The Kerouac Diner Menu and Recipes
Diane di Prima Specials

Kerouac Float

Four or more gallons of cheap red wine
Mix in ample measures of gastric juice and angelic prose
Bake at 98.6 degrees until done.

(Serves all.)

-by Hammond Guthrie



Kerouac's yellow cornmeal Johnny cakes
Snyder's buckwheat pancakes (lumberjack syrup)
Lonesome Traveller breakfast (new!)
Snyder's slumgullion (scrambled eggs and potatoes)
Eggs (howeverwhichway you wantem)
Henri Cru's scrambled eggs
Sliced ham
L.A. donuts
Desolation Angels special


Desolation Peak raspberry jello
Hectors diced jellos (mint, strawberry, peach, cherry)
Hectors huge green salads
Hectors cottage cheese
Hectors egg salad
Hectors vast baked apples
Hectors plums and grapes
Burroughs' berries with sugar


Burroughs' caviar on saltines with squeeze of lemon
Burroughs' pate
Kerouac's pate de porc gras
Kerouac's cortons (pate de maison)
Snyder's peanuts & raisins
Kerouac's peanut butter, prunes, and raisins
Snyder's New England beans w/ molasses and onions
Snyder's Chinese seaweed
Ry-Krisp crackers
Sharp Cheddar cheese wedges
Snyder's puffball mushrooms in bacon fat


Home fries
Big Sur roasted potatoes and spam


Christine's biscuits (Dharma Bums)
Christine's homemade brown bread
Desolation Peak's rye flour muffin


Neal Cassady hamburg
Beef pastrami
Hectors cold ham & Swiss cheese
Dharma Bums nutted cheese on whole wheat
On the Road bologna
Dharma Bums salami
Carolyn Cassady's jelly sandwich


Kerouac's green pea soup
Potato soup
Henri Cru's chicken or turkey consomme




Gabrielle's tortierres (pork pies)
Gabrielle's ragouts de boulettes (pork meatball stew with carrots)
Hectors roast loin of pork
Old Union Oyster House's pork chops
Bridgeport pork chops and baked potatoes
Oklahoma roast pork and yams
Rucksack pork and beans
Skylark knockwurst and beans
Carolyn Cassady's hickory smoked ham
Tucson campfire t-bone steak
Hectors roast sirloin of beef
Hectors stuff'd pepper
Jack's Star Cafe short ribs of beef with candied yams
Desolation Peak casserole
Rucksack-pot fried chicken with cheese and bread
Hectors boiled chicken
Hectors stuff'd spring chicken
Bridgeport mountain trout
Forest of Arden fried shrimp
Hectors cold fish
Hectors herrings
Wild game or fowl (seasonal)
Fresh fish (seasonal)
Duck la Orange
Mexico City shishkabob
Hectors baked breast of lamb
Desolation Angels pan-fried chow mein
Sun Heung Hung's shrimp in brown sauce
Sun Heung Hung's curried chicken
Sun Heung Hung's sweet and sour spare ribs
Kerouac's rice with sweet and sour sauce
Carolyn Cassady pizza (slice or whole)
Skylark Italian spaghetti
Desolation Peak spaghetti


Buddhist Hershey bar
Buddhist vanilla ice-cream cone
Snyder's rucksack chocolate pudding
Bridgeport blueberry pie
On the Road apple pie a la mode
Christine's cookies
Forest of Arden strawberry pie
Kerouac's banana split
Burroughs' rhubarb pie


Ginsberg fresh-squeezed orange juice
Rich mad milk
Snyder's Chinese tea
Poorboy of red wine
Poorboy of tokay
Bridgeport Muscatel
Calexico Tequila
Whisky pint
Bourbon pint
Beer (ask to see menu)

 Diane di Prima Specials*

Clams on a half shell
Roast duck
Filet Mignon
Salad, mushrooms, asparagus
Hot rolls
Chablis, vin Rose
Italian pastry
Shrimp and wild rice in cream
Potatoes in tomato sauce ("menstrual pudding")

*The Diane di Prima specials are from her book Dinners and Nightmares (published 1998 by Last Gasp of San Francisco, with a foreword by Robert Creeley).


Below are some recipes that either are shown in books or that people have sent to me. Thanks to Patricia Elliot for sharing some of William Burroughs' favorites, to Adrien Begrand for helping me find recipes and food descriptions in Kerouac's novels, and to Marie K. for Burroughs' Mexico City shish-ka-bob eating experience. If you have other menu items or recipes, feel free to send them in.

Big Sur Roast Potatoes and Spam
Potatoes wrapped in foil and thrown on the fire, and coffee, and hunks of Spam roasted on a spit, and applesauce and cheese, from Big Sur

Burroughs' Rhubarb Pie
Filling: two cups of rhubarb, 3/4 cup of sugar, 4 tbls of flour, one egg yolk, from Patricia Elliot.

Desolation Angels Breakfast Special
Cold roast beef with Dutch sugar powdered raisin bread, followed by the usual bacon and eggs and pot of coffee, from Desolation Angels.

Desolation Peak Casserole
Marvelous pot of turnip greens, carrots, roast beef, noodles, and spices, from Desolation Angels.

Desolation Peak Spaghetti
Sauce: 3 cans tomato paste
12 garlic cloves
half teaspoon oregano
onions (from Desolation Angels).

Henri Cru's Scrambled Eggs
Mix six scrambled eggs with a quarterpound of butter and cheese and spices, from Desolation Angeles.

Kerouac's Green Pea Soup
Two packages of Lipton Green Pea Soup
Salt & pepper
Couple of envelopes of dried pea soup into a pot of water with fried bacon, fat and all, and stirred till boiling, from Dharma Bums.

Kerouac's Rice with Sweet and Sour Sauce
I make a crazy Chinese sweet and sour sauce on the hot stove, compounded of turnip greens, sauerkraut, honey, molasses, red wine vinegar, pickled beet juice, sauce concentrate (very dark and bitter), from Desolation Angels.

Kerouac's Yellow Cornmeal Johnny Cakes
Yellow corn meal, chopped onions, salt & pepper, and tablespooning out into sizzling corn oil, turning over to brown both sides of each cake, from Dharma Bums.

Lonesome Traveller Breakfast
Best prepared for 6:45 a.m. Coffee - '[B]oil water... throw some coffee in, stir it, French style, slowly... ...make my raisin toast by sitting it on a little wire I'd especially bent to place over the hotplate... ...the toast crackled up... I spread the margarine on the still red hot toast and it would crackle and sink in golden, among burnt raisins and this was my toast.- Then two eggs gently fried in soft margarine in my.... frying pan - the eggs slowly fluffed in there and swelled from butter steams and I threw garlic salt on top... when they were ready... I spread them out on top of my already prepared potatoes... boiled in small pieces and then mixed with the bacon I'd already fried in small pieces, kind of raggely mashed bacon potatoes, with eggs on top steaming, and on the side lettuce, with peanut butter dab nearby on side.' Eat. '...hustle out into the fog of the flow... to work ...the train is leaving.' From 'The Railroad Earth' in Lonesome Traveller. Thanks to Nelson Liddle, High School English Teacher, Denny High School in Scotland, for submitting this fine recipe.

Pate de Porc Gras
2 pounds of ground Boston pork butt (with all the fat)
2 onions
2 garlics
teaspoon dry mustard
Simply immerse the ground pork butt till water just covers it, in pot, with onions & garlic chopped in, and salt and pepper, and dry mustard. Let simmer slowly (say, 5 hours). Spoon & level into bowls; chill bowls in ice box. Next day, use as sandwich spread on crackers (preferably good French Bread)--from letter to Jacqueline Stephens, late December 1961, Selected Letters: Jack Kerouac, 1957-1969.

Note: All the menu items come directly from passages found in Kerouac books. You guess which ones if you like! I didn't mark them all, and could go back and find them, but if you're curious, here's a hint: most of these came from On the Road, Dharma Bums, Visions of Cody, Big Sur, and Desolation Angels. I began this project with the best of intentions (thinking I could get every single reference of food listed in all my books, but that's an ongoing project). I realized just how often Kerouac mentioned food in his books, and why not? He loved to eat. However, if you see that I've missed something important, and would like to send me another menu suggestion or recipe, just send it in, along with the source, and I'd be glad to add to the diner's menu, crediting you.