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Any Baltimore-area diners worth the drive?

Where should I go for a diner breakfast in Baltimore or its suburbs? (Or is the landscape now as bleak as Washington's?)

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  1. Papermoon Diner is a good offbeat place:


    It's been a while since I've been, but I remember having a decent breakfast there.

    Then spend the afternoon at the BMA, walk around Charles Village, Getrude's for dinner, would be nice day away from DC.

    9 Replies
    1. re: jdefontes

      the paper moon is easily one of the most nauseating places in baltimore, maybe the planet, both in terms of food and atmosphere.

      go to Jimmy's in Fells Point if you want old school baltimore diner fare. Pete's Grille on Greenmount would be another possibility, or the Wyman Park restaurant on Howard and 25th. Granted, none of these places are real diners, but the food fits.

        1. re: hon

          That makes three. Paper Moon is an open latrine in midsummer. Unworthy of being referred to as "a diner."

          Sip & Bite, Pete's, Bel Loc Diners are the way to go. City Paper is a good start:


          1. re: monkeyrotica

            And the original Double T Diner on Rt. 40 west!

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              Gotta defend Paper Moon. I've never had a bad breakfast or lunch there. Yes, the service and attitude has never been particularly spot-on, but I've had as many friendly servers as indifferent ones. I find it particularly hard to believe that meals at Paper Moon are deemed inferior to the ones at the chrome diners that dot Baltimore... where everything tastes like Sysco to me. I will try Bel-Loc, however, as I've never been there.

              Paper Moon also has excellent iced tea, which I can't say about some of the Chrome diners, either.

              1. re: TKinBaltimore

                75% of the moon's menu consist of us food/sysco MRE

                1. re: curious4food

                  That may be, but the flavor of the food is what differs btwn Paper Moon and the chrome diners. Everything at the chrome diners tastes like breakfast to me, meaning, a heavy overtone of eggs and sausage. Despite what Paper Moon starts with, at least the finished product doesn't leave a film in my mouth.

                  1. re: TKinBaltimore

                    "It doesn't leave a film in my mouth." Well that's damning with faint praise.

                    Paper Moon may be edible, but it's hardly "worth the drive."

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      Agreed. I don't know of any diners in Baltimore that are worth the drive from DC. But I do feel that the flavors and combinations at Paper Moon are more interesting than at the chrome diners. That was my poorly-expressed point.

      1. Baltimore is diner-capitol of the world, so if there aren't good diners in B'more, there aren't good diners anywhere.

        That being said, is there anything specific that you're looking for?

        Sip & Bite is another place that's great value and good people-watching too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: atls21231

          I might be a bit offended by this, as a native Jerseyan. NJ is where the diners are at : ) I'm sure Baltimore's are very nice, though.
          I went to PaperMoon before a show at a bar down the street whose name escapes me at the moment and I thought it was good. The decor is definitely unique.
          And I've been to the Double T, but in Annapolis, and enjoyed myself there. Good prices, good food.

        2. I'll second Sip & Bite. The food is actually good there even though it's crazy cheap.

          1. In my experience, Paper Moon is all atmosphere with bad food and bad attitude.

            1. The Bel Loc diner at Loch Raven Blvd and Joppa Road!

              1 Reply
              1. re: hon

                I agree, that's great too. It's always a good bet

              2. Baltimore is the diner capital of the world? Ever been to northern NJ, or even Long Island? There is no comparison.

                1. The Forest Diner on Rt. 40 west out near the Old Enchanted Forest!

                  1. There are several diners working the same business plan in the area
                    Double T on Rte 40 East (Rolling Rd)
                    Princess Diner 40 East by Enchanted Forest SC
                    Diner on Merritt Blvd in Dundalk
                    Diner on Kane Street off Eastern Ave
                    Diner on Rte 40 West at White Marsh near Oliver Beach
                    Diner on Ritchie Highway at Rte 100 near Marley Mall

                    1. After a tip from someone on this board, I've become quite fond of Frank's Diner in Jessup.

                      1. I think Double-T is the best. Everyone there is very nice and the diner food is perfect. Jimmy's in Fells Point is also really good but sometimes it's very crowded and parking can be a hassle.

                        1. Bill, on the Hill, you must 'do' Murky Coffee for the best brew anywhere. Try a clasic capp. And you must know about Eastern Market and the seafood place in the rear of it. Others well worth the try is Ben's Chilli Bowl on U, St. and the Florida Avenue Grill near Meridian Park. All these places are unique unto themselves and I've appreciated them for years. Also try the Diner on 18th near Columbia Rd. in Adams Morgan.

                          1. Double T and Frank's are my favorites. I don't think of Baltimore as diner central either. True diner country is north of the Mason-Dixon line.

                            1. I guess all those folks raving about the Double T missed the expose on the news last year about the dirtiest diners. Double T was close to the top. They sent hidden cameras in a bunch of diners and what they showed from Double T would make you spew.

                              I'm originally from north jersey, and the only two diners that I have found around here to be decent are:

                              #1. The Towson Diner - excellent food and service.
                              #2. The Bel Loc (hard to beat their turkey club).

                              That's it. I'll try others, but the Nautilus (too many times with bad food -spoiled ingredients, or poooor service) and Double T (so disgusting that I have to clinch my teeth when I eat there) are def off the list!

                              Broadway Diner on Merritt Blvd wasn't bad, but I only ate there once.

                              1. baltimore diner capital? thats completely wrong, Long island, queens, and other parts of ny take it. The owner of broadway diner on eastern ave. took all the ideas and created his diner in long island NY and then was shiped out in peices to baltimore and assembled

                                1. Eww. Don't you dare go to the Papermoon Diner.
                                  I like the Nautilus Diner on York Road in Timonium. I brought a fellow Jersey friend there, and he was pleased. It's the only diner I like around here.

                                  1. The one time that I ate at the Papermoon, both I and my SO enjoyed our food. As dusty and grimy as it may be the decor is interesting. Parking was not a problem and if you want to make a day trip to Bmore it is convienent to the BMA

                                    However, if you are looking for a "diner" this is not the place to go. The service is horrific. We waited at least 15 min to get a menu and then another 15 to get our order taken. Not once did a waiter come around asking if we needed a refill on our coffee. We managed to get one refill after asking ever waiter that came by for one. As someone who grew up in Jersey diners I associate diners with neverended coffee mugs (4 refills minimum) and attentive/quick service.

                                    Also a Jersey native my SO has enjoyed lunch at the Broadway diner.

                                    1. I am a lifelong Baltimoron....and I have to admit the Diners in New Jersey blow ours away! I ate in a really upscale diner in Edison NJ this past summer...I think it was the Americana??...it was outstanding!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: MDicecreamguy

                                        Please tell me that you are really a lifelong Baltimorean. ;-)

                                        1. re: ChinoWayne

                                          hey Chino.....I'm glad SOMEBODY's paying attention!!

                                        2. re: MDicecreamguy

                                          "Upscale diner" seems like a contradiction in terms to me. :-)

                                          1. re: Hal Laurent

                                            this really wasn't yout typical sos on biscuits kinda diner.....

                                            I had an excellent lunch of tenderloin tips with shitake mushrroms in a burgandy demi-glace over paperdelle pasta.....I was really surprised...definitely a diner on a totally different level ( but since it was in NJ......It doesn't really belong here!) Sorry to digress

                                        3. Blue Moon Cafe has the best breakfast in Baltimore but go early or the waits are horrendous.

                                          1. Not really a diner but I totally dig brekky (or lunch) at Miss Shirley's on Cold Spring Lane. It gets very crowded on weekends though and has limited hours.

                                            1. Baltimore's Newest Diner....and a real find is Shirley's Family Diner in Catonsville( not to be confused with Ms. Shirley's in Roland Park which is an excellent restaurant but wouldn't call it a diner)....used to be an IHOP...now pivately owned. Great pancakes...great Burgers...Very friendly waitresses. I was impressed

                                              1. Pete's Grill is a great diner on Greenmount Ave. Go on Saturday before noon and visit the outdoor farmer's market. Pete's is open until 2pm only. For great breakfast worth the drive go to Blue Moon in Fell's Point. It's not a diner but the food is great. Then walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. Great day trip.