I was driving around town yesterday and got a little curious. Albany has a number of diners, but I have only tried a few. I've eaten at Metro 20, Hot Dog Heaven (not sure if that counts or not) Wolf Road Diner, the one on the corner of Colvin and Central, and of course, the Miss Albany. All of them are pretty good. I love brunch at Miss A's but lately the food doesn't seem to be what it used to be.
Has anyone tried Jacks? Inga's? The other one on Fuller Road that looks closed? Dirty Dan's? I've heard Jacks is good and they make their own hash, but the neighborhood is a bit off putting. Granted, I'd never would have believed Miss A's would be as good as it is, being way down on Broadway.
Some of my recs would be:
76 Diner, Latham
Brandywine and Blue Ribbon, Schenectady
Duncan's Dairy Bar, Troy (almost in Brunswick)
Bob's , Watervliet
Now it has been a few years but these places seem to go unchanged for decades at a time
I agree that Miss Albany doesn't seem as amazing in the last couple of years (though it is by no means bad.) Any idea what might have happened?
No other tips for Albany, though during the week you can get a great diner-style breakfast or lunch at Peter Pause in Schenectady near Union. Classic old-school Italian, with huge photos of the grand-kids on the walls, and so many regulars, the waitresses will ask if you need a menu or not. Unfortunately, because of their hours, we don't get in much.
Yeah, I don't know what happened. One day we went to the Miss A for breakfast and my hasbrowns were terrible. They were undercooked on the inside and burnt on the outside. Not what I expected at all.
I had a brownie from the Four Corner Luncheonette the other day. It was really good. I want to go back and try the food now.
I think pretty good is how I'd describe all of those mentioned here. Also pretty good is the one on 9/32 in Glenmont, just before 9W and 32 split. I'm not sure what the name is now (Johnny B Good?). The only diner like place I can highly recommend is Four Corners Luncheonette in Delmar which looks a bit like a diner but has way way better food.
OMG! Dirty Dan's. We're from nyc but my husband went to albany state, so we periodically return. He always insists on having breakfast at Dan's. There's something called the "beat the house" which is the most obscene amount of food. It's unbelievable. I do the basic, like pancakes or the like, and it's pretty good. Standard diner fare, I think. Actually, the best part about Dan's (other than the people who own/run it) is being able to watch everything being cooked. Amazing what can be done in such a small space.
Concur with others on Miss Albany, Metro 20, Wolf Road Diner, and Gateway Diner (corner of Colvin and Central) Jacks is a good diner, and dont let the neighborhood scare you. Perfectly safe. Ingas, and Deweys (probably the closed one next to it) are basic diners. North of Albany on Route 9 is the Latham 76 diner (good food, and a very good in house bakery) Just north of them, on the Latham Circle, is a diner (cant remember the name) which is a combo of basic diner, and gourmet diner. Gets good reviews. Just south of the Latham 76 Diner, on the intersection of Route 9 and Route 155 is Bella Napoli. Not a diner, but they do counter service with sandwichs, coffee, etc. and a selection of Italian pastries (cannoli, almond cookies, etc, etc) which are to die for. If you can eat in Bella Napoli, and not walk out with a bagful of their pastries, which are displayed in all their splendor in their glass cases, you are a better person than I.
Also, although somewhat kitschy, Grandma's on Route 5 (Albany-Schenectady Road) west of Albany does a fine breakfast, and has an huge, and delicious selection of pies. Worth a side trip if you want a pie to take home.
Anyone know what happened to Circle Diner (the diner on the Latham Circle)? It used to be very good; we ate there almost weekly for years. About a year or so ago, things changed - food wasn't the same, the bathrooms (which had been usually spotless) was grimey, service strange, etc. The chef used to compete in international cooking competitions on a team with the head chefs from Yono's (Yono) and Jack's (not the diner, the fancy one - head chef is Dale). We asked some of the other business owners on route 9 about it, and no one seems to know what happened. Miss Albany is inconsistent. We like Gateway Diner lately, despite the major construction.
Not a diner, but a good counter service place is Sonato's, near Albany Academy (just west of Albany Med), across from the Mobil station. They also sell beer from Omegang Brewery.
I really like Pepper Jacks in Albany. It's an informal restaurant with great wraps and soups and a dynamite cheese steak.