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Best Diners in Boston Area?

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. Kelly's Ball Square Somerville Ok food Good atmosphere.

    Town Diner Watertown Good food Ok atmosphere.

    1. 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

        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

          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. 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

          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. 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. 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. 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

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

                5 Replies
                1. re: heathermb

                  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

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

                    1. re: gini

                      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

                        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

                      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. 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. 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. 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

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

                          2. 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. 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

                                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

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

                              2. 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. 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. 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

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

                                            1. The Norwood Town Square DIner is the best around!

                                              1. 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)