JAKE GODBY'S SAN FRANCISCO
Lovable Jake Godby is co-founder of Humphry Slocombe, one of the West Coast’s raddest and most flavorful ice cream brands; easily one of the most original menus in the genre. The man knows dairy. He’s also got an eye for some of the most fascinating and unexpected destinations in The Golden City, for eating and otherwise. We asked Jake for a tour of his favorite classic diners in San Francisco:
Photos by Brian Worhl
The Pinecrest is a standard downtown diner where the Tenderloin and Union Square meet the Theater District. In appearance, there’s really nothing remarkable about it (other than the prices are a little higher than you’d expect). But, it's also one of the last of it's kind and, to me at least, nothing screams more diner street cred then a cook-on-waitress homicide in it's past.
Not only does the Lafayette Coffee Shop have the best diner sign in SF, the interior is my favorite color: "nicotine.” The booths are held together with duct tape, and nothing has changed since the Johnson administration. If that wasn't already perfection enough, the staff always seems to be bickering with each other (they've probably been having the same argument for decades). So, while the food is fine, this place is totally about atmosphere… and I'd definitely recommend using the bathroom before arriving.
I don't go very often but I'd be upset if it went away. It's a diner from a David Lynch movie. I'd say it was a time capsule but I think it must have always been surreal. There are four vintage pinball machines, but they are the exact same pinball machine.
It's usually eerily quiet and I've never seen more than 3 people in the diner part and about half of the menu items they no longer offer. There’s also a bar in the back that might have a few more people (some sleeping, some catching up on their stories on the television). As soon as you sit down the bartender brings you a free shot of ouzo whether you want it or not.