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Jan 24, 2008 01:28 PM

Big-Menu Greek-owned diners in Philly?

I'm looking for Greek-owned diners in Philadelphia. You know the kind if you are from the NYC metro area--lots of Greek specialies, but also pages and pages of fried goodies and various American dishes. Are there any of those around town, preferably that are open late-night or 24 hours?

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  1. South Street Diner on South just before Front.

    1. There is a Greek diner dynasty that operates several Michael's diners in the outlying suburbs. Some time ago they bought the Country Club Diner in Northeast Philly -- a great example of 60s diner glitz -- and fortunately kept its signature Kosher menu along with the typical diner fare. More recently they bought two of the city's oldest and most traditional-looking diners -- the Melrose in South Philly and the Mayfair in the Northeast -- both of which run 24/7. Another diner family owns the Oregon and the Penrose in South Philly. The Penrose is probably the largest and glitziest of all of them, though ironically they're only open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. But for a really old hidden gem, go up Rising Sun Avenue (a haven for thrift stores) in the Burholme neighborhood in the Northeast, and check out the Quaker Diner. All the Greek standbys, served in an old, cozy, homey atmosphere. The way diners used to be.

      3 Replies
      1. re: letseat714

        Thanks for the tip on the Quaker Diner. I'll try it. As far as Michael's goes, forget it! I went to the Country Club after Michael's took over and was very disappointed. Not horrible, just mediocre food.

        1. re: carl555

          I just realized that Minella's in Wayne is not only 24 hours, but also Greek owned! I've been there a few times, but only recently have I overheard some of the staff speak Greek to the owner. Finally, four semesters of Greek language has paid off.

          Next time I'll order some Greek diner goodies like greek salad and gyros. Their reuben is decent, as are most of the breakfast items.

          1. re: FoolForFood

            Years ago I had their spanikopita and it was awesome!!

      2. Little Pete's is not a diner, isn't open 24 hours, but has very long hours, and in many ways fits your description. Pete works hard; his Greek and American specialties are fresh, super-generous, and excellent value. Still possible to get a soup/salad/entree with two veggies, beverage and dessert for $12.95, which is amazing. Located in the 2400 block of Pennsylvania Ave, in the rear of the Philadelphian Condo. Parking can be tough, but Little Pete's is the real deal. Has a liquor license; does an active bar business also. Waitstaff hustles! Some people in our building eat all their meals at Pete's, but also take half home, as portions are a bit much for seniors.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bashful3

          I used to work at the Country Club diner many moons ago and when it was owned by the Pearloffs, it was quite the gem. Although the menu is pretty much the same, Denver Omelet, Rocket Burger et al., the quality is no where near as good. I do appreciate them keeping some items alive, Matzoh Ball Soup, Kinish etc., they just don't nail it. So sad, so sad.