2401 Harbor Blvd, Ventura, California

American Street Food – The BEST HOT DOGS in Chicago! Jim’s Original Sausages, Burgers, Pork Chops
American Street Food – The BEST HOT DOGS in Chicago! Jim’s Original Sausages, Burgers, Pork Chops

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About the Business

Business owner information

Photo of Bob and Laurie M and Bruce D.

Bob and Laurie M and Bruce D.

In 1995 founders Bruce Dean and Bob & Laurie Manley opened the first Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta, CA. Their mission was simple: create a fun and friendly atmosphere where the local community could enjoy huge portions of home-style cooking at a reasonable price. Today, we continue their mission at every Black Bear Diner across the country, as we passionately provide guests an outstanding experience. Our menu offers comfort food classics, and our entire menu is offered all day long. Whether you are craving pancakes at 8 pm or pot roast at 8 am – we’ve got something for everyone. Enjoy your meal in our family-friendly, cabin-themed diner with our welcoming staff or order to enjoy in the comfort of your home.

Ask the Community

  • Q:

    Do you guys have outside tables?


    Yes but Noisy from the traffic

    Cheryl M.11 months ago 2 people found this helpful

  • Q:

    Can we reserve some tables ahead of time?


    Hi Alex – we look forward to seeing you and what sounds like many friends and family members! Unfortunately, we do not take reservation – but we promise to work very hard to get you all seated quickly 🙂

    Black Bear D., Business Customer Service1 year ago

Recommended Reviews

Overall rating

5 stars

4 stars

3 stars

2 stars

1 star

  • 7/9/2023

    We went to the Black Bear Diner our first full morning in Ventura, CA and it did not disappoint! Incredibly hard working, friendly and caring staff. The food was delicious and the morning breakfast crowd was bustling and happy. The food came out piping hot, on time and all at once. We were a party of six and believe me that is hard to do. The restaurant was incredibly clean and again the staff were very polite and compassionate. Extremely well run restaurant.

    With Sincere Admiration,
    Justin R. And Family

  • 6/25/2023

    We stopped by the diner on a road trip. It was a weekday lunch. The restaurant is pretty large and clean. The bear decor is cute.

    We ordered a sweet cream waffle breakfast plate with eggs and bacon. My spouse got a spinach and sausage scramble with a side of fruit. The food was good, felt homey. I really enjoyed the waffle.
    Service was a little on the slower side, which makes me think this place is better suited for folks not on a schedule. They didn’t have chicken sausage that day, and it took 15 mins for them to let us know and check for a substitution. The pace was relaxed. The staff was polite, just didn’t seem like anyone was in a hurry to help.

  • 6/17/2023

    Black Bear Diner is a restaurant chain known for larger portion down home diner fare. I have dined at this location a handful of times but nothing stands out as excellent. The food is typical prefab diner fare and definitely not all homemade. Some people are okay with the whole low end chain restauran vibe i.e. Denny’s, IHOP and okay with receiving prepared foods. This might be just a step up from those establishments but nothing quite different. There are items that are bought prepared, frozen not fresh then fried and served. I prefer fresh from scratch foods that I know are healthy and made in house. Those are not options I have experienced or been served here.

    The all you can eat fried fish served on Friday’s my husband had was the same style as those Frozen Van de Kamps breaded fish filets you get in the freezer section. That is great it is all you can eat because it is subpar to say the least. The only saving Grace is that you can get as much as possible so you do not feel ripped off. Fish and chips should be fresh, breaded or battered and then fried. The Hush Puppies had nice seasoning and flavor so I will give them that. The coleslaw was so dry it was a dish of just shredded cabbage and carrots. He requested some slaw dressing to moisten this dry
    concoction he was served. A dish with a pink dressing was brought to him. It was too sweet for slaw dressing and had an awful aftertaste He ended up not eating the coleslaw at all which he usually loves when made right and served elsewhere. The French fries are just frozen and thrown in the fryer but that seems standard now so can not fault them for that. So the all you can eat Friday fish fry will fill you up that is for sure but do not expect much more than that.
    I like breakfast for dinner and figured that was safe enough to order. I ordered the Bear’s Choice breakfast and upgraded to the Blackberry stuffed French Toast. The French Toast was hard and felt like it was reheated and not fresh. The home potatoes and scrambled eggs were far from fresh. The scrambled eggs were rubbery and potatoes were overcooked and burnt. I did not even waste my time complaining because at this point I was frustrated and DONE!
    The service was kind and friendly. I can not fault a server for bad food because that is out of their control. It was a busy evening and the dining room area was quite full. The servers were attentive and checked back with patrons often. There was support staff from the kitchen helping deliver food to the table as the servers were quite busy. As with most food venues now limited staff is a reality and out of the restaurants control. Patience and understanding is needed from all customers.
    The inside of the restaurant is family friendly and bear themed. There is a little souvenir gift shop in the lobby to purchase Bear themed items. A dessert case of cakes, cheesecake, pies, cobbler, bear claws, brownies etc. has items you can enjoy there or take home. The pies are advertised as individual however they are big enough for at least 2 people.
    I would recommend all 3 cream pies they are tasty. I believe in the future I will just enjoy coffee and dessert only. The food is not worth the disappointment in all honesty.

    Business owner information

    Black Bear D.


    Thank you for the feedback. We’re always trying to make dining at Black Bear Diner the best experience it can be, so thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  • 9/17/2023

    First time at a Black Bear Diner and very impressed. The food has a more fresh, homemade taste to it when compared to Dennys or IHOP. The fresh squeezed OJ was a little warm, but had good natural flavors. The French toast cinnamon roll was Ah-mazing! Especially if you love Cinnabons like I do! Service was good. Waitress was friendly and checked on us frequently! Very fun family friendly restaurant with lots of cute merch. Will bring the entire family back next time.

  • 7/14/20231 check-in

    I got a free coupon in my email and decided to check this place out. I forgot what this place used to be prior to. The coupon was for a Bear breakfast. With choices. I ordered my 2 eggs over easy chicken Saul and French toast. The breakfast was Great! It was Friday at 8pm and they prepared to perfection. Wes’s surprised by the chicken sausage. Great taste fresh and a meal in itself. French toast was not dry or too spongy. The syrup came hot. Overall a really great food experience. Glad I got a coupon and I definitely will be back. Great service too!!! Plenty of parking. PS I felt like I was in Colorado cabin… you’ll see what I’m talking about. Come check this place out.

  • 3/15/2023


    – Sweet.Cream.Pancakes- the best!
    – Service is usually good and the waitress are nice at times a little slow, no big deal.
    – Enormous portions of food!
    – They have not washed their carpets in a while and it has a distinctive smell with is unpleasant
    Order their pancakes! I would go back for breakfast

  • 2/7/2023

    I was so excited when a Black Bear Diner opened locally as this is a chain I’ve seen in other states and watched, eagerly awaiting one to open closer to home so that I could finally commit to try it. Black Bear exceeded my expectations in some ways but also needs room to improve.

    We all know I’m a sucker and round up when it comes to reviews. Black Bear Diner is a solid 3.5 stars all day long but since I can’t do halves I bumped up. Im mindful though as I don’t want to mislead my yelp friends so I’ll make sure to go into detail for upgrades.
    We came in for dinner on a weeknight and the restaurant was dead (for me in a good way). No hassle getting a table and it was calm and quiet inside which is what I needed after a long work day. Inside probably six tables were filled and one table outside, slow night.
    1. The staff here are super friendly and welcoming. Probably the highlight of eating here is just how nice everyone is. Seemed like a good working environment as everyone had smiles on their faces and were nice.
    2. Clean restaurant and I love a good family friendly theme for a diner. Lots of black bear decor and Merch at the front. Seemed very kid friendly and well kept as we came for dinner and everywhere was spotless clean. Cute little bar top diner area and plenty of comfortable booths.
    3. Super extensive menu with a million different combinations to choose from. If you struggle with too many options this spot might be a challenge (in a good way). Everything looked good and it was so hard to pick between breakfast, lunch and dinner items. We gave in and ordered breakfast for dinner but I liked and appreciated the many options.
    1. The food was all 50/50 which is why I think they land at more of a 3 star restaurant (but again I’m nice and rounding up a little on account of the service and cleanliness). I ordered a breakfast plate and the spicy Italian sausage was the best bite on the plate! Yum! The scrambled eggs were also good but average.
    The food items that were meh were the hash browns and biscuit. The hash browns had that good exterior crust but were kinda mushy and meh on the inside. Also my biscuit was very hard and stale. Probably my fault for ordering a biscuit during after hours and I know there not going to freshly bake one biscuit at 6pm but it was a bummer the biscuit really wasn’t that fresh. The bottom was rock hard so I just kind of ate around it and the top.
    2. A little pricey for what you get. I would say the portion size wasn’t bad but I wouldn’t normally pay $18-$20 a plate for some simple breakfast items, especially if only half of the breakfast items were good.
    I definitely want to come back to try a dinner dish and give them another go. My visit wasn’t perfect but the service and some tasty bites helped seal the deal that they are worth a revisit. I am definitely curious what my fellow yelpers think and if you have any specific dish recommendations shoot them my way as I plan to come back eventually for a redo.

  • 12/24/2022

    Very cute cabin style diner. Reminds me of Big Bear. Our party of 4 went on a Saturday around 10am and we were seated right away. The service was good and quick. Prices are a little high but they give a lot of food. Our party had breakfast chicken fried steak and eggs and the California eggs Benny. Everyone enjoyed their food and all said they’d come back again. They have pastries and pies, I also saw slices of cake and berry cobbler. There’s also a cute little souvenir spot at the front desk.

    Bathrooms were clean also.
    Our bill was $150 for 4 breakfasts. We also had mimosas. I definitely want to try their pies

  • 2/2/2023

    My favorite restaurants serve breakfast all day. Therefore, Black Bear Diners are winners, and I was happy to see Ventura added to their locations.

    I ordered their smaller breakfast, which was huge, with the only difference being a two egg versus three egg omelet. The omelet was fluffy, cheesy, and tasty. My husband ate some of my ample portion of hash browns because they were too good to resist, and the toast was nicely toasted. The handicap entrance access is better than most places.

  • 5/15/2023

    This place was quick to be seated, friendly staff and food made quick and fresh.

    We had the Volcano and French toast cinnamon roll with a side of cornbread. The servings are big portions and tasted good. It’s rare that everything was good anywhere I’ve gone.
    Great place to go with the variety of options and the overall experience. A little pricy but for the portions, it’s understandable. One plate could technically feed two people.

    Business owner information

    Black Bear D.


    Thank you so much for your kind words, Susan. We really appreciate you taking the time out to share your experience with us. Keep Feeding Your Inner Bear!

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