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Best Traditional Diner in Westchester

  • j
  • Joy Posner May 7, 2004 02:01 PM

My husband and I are looking to go out for a really good traditional diner dinner. Any recomendations in Central to Southern Westchester?

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  1. If you are willing to go a little further, Pelham Bay Diner is my all-time favorite Diner. You wont be disappointed. I always have a dilemma deciding what to get, but its never a wrong decision. The problem is I absolutely love the Cobb Salad, its outrageous. Fresh greens, real bacon, avocado and cheese and endive and chicken and eggs and tomatoes great dressing especially balsamic all in a tortilla shell. I always want to get something else and everything else Ive had is great. Really great Calamari, burgers, Chicken Francese. You wont be sorry. On Saturday they sell monster Challah loaves. I dine here almost every time I am in the Bronx and its worth the trip

    16 Replies
    1. re: Val

      Where in the Pelham Bay area is the diner?

      1. re: RichK

        Sorry about that, not used to being answered! lol. It is 1920 East Gunhill Road, off 95. Did I mention the Salmon Burger? Oh I love this place, Im due for a trip

      2. re: Val

        Have you tried City Limits in White Plains? It's right near the Westchester Mall. I haven't been there in years but have heard good things.

        1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

          To me, it's a Livanos restaurant pretending to be a diner. Only okay, overpriced food.

          1. re: dolores

            Yeah, it's probably been about 10 years or more since I've been there.

          2. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

            I do not see City Limits as a traditional diner per se, but an upscale version...I believe their original idea for City Limits came from the popular Buckhead Group in Atlanta...

            1. re: gutreactions

              Agreed, it's not what you'd call traditional. In my opinion the best diner in the entire tri-state area is EverReady in Hyde Park. It was recently featured on the Food Network. They make everything in house include a full bakery in the basement. It's right on Rt. 9 in Hyde Park.

              1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                It is good, almost identical menu and food at the Daily Planet Diner on Rt 55 in Lagrangeville.

                1. re: chowdom

                  Are they owned by the sample people? I think the owners of EverReady also own Coyote Grill and Double O's. I'll have to checkout Daily Planet.

                  1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                    I don't think so, I didn't see them listed as an affiliate on the Daily Planet website. They also have a fabulous bakery onsite.

                    1. re: chowdom

                      cool, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the advice.

                      1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                        Your very welcome, enjoy!

                  2. re: chowdom

                    Their linzer tart cookies are excellent.

                    I also like the 'feel' of the Daily Planet diner.

                    Good recommendation.

                    1. re: dolores

                      We always take home an almond cake that is made with almond paste, the only thing I have had that was remotely that good was something I picked up in a bakery when I was in Denmark.

              2. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                Totally agree with Dolores on City Limits. I don't get the appeal.

                1. re: laylag

                  I think I only ate there once and it was at least 10 years ago.

            2. we happen to like both the Port Chester Coach diner and the White Plains Diner. The other two that we like are the Mount Parnasse diner and their sister location (which I can't remember the name of off the top of my head).

              Port Chester Coach Diner is right off of 287 in Port Chester, the White Plains Coach diner is across the street from the Westchester and the other two diners are located - one is on central avenue in scarsdale on the east side of the street (I'll give better info when I drive past there) and the other is on the hill overlooking central avenue in Yonkers. If you take the sprain - you take the jackson avenue exit and head towards central ave and it will be on your right a few miles off the sprain (and right off of central ave).

              3 Replies
              1. re: KarenNYC

                Port chester and White plains coach are horrible.

                1. re: west29

                  I second that about the Port Chester Diner.. I have blocked out all of the food, because it was so awful. The only thing I remember is that we wont go back there again.

                  1. re: scharffenberger

                    We used to call the Port Chester Coach the "Roach" when I lived there. Course that didn't stop me from hanging out there nearly every night. The cheeseburger and gravy fries were actually pretty good.

              2. one of my all time fave diners is the star diner in white plains, at 66 1/2 e. post road. it's more like a greasy spoon, and the food isnt great or anything, but the eggs, home fries and the mac n cheese on fridays (!) always hit the spot and the service is always on point. for goodness sakes, my mom used to go to this diner w/ my grandfather when she was a little girl! it's in a trailer, so it only has maybe half a dozen tables, but it's like stepping back in time. also, if you go, dont miss the bread pudding, it's the best ive ever had...

                9 Replies
                1. re: erika

                  How would you rate their breakfast? I'm still looking for a good diner french toast and pancakes that are light and fluffy as opposed to the lead weights I've found up here...

                  1. re: KarenNYC

                    To be honest, the one time I had the pancakes it wasn't the best but it might have been an off day. Everyone that I know that's gotten the french toast loved it!

                  2. re: erika

                    I agree, this is the BEST diner in Westchester. It's where the Cops eat, so you know it's good. Great atmosphere, fast and excellent diner food. They serve grits too!

                    1. re: erika

                      Best diner EVER. I disagree that the food isn't great, though. It's standard diner greasy spoon stuff and I think that it's done perfectly, since that's all they are going for. No frills. The burgers are solid (the grilled cheeseburger is AMAZING) and the scrambled eggs with cheese is, without question, the best I've ever had.

                      p.s. If you're ever there and want dessert, try the chocolate pie!!! It's one of the top two desserts I've ever had. You will NOT be disappointed!

                      1. re: erika

                        I second the Star diner. They use real butter on the toast (unlike practically everywhere else) they cook the bacon to order, the home fries are yummy and not just starchy plate-filler. PLUS, it's house in a genuine 1930s streamlined, bullet-shaped lunch counter. i love the Star.

                        1. re: erika

                          I, too, love the Star Diner. It hasn't been mauved or supersized,
                          a true dining car type diner. The cops eat there, need I say more?

                          1. re: russrobin

                            I still haven't gotten to the Star Diner.

                            Now that the Thruway Diner is closing, I'll have to seek it out.

                            Sad. One less diner in Westchester.

                            1. re: dolores

                              Dolores, is the Thruway Diner still in a closing mode?...I heard the deal may not happen and that the sisters of the original owner will be operating it...

                              1. re: gutreactions

                                Last I read, the sisters 'tried' to back out due to the protests, but were not able.

                        2. I can't wait to try the Star and the Pelham Bay Diners. I can ask 'till I am blue in the face for extra cheese at the White Plains Diner and El Dorado and Port Chester Diner, and my omelette STILL comes back....normal amount of cheese.

                          We usually end up at the North Castle Diner on Route 22 in North White Plains. Again, SOSO but I like the 'ambience'.

                          As for dinner, Joy, I have no idea. There used to be a diner near McDonald's in Mamaroneck that would give an obscene amount of food for dinner, and it was not half bad. And the parking was free. I doubt that it's still there, it's probably now a high rise.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: dolores

                            Do you mean Nautilus on Boston Post Road? If so, still there. Haven't had dinner there, wasn't impressed with breakfast so haven't returned.

                            1. re: laylag

                              We had lunch at the Nautilus diner last August while we were looking at houses in the area. It was very mediocre.

                              1. re: laylag

                                The Nautilus is nothing special. But it is open 24 Hours a day!

                              2. re: dolores

                                The service and many other things are sub-par at The Coach diners (WP and PC). I once had to argue with the waiter for five minutes about how I didn't order the "SUPER" burger that he brought me. Once I ordered a hot dog, for some reason. This link shows you what I got and how they presented it to me.

                                http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c19...

                                AND it was $2.75.

                                Most of the time their food is pretty solid and good quality, I'll give them that.

                              3. Is Thru Way Diner in New Rochelle [just off I 95] still around? Larchmont Diner? College Diner in New Rochelle, across from Iona College? Moved from area in 2001 after spending my life in the area. Miss diners...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: DebitNM

                                  The ThruWay will be closing, a Wallgreens is going in.

                                2. ThruWay Diner is still there, yes, as is the Larchmont Diner. I forgot about them, they are one of the few that listen to my request for extra cheese. There is also the Mamaroneck Diner near Harbor Island.

                                  Not sure on the College Diner, I think there is college housing there now. So much is torn down so quickly these days that I forget what was there before. I was bemused to see that Grants is now a church. It will be the next century before downtown New Rochelle is decent re stores.

                                  Yes, laylag, Nautilus, that was it. Now, it was years and years ago that I had dinner there, so I have no idea if it's still okay. And it was, make no mistake, only okay.

                                  sweet buttah, that is hilarious -- how clever of you to take a picture!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: dolores

                                    Ate at the Larchmont diner once, dinner. My husband thought it was okay but I thought the food was needlessly greasy and tasteless and even worse, the place, bathrooms included, were less than clean. That totally skeeved me out. A greasy spoon is one thing but this was just a dirty diner and a less than mediocre one at that.

                                    1. re: laylag

                                      I agree with you completely about the Larchmont Diner. The thumbs are down!

                                    2. re: dolores

                                      I agree about downtown New Rochelle; my family had a business there for decades.Main Street was never the same after Bloomingdales left, Macy's/Mall opened. We closed the store when we just weren't getting the business. We had many loyal customer's but it was hard to thrive when the city seemed to be dying.

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        Not called the College Diner but it's still there, still so-so.

                                      2. I just saw this post pop back up and I want to revise my earlier post from 2004 - The White Plains Coach and Port Chester are just eh... the service has gone down hill as has the attitude and the food. They are both good in a pinch but I'd pass and go to the Rye Ridge Deli (the service also stinks but the food is at least good). The Fountain on Central Ave in hartsdale is also quite good but for a true diner I'd say go to the El Dorado in White Plains.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: KarenNYC

                                          I thought El Dorado was in Irvington(?, right by 287). Wait, is that El Dorado West? I always kind of liked El Dorado West. Which is the one everyone is hating on?

                                          1. re: sweet_buttah

                                            We used to go to the El Dorado all the time and you know what? The food is really quite bad. It ain't diner food, which is good food home made, but Y2K diner food, which is basically huge plates of crappy food prepared by people who couldn't care less. And the men's room is the single most disgusting toilet I've ever seen in my life, EVERY time I went into it.

                                            Got smart, and started going to Bellas Restaurant on Broadway off Main in Tarrytown. Not an authentic diner building, but it has been there for 25 years, run by the same father-son team, Greek gents. The son of original owner Gus is John, and he is a sweet guy who knows how to cook and cares about every single thing that leaves his kitchen. Talk to him about his preparations, and you'll be surprised about what he knows and what he does. Nothing fancy, but everything you would consider diner food. Looks like an old diner with 8 stools and about 40 seats -- all booths. The staff are also sweet folks who will take care of you. The best breakfast in Westchester, far as I'm concerned. Omlettes, eggs over, bacon, sausage, pancakes, challah french toast, fugeddaboudit! For dinner, his fish over mixed greens are great (salmon and swordfish), I like the meatloaf with mashed and gravy, I like the Reuben, burgers are very good (try the jumbo 12-oz -- it's a hand-made patty grilled beautifully). Open faced sandwiches, all sorts of stuff, and basically all good. Moussaka! Don't forget the spinach with garlic and olive oil. Give it a try.

                                            1. re: woodburner

                                              Woodburner is on the mark about Bellas in Tarrytown. Bellas doesn't look like much from the outside, but the warmth and personality of the place are bar none. Excellent breakfasts at a reasonable price.

                                              1. re: triplesowchow

                                                Actually, it looks even worse from the inside LOL... but if you like a nice old fashioned mug of good coffee... and properly griddle cooked eggs... bacon, excellent sausage, home fries, etc... slide into one of those old booths and go for it. Not cheap, by the way, but fair and worth it.

                                        2. I'm curious about that too. I never found the El Dorado any worse than the White Plains or Larchmont or North Castle diners. They all seem cut out with the same cookie cutter to me. Don't they plan it that way so they all get business?

                                          1. Where is El Dorado diner in white plains. Is it the one on mammaroneck avenue close to CVS? That diner seemed classy im not sure if it still around or how its doing though.

                                            1. The El Dorado I am thinking of is on Route 119 in Elmsford (or Tarrytown), I believe.

                                              I believe the diner you are thinking of is now a bank, and heaven knows we all need more banks, right?

                                              1. I didn't post this earlier because it's a mix of a traditional diner and something else but since you didn't get many recommendations I'm going to suggest the Mamaroneck Diner. It's unconventional in certain respects but the food is generally quite good. We don't usually order the "dinners" for dinner so can't speak to those very much. However, the panini sandwiches are yummy, omelets are excellent (don't love their home fries though - very large chunky kind), pancakes are eh. Meatloaf on panini and otherwise is really good, very good soups, particularly love the Tuscan tomato and eggplant when they have it. Salads are very good. Service is friendly and accommodating. Atmosphere is nice.

                                                They don't have the traditional diner menu that goes on for pages and pages although there is still a large variety to choose from. Their burgers are good and they offer turkey and veggie options. I haven't tried their greek stuff except for gyro which was eh. Pita is always fresh and good but the meat not so much. They do have moussaka and the like. Other dinner items - specials, pastas, fish, pork chops etc. always look really good on other people's plates and portion size is very generous. It's our "go to" diner in the area.

                                                1. Yes, laylag, this was a good question. I simply can't come up with a place that isn't the same as any other diner. I know El Dorado was chosen by Zagat's or something like that as 'outstanding' but I never found it to be anything different. That's why I am curious if those here who reallllly don't like El Dorado mean the one on Route 119.

                                                  I really consider all diners the same and seriously think they plan it that way. Then again, I tend to agree with Fox Mulder. That said, I like some more than others for their homeiness. If the waitresses are older and wear rubber soled shoes, I like the place. I don't like the Thruway Diner for their impersonality but in a pinch they are fine for ice cream. I like the North Castle the best but Larchmont is one of my favorites too. I don't particularly like PortChester or Mamaroneck, but that is just me.

                                                  I dislike City Limits and like the Daily Planet somewhere in the wilds of Dutchess (I think).

                                                  The Landmark in Greenwich has some amazing waffles but you have to put up with yuppiedom on weekends.

                                                  I love diners and would like to try all those featured on the Food Network.

                                                  1. i find the mt. kisco diner (not the bedford diner) to be excellent and is always my go to diner. their soups are great, salads great, and grilled cheese sandwich (my benchmark for diners) is always spot on. very good service too.

                                                    as for white plains, i dont think any of the diners there are particularly good. what i would suggest, however, is to go to the corner nook cafe on main street (i think) right next to the city center. i used to go there practically every morning. it's basically a luncheonette. they serve fantastic eggs and pancakes and the muffins are baked in house. and you can't beat there $4.50 breakfast special of eggs, toast, homefries (delicious), bacon, oj and coffee. highly recommended.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jon

                                                      Yes on the Corner Nook Cafe, and their apple fritters were (haven't been there in a loooong time) to die for.

                                                      I think they're across from where Sears used to be though, whatever that is now.

                                                    2. I am terribly confused. Are there two El Dorado's? Which is the good one and where is it. Thanks

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Sambossanova

                                                        I think I solved the mystery. There are two other threads and someone thought the El Dorado was a rip off and someone else came on to say they liked it....

                                                        Diners in Upper Westchester
                                                        Westchester Diners and Breakfast Spots

                                                        And it is the El Dorado I am thinking of, on Route 119.

                                                        1. re: Sambossanova

                                                          There are two El Dorados.
                                                          One is called "El Dorado West." That's the only one I've ever been to. It's just north of Irvington on Rt. 9. Right off of 287/87.
                                                          I believe that the other one is just called "El Dorado." I think I drove past it once. I imagine that's the one that dolores speaks of.

                                                        2. Fountain Diner in Hartsdale. Yum!

                                                          1. yes - there are two El Dorado's - one on in Greenburgh and the other in Tarryton/Irvington. I personally like the onen 119 better than the White Plains Coach You can find parking(a major bonus), the staff is polite and available - whereas at WPC they ignore you. However the food is about the same - diner fare.

                                                            are both Mamaronec Diner and the Corner Nook Cafein downtown White Plains?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: KarenNYC

                                                              Dolores is correct. Mamaroneck Diner is on Boston Post Road just about a hundred yards north of the start of Mamaroneck Avenue and Harbor Island.

                                                            2. I think the Mamaroneck Diner is near Harbor Island on the Post Road.

                                                              The Corner Nook Cafe is in downtown White Plains.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: dolores

                                                                Both Port Chester Diner and White Plains diner are ok if there is nothing else or if you are in a hurry. I try not to go to these two because they charge for Refills. And I believe they were Both 2.25 per cup.

                                                                This is simply uncalled for. Turkey club with a soda plus refill and tip was almost $17

                                                                Mount Parnese diner which is now Mount Parnese Cafe and has moved to the old Central Square Cafe building is another one I would stay away from. When they were at their old location they were good, efficient and reasonable. At their new location they are trying to be some kind of Cafe slash soho something that is not working. The prices are ridicules the food is subpar. Even there weekend buffet is nothing to brag about. I went to the new mount Parnes once when they opened and gave them another shot 6 months later and I wasn't pleased both times.

                                                                If you are on Central Avenue. The fountain diner near four corners is absolutely fantastic. Place is a litle bit small but the meals are always above average. And the decor is really nice. Great people that work there as well

                                                                If you’re in Yonkers I would recommend the Raceway diner. Simply fantastic. Thornwood and Pleasantville diners are also good if you are in mid Westchester.

                                                                Mount Kisco diner is good as well but severely overpriced. Bedford diner is hit or miss as is the Yorktown diner. Landmark diner in Ossining is always fantastic since the new owners took over 3 or 4 years ago and is actually one of my top two favorites along side with the Fountain. At the landmark they just seem to do everything better.

                                                                Both Throughway diners and College diner which is now mirage diner are both good. I prefer The Mirage out of both of them. But anyway.

                                                                As far as the Eldorado ordeal. These two diners Elmsford and Tarrytown are easily forgettable. They are convenient to get to but that is about the entire positive’s I have to say about these two

                                                                1. re: west29

                                                                  I agree with the Fountain Diner in Hartsdale. It is my kids favorite place to eat.
                                                                  I always get a garden omelette which are made chock full of fresh veggies. Delish!

                                                              2. I really like the Mamaroneck Diner. They have tried to make their decor more upscale and have trimmed the menu a bit over the years, but you can still get old favorites that are not on the menu if you ask.

                                                                A few people here mentioned the Nautilus. It used to be much better. Now it's bland and forgettable. They do have a full bar though.

                                                                I had a mother's day brunch at Mt. Parnassus. It was HORRIBLE. Do not go there. It's not even clean.

                                                                I like the Pelham Bay Diner as well, but it's a little inconvenient for me.

                                                                Port Chester and White Plains are both really about what you order. WP Diner has really good service most of the time though. Waitstaff is usually friendly (although they can be horrible when they're not). If I had to choose one over the other, I'd say WP is better than PC.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                  Well, do you go for burgers and sandwiches. What do you recommend ordering?

                                                                  1. re: scharffenberger

                                                                    Mamaroneck Diner has surprisingly pretty good pizza, great Monte Cristos (but you have to ask for them, and make sure you like french toast because they give you extra pieces), and some very nice full-meal salads. Their desserts have gotten better over the years too. I love the burgers are WP diner.

                                                                2. A little farther north...but the Blue Dolphin Diner in Katonah is an old standby and great. Haven't been there in years, but I'm sure its as good as ever...

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: cssatlantic

                                                                    blue dolphin diner is great, but be warned that at night, it's an italian restaurant, not a diner (although the food is pretty good at night).

                                                                    1. re: jon

                                                                      Isn't it an Italian restaurant all the time? I haven't been there in a few years and had only been there at night, but I never saw any evidence or read anything that said it still served typical diner food.

                                                                      1. re: shellyesq

                                                                        I think you are right, shellyesq: the Blue Dolphin serves Italian lunches as well. Many years back, the "diner" in Katonah moved out of the railroad car, and resurfaced down the street, in a corner spot now known as the Katonah Restaurant. Although my daughter is addicted to the cheese fries there, I don't find much allure in the food at the Katonah Restaurant. (BTW, I also like the Italian food at the Blue Dolphin, but that's off the subject of this string.)

                                                                        1. re: NickM

                                                                          I know this is a late reply, but I couldn't pass up the chance to comment on the Katonah Restaurant. I started going there about 15 and some years ago and I fell in love with that cheap diner atmosphere... something about those crazy waitresses and a chicken cutlet sandwich with those chunky fries... I know I won't find something that defines the word "diner" for me any better than that.
                                                                          Since then I know the prices have gone up and most likely the quality has gone down, but at least those crazy waitresses are still there!

                                                                  2. fyi: for those of you who are new to Westchester County, the Pelham Bay Diner is not located in Westchester; it's in the Bronx (just south of Pelham in Westchester).

                                                                    1. I agree with the negative comments about Mt. Parnasse. Had dinner there recently and was very disappointed. I really like City Limits for dinner, but have found breakfast to be so-so. However, they do have the best chocolate pudding that I've ever had.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: criticsatsmall

                                                                        It's no small task for a diner to have to work harder but Mt. Parnasse has blown it bigtime, it's almost like there is no relation to the original based on my own experience...and once again, I must remind diner-hownders that City Limits is not so much a diner as a version of the Buckhead Group in Atlanta (Buckhead Diner) who originally started the idea of an upscale diner with upscale food...its like comparing your average tavern to Gramercy Tavern or (may I say) the new TapHouse in Tuckahoe...a 'gastro-pub' plus. A relation, the same species, but not the same animal...

                                                                      2. My favorite diner in lower westchester is probably the most hidden one you can possible find and you may have driven past it a thousand times on Central Park Ave without even knowing it. The name is Central Plaza Diner and it is located at 1686 Central Park Ave.. It is in a small strip mall and is on the corner. near the entrance to tuckahoe road and 100.

                                                                        Everything is good there, especially the breakfast menu. When you walk in, you will think there is no way you are in 2008 anylonger. This is a CASH only establishment. It is usually packed during normal eating hours and you may have to wait for a table -but is well worth the wait.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: noketchupplease

                                                                          Is this across from buy buy baby? (see my frame of reference...)

                                                                        2. My fav diners are the Coach in Portchester and the Tremont East diner by Lehman HS down in the good ol boogey down! They are always the best food and always consistant with how good the food is!!!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Maroya

                                                                            I've lived in Westchester for almost 20 years and have eaten at most of these places I still say Landmark Diner in Ossining beats them all when it comes to food and service