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City Limits Diner, White Plains

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Just got home from having brunch @ The City Limits Diner in White Plains. Don't waste your time and money. It's more hype than substance. I was extremely disappointed. The menu was overpriced, portions were small and the food was mediocre at best. In my opinion it was nothing more than a "yuppie place to hang out" - It is not a true diner.

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City Limits Diner
200 Central Ave, White Plains, NY 10606

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  1. What did you order? Otherwise what you say isn't very helpful.

    I really enjoy the City Limits Diner for lunch and occasionally for dinner. There are occasional "miss" dishes and definitely some things are pricier than others, but overall I've really enjoyed the burgers, salads, soups, sandwiches, corned beef hash and egg dishes. It's a beautiful space, the service is good.

    I haven't been there specifically for brunch, but do they have a very different menu than for weekday breakfast (which is served all day) or lunch?

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    City Limits Diner
    200 Central Ave, White Plains, NY 10606

    1. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your meal; hopefully it was a fluke. Everyone's entitled to his or her own opinion, and I will reiterate mine. City Limits is one of the most consistently good casual places to eat in Westchester. I've been going there since it opened and can count on less than one hand the number of disappointing items I've ordered off the menu. The prices are more than comparable to a true "diner" and the food is worlds better. Calling it a yuppie hang out is also extremely inaccurate. Families, young people, couples, elderly people, groups, of all different walks of life flock there and it's the number 1 place I go to when I want a reliable, no-frills, good quality meal at a reasonable price point.

      1 Reply
      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

        Agree...what did you have, Brooklynite, that was mediocre "at best"? I love their egg dishes, the fact that they serve real maple syrup with waffles/pancakes, their tuna salad made from fresh tuna, their house baked breads, their salads...I think the prices are a dollar or two more than most greasy spoon diners, but the quality of food is much better. And it's not a "yuppie place to hang out" at all!

      2. I've been going to City Limits pretty consistently since it opened. Lately I've become disappointed by things I've ordered. The food is better than a local diner - but that's not saying much. Prices have gone up, portions are smaller and quality is just not the same. I do like the space and I wish I liked the food better.

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        City Limits
        1557 W State St, Olean, NY 14760

        1. I think City Limits is awful. Not awful in the sense of the food is inedible, but I think the food is mediocre and the prices are high for what you get. It's really a glorified diner-- I don't love diners, but I prefer a diner atmosphere to the City Limits' trying to be more than it is vibe. I have been there maybe a dozen times since it opened, always due to dining companions wanting to eat there, and have never had a meal that was better than OK.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Shawn

            It's called City Limits "Diner", not sure I understand the comment "It's really a glorified diner--" :)

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            City Limits
            1557 W State St, Olean, NY 14760

            1. re: michele cindy

              Not much to understand. They can call it whatever they want, but the place really seeks to be more than a diner.

              1. re: Shawn

                got it.

            2. re: Shawn

              I agree with you Shawn. Just not worth it. The prices and many of the items imply they see themselves as more than a diner but unfortunately the food often fails to deliver and many times isn't even as good as a diner. I've had some good food there and some very disappointing food. I will still go on occasion if it's the most central place to meet for a breakfast, White Plains not exactly overflowing with breakfast spots and an occasional lunch or casual dinner but I find that most times I leave with the same thoughts, "Why did I/we come here again?" and "Did I/we really just pay $____ for that?!"

            3. I was there on Sunday at the Central ave location and it was packed. Min 25 min wait for a table at around 1pm. That being said, it's not a "diner" and it's not a "restaurant"- it's something in between. The portions are OK (I do remember bigger ones early in their history) but the food is consistent...even if the service can be thoroughly frustrating at times (eg: I sat at the counter w/ my daughter on Sunday and our counterperson/server could only communicate with grunts, pointing to items on the menu and grudgingly sliding our food to us w/o a smile or a TY).

              I love their curried egg salad sammich and their burger. The location in Stamford does have better service and is less crowded though. The Westchester Mall location is stroller parking central and variois kids running amok. Avoid.

              Just my 2c

              5 Replies
              1. re: BAFU

                The Westchester Mall location has been closed for quite awhile.

                1. re: Elisa515

                  Yeah well I was in S FL for the past 2 years...seems I missed that one. Thanks for the info though. I suppose if you're hungry you just go to the Food Court and roll the dice...

                  1. re: BAFU

                    In general, I think it's best to be careful about making comments (especially negative ones) that aren't up to date. Chefs change, environments change.

                    As for where to eat in or near The Westchester, that's another topic. :-)

                2. re: BAFU

                  I thought the one in the Westchester Mall had closed?

                  1. re: mary30

                    It did. There is one by the county center in white plains on central avenue.

                3. 1. Noise Level: If you don't get there early for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner that can be a big problem.
                  2. Diner? Not a Diner? Wanabee Beverly Hills Diner?: Most diners I've been to are about big food, but of questionable quality. At City Limits you'll get the fresh orange juice, fresh baked muffins/pastries, fresh meat and fish, on and on. Why is the food there smaller? Why can't they add an extra egg or give you a larger plate of hash browns or blueberry muffin? Are the profit margins so thin that such accomodations will bankrupt them? Doubtful.
                  3. Where else to go in the area: Rye has fancier breakfast spots, so does Chappaqua, Purchase, and Briarcliff Manor. If you're from NYC, Hyde Park, or Buckhead you may still be disappointed, but at least there aren't any cheesy jukeboxes or ice in the urinals (which I noticed at a once thriving Westchester diner that is now gone).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Ho_Nutha_Levoo

                    ice in the urinals keeps the smell down I think.. why is that a bad thing? OP go back to brooklyn. they are a higher end kid friendly diner. nuff said. I don't dine their but the bakery is one of the better options in the area for desserts.

                    1. re: cubanat

                      Between ice and nothing, I'll take ice, sure. Not to turn this into BathroomSanitationHound.com, but other places seem to do better with more modern methods. Besides, ice hides the Osama picture!

                  2. Diners are pretty much an anachronism these days.

                    NO matter what you're looking for, there's probably a better choice other than a diner to have it..

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: menton1

                      City Limits Diner is NOT a diner. It's a cuteness in the name, and something about the decor, but it is not a diner.

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                      City Limits Diner
                      200 Central Ave, White Plains, NY 10606

                      1. re: Elisa515

                        You're right Elisa. The name is a conceit, artistic license, a whim, a theme, whatever you want to call it. It's like naming a Chinese restaurant Golden Dragon when there are certainly no dragons, golden or otherwise, to be found on the premises.

                        1. re: Elisa515

                          If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it's a....duck!! Painting the beak or putting little booties on it doesn't change the species...

                          1. re: menton1

                            Sorry, but name another diner in Westchester that an executive chef from the CIA who has cooked at The River Cafe and Aureole and a pastry chef who is also a CIA grad. Lots of "legit" restaurants in Westchester don't even have chefs with those creditionals.

                            1. re: Maryld

                              I had no idea the chef had those credentials. Honestly, you'd never tell by his food at City Limits.

                              1. re: Shawn

                                Credentials are useless when you don't deliver. Besides, it's just impossible to do anything really well with over a hundred dishes on the menu. It's not a "whim". I'd call it a "gimmick".

                                1. re: menton1

                                  Diners may have over 100 things on the Menu. The City Limits Diner does not have that many. I don't have a menu in front of me, but I bet it's more like a third to at most a half that, and that's only if you count every single breakfast listing as a separate food, each side dish as something separate.

                                  It's not a limited menu bistro, but the menu is nothing like my local diner with its pages and pages and pages of everything under the sun.

                                  Have you actually been to this place, or are you just grousing about diner food? These are two completely separate discussions.

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                                  City Limits Diner
                                  200 Central Ave, White Plains, NY 10606

                                  1. re: menton1

                                    the absurdity of this discussion is amusing. bottom line it's higher-end diner food. gimmick or not its one of the more successful restos in the area. when it first opened it was amazing. is it tired now? maybe but there is still a waitlist on most days & nights at the white plains location. to me it's always been way to family friendly for my taste (the kids running up & down the dining rooms) but it offered the area more then decent food for over a decade now. let's move on!! has anyone been to 42's new tapas bar area since they sold peniche?

                                    1. re: cubanat

                                      Well said!!

                                      1. re: cubanat

                                        why do you need to cut off discussion about city limits? last time I checked - that was the title of this thread. some people love it - others (myself included) find it mediocre and not up to it's previous standards - successful or not. the thing about food in westchester is it's generally mediocre at best but mediocre seems wonderful compared to everything else.

                                        if you want to discuss 42 - start another thread.

                                        1. re: cubanat

                                          Folks, we've removed a number of increasingly unfriendly replies from this thread arguing about whether this place is really a diner, whether diners suck, whether people should be posting about the place if they like it or don't like it, etc.

                                          If you've dined there recently and want to tell people about it, please go ahead, but we'd ask that this argument be put to bed, thanks.

                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                            Thank you!!!

                            2. Fries should be blazing hot and crisp on arrival at the table. Theirs aren't. That puts me off. Aside from that I've been reasonably satisfied with my meals there.

                              1. I took my son to the Fountain today and it was more crowded than usual. I heard people talking about how City Limits was closed and just saw on their website that they are closed for renovations. Personally, I'd rather go to the Fountain, but I do go to City Limits every now and again, and I know that City Limits has its fans.

                                http://www.citylimitsdiner.com/#1

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: valerie

                                  The Fountain - is that the diner in Hartsdale next to Chef Central? When I was a kid that had another name and was my favorite diner.

                                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                                    That's the one. It is unapologetically retro. Have breakfast at the counter and you'll swear you're at Mel's Diner.

                                    1. re: foodiemom10583

                                      Love it. I'll have to make it down there for old time's sake!

                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                        You definitely should. If possible, sit in the smaller area near the counters. It can be pretty entertaining! Breakfast is your best bet.

                                        1. re: foodiemom10583

                                          I have to second this!

                                  2. re: valerie

                                    My son and I recently had breakfast at The Fountain, and we loved its retro feel, and thought that it was very good diner food. I love it when an old waitress calls me "Honey"!

                                  3. Have they re-opened? Haven't been there since they closed.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: TheKyle

                                      they have re opened, I was there the other day, and all I can say is wow, totally a new restaurant look. They sank some money into this place.

                                      1. re: slopeguy

                                        Thanks, I'll have to check it out!