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Best Diners in Durham, NC?

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blueridge1 Feb 12, 2008 06:25 AM

i'm looking for true, old school diners in durham for breakfast, blue plate special lunches, that kind of thing. any suggestions besides elmo's and rick's?

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    dvhartley RE: blueridge1 Feb 13, 2008 03:21 AM

    Let me just add to this post. I am looking for the same thing in the Cary area. Just a good home cooked meal. Do they still exist?

    2 Replies
    1. re: dvhartley
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      blewgo RE: dvhartley Feb 13, 2008 04:25 AM

      Pam's Farmhouse. 5111 Western Blvd Raleigh, NC

      has pretty good country breakfast and lunch,

      1. re: dvhartley
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        EggmanWalrus RE: dvhartley Feb 15, 2008 03:13 PM

        I would have to say Barrys Cafe is tops for Diner Fare. Try the burgers dont know what brand but dang they are good.

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        Shag Waits RE: blueridge1 Feb 13, 2008 06:29 AM

        Diner options in Durham are terrible. I end up at Elmo's every now and then simply because there is no other option.

        For breakfast, I like Grayson's on Chapel Hill Rd.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shag Waits
          TSQ75 RE: Shag Waits Feb 13, 2008 01:28 PM

          elmo's sucks, really! Grayson's is good, but they almost lose all credibility in the diner arena because they have Square plates...lol

          I like The Golden spoon pretty well for breakfast...though the retirement home vibe and smoking section just bring me down sometimes, man. haha

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          suse RE: blueridge1 Feb 13, 2008 09:04 AM

          Not sure what your expectations of a diner are, but Rick's is a real diner in Durham- not a retro chic kind of place. Basically, it's where older locals go - not necessarily foodies. Meat and three and then a couple of snazzy things thrown in - kind of like what diners that have been around forever are actually like. We used to go there quite frequently, but haven't much lately, so I'm not up on what it's like there these days, but don't go expecting to be wowed by the food, just full of old school grub. Oh yeah, and then there's what used to be Pan Pan's at Northgate Mall that's now officially a seafood place, I believe, but they still have a lot of their old diner fare from what I understand. Has anybody been?

          1. TSQ75 RE: blueridge1 Feb 13, 2008 01:26 PM

            there AREN'T any in Durham! God help me I want one! for Breakfast!!

            7 Replies
            1. re: TSQ75
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              Guilty Gourmand RE: TSQ75 Feb 14, 2008 03:31 PM

              Just curious, does that mean to imply there are some elsewhere in the Triangle. I'd be ecstatic if Raleigh had an Elmos or Ricks.

              Maybe Finch's and Mecca in Raleigh is closer to the real thing but I feel like I need a shower after I eat there and am never too sure everything is all that clean. Don't get me wrong--I love that those places exist but why the Elmos folks cannot find their way clear to open up a branch in Raleigh is beyond me.

              1. re: Guilty Gourmand
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                chazzer RE: Guilty Gourmand Feb 14, 2008 03:48 PM

                One of the worlds great mysteries is why do people like Elmos. My cousin insists that we go to Elmos at times and we all look foward to this like root canal. The food is under spiced and tastless and with bad service. I can not understand what people see in it.

                1. re: chazzer
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                  jsb23nc RE: chazzer Feb 14, 2008 08:29 PM

                  I like Elmo's and Breadman's. They are what they are...diners with square meals, breakfast all day, and sandwiches. No, they are not gourmet or "foodie" type restaurants but everything doesn't have to be.

                  As for Raleigh, how about Joe's Place downtown?

                  1. re: jsb23nc
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                    chazzer RE: jsb23nc Feb 15, 2008 05:34 AM

                    It is not just that Elmo's is not a foodie type restaurant. I have had some very good square meals at a meat n three in battleboro, nc, including some of the best beef stew I have had. Because a place is a dinner or not a "foodie" type restaurant does not give it license to be bad.

                    1. re: jsb23nc
                      TSQ75 RE: jsb23nc Feb 15, 2008 08:53 AM

                      I'm glad its not a foodie place...but it's not even a grimy hole in the wall, which i'd prefer. its just way too trendy and...well...not so much

                      1. re: jsb23nc
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                        blewgo RE: jsb23nc Jun 7, 2009 08:03 PM

                        Joe's place closed for the last time a few months ago.

                      2. re: chazzer
                        TSQ75 RE: chazzer Feb 15, 2008 04:59 AM

                        i agree, I dont see the fascination with elmo's at all! if its not the ridiculous wait time, the food is just not worth the wait...

                  2. LulusMom RE: blueridge1 Feb 15, 2008 03:00 AM

                    It isn't in Durham, but I like Owens 501 Diner in Chape Hill.

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                      EggmanWalrus RE: blueridge1 Feb 15, 2008 03:14 PM

                      Ever try Honeys? Been around for 30 years and super service. I also hear you on Rick's something has changed with their food of late. Used to be great food but now, I dunno, something has changed.

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                        cranewife RE: blueridge1 May 7, 2009 05:53 PM

                        There is a new 24-hr diner called George's Diner on Hillsborough Rd in Durham. It's where an old Miami Subs used to be, just west of 15-501. The food is wonderful and they have a 9-page menu (a little overwhelming to have so many choices). They serve breakfast all day. We went for dinner and the food was fantastic. Everything coming out smelled great and I heard several comment to their dining companions on how good their food was. Give it a try. We plan to go back until we try everything on the ginormous menu.

                        1. Suzy Q RE: blueridge1 May 7, 2009 08:13 PM

                          Anybody tried Gypsy's Shiny Diner in Cary? I've not been, but it certainly fits the "diner" category.

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                            Evergreen_Man RE: blueridge1 May 23, 2009 07:04 PM

                            (1) George's Diner, Hillsborough Rd @ 85, was real good. Ecclectic and good menu. Better than I expected, and 24-hours open is a real plus for the late afternoon pancake panic attacks, lol... The owners are Greek and have an American-themed restaurant with some exotic dishes on the menu as well.

                            (2) Sunny's Diner, Hwy 70/Glenwood Avenue y Raleigh's Umstead State Park entrance, is fabulous. Chinese owners who have a solid diner menu with to-die-for tuna melts and awesome omelets. Its attached to an Eagle gas station that I never expected it to become a staple of my dine-out desires, but it is.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Evergreen_Man
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                              steveindurham3 RE: Evergreen_Man Jun 7, 2009 05:26 PM

                              I like Current Cafeteria fro breakfast - no-fills but a good breakfast. Great link sausage and grits.

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