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Best Diners?

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  • Val Jun 8, 2006 02:10 PM
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My friends and I love friendly diner atmospheres and I want to know if you guys have any suggestions for the best diner in the city?

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  1. The Waverly is incredible. 6th ave and waverly downtown

    also, cafe 72 is a very homey place on corner of WEA and 72 on the UWS

    1 Reply
    1. re: mike

      The diner on 72nd St & WEA is to be avoided. They served me undercooked oozing pancakes and weren't one bit apologetic. The food there is simply not very good and not cooked properly. They also aren't very nice in there.

    2. I don't know a lot of diners but am an enthusiast of Townhouse, 2d Ave bet 37 & 38.

      1. Don't know if this would be called a diner, or just a nyc coffee shop, but, The Galaxy on 8th Avenue around 19-20th Street has fantastic food with everyone working there very helpful, friendly and they never rush you. Their patty melt's are the best I've had in the city!

        1 Reply
        1. re: eastvillagegirl

          I second the Galaxy. Great salads as well.

        2. I can't say enough about the Georgia Diner in Elmhurst. That's still the city. Hope you're not restricting yourself to just Manhattan.

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: E Eto

            Georgia dinner is good put did you ever try the Fame diner on Grand Ave in Mapeth. next to the OTB great food

          2. Another vote for the Georgia Diner. Was just there at 3am last night with a starving 8 year old (late night ER visit). DH was happy with steak and eggs, daughter was happy with chicken fingers and FF, and I was happy with roasted turkey with all the trimmings.

            They treat you well, you get a TON of food for the $$, and they make it fresh whether it is 3pm or 3am. Peter and Georgia make sure that all is kept in check. This diner is the best in Queens by far. Worth the subway ride!

            2 Replies
            1. re: KellyBelly

              The Romanian Steak Tips are delicious; juicy and flavorful.

              1. re: KellyBelly

                A third vote for Georgia. The service is good, and the portions are huge. They put so much chicken on their grilled chicken sandwiches that it hangs off the bun by an inch on each side. I also love the warm rolls they serve with feta inside.

              2. If you're in the financial district, Gee Whiz is FANTASTIC and consistent...I've actually gone out of my way to go there. (And it's a long way - I live in Queens...)

                1. Does Shopsin's count as a diner?

                  1. No.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: stevebookman

                      Why not?

                      1. re: meatme

                        While the casual atmosphere and space design might seem similar to that of a diner the amount of imagination displayed in the menu and the quality of the ingredients used in the dishes are at a whole other level from what would seem to be standard "diner fare."

                        1. re: meatme

                          Because Kenny Shopsin says so.
                          http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content...

                      2. Scotty's, 39th & lexington, the best, love the souvlaki platter, oodles of feta, kids into the great burgers, friendly staff, all meals cheap and delish! ham & cheese omlette yums hard, old school carafes of good red wine, will be back!

                        1. Brooklyn Diner is very good.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: wrathofcannes

                            I thought it was a restaurant dressed up as a diner if you know what I mean.

                            1. re: wrathofcannes

                              Brooklyn Diner is not a diner

                            2. Stop Inn under the 7 train in Woodside ain't bad at all, and features a whole menu of Irish favorites in addition to the usual stuff.

                              1. I haven't been there in years now that I live in NJ, but Tom's Diner in Brooklyn had a real homey atmosphere, the old couple who ran the place took great care of regulars and strangers alike... would like to hear if its still the same? I think its on Washington Street, near(ish) to Grand Army Plaza.

                                My favorite typical Greek diner is the Neptune in Astoria, get there by GCP or the subway... Its big, its clean, the food quality is as high as you'll find in a diner, the portions are large, the waiters are lifers, the hostesses are tarted up like drag queens, the AC is cranking, there are mirrors where you'd want 'em... its right out of diner central casting!

                                I agree with Woodside Al about Stop Inn. Subway and LIRR access (bus too, plus you can flag car service cars down right out the front door. Too bad Shane's Bakery across the street is gone.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: The Engineer

                                  Tom's is still there and still kicking, with a huge line for brunch every saturday. The owner is fabulous, especially if you are taking your mother out for lunch, as I was during one of my many visits there. It is a place for people who believe in the blueberry pancake. It's located on Washington Avenue and (I'm 99 percent cure) Sterling Place. After brunch go for a nice walk in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

                                2. Park Cafe on 7th Avenue between Berkeley and Union. They give you fresh squeezed oj (I should say Just Pick't) with your breakfast, they make great soups(except for the French onion, to "vinegary"), especially their matzoh ball, and their desserts, especially the cakes are very good. The atmosphere is pretty relaxing as well, except for weekend brunch.

                                  Btw, Tom's is on Washington Avenue on the corner of Sterling. The food isn't that great but they do treat you right. Wonderful atmosphere as well.

                                  1. anyone been to the Maine Diner in Kennebunk, ME?

                                    I went there when i was pre-houndish but i remember really liking it

                                    1. Yup! I believe I went there two summers ago. In between them and the Clam Shack, I was a very happy camper.

                                      1. pearl street diner is really good if you are down near the seaport - a breakfast/lunch thing. i was a devotee when i worked down there...

                                        1. Yes, Tom's in Prospect Heights (Washington Ave.) is still warm and friendly and well looked-after by the darling owners...if there's a wait, you'll be plied with cookies, water, orange slices and coffee while you're on line! The menu's slightly uneven, I've always thought (I mean, he who orders the crabcake benedict sort of gets what he deserves) but basics are very well done and the pleasantness of the experience goes a long way. Don't forget -- they're closed on Sundays!

                                          1. I cast my vote for the Odessa Diner (not the original Odessa's, which - don't get me wrong - is great, but the actual diner next door) on Avenue A, right across from Tompkins. Great French Toast and sausage, plus all of the Eastern European staples from next door.

                                            As a Queens resident, I would be derelicting my duties if I didn't give some honorable mention to the Blue Bay in Bayside and the Shalimar in Rego Park.

                                            As an ex-Brooklynite, I hold a special place in my heart for the New College Cafeteria, on 4th Avenue right across from the Brooklyn Lyceum.

                                            Also, skipping back to Manhattan, the Washington Square Coffee Shop, the Waverly, the Cheyenne. Of course, for atmosphere, you can't beat the Market Diner, down by the waterfront. Lots of, let's say, colorful action going on over there - right next door to the Club Edelweiss, after all. I have to say, though, the food is pretty awful.

                                            I mourn the passing of the original, funereal Airline Diner, in LIC, which has, for the past 10 years or so, been co-opted as a Jackson Hole. Just across the Grand Central from a huge cemetary, this place used to be the real deal, the diner equivalent to a great, cheap, hollow gin joint with a small, simple menu of all american staples. Glad to say, some great graffiti remains, on a non-descript building just next door.

                                            If anyone wants to venture all the way, I mean all the way, out to Old Northport, Long Island, you won't be sorry if you hit the old, venerable Otto's Shipwreck, which serves up some pretty good soups, grilled cheese sandwiches and pies.

                                            Have yet to go to Tom's, but it's at the top of my list.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Polecat

                                              Ayayay, Odessa! There was a time about 15 years ago when it used to be a place to get decent really cheap pierogies (though the old, rundown Leshko's was better), but for years, I've found their soups to be 50% salt and most everything else to be pretty nearly inedible. Really, in a neighborhood with Teresa's and numerous other Eastern European places that are at least halfway decent, you can do way better than Odessa.

                                            2. Regarding the posts about Toms on Washington Ave. in Brooklyn.... I wouldn't call this place a diner at all. Its a luncheonette.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: FastEddie

                                                What's the distinction?

                                                1. re: Pan

                                                  I'm curious, too... Tom's seems like the most "diner-like" diner I've been to in ages. Love the pancakes (and homemade butters)! Love the standard egg dishes and such... What makes it a lucheonette?

                                              2. joe jouniors is really good

                                                1. Another vote for Gee Whiz...I spent every day of high school there. I love Soup and Burger on Broadway and Astor. Lyric Diner on 22nd and 3rd.

                                                  Brooklyn rules for diners. My favorites are Bridgeview Diner in Bay Ridge and Vegas Diner is Dyker Heights.

                                                  1. There is something about the Moondance Diners around town that I like.

                                                    1. kings plaza diner in brooklyn is fantastic as well.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: giftergirl

                                                        OMG! I so agree with the KPD!! I am a native Brooklynite, but I live in LA now. My sister just went to the diner and we were laughing at our fond memories of this diner from our high school days. The best french fries!!

                                                      2. I have a strong fondness for the Lyric, rarely been disappointed there.

                                                        1. I like coffeeshop on union square. Its open 23 hrs (closed 5am-6am), best herb fries, all types of cocktails, and yummy salads.

                                                          1. Moody's Diner Waldaboro Maine- that's in the 5 boroughs right? best diner in the world (and i'm a new yawker born and raised in ny diners). blueberry pancakes, perfect bacon and eggs, incredible donuts, pie for breakfast (some of the best pies in the world- 4 berry whoa... lard in the crust, have mercy miss percy), whoopie pies, boiled dinner, $10 lobster rolls, perfect diner burgers, and THE definitive turkey dinner- get it over a fresh biscuit with gravy and mashed and you are done- unstoppable- anybody want to drive 7 hours from brooklyn to moodys?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: frankbooth

                                                              Yes--Moody's is AMAZING!!!!

                                                            2. The Square Diner in Tribeca at Leonard and West Broadway is a good choice. It looks and feels like an old fashioned diner and the food is good. It is a nice break from the rest of the restaurants in the neighborhood.

                                                              1. Sunflower Diner on 3rd and 26th... greaaat salads and wraps.

                                                                1. I'm throwing my votes in for two Upper Eastside diners: Nectar and Viand, both have more than one location. Nectar has a tiny spot on 79th and Madison, and a larger version is a little further up, I think 83rd and Madison (across from PS 6). They make the most fantastic eggs in the whole wide world, nothing fancy, just eggs, but they are fluffy and not greasy. I used to work around there and had to take the crosstown bus, I'd hop off the subway at 81st and CPW, call in my order on my cell, and pick it up as I got off the bus to head to work. Viand has one outpost on 86th and Second Ave, another on Madison between 78th and 79th, and another further down on Madison. Great matzoh ball soup, great cheese fries, great everything!

                                                                  1. I love the Rennaissance Diner on 9th Avenue at 52nd. And there's a great skylight room in the back.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: marlosse

                                                                      good fries, good waffles and so-so everything else. The young guy who owns it is nice and very accomodating but the food and the quality of the ingredients are not good.

                                                                    2. joe jr.'s on 6th avenue and 12th street takes the cake. it might be the paragon of new york dinerdom.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: priyalalista

                                                                        What specifically makes Joe Jr's good?

                                                                      2. Go to Veselka! It's a Ukranian diner in the East Village, 24 hours, 7 days, great soups, sandwiches, etc., plus pierogi! 2nd Ave 9th St.

                                                                        1. I like the food at the Westway Diner on 9th Avenue between 43rd and 44th.

                                                                          The Cheyenne has that nice authentic train car look, but the food is terrible.

                                                                          1. Brooklyn's best diner is Off Shore on 3rd ave between 78th & 79th sts. Great consistant food, warm friendly atmosphere (Lula the owner is your mom & sister rolled into one) and great prices.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: patdrennan

                                                                              Pete's Grill in Sunnyside Queens. I believe the stop is 40th st and Lowery on the 7-Train. Has a great breakfast menu-- banana pancakes with rum syrup, and omletes with portobello mushrooms, amongst a variety fo such other mixtrues. Not quite standard diner fare.

                                                                              1. re: foodforthought2

                                                                                went to petes grill this morning around 2:00 Am for lunch ( I work nghts ) 2 of us had their cheese burger deluxe excelent 8oz patties cooked med rare the way I like them. My boss had a cheese burger also med rare w/ fried onions looked good to and the other person ordered the philly cheeses steak that looked good to they have a great menu a lot to choose from breakfast to all types of sandwhiches to pannis and wraps I will be going back offten

                                                                              2. re: patdrennan

                                                                                so right, never had a bad dish there. Great breakfasts and soups, taste like grandma made them.

                                                                              3. I second The Waverly. Always good, been going for over a decade.

                                                                                1. Friendly and best are not necessarily the same. They can be, but not necessarily.

                                                                                  I frequent Steve's Coffee Shop on 162nd Street in Flushing, Queens. Not a diner, but they have a wide selection of food and a lot of good daily specials. Great, small and cozy local place, especially if you're a regular. I know the owner, Andy, who pitches in to help cook on the days that it's very busy or that his head grillman is off, and Andy consistently demands and serves quality food. It also helps to foster a friendly atmosphere if you know the other grill men and/or staff too. A lot of old-time Flushing locals go there and bring their families or associates too.

                                                                                  I have found Manhattan Diner on Broadway and 77th to be consistently good. Recently had 2 eggs over, sausage, home fries well-done and white toast well-done, at about 1am. The home fries and toast came out exactly well-done. Sausage was thick and juicy. Eggs - well you can't mess that up. Quick service. Very satisfying meal.

                                                                                  Also, recently, I had the same breakfast platter at Neptune Diner in Astoria at about 2am on a late Friday night. A lot of people talk about the Neptune, so I decided to try it. I found it to be of equally high quality, and the waitress and bus-boys were gave swift, efficient service. Ran like a well-oiled machine.