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Hudson Valley diners

Let's talk about 'em: the good, the bad and the ugly.

I'll get the ball rolling with capsule reviews of the two diners in New Paltz...

Plaza Diner: this used to be my favorite, but it's gone downhill in recent years.

College Diner: now the best in town by default. In fact, it's quite decent.

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  1. i don't see the point. you can't expect much when you're going to a diner. a greasy spoon is a greasy spoon.

    9 Replies
    1. re: groover8

      Not true. There are huge variations in quality, and some diners do diner food very well. The Eveready in Hyde is a bit upscale and maybe a dollar or two more than average, but the food is quite tasty. The West Taghkanic is a classic old diner from the 40's that now serves good, home-style food, nothing mind-blowing but simple and tasty (and cheap). Interestingly the Martindale Diner just a few miles up the Taconic Parkway from it is the same type of old classic diner, but the food is terrible.

      1. re: rrems

        I love Eveready Diner. I84 diner is pretty good, Daily Planet is pretty good too. Those are the ones that first come to mind. I'm sure there's more, just have to think about it. Diners are great though because you have so many different choices.

        1. re: sdcr

          I love the Palace diner by St Francis hospital - they have THE BEST sweet potato pancakes!

          1. re: Feaster18

            I've eaten at the Eveready two or three times. The decor puts me off; it's garish, overly-stylized pseudo-Americana. Food is good but overpriced, service is fine. But I'm not an impartial reviewer--in fact, I admit to a bit of a grudge against the place because my old hangout was demolished to make way for it.

            I've always liked the Acropolis on Main St. better than the Palace, especially since the Palace's "renovation." It's not that there's anything wrong with the food at the Palace, I just prefer more of a traditional diner atmosphere.

            Any opinions on the Village Diner in Red Hook? I wanna eat there sometime, just 'cause it's so old-school.

            1. re: NewYorkDave

              Everready is pretty amazing. They have their own bakery and make alot of things onsite. It is rare to find a diner this good.

              1. re: NewYorkDave

                We loved the Village Diner in Red Hook. Excellent grub -- thick sliced hot pastrami on rye, blt on wheat and philly cheese state. Even my DD's chicken fingers were good, and they were real chicken. The wait staff could not have been nicer. They saved our day which was otherwise ruined by the traffic around the Dutchess County Fair.

            2. re: sdcr

              Since we have no diners in the Detroit area, I so enjoyed Eveready in Hyde! The chocolate malt was heavenly and enough to split. It was a highlight of our Hudson Valley trip!

            3. re: rrems

              I agree with you about the Everready. All diners are not the same and some are exceptional.

              1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                I'm not sure either about Eveready being amazing. But I would say it's: definitely very good, excellent, and even remarkable! I also think it's pretty awesome. Actually interesting comes to mind also. It is a diner so I don't necessarily expect it to be amazing, maybe amazing as far as diners go! I do enjoy it though, and the food is very good awesome excellent remarkable too!

          2. The Stadium Diner in Kingston, NY is a firm OK. Nothing to write home about, but if you are in the area, you will do OK there. It is nothing spectacular or upscale. It is close to the Exit 19 Traffic Circle and sure beats the Thruway rest stops.

            1. I really like the Village Diner in Red Hook for breakfast ( I haven't tried it for lunch or dinner It seems like all the food is homemade. I feel like I'm in a time warp when I eat there. The service is always great, I am treated as well as the local regulars.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chowdom

                my mistake its called the Historic Village Diner

              2. We are diner aficionados and the best diner in Kingston is King's Valley on Ulster Avenue.
                The food is always good, great breakfasts, service might be slow at times but .. My partner loves the Napoleon - french toast and fresh fruit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: loupeppe2

                  I agree with loupeppe2 100%...King's Valley Diner is best in Kingston!

                  1. re: loupeppe2

                    Just returned to the area on vacation and had the opportunity to stop here for breakfast. I tried their hash for the first time. They make their own and it was fantastic. If you are traditionally put off by standard breakfast hash then I encourage you to try Kings Valley Diner. It's worth a drive.

                  2. The Alexis diner in Newburgh is pretty good. The other one, the name of which escapes me right now but is very close to the Wal-Mart on 300 is terrible.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gvogelge

                      The Alexis is the only Diner that should be considered in Newburgh. It's good, and unless you get a new waiter/waitress, you'll get your food extremely fast. It's a little pricey for a Diner, but considering it is the only good Diner in the area you get what you pay for. When your digestive health is in question, take no chances. The one on 300 is Johnny D's and it is notorious for being a disease spreading hell hole. I've eaten there several times and it lives up to its reputation.

                    2. I don't think it's there anymore, but I remember terrific patty melts and hot browns at the Crompond Diner on Rt.202 in Peekskill. I haven't been there in about 35 years, but it was good back then. I also remember the Chief Taghanack (sp?) on the Taconic Parkway up near US 84. Mostly what i remember about it was the pie and their chili(although back then I didn't really know from chili). Anyway, I'm sure this information is very helpful.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: chazzerking

                        ahhh...late nights at the crompond diner...many times and many years ago...its now a huge modern diner and i can't think of its name

                        1. re: chazzerking

                          I finally looked at a map and was way off on the location of the Chief Taghkanic Diner. I'm now of the strong opinion that it was at the intersection of the Taconic Pkwy and Rout2 82 up near Livingston. I remember we used to stop there before and after skiing at Catamount. The clearest memoriy is of the great neon sign on top with the sillouette of an indian in full (incorrect, as the headress was Sioux and the chief was Mohican) feathered headress in profile. It was a full on chrome beauty with a counter on one side and a row of booths on the other. PS I found the website for the diner and the correct name is the West Taghkanic Diner. I was correct about my second guess on its location. On the website is the menu and I was startled to see and ostrich steak and ostrich burgers, but no chili. There are a number of photos and I was glad to see that they hadn't fooled around and modernized the interior. the sign is also in its original glory and my memory of it proved accurate as well. The only question is whether any 'hounds have eaten there recently and is the food any good?

                          1. re: chazzerking

                            You may also have been remembering the Chief Taghkanic Diner at the end of the Taconic Pkwy on Route 295 (where you have to make a choice about getting off or paying the toll for the turnpike, Rt.90). This diner was moved to New Lebanon about 20 years ago, and went through several changes, to now be unrecognizable as an Italian Restaurant on Route 20 in the middle of town.

                            1. re: mojo01267

                              I really think it was the West Taghkanic, as US90 is about 30 -40 miles North past where we would have turned off the Taconic.

                        2. Most of the Diners in the Dutchess County area have common ownership and are managed by different members of the family. Eveready and Palace are the same while the Daily Planet is someone else from the family who also has a more upscale restaurant in New Paltz. The Eveready people also have the Lonestar Cafe and, I think, also the Rolling Rocks. What I think you're seeing is the younger generation taking over the existing diners and theming them up and getting into more traditional restaurants at the same time. As a result, if you like one diner, you'll probably like the others, foodwise, if you can get along with the decor. Another group of diners in the area that also tend to be quite good, though not calling themselves diners, are the Pete's Famous restaurants in Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park and Rhinebeck. Be careful in Poughkeepsie. The one on Hooker Avenue is the real deal. The old one on Main Street was sold, kept the name, but is not the same owner and I have no idea what the food is like.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hvsteve1

                            The owners of the Eveready Diner also own the Double-O's, Coyote Grill. The owners of the Palace are the same owners of the Daily Planet and Barnaby's in New Paltz.

                          2. There is a beautiful diner in Elizaville -perfectly restored 50's Kullman diner. Food was very good - typical diner fare, and service was friendly. Not overly crowded and well worth the trip.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: LJNew

                              My wife and I were driving southbound heading to Woodbury Commons two years ago. We had been driving all day from Toronto and finally I hit the wall, it was night and I couldn't stay awake any longer so we pulled into a Scottish Inn. It was right out of the fifties, but it was very clean and inexpensive. In the morning we woke up to find 6 inches of snow had fallen and the roads were not plowed yet.
                              Just out of the parking lot was an old stainless steel diner. We had breakfast (which was pretty good) and then hit the road. 5 minutes later we went by a sign saying Welcome to Orange County New York. (Or something to that effect). Does anyone know where that would be. We got engaged on that trip and we are coming down at the end of November. But I have no idea where we were. I can't find the Scottish Inn on the net. Appreciate any help.

                              1. re: Conductorchris

                                Would help to know what road you were on.

                                1. re: Conductorchris

                                  Could it have been the Suisse Inn?

                                2. re: LJNew

                                  we recently ate at the elizaville diner, and i must sadly say that it was one of the worst meals i've ever been served in a restaurant. the atmosphere, service and prices are all good, but the food is inedible. we were there for breakfast. our fruit salad was composed of brown grapes, mushy pineapple and soggy cantaloupe. and our french toast tasted and looked like it was a pre-made, frozen variety with absolutely no taste, that appeared to have been defrosted in the microwave and then briefly put on the grill to warm it up a bit more. and the sausages that were served with the french toast had obviously been cooked hours earlier, and were burnt, bitter and acrid tasting. i've honestly never had a worse breakfast and we left without eating more than a taste of each dish. it was frankly shocking that a country diner couldn't make good home made french toast with sausages or even manage to serve a bowl of fruit that wasn't half rotten. it seemed to us that the kitchen doesn't care about what they are doing and relies heavily on frozen and microwaved ingredients. avoid this place at all cost.

                                3. Spencertown - no, not Stephentown - has the brand spankin' new Dan's Diner which opened for a test run this past weekend (31st - 2nd). Unfortunately I didn't make it this weekend but plan to hit it this week. Right on Route 203, classic railroad car diner - completely and originally restored. No booths, just stools at the counter.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: timwhoeatsalot

                                    Rt 203 is nowhere near Stephentown NY, which has no diner.

                                  2. While Albany is technically a boundary of the Hudson Valley, Miss Albany Diner (MAD) is a pretty good diner.


                                    1. Please help.I am looking for a diner in Dutchess County that is easily accessible from the Taconic Parkway.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: sagetom

                                        daily planet, lagrangeville. you could throw a baseball from the parkway and it would roll to the diner.

                                        1. re: bob gaj

                                          I think they're owned by the same people, but I like The Daily Planet so much more than the Everready. The food may not (or it may) be better, but I just 'like' The Daily Planet.

                                          1. re: dolores

                                            Daily Planet and Palace Diner are the same owners. Eveready family owns the Double-O's and Coyote Grill.

                                      2. We passed O's Diner on the taconic parkway in Chatham many times before finally stopping. Definately the best diner food we ever had, and inexpensive too. If you pass this diner do yourself a favor and stop for a meal. The turkey pot pie @ $8.95 was home made and excellent. Fried chicken to die for.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: bostonblackie

                                          eveready is overrated. petes famous is the best in town

                                        2. Cheif Martindale Diner in Claverack. on route 23 and Taconik Parkway. Nothng has been changed since 1950s. Even the prices seem 1970's. Damn fine diner experience. Like going into a time machine.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: bbmatty

                                            Except that the food is AWFUL (IMO), as I said in my post near the beginning of this thread. The West Taghkanic Diner has the same ambience and prices but the food is good.

                                            West Taghkanic Diner
                                            RR 82, West Taghkanic, NY 12513

                                            1. re: rrems

                                              Both diners have good food and are original. The signs are the only two remaining orginal signs on the parkway.

                                          2. Eveready in Brewster is my fave!!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: ryanallday

                                              Eveready is the region's best diner and one of the area's best restaurants. Not possible, you say?

                                              The Brewster Eveready at Exit 19 on I-84 has had lines out the door since it opened.
                                              \Anyone we've taken there has invariably returned on their own with guests.

                                              It's just the right place for beautifully presented chef of diner fare served by well-trained sought-after is always pleasing and inexpensive. How many times when you are being served your meal in any diner, does everybody at the table go, "Oooooh! That looks nice." Well, at Eveready, we say it and hear is a lot.

                                              The decor is "fun" '50's "diner" but you'll spend most of the time looking at the platters you ordered.

                                              It's our go to place when we are a group of diners who can agree on what the common mood is tonight.

                                              We love the Eveready!


                                              1. re: Joypebble

                                                Driving upstate from Long Island a few weeks ago, I had planned a stop in Red Hook to try the Historic Village Diner, which we liked. On the way, I drove through Poughkeepsie because I wanted to see the Walkway Over The Hudson. When we continued north on 9G, I spotted the beautiful Eveready Diner in Hyde Park.

                                                When I was home again, I checked it out on the net and saw a lot of positive comments as well as an intriguing menu. I look forward to a stop on the next drive to the area, which will hopefully be very soon.


                                                1. re: Joypebble

                                                  Update from Joypebble 1/7/13

                                                  Update: After two years, there seems to be a slight lowering of the bar with occasionally slightly overcooked veggies and smaller portions of their key specials, such as the amazingly inexpensive roasted chicken dinner plate. Veggies mushy and chicken cooked a little dry as if the size got smaller but the cooking time stayed the same; A recipe for over-cooking for sure.

                                                  Also, even though the wait staff is well trained and extremely friendly, the hosting team at the front end has turned to “bored-no-eye-contact drop-the-menu-and-run-away” when seating guests. (Training school closed?) Not the way it was during the first two years.

                                                  1. re: Joypebble

                                                    I picked up take out twice recently from the Rhinebeck location. The first time towards the end of November the food ( the roast chicken ) and everything else ordered was prepared well and portion size was ample. As a matter of fact I think we got three meals out of the chicken. The second time this past Saturday I picked up a dinner to bring to someone in the hospital.

                                                    I called to order pot roast a menu item. A female took my order, when I picked up the food I realized she was the hostess/cashier.
                                                    I asked what sides came with the pot roast...silence
                                                    I asked if I could have mashed potatoes on the side...silence
                                                    She was under the impression that if one ordered pot roast (it was all inclusive) and that ordering " pot roast" was all that was necessary. She knew nothing about how it was prepared, what it was served with, if it came with soup or salad...
                                                    To make a long story short she eventually would put me on hold everytime I asked a question, after I suggested the pot roast might be served with sides.

                                                    Back to the food, the portion of pot roast was tiny and I mean tiny just a little bit larger than the ice cream scoop size and shape side of mashed potatoes that incidentlally were so dry they could be cut with a knife and fork.
                                                    The side of mixed veggies were crisp however. I didn't bother asking the patient how the food was because after all he would have been comparing it to hosptial food and I was afraid of the answer. Needless to say I was very disappointed.
                                                    There was not a single table in the diner when I arrived to pick up the order at 4pm.

                                                    1. re: Joypebble

                                                      Update to my Update.

                                                      Good news.

                                                      We, and others, mentioned the issues we discussed (in the previous update) to the management.

                                                      It must have had some impact because now things are back on track with first-rate freshness and big-as-usual portions presented with a smile.

                                                2. The Goshen Diner is one of the Best in Orange County. Try the Ceasar Salad with Grilled Chicken Enough for 2
                                                  Goshen Plaza Diner
                                                  (845) 294-7800
                                                  Route 207, Goshen, NY 10924

                                                  1. Reading these reviews of NY diners, pro and con, brings tears to my eyes. Having lived most of my life in the Hudson Valley, I retired to Tennessee, about an hour west of Knoxville. I would KILL to have a real NY diner. Most of the non-chain restaurants here are open for breakfast and lunch serving eggs, bacon or ham, grits and other such southern foods. I keep going to places recommended by friends as great little restaurants and think, "Are you kidding?". Of course most have never experienced a diner. I did find one in Chattanooga. It was a surprise because, while we were visiting, people kept telling us we have to try this great restaurant that gives you so much food you have to take a doggie bag. I pictured a big barbecue or such. When we arrived and walked in, we saw a lot of neon, formica and a carousel of huge cakes and pies at the entrance. I said to my wife, "This is a friggin' DINER!". It is the City grill and has two locations, one at the Day's Inn Rivergate and the other at the Best Western Heritage. It is attached to the building and not part of the actual hotel. I was told the diners were started by some fellows from New Jersey who came south and tried their luck. To southerners, this restaurant is like it came from Mars. They also supply baked goods to a number of other restaurants in the area. I have found no other "Greek Diners" around here,though it's a big state and they may exist.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: hvsteve1

                                                      hvsteve1 when did you leave the area? Unfortunately what you describe sounds like the current state of the majority of diners in the NY NJ area. For the most part the same sysco crap is being served and it's difficult to differentiate one diner from the next. We are lucky to find an occasional independent coffee shop type of place that prepares good home cooked style food.

                                                      1. re: hvsteve1

                                                        Don't be so harsh. When in Rome, do as the Romans. When in Tennessee, ask for recommendations for a "meat and three".

                                                        Ample portions. Good home cooked food. No, you may not find spinach pie. No, there won't be a big glass cake with pieces of cake which they bought at a wholesale bakery. But be sure to ask if they have any pie for dessert.

                                                        (a Tennessean, living in exile in Westchester)

                                                      2. I moved down here in 2008. The restaurants down here are not even like bad diners...it's mom and pop places with mom waiting tables and pop in the back throwing eggs on a grill unless, of course, you want Cracker Barrel or Waffle House. The only offset is people down here expect to get a full breakfast for $5 and hesitate to pay much more than $10 for lunch or dinner. I have to drive to Knoxville to get decent challah bread (imported from New Jersey), anything resembling a bagel and, as for decent danish, fageddaboutit. Of course, you get much better barbecue than up north (though there is Max's in Rhinebeck).