Diner or Dive within 1 hour of NYC
Rincon Criollo. Not sure it's a diner but man, what a story! There were five brothers, orphans, alone in the world, growing up in 1930s Cuba. Desperately poor, in effect street urchins, they sold fruit in the streets to survive. Somewhere along the line, they learned how to cook. One day, they built a shack on the beach and sold cooked food. It was so good the word spread. Within a few years, they were running a beautiful beachside restaurant called Rincon Criollo, patronized by Havana's elite. When Castro came to power they were forced to flee to the US. Again they worked odd jobs to survive. One day they met an old friend from Cuba. He had a shop in Corona Queens. It's a good neighborhood, he told them, why not reopen your restaurant there? And so they did.