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Best Diners in Boston Area?

French Oct 18, 2006 04:24 AM

MY husband and i love old fashoned type diners, you know the ones... Where everyone knows ur name> ,, any way does anyone know of any diners in the boston area to try out?

- Chrissy

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  1. r
    RW156 RE: French Oct 18, 2006 04:45 AM

    Kelly's Ball Square Somerville Ok food Good atmosphere.

    Town Diner Watertown Good food Ok atmosphere.

    1. v
      Velda Mae RE: French Oct 18, 2006 11:25 AM

      I agree about Town Diner. It's not old-fashioned in its structure and interior, but it is a family-owned business with excellent food. It is open seven days a week but for breakfast and lunch only.

      The Andros Diner in Belmont is not in a dining car either, but the waitresses know the regulars and it has a community atmosphere. I once overheard a waitress deliver a glass of water to a gentleman and tell him that the busboy knew it was for him and so remembered lots of ice and extra lemon. The Greek food is excellent but they do run out of the daily specials. You can call ahead, ask for the specials and have them set aside a portion for you.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Velda Mae
        Joanie RE: Velda Mae Oct 18, 2006 01:13 PM

        The Deluxe Town Diner *is* a real diner. The New Yorker is still open but not sure about Pat's. There's the Breakfast Club on Western Ave. in Brighton. The Salem Diner is an interesting one, can't remember the make but not one you usually see in Mass. Not sure what's up with the Bel Air on Rt. 1 N, been closed for a while. There are some good ones further north in Newbury and Salisbury and of course out in Worcester. I highly recommend Carl's in Oxford.

        You can find more info at these sites:

        1. re: Joanie
          Velda Mae RE: Joanie Oct 18, 2006 09:59 PM

          My apologies for not being clearer. I meant the Talk of the Town diner, not the Deluxe Town Diner. The Talk of the Town diner is not housed in a dining car, but it does have a counter and booths.

      2. Food4Thought RE: French Oct 18, 2006 11:45 AM

        Perhaps the only faintly shining star in what is otherwise the culinary wasteland of Southie, Muls diner on Broadway, near the B'way T stop. Old school atmosphere, encompasing but basic diner menu, only breakfast available on the weekends.

        There is also Mikes in the South End and Victoria's near the South Bay Center /Meat packing district in South Boston (I believe the same owner), both adequate at best and News on Kneeleand street gets mention from time to time for late night eats.

        Theo's in the North End (on Salem), might be stretching the Diner deffinition a wee bit, but is pretty decent albeit very tiny.

        Sorry for what could be construed as a negative attitude but growing up in the NJ/ NY metro area where the Diner is king has jaded me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Food4Thought
          Prav RE: Food4Thought Oct 18, 2006 04:28 PM

          I think Victoria's makes excellent corned beef hash. Definitely not the canned garbage, real chunks of chopped up meat. Also, I find that their breakfast foods aren't overly greasy and don't leave you feeling like you've got a greaselump in your stomach.

        2. p
          peelmeagrape RE: French Oct 18, 2006 12:47 PM

          Don't forget the Agawam Diner in Rowley. Definitely old-school: yummy food (a slice of pie is a must) and friendly, down-to-earth service.

          1. c
            chefcman RE: French Oct 18, 2006 12:48 PM

            used to be pats in watertown or belmont and the new yorker in the same area

            not sure ofthe locations or if they still exist

            1. c
              chuck s RE: French Oct 18, 2006 12:52 PM

              Whenever this question comes up my response is the Capitol Diner in Lynn. It's under the tracks and looks like an Edward Hooper painting. Great breakfasts and a wonderful atmosphere. Cook wears a tie.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chuck s
                Velda Mae RE: chuck s Oct 18, 2006 03:25 PM

                I advise calling ahead to make sure they're open. One time some friends and I went on a Saturday morning to find them closed for vacation.

              2. heathermb RE: French Oct 18, 2006 12:53 PM

                There's the Rosebud in Davis Square...I've only been once, years ago, but it was decent.

                5 Replies
                1. re: heathermb
                  gini RE: heathermb Oct 18, 2006 01:07 PM

                  Shudder. I'm not sure why Rosebud is still in business. Their food is dry, cold, not at all flavorful & gritty. How hard is it to make meatloaf hot?

                  1. re: gini
                    heathermb RE: gini Oct 18, 2006 01:16 PM

                    My guess would be that it has something to do with the hours they are open and the liquor license.

                    1. re: gini
                      Bob Dobalina RE: gini Oct 18, 2006 03:54 PM

                      I think I am going to have to defend the Rosebud there, Gini. I've been a few times and it's always been just fine. I specifically have ordered and enjoyed the meatloaf.

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina
                        gini RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 18, 2006 04:54 PM

                        Bob! How could you do that to me? Come on, you know you're just in love with the little old man in a tux that seats you. Is he still even around?

                    2. re: heathermb
                      BobB RE: heathermb Oct 18, 2006 02:07 PM

                      It was decent, years ago. I stopped in a couple of months ago and had their "special of the day" fried chicken, which was arguably the worst excuse for fried chicken I've ever tasted - dried out, tasteless, and mealy. Truly awful!

                    3. g
                      gourmaniac RE: French Oct 18, 2006 12:57 PM

                      New Yorker diner in watertown is still there but just OK. Agawam is the best I've been to in the area but it is about an hour away (in Rowley).

                      1. hiddenboston RE: French Oct 18, 2006 12:59 PM

                        I like Victoria's on Mass. Ave. in the Newmarket Square section of Boston (on the Roxbury/Dorchester line). It's favored by truckers and blue-collar workers, as it's right in the heart of an industrial area. They have really good breakfasts, and it's not usually too crowded.

                        I also like Andros Diner in Belmont, though every now and then I get a meal there that isn't up to snuff. Generally, though, it's a good place...

                        1. m
                          mwk RE: French Oct 18, 2006 01:31 PM

                          If you want a really old-fashioned place, in an actual dining car, I love the Wheelhouse Diner on Hancock St. in North Quincy. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, but the food is outstanding. It is a tiny place, and usually packed.

                          My favorite thing there is the "Eyeopener", which is three eggs, homemade corned beef hash, hash browns, bacon and sausage, all on a croissant, with Hollandaise sauce. Just don't tell my Cardiologist about this...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mwk
                            French RE: mwk Oct 19, 2006 04:00 AM

                            yeah i've been told about this one, and shouldn't be that bad either. we definately should check that out, thanks

                          2. passing thru RE: French Oct 18, 2006 02:09 PM

                            a little bit of a road trip is casey's diner in natick, a tiny little spot that's on the national register of historic places.

                            and for a bit longer road trip try heading to worcester, the place where they used to make diner cars where there's still a whole slew of classic diners. (as well as coney island hot dog, which i love).

                            a good selection of pics of mass area diners (including casey's and some worcester spots) is here:


                            1. z
                              Zatan RE: French Oct 18, 2006 03:37 PM

                              Busy Bee in Brookline; seems nothing has changed there for decades. Breakfast is what you'd expect (if you like hash, try theirs), lunches like "hot turkey sandwich" with gravy, mashed potatoes, etc. Yum.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Zatan
                                C. Hamster RE: Zatan Oct 18, 2006 04:25 PM

                                I soooo love the Busy Bee. I lived across the street when I first moved here in the late 1970's and you are right -- not one thing has changed except that they have a tv on the wall now.

                                The husband/wife owners still fight with each other, the waitresses call you "hon," the menu and specials are the same and the line is long on a Saturday morning.

                                Is the Pig and Whistle in Brighton still around? That place was a great "real" diner place.

                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                  gourmaniac RE: C. Hamster Oct 18, 2006 04:49 PM

                                  The building is still there but it never seems open when i pass by.

                              2. i
                                IreneC RE: French Oct 18, 2006 04:31 PM

                                Worth a trip to Lowell for the Four Sisters Owl Diner on Appleton St. Back in the early 1990s "The Today Show" broadcast from there. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. Famous for its omelets and sandwiches. Definitely a place full of "regulars". Expect to wait for a table on Sat. and Sun. There are a few other diners in Lowell, Club Diner and Arthur's Diner, but I haven't eaten at those.

                                1. j
                                  jacinthe RE: French Oct 18, 2006 05:07 PM

                                  I love the Breakfast Club in.. Allston? Just down the street from Harvard Business School away from Harvard Square. All the breakfast specials are named after characters (or roles, really) from the eponymous movie. I loved sitting at the counter near the griddle, watching the guy behind the counter make all the food. Potatoes, crusty with leftover bacon grease, are especially good.

                                  There's also a small place on Mass Ave nearish Central Square - I forget the name, but in addition to good breakfast good (great pancakes), they have Mexican food as well, which I've never had.

                                  1. t
                                    TheScribe RE: French Oct 18, 2006 08:19 PM

                                    Here's a directory to help you locate the local diners:

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: TheScribe
                                      yumyum RE: TheScribe Oct 18, 2006 08:36 PM

                                      Cool site. Thanks for posting.

                                    2. f
                                      FoodFemme RE: French Oct 21, 2006 03:56 AM

                                      which of those places are open 24-hours? I'm from NY and often crave diner food, but it always seems to be at the wrong time of day (it's tough to find eggs benedict at 8pm in New England - IHOP and Denny's don't count)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: FoodFemme
                                        gini RE: FoodFemme Oct 24, 2006 12:26 PM

                                        South St Diner on Kneeland is open 24-hours. I've never eaten there when sober, however, so I can't really comment on the food.

                                      2. elbev RE: French Oct 21, 2006 07:22 AM

                                        There is a small train car style diner across Msgr. O'Brien (Rte. 28)from Union Square on Washington St right around the Somerville/Charletown-Boston line. It might be called Buddy's, and is frequented by truckers, bikers, locals and some of the more adventurous of the Somerville hipsters. Solid food, and quite cheap. Specials appear on sheets of paper posted all around the counter, and they shift from breakfast to lunch sometime between 11 and 12. I have only had the breakfast, but I recall proper classic bacon-egg-n-cheeses with greasy home fries and killer corn beef hash. Definitely worlds better than somewhere like the Rosebud, where you always have to wait and pay easily twice as much for mediocre food (though Buddy's does not have clamato bloody marys...).

                                        All of that said, a recent trip made me realize that few places anywhere are a patch on the glorious diners of Worcester. The 'Italian breakfast' is a thing of beauty.

                                        1. p
                                          pub_bot RE: French Oct 21, 2006 06:05 PM

                                          There's that diner near South Station (can't remember the name now!) where I had a decent Montecristo a month or so ago.

                                          1. m
                                            mutche RE: French Oct 22, 2006 03:15 PM

                                            Hi Gang
                                            Buddy's in Somerville is under new owners.and it's off my list don't go there !!!!!

                                            1. Dapoofy RE: French May 23, 2007 01:52 PM

                                              The Norwood Town Square DIner is the best around!

                                              1. Harp00n RE: French May 23, 2007 09:28 PM

                                                Being from Lynn - The Capitol Diner (it's justifiable legendary)

                                                Living in Wayland - Lloyd's Diner in Framingham (never mind, I don't want to share)

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