Village Inn Café
204 Village Square on Orinda Way, Orinda, (925) 254-6080. Breakfast and lunch Mon.–Sat.
Late last year, in a makeover worthy of reality TV, Orinda’s Village Inn Café moved a few doors closer to Orinda Way, doubled in size, and unveiled a fresh interior, including butter-colored walls and batten-board panels. The café retained its menu and its vintage sign, reading: “Old Fashioned Milk Shakes With the Can.”
You can still order traditional sandwiches, but why would you, when zesty options such as the Hot Veggie beckon? The Hot Veggie combines grilled mushrooms, green chilies, and jack cheese with salsa ($6.60 half; $9.10 whole). Patty melts such as the egg salad and bacon melt ($6.85 half; $8.80 whole) sound crazy but taste delicious.
The taco salad with beef or grilled chicken ($10.25), or the chef or cobb salad ($10.75) satisfies the heartiest of appetites. Friday’s clam chowder is loaded with clams, bacon, celery, and potatoes (cup, $2.90; bowl, $4.45), and big, thick milkshakes ($4.75) double as dessert. If you’re in the area in the morning, breakfast is available until 11:25 a.m. The crispy Belgian waffle ($5.50), house-made corned beef hash ($8 half; $10.25 whole), and two-egg omelets (from $2.60) are all popular options.