Picture your archetypal, middle-of-nowhere Western diner and you know exactly what Halfway House Café looks and feels like. Even if you've never driven up the dusty, two-lane Sierra Highway that's favored by truckers from Los Angeles to Mojave, you've likely already encountered Halfway House Café in countless movies, TV shows and commercials, from the barroom dance scene in Pee-wee's Big Adventure to that iconic Pepsi commercial in which Cindy Crawford pulls up to the diner in a red Ferrari. Inside, the café's wood-paneled walls are cluttered with the kind of Americana kitsch that only a restaurant that's been open since 1931 (and served as a farmers' trading post prior to that) is able to pass off as charming. Cozy up to the counter, where you can watch specialty plates such as eggs Florentine and huevos rancheros arrive hot from the kitchen, fuel up on unlimited coffee refills or throw back one of five domestic beers on tap. 15564 Sierra Hwy., Santa Clarita. (661) 251-0102, halfwayhousecafe.com. —Jennifer Swann
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