An All American Treasure in Hayward

If you live in or around Hayward and have an appetite for great hamburgers, you have most likely sank your teeth into a delicious Val’s Burger. My family has been going to Val’s Burgers since it opened in 1958. My grand parents, my mom’s parents, had gone on many dates together at Val’s. Some of my earliest memories have been of going to Val’s. One time (off topic I know.. ) my aunt, my cousin, and I went on a road trip to somewhere (I can’t seem to remember where) and we had gotten shakes to go from Val’s. Well my cousin had his on his forehead and fell asleep with his eyes open (not sure if the shake had anything to do with that) and my aunt was talking to him and she thought he was ignoring her when he had been in fact sleeping. It was so funny. (guess you had to be there) 🙂

Anyways Val’s is the kind of place that you go for the burgers, atmosphere and superior service. All of which feels like you walked into a time warp. When you walk in if there isn’t a line that stretches around the block, you expect to see Ron Howard sitting at a booth, ordering a double chubby chuck. (American Graffiti Reverence) They have 3 size burgers, Baby Burger, Momma Burger, and Papa Burger. They have other items on the menu such as steak sandwiches, grilled cheese, and many other delicious items. Even though you have aesthetically walked back into the 1950’s the prices have changed significantly since it opened of course, though the prices are very reasonable. You get huge portions and no matter what you get you will always feel like it’s nap time afterward. The waitress’ are dressed in black pants and white shirt, and are the friendliest you will ever have. Although if you joke with them they will humorously put you in your place, at least every time we joke they do.

My favorite thing to do when I go to Val’s is once we sit down in one of the old vinyl booths I get a napkin, and grab my fork and pull out some dill pickles out of the little Tupperware bowls. I don’t care what you say, dill pickles from anywhere else just don’t taste the same. When I go to Val’s I usually order the Momma Burger with swiss cheese and a Malt Shake. All burgers are served with french fries. No matter what you order at Val’s you can’t go wrong.

About the business, it was opened in 1958 and was owned and operated by Val (not sure of his last name). Val himself died 18 years ago, but his wife still owns the restaurant. Now the burger joint is operated by a guy named George who is adorned with a Hungarian style mustache. I don’t have a photo of George but he is the only guy there with this style mustache (those of you who have seen him I’m sure are laughing because you know it’s true lol)

Below is a little guy made to look like George.

Val’s is a really small building located on 2115 Kelly Street in Hayward California, which is just 45 minutes from San Francisco. The building is so small you might miss it due to the weird intersection that it is near. Once you get there, parking is a little crazy, but you can also park across the street at the little super market. Val’s only accepts cash. Once you park, you go to the counter and tell them how many is in your party, and you most likely have to wait anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on what time you arrived. It is WELL WORTH the wait.  Val’s DĂ©cor includes a yellow linoleum floor, dark red naugahyde booths, Tupperware with onions, pickles, and relish in them, ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles on the tables, over head is dark wood arched ceiling beams and hand painted menus above the flame broiler and ice cream/milk shake station.

So if you haven’t had the chance to visit Val’s Burgers make sure you do! You will not regret it. Your stomach and your wallet will thank you. Also make sure you get a shake. You can’t go wrong with all the different flavors which change often. Bring the girlfriend (or boyfriend), bring your friends,bring the kids, bring anyone and enjoy the great nostalgic atmosphere and wonderful food that makes Val’s a staple in the eateries in the Hayward area. Don’t be suprised if your eyes are starting to close, your stomach is over its capacity, and your plate looks like this when your through:

And because when you order a shake they give you so much that you will most likely have to get your shake to go:

Below are more photos of Val’s and their food.

Thanks for reading,

Skrach

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