We recently stopped in at Nini's Coffee Shop for breakfast. Nini's was originally opened in SF in 1917, but then Nini & Wally "retired" to San Mateo in 1968 and turned an old corner store into the current Nini's. I believe the son is now running the place and looks like the next generation is also working there. Its off the beaten track in a completely residential neighborhood but according to yelp, it can get mobbed on the weekend. Monday morning when we were there, it was easy to get a table. The other patrons seemed to be regular folk - families & local industrial workers.
The place has all the hallmarks of a ol' time family run joint -- menu of basic comfort staples with a few signture dishes, funky home decored atmosphere with tons of signs and friendly waitresses that know the names of many of the patrons. There's counter seating as well as indoor & outdoor courtyard tables.
We both had the biscuits & gravy with eggs and potatoes which were quite tasty (although I'd order the potatoes "well done" in the future). Michael was a little sad that we just found this place, given that its just down the road from a place he worked for 3-ish years (not not anymore) - all those missed lunch opportunities!
We'll definitely go back to try out some of the other things on their menu - a lot of the lunch items looked worth checking out. In a world of corporate chains, I'm just really glad that places like this continue to exist.
Nini's Coffee Shop
1000 N Idaho St, San Mateo, CA 94401