• Banana French Toast
  • Avocado Spinach Strawberry Salad
  • Bloody Mary

101 Cafe

About us

In 1928 the Ekegren family opened a twenty-seat diner along US Highway 101 and named it the “101 Cafe.” It is the small dining room where the counters are now. The north dining room was added in the mid-1930s.

The Greyhound bus made a stop in front until the 1940s when a station was built downtown. The 101 Highway was the main road to bring people from the Los Angeles area to San Diego. In 1942 the Navy Department purchased Rancho Santa Margarita y Los Flores for use as a Marine Corps Base for our World War II effort.

 vintage cafe with a parked car in front, capturing the essence of a bygone era.

Things quickly changed as thousands of workmen moved into Oceanside to construct what would become the largest Marine Corps Base in the world.The Cafe was now called the "101 Cafe and Drive-In and Trailer Park." The trailers were used to house employees and families.

Tens of thousands of young men came to the 101 during the war years. The love affair between Californians and their cars had moved into high gear by the 1950s and caused the relocation of Highway 101 to a new inland route where Interstate 5 is today.

car service station, showcasing a vintage ambiance with classic vehicles and mechanics at work.

The Highway 101 became known as Business Route 101. The bypass built in 1953 started at the south side of the San Luis Rey River Bridge and continued south to Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad. About this time a local businessman had the foresight to adapt to the change.

Lucky Lackey, the businessman, converted the Cafe, which had started curb service in the 1940s, to a "Drive-In." Lucky leased the Cafe to "Bushie" Graham and it became "Graham's Drive-In." The drive-in craze was in full swing during the 1950s in Oceanside. There were at least six drive-ins at one time or another in town, with Graham's being the most popular.

By the late 1960s, however, drive-throughs like McDonald's became the craze and ended the drive-in era in our town.

vintage gas station with a parked car in the foreground.

The Café became a coffee shop called "Jimmy's" and then later in the 1980s, "Randy's Coffee Shop." In 1996, John Daley and David Ranson brought the original 101 Cafe name back.

Retiring in February 2016, they sold it to the Galvez family to keep the history of the 101 Cafe alive.

We hope everyone will enjoy the experience of eating in a cafe that is a historic landmark in Oceanside and the entire West Coast.

A sign displaying the name of a cafe, inviting customers with its charming design and warm ambiance.

101 Cafe Is The Classic American Diner With Its 1950'S Decor, Iconic Murals And It's Delicious Homemade Comfort Food.
Business Hours
Open Daily
7am - 2pm
631 South Coast Hwy,
Oceanside, Ca 92054