Hungry Pilot: Half Moon Bay, California

3-Zero Cafe

The 3-Zero Cafe leaves little doubt that it’s a $100 hamburger destination.

Restaurant name: 3-Zero Cafe

Airport: Half Moon Bay Airport, California (KHAF)

Famous for: Big breakfasts served in a picturesque location

Restaurant tips: This casual restaurant is a mix of country diner, airport hangout and California cool, and is located right on the runway at HAF. There’s plenty of airplane decor hanging from the walls and ceiling, so your pilot friends will feel right at home. Crowds can be large on weekends, so plan for some extra time to wait, and call ahead if you have a big group.

The restaurant is open from 8am-2pm weekdays and 7am-3pm on weekends, so breakfast is the big draw. Whether it’s brioche French toast or savory crab cake benedicts, there are plenty of hearty options to choose from. Prices for entrees are generally around $15-20–not cheap but still an affordable outing for a group.

Airport tips: Half Moon Bay is a fun place to fly to, whether you’re eating at the 3-Zero Cafe or not. A manageable flight from almost anywhere in Northern California, its 5000 x 150 ft. runway is right on the water. If you’re headed there for breakfast, fly down the coastline for a beautiful sunrise over the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s a unique and impressive arrival.

The airport does not have a tower, but it is very close to some busy airspace–bustling San Francisco International is less than 10 miles away. The complex Class B and C airspace is easily navigated with a little preflight planning, but a moving map GPS or iPad is a major help here. With its coastal location, Half Moon Bay is subject to occasional fog, so check the forecast before takeoff and be skeptical if the temperature/dewpoint spread is close. The airport does have an AWOS for easy monitoring.

6 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    “occasional fog”?

  2. MORT MASON says:

    Well, I missed that great eating spot, since my flying into Half Moon Bay ended in 1971. It was in the skies overhead that I used to practice acrobatic flight. And I’ve many, many times used that airport when abalone diving; and often stopped in at the local eatery for a snack. I’m sorry that I’m now missing this great place in its newer configuration. Great place for pumpkins, too, isn’t it!

  3. Guido says:

    Two things:
    The AWOS is only available when very close.
    There are some much better restaurants just out the south gate with plenty of convenient aircraft parking in a newly paved area next to that gate.

  4. Robert Hewitt says:

    ah, Half Moon Bay. Flew in for an airshow in 92 from Skyranch in Sacramento. Beautiful VFR flight right over the Golden Gate. ATC is to busy to talk to you with SFO trafic nearby. One of the most enjoyable flight Ive ever undertaken. Of course Im biassed since I was born in San Francisco. Airport people were very friendly and helpfull and the resteraunt was well worth the trip.

  5. MORT MASON says:

    I see that no one has yet mentioned the incredible abolone diving just offshore at Half Moon Bay. No SCUBA tanks allowed, so not to worry about diving and flying. Great place for a day trip that combines flying with some delicious eating . . .

  6. Robert Briggs says:

    It’s also very common to park at the south end of the field and walk through the gate to one of the many fine seafood restaurants on the harbor.