Bringing Back The Cafe Culture: 

The cafe and coffee culture initially emerged as a platform for social gatherings and conversation starters, but the past few decades have influenced the concept to evolve, leaving places like the Fantastic cafe chain in the United States stuck in time. But the world is so fast that sometimes you need a few places where you can stop time and have a cup of hot chocolate with your partner.

It was only a matter of time before all the cafes in the United States started focusing on evolution, trying to meet the impossibly high standards set by brands like Starbucks. Cafes have now expanded into co-working places – you just don’t go to a cafe for a date. You got there for a meeting or for that much-needed espresso cup before work.

In a way, it’s great that places like the Fantastic Cafe are bringing back the OG cafe culture under the spotlight! Let’s find out more about this chain!

Birth Of A ‘Fantastic Idea’:

Alex Tsiboukas emigrated from his fatherland, Greece, half a century ago with one vision in his mind. This Greek man was on foreign soil, miles away from home, but all he wanted to was open and run a restaurant successfully. And boy did he follow his dreams! In 1979, Tsiboukas launched the Fantastic Cafe in Southern California, and the rest was history.

It’s been more than 40 years since, and the eatery has grown into a chain of cafes. But, from the Fantastic Cafe San Pedro and Fantastic Cafe Torrance editions to the ones in Norco, Long Beach, and Westminister, the idea has stayed the same. Tsiboukas believed in three simple things that ensured the success of his restaurant after launch – integrity, love, and loyalty.

Just like the official website of the Fantastic Cafe says, “the name says it all…” the USP is hidden in the name of the place with the brand banking on their experience and ‘name’ for surviving even today! So scroll down, and let’s dig some more details about these crazy places.

Locations:

The Fantastic Cafe definitely expanded into a chain several years ago, but one thing they have maintained all this while is how they continue to provide service exclusively to Southern California. The cafe has five major locations, with three proper cafes and two drive-through outlets. The locations, therefore, are as follows,

1. Long Beach

Address: 1180 N Studebaker Rd, Long Beach, CA 90815

Operating Hours: Everday from 5 am – 11 pm

Contact: (562) 598-4463

2. San Pedro

Address: 1631 W 25th St, San Pedro, CA 90732

Operating Hours: Everday from 6 am – 11 pm

Contact: (310) 832-4742

3. Westminster

Address: 5062 Westminster Blvd, Westminster, CA 92683

Operating Hours: Everday from 6 am – 11 pm

Contact: (714) 891-2201

4. Torrance (Drive-through)

Address: 20305 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90502

Operating Hours: Sunday from 7 am – 11 pm | Monday to Friday from 5:30 am – 11 pm | Saturday from 5:30 am – 8 pm

Contact: (310) 328-0992

5. Norco (Drive-through)

Address: 994 Hamner Ave, Norco, CA 92860

Operating Hours: Sunday from 7 am – 10 pm | Monday to Saturday from 6 am – 10 pm

Contact: (951) 817-1111

Fantastic Cafe Menu:

fantastic cafe menu

The fantastic cafe menu is diverse and serves a fantastic platter serving gastronomy that has survived the pages of time. My personal favorites are the fantastic burger, the fantastic pizza, and cafe food like that. The website of the Fantastic cafe has done something extremely interesting in this context. 

They have simply listed the most popular dishes that too by year under a section called, ‘41 Years of Fantastic’. So I decided to list the specialty dishes as well, and here we go!

  • 1979 – the hamburger 
  • 1981 – the breakfast burrito
  • 1983 – homemade chili
  • 1984 – onion rings & zucchini
  • 1986 – the pastrami sandwich
  • 1989 – the fantastic burger
  • 1992 – milkshakes
  • 2017 – freshly breaded chicken tenders
  • 2019 – 40 years & still fantastic
  • 2020 – mamba burger & mamba fries

Fantastic Cafe: Best Reviews

After more than 40 years in the hospitality industry, Fantastic Cafe has received several reviews from residents of South California. However, I found four reviews that sum up why you must head over to your nearest Fantastic cafe or drive-through and indulge in some good old coffee, hamburgers, and lots of conversations!

Scroll down and find reviews left by customers of the famous chains.

Review By RPVTravelmore From Rancho Palos Verdes, California:

“When i stop here, i usually get the hamburger plate special or the chicken salad. I see many getting breakfast and enjoying it, but I’m not much of a breakfastc person. The quality is consistent and price is affordable. Somewhat fast food, but better.”

Review By VEC24 From Lorain, Ohio:

“We stopped here on our way to tour the Palos Verdes area. It was a very laid-back type of place. You placed your order, paid for it and got a number for your table. It was mostly sandwiches, burgers and Mexican fare, so I got a gyro. My husband got a burger and he was satisfied. I’d stay away from the gyros. It was missing a lot of key ingredients. Unless I was in a hurry, I’d try another restaurant in the area rather than return here.”

Review By Sendairocks From Boise, Idaho:

“I haven’t been to Fantastic Cafe for almost 20 years. It has not changed. Hearty breakfast burritos and a ton of fried mushrooms. Same crunchy hot mushrooms with ranch dressing. Filling comfort food. Nothing fancy, but good, clean food.”

Review By davidjbrown10 From Los Angeles, California:

“This is the sort of mom-and-pop place that throughout America locals know and treasure but entirely escape wider awareness. Well, now we’re among the locals who know about this one. The menu is a conglomeration of US, Mexican, Greek, and Italian influences — we settled for a Greek salad (well-laden with large and very tasty shrimp), and a Philly cheese-steak sandwich with fries.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Which Is The Best Fantastic Cafe?

If you type on Google about this, you will find, Fantastic Cafe San Pedro ca popping up on your home screen. Yes, they are pretty good, but that’s not all! For instance, I love the whole coffee and Norco vibe in the drive-through Norco location.

2) Does Fantastic Cafe Have Food?

Yes, the Fantastic Cafe chain has a diverse menu which is a delectable balance between mouthwatering cafe food from the United States, Greece, Mexico, and even Italy.

3) How Many Fantastic Cafes Are There In the United States?

There are five locations of the cafe in the United States, all located in Southern California. While three locations (San Pedro, Westminster, and Long Beach) operate as cafes, the other two locations at Norco and Torrance are drive-throughs.

Too Espresso Or Not Espresso: 

The Fantastic Cafe chain has survived for so many years because they kept things simple, providing Americans with the local diner feel and morning espresso or milkshakes. The average American drinks 8 to 9 cups of espressos every week – cafes were selling coffee stands to make enough profit in the process!

Also Read:

1. Kung Fu Tea: History, Menu, Location, Reviews, And Operating Hours
2. Nudys Cafe: Menu, Location, Reviews, And Operating Hours
3. Rosas Cafe: Menu, Location, Reviews, And Operating Hours

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Barsha Bhattacharya
Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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