local color and the walls are covered with fun logo T-shirts. The breakfast menu has all the usual favorites including omelets, egg combos, pancakes, scrambles, and their signature biscuits & gravy. Portions are large. Lunch includes great burgers and sandwiches with a choice of sides. My favorite is the grilled pastrami & Swiss cheese. One side dish choice is the home-made soup which is always a treat. Service is casual and friendly. They are located just off the Shingle Springs exit at 4274 Mother Lode Dr. in Shingle Springs. Open 7 days for breakfast and lunch. (530-677-6287)
Two Cooks On Main is a wonderful little sandwich shop in the heart of historic Downtown Placerville. There is limited seating in the front next to the front window, but you can always grab a sandwich and head out to the Bell Tower and enjoy some people watching with your meal. This place makes excellent soups, sandwiches, and salads. Salads include classics like Chinese Chicken, Caesar, and Mediterranean to choose from. Soups are seasonal and can be purchased in a combo with a salad or a 1/2 sandwich. Sandwiches include yummy choices like Cranberry Turkey, Dilled Albacore, Feta with Basil Pesto, and Roast Beef with Tomato Chutney as well as simpler turkey, beef, egg salad, or cheese. Located at 374 Main St. in Placerville, Tel. 530-626-6546. Open 10am to 3pm daily. Closed Sunday.
Z Pie Gourmet Pot Pies is a rather unique restaurant concept that offers delicious gourmet pot pies as the mainstay of their menu. Yes, they offer soup and salad and some other goodies. But, it is these amazing pies that are the focus here. Forget about the usual frozen pot pies you get at the store. The Z Pies are carefully created and seasoned to perfection to provide you with a unique dining experience. The founders of the restaurant got the idea when touring New Zealand and they fell in love with the pies they found everywhere. My favorite so far is the Rosemary Lamb because the seasoning so richly compliments the lamb flavor. Others to choose from are beef, chicken, sausage, or vegetable. Don't feel like a pie? They also have beautifully presented composed salads in several popular varieties along with soups and appetizers. Finally, you can get a berry or apple pie for dessert. Located in Historic Old Town Placerville at 3182 Center Street. 530 621-2626. Hours: 11am - 9pm every day. Click here for website.