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Best Diners in Westchester

m
MRM2008 Feb 12, 2008 05:44 PM

As upscale as most of Westchester County tends to be I find it hard to believe that most of the diners I walk into I want to want out just as fast. The only exception I’ve found is Landmark Diner in Ossining. The only thing better than the food, is the service. Every time I walk in with my family I feel they are really glad to see us, and they remember where we like to sit and what my 2 year old son likes to eat.

  1. d
    downpressor Jun 13, 2008 12:08 PM

    I don't really have any comments on the upscale diner front...to me it's a contradiction in terms. But as for your standard comfort-oriented diner where you can count on things like good fries, eggs, etc. I concur with The Horseman in Tarrytown, as well as the El Dorado. The Mamaroneck Diner has fantastic burgers. I have a certain tendency towards the "monts" on Central (Parnasse and Olympos) but that might be only out of going there most of my life.

    Most of those are your "Greek"-style (in quotation marks because there's nothing Greek about them, just the style of diners which tend to be Greek-owned) diners, and all hit the spot. But if you want an authentic pre-fab greasy spoon diner (basically a griddle, a counter and a couple of booths) the Star Diner on Post Rd in White Plains dominates.

    8 Replies
    1. re: downpressor
      l
      laylag Jun 14, 2008 02:59 PM

      Mamaroneck Diner has excellent omelets and great paninis and salads too.

      What is Parnasse like? I pass it all the time and have wondered about it. I didn't even realize it was a diner. Also, do you know anything about the diner - forgot the name - on Central Ave in Hartsdale near Chef Central - is it Fountain? Always seems busy but something about it steers me away.

      1. re: laylag
        r
        rpk Jun 15, 2008 04:30 AM

        Fountain Restaurant is the name. I once had a pretty decent malted milk shake there. Other than that, don't bother.

        1. re: laylag
          r
          rpk Jun 15, 2008 04:33 AM

          I went to Mont Parnasse Cafe just once, about a year ago. The challah French toast was flavorless. The sausage that came with it was tepid. The coffee was salty!?!

          1. re: rpk
            d
            downpressor Jun 16, 2008 07:55 AM

            yeah, once upon a time parnasse was a legit diner (and looked more like Olympos does...I think they are owned by the same people). but they changed locations, now there's a bank, and they moved to where the Central Square Cafe (I believe) was. It has declined in quality for sure...though you can still get a decent egg sandwhich. Fountain Diner is of the same calibar as Mont Olympos though a bit cozier.

          2. re: laylag
            momof3 Jun 16, 2008 02:49 PM

            Don't be scared laylag. I too love Mamaroneck Diner. I grew up going to "the mont" (mont parnasse) and the Fountain Diner in High School. Once I moved back here and had children I revisited both. Mount Parnasse is terrible and Fountain Diner has become my 3 kids most favorite place to dine out. The diner is super clean as is the bathroom (a big indicator of general cleanliness). They have huge and great salads, wraps, and also great omelets. When in Mamaroneck area I would choose Mamaroneck Diner, in the WP area, for sure check out the Fountain. Oh, and yes its the one next to Chef Central.

            1. re: momof3
              d
              dolores Jun 23, 2008 04:59 AM

              How sad.

              I had my last meal at the Thruway Diner in New Rochelle yesterday. It's closing this month, I think.

              A grilled cheese, cut horizontally, thankfully.

              Most of the servers have already moved on, it seems.

              Couldn't get my coffee.

              Got up and got it myself. Someone else saw me do that, and followed suit. Someone else got up to get their own water.

              It just takes one, dontcha know?

              Otherwise, all was fine.

              What will they do with the etched glass and the all the interior? Just demolish them?

              How sad.

              Time marches on.

              Thank you, Thruway Diner, for lots of years just 'being there'. You weren't great, but you were, well, there.

            2. re: laylag
              f
              foodie2424 Jun 23, 2008 01:57 PM

              Try the Fountain Diner but keep it simple. When in diners it is either basic breakfast items or burgers.

              1. re: foodie2424
                m
                MRM2009 Dec 16, 2008 09:21 AM

                While I do agree that a Diner must be good at the basics the small kid friendly touches are always nice. Crayons and coloring books are a must if you have a kid. That is why Landmark in Ossining gets my vote!

          3. j
            jessheslin Mar 11, 2008 04:50 PM

            Hear hear, re The Landmark Diner in Ossining! It's a welcome surprise since I moved to Briarcliff and left behind my beloved Athena Diner in Fleetwood. We mainly do brunch at diners but also the occasional sandwich or burger and egg cream. The service and attitiude at Landmark is great and we like the breakfast burrito as an omelette alternative. Nothing beats the Athena waffles though, in my mind :)
            We have tried the Patio and were disappointed for breakfast--small portions and expensive but I like it a lot for lunch: good burgers and good big salads. The other surprise is that Orfino's in Briarcliff serves breakfast/lunch/dinner so we did our weekend brunch there and it was really good! (We always get an egg item and a pancake like item)

            2 Replies
            1. re: jessheslin
              a
              alex_s May 16, 2008 06:52 PM

              We usually go to the El Dorado diner on 119 as the service is very good there and the food is solid, but not spectacular. We tried Mt. Olympus on Central Ave b/c we've heard great things but it was a big let down. The pancakes were dry and the only syrup they had was Smuckers "heavy syrup" in little packages. Where the hell is the option for real maple syrup...is that too much to ask for for a diner in Suburbia? And what's with all the cheap bacon from the local diners around here- flat, crunchy, and dry. At least when I lived in the city and visited Silver Spurs in Greenwich Village they had real syrup and the bacon was thick, juicy, and curvy!

              I will try out the Landmark Diner tomorrow and will post my thoughts.

              1. re: alex_s
                a
                alex_s May 21, 2008 07:15 AM

                I visited the Landmark Diner and it's as good as it's cracked up to be. The omlette was very good- flavorful and not watery. Bread was fresh, perfectly toasted, and buttered, the home fries tasted like it was just made and not sitting on a grill for hours like other diners I ate at. Bacon was just ok- on the thin side, but the pancakes were amazing. They don't offer real maple syrup, seems no one does, so I guess I'll just have to bring my own next time. Service was fast and friendly, highly recommended.

            2. kamcc12 Mar 11, 2008 07:59 AM

              Village Cup and Saucer in Bronxville is great. Some may not call it a diner, but I think you can order breakfast any time...

              3 Replies
              1. re: kamcc12
                j
                jhopp217 Mar 11, 2008 11:17 PM

                I remember in the mid 90's this place was great, but they closed early. Do they serve dinner?

                1. re: kamcc12
                  SweetPea914 Mar 12, 2008 07:31 AM

                  Village Cup and Saucer closed shortly before I moved here about 1 1/2 years ago. It is now a place called the Village cafe which I like very much. They have good salads, soups, burgers sandwiches etc for lunch and steak frites, pastas, etc for dinner.
                  Not quite diner food, but typical "cafe" food if that makes sense?!

                  1. re: SweetPea914
                    j
                    jhopp217 Mar 12, 2008 08:33 AM

                    Thanks Sweetpea, I'll have to check it out

                2. l
                  Laurie914 Mar 10, 2008 06:09 PM

                  Add another vote for City Limits - food is always a step above. I've only been to the one in White Plains - but I have to say I hate going there because the service is very slow. Has anyone else had that?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Laurie914
                    louuuuu Mar 11, 2008 06:33 AM

                    City Limits does not belong in this thread. Though it is Greek owned, though it is retro 50's, It is not a diner..

                    Try ordering breakfast after 11. Or a BLT anytime. Or hashbrowns. Or slice of Cheese Cake.

                    It is a restaurant... with excellent entries at reasonable prices. And its special occassion and holiday menus are lovingly created and crafted. One of the best bakeries in Westchester or Connecitut. Breads and pastries made on site.

                    Excellent service. Family Friendly. Great value.

                    But not a diner.

                  2. c
                    CompareFranco Mar 10, 2008 01:57 PM

                    During the past 10 years or so I've made several business trips to Sleepy Hollow. I've enjoyed the Horseman there. As a diner "collector" I've eaten in some horrid places and some great. The Horseman is closer to great. Besides - it's the only diner I've ebbn in that offers parking on its roof!

                    Ciao!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: CompareFranco
                      woodburner Jun 23, 2008 02:14 PM

                      I've been to the Horseman for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and my feeling is that Bellas Restaurant a mile away in Tarrytown beats it by miles, as well as the two crummy Eldorado diners in Elmsford and Tarrytown. Bellas is in the little strip just south of Main street on Route 9... it is not physically a diner, but it has a 25-yr-old, rather beat up booth layout and serves everything made by John Bellas and his two cooks. It is a family establishment. It is diner food, in the good sense... which is not at all what you get in most diners today. Give it a try.

                      1. re: woodburner
                        m
                        MRM2009 Dec 16, 2008 09:15 AM

                        I'm not sure if either of you drove a little further north to stop by The Landmark Diner in Ossining. Its is without a doubt worth the trip! The food is outstanding and the service is top notch! If you have kids this place is a must. I read somewhere that Santa will be there on the 21st of this month!

                    2. k
                      kafclown Mar 10, 2008 08:57 AM

                      We went to the Red Fox Diner in Elmsford yesterday-- it was a pretty good greasy spoon-- not tremendous, but definitely not awful.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: kafclown
                        j
                        jhopp217 Mar 10, 2008 10:31 PM

                        It's funny. I live in Eastchester and for years the Odyssey was a good place for a bite. You know it didn't stink because there was a line for dinner. Back in the day (late 80's/early 90's) it actually had some of my favorite dishes. No lie. Their Penne Vodka and Penne Arrabiata were as good as any good Italian Restaurant. I'd put there Vodka up against anyone's come to think of it. There urgers were second only to the Kilt, and the breakfasts were delcious. They also had some of the best pastries around That was long ago. The last time I was there, the food was cold, the seervice was terrible, and the billl was quite large fr dinner at a diner. The last two diners I've been to were the Thruway (had a scrumptious burger the size of a frisbee) and Red Fox. There I had a gyro one time and a burger the other. The gyro was much better than the burger. In all my years, I've never had anything terrible there.

                        I'd probably have to say Thruway, then Red Fox. Aside from that, pretty dismal!

                        1. re: jhopp217
                          d
                          dolores Mar 11, 2008 02:16 AM

                          Best get back to the Thruway soon, jhopp217. One of these days, not sure when, it's slated to be no more.

                          And yes, for a county so crowded and so diverse, the paucity of diners -- and diverse ethnic restaurants -- is surprising.

                          I find City Limits a diner on steroids, it just doesn't have the right 'feel' to me. I always go to Larchmont or North Castle if I need a diner fix. Have you been to the Patio in Ossining? Small, but it also has the diner 'feel'.

                          1. re: dolores
                            j
                            jhopp217 Mar 11, 2008 11:16 PM

                            I have heard about the Thurways impending doom, and the attempts to have it made into a landmark. I hope it survives.

                            I'm embarrassed to say this, but in all the years it's been open, i've never set foot in City Limits. To be honest when the Eastchester Odyssey took the nosedive, I soured on diners a bit. Maybe one of these days I'll get over to City Limits.

                            1. re: jhopp217
                              l
                              laylag Jun 14, 2008 02:55 PM

                              As others have said jhopp, it's not really a diner at all. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner but the food is not diner-like. It's a restaurant with the word diner in the name. I think it's okay - better for some things than others but wouldn't go out of my way for it and especially not if you're seeking a traditional diner in the old school sense of the word.

                      2. a
                        annrudy Mar 3, 2008 02:43 PM

                        Center Restaurant in Hastings on Hudson is great. This is basically the Hastings Diner, but with a different name. Everything there is good, especially the fried chicken and soups. I've also always been partial to the Fountain Diner in Hartsdale - I love the egg salad and bacon club.

                        1. l
                          Laura Eveleth Feb 29, 2008 06:08 PM

                          City Limits in White Plains is a favorite of ours. We regularly travel between Hartford and Northern NJ. Over the years City Limits has become our place to stop because the varied menu satisfies everyone. When our kids were younger, there was a more than decent kids menu and an extensive real menu of diner food and upscale food. The "kids" now order from the main menu and we all still love the place. We have always found the food and service here to be superior.

                          Laura Eveleth
                          Full disclosure - Part-owner Church Street Kitchen

                          1. nmacias Feb 16, 2008 07:53 AM

                            I'll have to agree abt the Landmark Diner in Ossining. We met w/some friends there to go over some business, and not only did the waiters leave us alone to attend our business they were not rushing us out. Which was big for me since I tend to hold most of my meeting while eating.=) I've been there twice so far, only on business. I'm planning on going this weekend w/my family. I hope to receive the same treatment.

                             
                            1. bosun Feb 13, 2008 10:56 AM

                              Here are two topics that might help.

                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/253627
                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/371760

                              1. SweetPea914 Feb 13, 2008 05:24 AM

                                I've only been there twice, but I've been pretty happy with Mt. Olympus on Central Ave. (Scarsdale/Yonkers border).

                                BTW, this is funny since I'm going to City Limits for lunch today (not my choice). It definitely seems to get mixed reviews here, and doesn't seem like typical diner food. I'll report back and let you know what I think...

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: SweetPea914
                                  s
                                  shellyesq Feb 13, 2008 12:52 PM

                                  Personally, I like City Limits. I usually get the vegetable frittata or one of the omelets. The options are definitely different than what you'd find at a standard diner.

                                  1. re: shellyesq
                                    v
                                    VFresser Feb 13, 2008 01:16 PM

                                    I also like City Limits very much.It is not a diner. It has tasty "American modern" food at reasonable prices. I love the oriental chicken salad, the chicken paillard (with heaps of arugula), and the fish specials always have fresh and intersting ingredients. I eat there often --nearly every week -- and have rarely been disappointed.

                                    1. re: shellyesq
                                      Marge Feb 13, 2008 01:26 PM

                                      I am another fan of City Limits. Yes, their tuna salad sandwich is more expensive than the local diner, but it is made with fresh, not canned, tuna and served on house made bread. And their corned beef hash is more expensive than the local diner, but it is house made, not outof a can (which my dog's food looks better than, but I digress). I think their omelets are great. I also like the Landmark Diner in Ossining.

                                      1. re: shellyesq
                                        SweetPea914 Feb 13, 2008 01:36 PM

                                        Shellyesq,
                                        Do you always order breakfast? Or do you have any other faves? I can see where some things may be hit or miss.

                                        MRM2008 - If you're looking for an upscale diner I would have to recommend City Limits. Just got back and I liked it too, though I can see why it may have some detractors. Portions were a little small for the price, especially compared to diners, but I thought the food was quite good. Service was great, restaurant was very clean.

                                        My GF and I shared an order of the steamed dumplings (which were really Shumai, not "dumplings") which at 7.95 for 5 pieces seemed expensive. Especially considering the 2 best Japanese places in my neighborhood (and possibly Westchester!) charge about $5 for an order of 6. I wouldn't bother with these if I go back.

                                        For my main, usually I get salads at lunch, but nothing was really striking my fancy, plus with this nasty weather I think I needed something more comforting, So I got the grilled chicken sandwich on foccacia with grilled veggies. It was VERY good, but again sort of small (maybe 4"x4" with the roll closed, but served open, so it looked bigger at first! ), which for me was fine. I rarely finish my meals but had no problem eating every last bite! The veggies were great and the chicken was cooked perfectly.

                                        My friend who has been eating here more than anyone should have to (her son is at the children's hospital in Valhalla and she's basically been living in hotels for the past 5 months) said that we needed to get the onion rings. She was right, they were awesome, but there were only 3, though they were big.

                                        I liked that they have more than just your typical diner fare and I would definitely go back. As I said, though, I can understand where some don't think it's all that.

                                        1. re: SweetPea914
                                          s
                                          shellyesq Feb 13, 2008 01:59 PM

                                          I've only been there around breakfast time, so I've stuck with the breakfast-y type foods. I also like their fresh squeezed orange juice, although it is pretty pricey.

                                      2. re: SweetPea914
                                        i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Feb 13, 2008 02:19 PM

                                        I love City Limits. No, it's not a "diner," and some people seem disappointed that's it's not a typical greasy spoon, but the only bad thing I have ever eaten there (I've been going since it opened) was a low fat dessert a few years ago. Everything is high quality, and it's cheaper than some greasy spoon diners, like the one in Pleasanvtille.

                                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream
                                          Bigbird Feb 16, 2008 05:42 AM

                                          I went to City Limits for the first time last week. Ordered a southwestern style hangar steak wrap. Was disappointed by the bland flavor, but the portion was huge. Came with a big pile of vegetable chips. Think if I ever returned I would concentrate on simpler dishes. Alice

                                        2. re: SweetPea914
                                          r
                                          ryssiebee Jun 18, 2008 03:12 AM

                                          I went to Mont Olympos (no joke, that's how it's spelled), and I thought it was pretty good! I had a chicken cordon bleu wrap i think, and I was pleased with it.

                                        3. d
                                          dolores Feb 13, 2008 04:44 AM

                                          Since City Limits overcharges for mediocre food and the Thruway Diner is set to close, my choices would be the Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Tarrytown and Portchester Diners. They are what they are, and serve traditional diner food at reasonable prices.

                                          The Patio in Ossining is nice too, as is The Landmark in Cos Cob (I think it's in Cos Cob), off of I-95.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: dolores
                                            ltlevy Feb 13, 2008 07:30 PM

                                            Dolores... Slight correct, I think The Patio is in Briarcliff Manor, not Ossining.

                                            1. re: ltlevy
                                              d
                                              dolores Feb 14, 2008 02:31 AM

                                              You're right, ltlevy, thanks. Nice little place.

                                            2. re: dolores
                                              l
                                              livin2eat May 21, 2008 08:40 AM

                                              i think city limits is the best i've tried. it's very "professional" which is refreshing. the athena diner on the main drag in fleetwood also used to be quite good.

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