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MyFox Hot List HB Sugar Shack best breakfast for 2009 and 2010

Sugar Shack Cafe history

The Sugar Shack Cafe was established in 1967 at 213 Main Street, the same location where it sits at today.

The Sugar Shack was established by Pat and Mary Williams. The Williams were long time Huntington Beach residents, with four daughters and one son.

One day they were walking down Main Street and saw a for sale sign on a small cafe. Mary thought to herself - this will be the perfect place for my children to learn the value of money and how to work hard. They bought the restaurant and raised their children working there.

The cafe sat 22 people and had only inside dining. In 1979 The Williams decided they wanted to sell the business and move out of town. They offered it to their children. All of them turned it down except for Michele Turner (Williams second born) and her husband Tim Turner. The rest is history.

At first the Turner's added two front tables to the outside dining area. The Sugar Shack Cafe has now grown to 10 tables at the front dining area, 16 tables at the back dining area and 34 seats at the inside dining area.

Michele Turner has always worked behind the counter taking orders and making sure everyone is happy. Michele has been know as the "Mother Theresa" of Main Street as she is always there to help out someone down on their luck, or just there an open ear and an open heart.

Michele and Tim Turner have 3 grown children, Holly, Ryan and Timmy that help run the business now. These young adults also wait tables and help out with the day to day operations.

Many regulars come to The Sugar Shack everyday, sometimes twice a day because they feel at home. They say that it is their kitchen too, where good friends meet and eat!

Reviews Page1

Article from the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER September 06, 2009

Sugar Shack a Main Street tradition
Bill Borden visits the popular downtown mainstay Breakfast sandwich at the Sugar Shack By: Bill Borden
Photo: Curt Seeden
The Sugar Shack 213 ½ Main Street
Huntington Beach 714-536-0355

The Orange County Register article text

Breakfast sandwich: Get your day started with an egg, bacon, tomato and cheese sandwich served on rye toast and a bowl of fruit at the Sugar Shack.

What's on the menu: The Shack is primarily a breakfast and lunch place, with any kind of wake-you-up egg dish you have a craving for and possibly the best burgers in Huntington Beach. You will find every manner of sandwich here prepared exactly as you like it.

On Wednesdays, this downtown favorite makes an exception and stays open for dinner, serving its special "Turkey and all the Fixin's." There is a special lunch meal every day, and it is the biggest bargain on Main.

Roast Beef, Meat Loaf, Turkey, Hamburger Steak and Baked Chicken are featured weekdays.

Recommendations:My favorite breakfast here is an egg, bacon, tomato and cheese sandwich served on rye toast. For lunch I like the tuna sandwich and with anything here, a bowl of fresh fruit is just right.

On Wednesdays, it's the Turkey special - fresh roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, dressing and cranberry sauce.

Go early and eat outside if it's sunny or for the real Sugar Shack experience, sit at the counter inside.

What makes this place different:Michele Turner and her family have been operating the landmark eatery since 1967, and they really care about every customer. Michele gets to the kitchen before the sun rises and starts preparing the daily special. If you need a cup of coffee before anything else is open, chances are that her cooks and she will be there.

You will usually see the same wait staff here year after year. Teens start working at the Sugar Shack part-time in high school and stay until they are bringing their children in for Michele to spoil.

Reviews Page2

Read the HB Independent Review

Published Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:14 PM PST Restaurant Review: Sugar Shack’s breakfast worth the wait

Another Sugar Shack sandwich to love By: John Reger

Huntington Beach Independent article text

Of all the breakfast places in downtown Huntington Beach, Sugar Shack is probably the It has been family-owned since 1967, and Michelle Turner has kept the little café thriving with her deep association with the surfers. One publication once wrote, “There is a tradition in Huntington Beach that says that no one is a true surfer unless they have been to the Sugar Shack.”

The restaurant is next to two other places that serve breakfast, but on any day, even though the other places might have tables outside, people will wait until one becomes available at the Sugar Shack.

It is worth the wait.The food is simple yet flavorful, and there are a few surprises on the menu that shouldn’t be missed.

One of those is the surf, which is half coffee and half hot chocolate. It is a great way to spruce up a regular cup of coffee, and the whipped cream on top tasted like it was homemade.

Another is the cinnamon roll. The roll is not too sweet, which I like. It comes out warm and is not slathered in icing, so the amount of guilt is lessened when ordering it.

Though my guest was partial to the omelets, I usually look at the specials. The Michelle’s Special with grilled chicken breast, three egg whites scrambled with bell peppers, tomatoes and fruit is a fairly healthy way to start the morning, but I usually lean toward the breakfast special or the Keppler’s.

The breakfast special has two pancakes and an egg — though I swear, when scrambled, it looks like two — bacon or sausage. I like the bacon over the sausage. The sausage seems a little too cooked for my liking.

The Keppler’s is a delight, though. The three eggs scrambled on an English muffin with sliced avocado, tomato, bacon and hollandaise sauce is quite good. I like the hollandaise sauce, which is a little smoother than others I have tried.

My recent favorite special is the HSS. This is a grilled ham sandwich on sourdough bread with melted cheddar cheese and scrambled eggs.

One of the features of the restaurant that I really enjoy is that they don’t care if you alter your order. So I had American cheese instead of cheddar and asked for grilled onions. It made an already good sandwich even better. I am still trying to figure out how the scrambled eggs stay in the bread while you are eating it. I also liked the home-style spuds that are served with it. They are thin slices of potatoes deep fried and come out like chips. They were much more enjoyable than the hash browns.

The are 11 omelets, including the Main Street, which has avocado, mushrooms, onions, sprouts and cheese. The Popeye and cheese is a solid spinach omelet, and one I find interesting is the chili and cheese omelet.

The breakfast burritos are a meal in themselves but a bit pricey, with most of them nearly $8. Plus, if you want to add anything, from sour cream to mushrooms to avocado, it costs more.

I have had the pancakes and the French toast here and like both, though I am partial to the French toast.

It is lightly battered, and there are ample amounts of powered sugar on top and butter on the side. It was so good, I didn’t even need the syrup.

The patio fills up quickly, so a more relaxing option might be inside or in the back. Whenever I sit out front, I feel like I am being leered at by the people who are waiting for my table. I don’t blame them. With food this good, I would want to get to it as quickly as possible as well.

Sugar Shack Address: 213 ½ Main St., Huntington Beach Phone: (714) 536-0355 Website:

Cuisine: American
Specialty Dish: Omelets
Alcohol Served: None
Family Friendly: Yes

Credit Cards Accepted: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa
Rating: *** 1/2 out of four stars

JOHN REGER reviews local restaurants and may be contacted at or P.O. Box 2984, Seal Beach, CA 90740.

Reviews Page3 - Authentic Recipes, Food, Drinks and Travel link
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This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #127
February 2010

Sunrise in Surf City

By: Betsy Andrews Source: Saveur
Photo: Landon Nordeman artcle text

A block from the waves in Huntington Beach, surfers fill up on breakfast burritos and camaraderie.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Sugar Shack in Huntington Beach, 40 miles down the coast from LA, you're likely to find the Huntington Beach High School surfing team digging into post-practice breakfast burritos and French toast on the house. Since the days when her sons, Timmy and Ryan, were team captains, the restaurant's owner, Michele Turner, has "sponsored" young surfers, replenishing the calories they burn on the waves.

Sugar Shack Food The old-fashioned breakfast and lunch spot on the main drag of this self-styled Surf City takes its name from a 1963 song by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs ("There's a crazy little shack beyond the tracks/And everybody calls it the Sugar Shack"). Its walls are covered in memories: pieces of boards, clippings from surfing magazines, competition medals, obituaries of local kids who died in the waves, portraits of others who have worked at the restaurant.

Turner feeds nonsurfers too, many of them regulars. "One guy, Mel, has come in twice a day since we opened, in 1967," she says. "He eats half a bowl of oatmeal with raisins on the side, then a chicken sandwich for lunch."

But it's not just the homemade vegetable beef soup, Wednesday's turkey platters, or the popular Keppler's Special—a breakfast dish of scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado, and hollandaise on an English muffin named for the surfing photographer John Keppler—that lure folks to the Sugar Shack. It's the camaraderie. "You get filled up on food," says the surfing team coach, Andy Verdone, "and you get filled up on surfing gossip. Every surfer, from the world champion Kelly Slater to the little grom [young surfer] who's just starting out, has had a meal at the Shack."

Eric Ramsey was one of those groms when he started working here at the age of 15. Now, like the owner's sons—both professional surfers who don waiter's aprons at the restaurant when they're not chasing waves in Indonesia or Iceland—Ramsey, 21 and a pro himself, takes part of every year off to travel and surf. When he's home serving omelettes at the Sugar Shack, he always greets customers with the same question: "Any waves this morning?" 

Poster showing Ryan Turner and his son Colby Turner
Huntington Beach Surfers Hall of Fame link
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Ryan Turner was inducted into the Surfers' Hall of Fame on July 29, 2016.
Timmy Turner was inducted into the Surfers' Hall of Fame on August 1, 2014

Ryan Turner at the Huntington Beach Surfers Hall of Fame Ryan Turner hand prints in cement

Ryan Turner is a great surfer, mentor, big wave charger and pillar of the Huntington Beach surfing community, running the Famous Sugar Shack Restaurant that his family has owned since the 60's!

With younger brother and acclaimed surf filmmaker Timmy, life from an early age was about the beach and surfing. Part of the Huntington Beach High School surf team, Ryan enjoyed a lot of junior surf contest success, but as he got older it was travel and surfing solid barrels which focused his surfing talent.

It doesn’t matter where you put Ryan, Mexico, Canada or Indonesia the chances are he will be the man notching up the most tube time. It is this reputation for tube riding which leads to yearly invitations to the Padang Padang Cup in Bali, among the most coveted barrel riding events in the world.

He proved in 2009 that he ranked among the world’s best tube riders, losing only in the semi-final to Jamie O’Brien, a future Pipeline Masters Champion, by less than two points. Considered the “best unknown surfer in the world" by Coach Andy Verdone, Ryan is one of the top 10 backside barrel riders in the world and has proven this point again and again with his many Indonesia surfing trips.

In Mainland Mexico, Ryan also finished 3rd at Puerto during another Barrel riding event scoring a perfect 10 along the way. Sponsored by Rusty as a teenager, Ryan captained the Huntington Beach High School surf team to the NSSA Team Title. Many times he would win heats for his team riding a shortboard, longboard and Boogie Board!

He traveled around the world in High School to Australia, Hawaii, Mexico and South Africa while competing for his team. Later as an adult, he chaperoned a trip to Jeffrey's Bay for the high school team team with a young Brett Simpson on the trip.

When he isn’t getting shacked in Mexico or Indo, Ryan is back in Huntington, surfing the pier, pulling shifts in the family restaurant and hanging with his wife and family. Any traveling surfer worth their salt has come in and swapped surf stories with Ryan...over a plate of eggs with a cup of coffee on Main Street, Surf City, USA!

Timmy Turner at the Huntington Beach Surfers Hall of Fame Timmy Turner hand prints in cement

2014 Surfers’ Hall Of Fame Inductees Honored In Huntington Beach

PRESS RELEASE – HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Friday, August 1, 2014 – Against the backdrop of Surf City’s 100 Years of Surfing celebration and the 20th Anniversary of the U.S. Open of Surfing, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame inducted Timmy Turner, the filmmaker and modern-day inspiration who overcame a virulent staph infection to return to the water and his craft, and Rusty Preisendorfer, one of the industry’s most prolific and forward-thinking shapers/entrepreneurs whose iconic R-dot boards are ridden by the world’s elite surfers. Last Friday, Carissa Moore, a two-time world and U.S. Open Champion was inducted in a special ceremony to avoid conflicting with her heat in the Friday, Aug. 1 surfing competition.

All three of the new inductees now have their foot and handprints immortalized in cement for the ages in front of Huntington Surf & Sport at the corner of PCH and Main Streets. “We are stoked and honored to be here this morning to honor Timmy and Rusty. This place becomes more special with every induction,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai. “Timmy, you’ve done so much for this town and there’s a lot of love for you in this crowd. Rusty, your impact has been like dropping a stone in a pond and watching the ripples expand worldwide.” Pai added, “Timmy, you got me addicted to surfing Indo (Indonesia) while Rusty, you got me addicted to surfing Tavarua (Fiji).”

Timmy Turner: Huntington Beach’s favorite son Timmy Turner is a living miracle. Captain of his high school surf team and busboy at his family’s restaurant, The Sugar Shack, a surf trip to Indonesia at age 17 became the catalyst for a burgeoning filmmaking career. Over the span of three years and numerous trips to an uninhabited Indonesian island, Timmy documented three surfers conquering epic waves on a dangerous reef, braving the elements and struggling to survive. “Second Thoughts” won Movie of the Year at the 2004 SURFER Poll and Video Awards, putting Turner on the map.

His next film, “The Tsunami Diaries,” which documented relief efforts in Indonesia, may have contributed to an aggressive staph infection that attacked Turner’s brain in December 2005. After six different brain surgeries, losing most of his skull and spending more than a month in the intensive-care unit of Hoag Memorial Hospital, Timmy survived but was forced to recalculate his life. His next film, “Cold Thoughts,” was a tribute to his journey: hospitalization, rehab, recovery and lifestyle changes to ward off future infections, including a ban on trips to tropical climates.

“I thank God for giving me the chance to be here,” said Turner, who is married and a father to five children. “When I went to Indo, my whole world changed. Making my movies was an awesome experience, but I love Huntington Beach and am so blessed to be here.”

August 04, 2014
By Kailee Bradstreet

Sugar Shack owner and Surf Mom Michele Turner among three immortalized in Surfers’ Hall of Fame

The Sugar Shack Café on Main Street in Huntington Beach was closed all day Friday.

For a Friday during the U.S. Open of Surfing, this would normally be unthinkable. In this case, the reason for the closure was pretty great.

A stone’s throw from the much-loved restaurant, owner Michele Turner — known as the “Surf Mother of Main Street” — was being inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame celebrated its 25th anniversary with three inductees. The others to put their hands into the cement were surfer Peter Mel from Santa Cruz and surf explorer Martin Daly. Surfers’ Hall of Fame member Brett Simpson, who was inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame the day before, served as the event emcee. He and Aaron Pai, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder and HSS owner, passed microphones around so attendees could share thoughts on the Class of 2022

Inductee Michele Turner, Sugar Shack Cafe owner, inscribes her name and a message into her slab of wet cement Friday. (Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

During his remarks, Simpson called the Sugar Shack the most popular restaurant in Surf City. It’s a favorite breakfast spot for many locals, as well as surfers who are passing through.

“That’s what we’re supposed to do,” Turner said when asked about serving the community over the years. “That’s the plan. If everybody did that, we would be [in a better place].”

The words she wrote in the cement? “Always be humble, kind and giving.”

“It’s a big city, but this area is a small community,” she said. “We all take care of each other.”

Turner, who took over restaurant operations for her parents more than four decades ago, was joined Friday by her three children — Ryan, Timmy and Holly — and all 11 grandchildren. Ryan and Timmy developed into standout pro surfers themselves, and both are in the Surfers’ Hall of Fame themselves.

Timmy Turner, 41, center, shares a few words about his mother, inductee Michele Turner, during Friday’s ceremony. (Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer) Michele Turner’s husband, Tim, was a longtime city employee in charge of beach maintenance.

“She’s so well-deserving,” Ryan Turner said. “I’m proud of her and so happy to be her son. She’s just an awesome person. She always taught everything will always come back, to give. It all comes back to you, man. Me and my brother work there now, and I can’t tell you how many times I hear stories about what she has done for other people.”

The food, of course, is a big reason why the Sugar Shack has such devoted fans. It has been family-owned since 1967.

Pro surfer Corky Carroll, who has a long-running surf school in Huntington Beach, might have summed it up best.

“Who in this town doesn’t love Michele Turner?” Carroll said. “So many days I come out of the water freezing cold, and I’ve got to get a cup of coffee and some of Michele’s pancakes.

“She got this going,” he said, rubbing his tummy, to laughs from the audience. “It’s her fault. Bacon and eggs and pancakes.”

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213 1/2 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648