The Best Diners In Every State

Whether you want a hearty breakfast, a satisfying lunch, or even a midnight snack, diners are the perfect place to satisfy a craving for American comfort food classics. These restaurants have been a part of the U.S. cultural landscape since the 1850s, when young entrepreneur Walter Scott began selling simple late-night eats to newspaper staff in Providence, Rhode Island. Today, diners often specialize in nostalgiac dishes that take guests back to simpler times. 

No matter where you go in the U.S., there are local diners full of loyal patrons who love their downhome recipes and the spot's inviting atmosphere. Although most of these longstanding restaurants have their own set of fans, each state has one diner that stands out from the crowd. These diners have one-of-a-kind specialties, colorful backstories, and tasty everyday dishes that make them among the best in the country. Some are worth taking a trip to visit, while others are hidden gems that could be hiding nearly in your backyard. 

Alabama: Salem's Diner

In the Birmingham, Alabama suburb of Homewood is the unassuming Salem's Diner, an old-fashioned eatery that serves delicious diner basics. The breakfast offerings are reliably deemed delicious, especially the large omelets and a hashbrowns-based dish called The Trashcan. 

The restaurant's true claim to fame is its Philly cheesesteak, which attracted national attention after receiving high praise on "The Tonight Show With Craig Ferguson" (via YouTube). The comedian dubbed this sandwich the most delicious cheesesteak he had tasted anywhere — including Philadelphia.

Alaska: Kriner's Diner

When it comes to breakfast, burgers, and dessert, many Anchorage residents swear by Kriner's Diner. This family-owned restaurant has a history of positive community involvement, such as a tradition of serving free Thanksgiving to-go meals. 

On the menu, patrons will find plenty of traditional diner fare. The restaurant offers generous portions, especially from its breakfast menu. For lunch, try the house-made corned beef hash or Andy's Awesome Burger, topped with jalapeños, cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce, and onion strings.

Arizona: Mel's Diner

In Phoenix, Arizona, Mel's Diner has been a roadside staple for over 50 years. The diner got its start as a truck stop and even appears in the 1970s TV show, "Alice." The restaurant's name honors Mel Sharples, a beloved character from the show. 

In addition to its retro charm and television nostalgia, the diner offers a delicious breakfast. Visitors consistently recommend that you try this spot's take on dishes like French toast, omelets, and chicken fried steak. 

Arkansas: Old South Restaurant

For a piece of Arkansas history with a diner meal, look no further than the Old South Restaurant in Russellville. This restaurant earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, over 50 years after opening its doors. 

Today, the diner is going strong sticking to its Southern comfort food roots. Reviewers praise many of its homestyle dishes, including hamburger steaks, meatloaf, and prime rib. Patrons are also big fans of the diner's desserts, especially apple pie. 

California: Ocean Diner

For patrons of Ocean Diner in Hermosa Beach, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The diner serves pancakes, waffles, and egg dishes with Mexican influence. The restaurant's decor resembles a genuine 1940s diner, and guests can enjoy homestyle breakfast and lunch seven days a week. 

Reviewers love the diner's omelets, scrambles, and homemade muffins. Try the Strawberry Cheesecake Waffle for something truly decadent that combines a classic breakfast with a beloved dessert.

Colorado: 19th Street Diner

In Glenwood Springs, 19th Street Diner lets guests step back in time to a traditional '50s-style diner. The decor is only the beginning. The restaurant's menu is nearly the same as when it opened in 1986, giving visitors an authentic taste of classic American eats.

While diners recommend a multitude of menu items, deep-fried French toast has the most extensive fan base. This restaurant also has a bar, which isn't unheard-of, but is a nice bonus. 

Connecticut: Dottie's Diner

Many diners are famous for pie, but the menu at Dottie's Diner features another popular sweet: donuts. The Woodbury, Connecticut restaurant advertises its classic donuts on its webpage, and patrons love them. 

These simple baked goods come in several flavors and are especially delicious paired with old-fashioned diner coffee. However, this longstanding eatery has a lot more to offer than just donuts. The menu features diner staples and modern options, including a unique spin on eggs Benedict with spinach and tomato.

Delaware: Angel's Restaurant

For diner lovers in Wilmington, Delaware, Angel's Restaurant, housed inside an old Silverside Dairy building, is a can't-miss. Several reviewers rave about the lunch and dinner dishes, including classics like burgers as well as fish and chips

There are also plenty of breakfast options here, such as omelets, pancakes, and egg sandwiches. However, one of the most intriguing menu sections here focus on "breakfast desserts" like Boston cream pie and a chocolate espresso cake.

Florida: Moonlite Diner

No trip to Fort Lauderdale is complete without stopping at Moonlite Diner. The eclectic '50s decor and satisfying menu options are a hit with tourists and locals. Patrons recommend everything from the meatloaf to the enormous breakfast platters. 

One of the highlights of the restaurant's extensive menu is its "Shake Shop" section, featuring hand-dipped milkshakes in an array of flavors. Patrons can choose from staples like vanilla and chocolate or explore newer options such as peanut butter or brownie. 

Georgia: Marietta Diner

Perusing the dessert display at a diner can be a fun part of the experience, especially at a place like the Marietta Diner. This Georgia diner is open 24 hours and has a colorful menu packed with delicious choices. 

Dessert is serious business at this restaurant, which offers over two dozen pies and cakes. Before sampling one of these sweet treats, many reviewers suggest trying the diner's gyros, chicken and waffles, or one of its many traditional breakfast dishes.

Hawaii: Rainbow Drive-In

In Honolulu, the Rainbow Drive-In fits perfectly with the island spirit. The restaurant opened in 1961, remains family-owned today, andhas grown from one location to three that all serve diner-style Hawaiian favorites. In traditional drive-in fashion, patrons can opt to have their food brought right to their car. 

The best things to order here are traditional plate lunches or a loco moco bowl. Fans of this restaurant rave about the plate lunches, with many pointing out the large portions and reasonable prices. 

Idaho: The Rusty Lantern Diner

Diners may not have the chic aesthetic of high-end restaurants, but that's part of the Rusty Lantern Diner's charm. This family-owned establishment treats the residents of Ucon, Idaho to huge helpings of homestyle diner food in a laidback, unpretentious atmosphere.

The Big Lantern Burger is one of the diner's signature dishes, starting with two beef patties that are then topped with Swiss cheese, mushrooms, bacon, and traditional burger fixings. 

Illinois: Charlie Parker's Diner

Pancake lovers visiting Springfield, Illinois, should be sure to stop at Charlie Parker's Diner, which serves some of the biggest flapjacks around. The restaurant's pancakes are so big that they have inspired their own food competition. If a patron can eat a Four Giant Stack, it's free. If not, you'll pay $25 for taking the chance. 

If $25 worth of pancakes doesn't sound like the ideal breakfast, the diner has many other delicious options. Satisfied diners readily recommend The Breakfast Shoe, a customizable egg dish that comes topped with gravy and cheese sauce. 

Indiana: Four Seasons Diner

Many diners wouldn't be the same without the influence of Greek restaurateurs, including the Four Seasons Diner in Indianapolis. Owner George Potamousis gained experience cooking in Greek diners before opening his own. The family-owned restaurant has been going strong for about three decades.  

Although there are plenty of dishes to choose from, many recommend a longtime menu staple: the Southern Skillet. This home fries-based breakfast skillet features cheese, peppers, onions, and a country-fried steak, all topped with sausage gravy and two eggs.

Iowa: Drake Diner

In Des Moines, patrons looking for an authentic retro dining experience flock to Drake Diner. This '50s-style diner offers unique daily specials and tasty comfort food essentials. For example, the potato pancakes have earned glowing reviews, as have the milkshakes. 

Unfortunately, even places as beloved as Drake Diner sometimes face tragedy: an armed robbery ended the lives of two managers in 1992. The "Drake Diner Murders" have since become a sad facet of the diner's backstory.

Kansas: Bobo's Drive-In

Some restaurants come and go, but Bobo's Drive-In has served comfort food staples in Topeka, for seven decades. Many fans have expressed their love for this eatery in-person and online, praising the friendly service, crispy onion rings, and simple yet satisfying burgers. 

The longstanding restaurant has earned particular praise for its thin hamburger patties and famous homestyle apple pie. That apple pie was also featured in a 2008 episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" as a highlight of the diner's menu.

Kentucky: Porky Pig Diner

Buffets and diners are usually separate entities, but visitors to the Porky Pig Diner in Smiths Grove, Kentucky, can enjoy them together on Sunday mornings. This affordable retro diner serves everything from slow-cooked barbecue to biscuits and gravy during the week but offers an assortment of all-you-can-eat choices for Sunday brunch. 

Many enjoy the house-made fried chicken and catfish at the heart of this buffet, but the desserts are noteworthy as well. These include traditional favorites such as brownies, fruit cobbler, and ice cream

Louisiana: Brenda's Diner

The Louisiana culinary scene is renowned for hearty Southern dishes. Brenda's Diner honors that tradition with delicious plate lunches. This neighborhood establishment in New Iberia has a different menu for each weekday featuring Louisiana staples like crawfish etouffee, turkey wings, and barbecue ribs. 

The diner's namesake and owner, Brenda, and her staff are as inviting as the food. Reviewers also sing Brenda's praises and love the diner's authentic soul food. Although many dishes have earned recommendations, most diners highlight the fried chicken.

Maine: The Maine Diner

The best diners become more than just restaurants, rising to the level of neighborhood institutions. That's the case for The Maine Diner, which has kept devoted fans returning for decades. What makes it unique is its garden, which the original owner established in the 1940s. Today, it still produces vegetables and fruit for multiple menu items.

The restaurant offers dishes that honor traditional diner fare and New England seafood, like the diner's Myles Henry Downeast Benedict, which features cod cakes instead of traditional English muffins.

Maryland: Broadway Diner

Restaurant-goers can thank Greek immigrants for helping expand the diner concept in the 20th century, and their influence is still evident. Baltimore's Broadway Diner offers many Greek-inspired dishes, such as baked moussaka, gyros, and souvlaki. 

In addition to Greek dishes, this spot offers plenty of seafood and Italian specialties such as eggplant parmigiana and tiramisu. Broadway Diner even appears in an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," which features a seafood dish called Broadway Festival. Reviewers also praise the generous portions and wide variety of menu options. 

Massachusetts: South Street Diner

Although 24-hour diners are easy to find in many regions, South Street Diner is a rare example of an always-open restaurant in Boston. When it first opened in the late 1940s, the restaurant served comfort food to factory workers.

The diner's cultural importance is captured in a short documentary, "24 Hours At The South Street Diner.". The restaurant's menu features New England-inspired breakfast items like Boston creme pancakes, and eggs Benedict made with lobster. 

Michigan: The M-29 Diner

In Ira Township, Michigan, The M-29 Diner is an excellent choice for diner food that is comforting and decadent. This diner serves everything from omelets to hot dogs, and the menu also includes Tex-Mex-style dishes such as a seasoned beef breakfast skillet. 

One of the best dishes on the menu is the diner's signature M-29 Burger, topped with cheese, bacon, and onion rings. Many reviewers have also given this diner five-star ratings for its food and the staff's hospitality. 

Minnesota: Lynn's Diner

Some of the most modest-looking diners have nevertheless won awards for their fantastic food. In 2022, Minnesota's Best gave its gold "Best Diner Award" to Lynn's Diner, a neighborhood restaurant in Watkins. The diner also won a silver award for its salads and took home the bronze for its pancakes and tater tots. 

In addition to award-winning staples, the diner features weekly specials on its Facebook page. Recent examples include everything from mushroom and Swiss cheeseburgers to a taco salad featuring crushed Doritos.

Mississippi: Abe's Grill

Abe's Grill is easy to spot in Corinth, Mississippi because of its eclectic exterior. The diner is covered in vintage signs and is itself a relic of the past. However, Missippians widely regard this little landmark as one of the best diners in their state. 

The restaurant's reputation even earned it a BBC News interview (via Facebook), and its homey food has plenty of fans. Many reviewers have given the diner a perfect score, citing low prices and delicious breakfast as some of the best highlights.

Missouri: Oscar's Classic Diner

Even from the outside, Oscar's Classic Diner lives up to its name. This Jefferson City, Missouri eatery offers a comfortable, retro vibe that patrons love. 

The restaurant began as a steakhouse in 1948, but the owners, the Mankin family, reimagined the restaurant as a diner in 2004. Today, classic comfort food dishes with fun names like the "Harry S. Truman Country Fried Steak" have earned top marks from reviewers for taste and portion size. 

Montana: Roadhouse Diner

Diners are great places to enjoy burgers, and the Roadhouse Diner in Great Falls, Montana, has some of the greatest. In 2018, Great Falls Tribune even awarded the restaurant its Best Burger award. 

The burgers on the menu are anything but ordinary, with names like Sin City and Death By Bacon. Then, there's the Bundy Burger, a special tribute to TV dad Al Bundy of "Married...with Children." This burger's many toppings include ham, bacon, and a fried egg.

Nebraska: Engine House Cafe

In Lincoln, Nebraska, a former fire station gained a new lease on life when it became the Engine House Cafe. The diner keeps its century-old firehouse history alive with retro decorations and a comfortable atmosphere. 

The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch options that take a page from classic Americana, like eggs Benedict, French toast, and biscuits and gravy. There are even a few dishes that go with the firehouse theme, like the Chief's Choice breakfast and the 5 Alarm platter.

Nevada: The Coffee Cup Cafe

Some of the best diners in the U.S. have appeared on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," including The Coffee Cup. This diner has been a regular fixture in Boulder City, Nevada since 1994 and is still beloved by locals today. 

One of the restaurant's unique breakfast dishes, the Pork Chili Verde Omelet, has become famous since appearing on the Food Network. The omelet combines green chili marinated pork and cheddar cheese with three eggs. The diner's French toast and several delicious lunch options are also favorites.

New Hampshire: The Red Arrow Diner

For politicians on the campaign trail, one Manchester, New Hampshire diner has become an integral part of their itinerary. The Red Arrow Diner has been around for a century and has a long history of serving politicians and celebrities. Server Elain Boule even met former president Bill Clinton at her work (via ABC News).

One of the diner's most positively reviewed dishes is the turkey dinner, served with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a choice of two sides. The restaurant also offers rotating blue plate specials at a discounted price.

New Jersey: Maywood Pancake House

New Jersey is a hotspot for excellent diners, and the Maywood Pancake House in Maywood is among the best in the state, in part because of its healthy spin on traditional diner cuisine. 

While most diners focus on rich comfort food, this restaurant offers plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Its breakfast menu in particular features plenty of vegan and gluten-free meals for everyone, including delicious pancakes.

New Mexico: 66 Diner

Albuquerque's 66 Diner started as a mechanic shop in the 1940s and keeps that service station vibe alive today. Like many great diners, it looks fresh from its original era and has a friendly atmosphere to match. 

One of the diner's specialties is the Pile Up, a hash-style breakfast combining potatoes, bacon, green chile, and other delicious ingredients — all topped with two eggs. If this dish is too big to conquer, you can order a half portion, appropriately called a Fender Bender. 

New York: Tom's Restaurant

Some diners have food so good that patrons will line up around the block to eat there. Tom's Restaurant has been part of the Brooklyn landscape since the 1930s and still attracts a massive crowd, especially at peak times. It boasts low prices and delicious food — a winning combination for any diner. 

Some of the unique dishes on offer include lemon ricotta pancakes and crab cakes Florentine, both of which are well-balanced and tasty. 

North Carolina: Mattie's Diner

If there's one thing restaurant patrons love to see, it's their favorite local spot making a comeback. That's what happened to Charlotte, North Carolina eatery Mattie's Diner. It began as a 1940s dining car in New Jersey before owner Matt King transported it to Charlotte, renovated it, and opened the spot in 2010. 

After having to close the diner in 2015, King made his triumphant return to a new location. The updated menu includes plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, including many vegan meals.

North Dakota: Deaner's Diner

All-day breakfast is a big draw for most diners, including Deaner's Diner in West Fargo, North Dakota. This restaurant's breakfast assortment includes all the classics, such as malted waffles, omelets, and sandwiches.  

Among reviewers, this restaurant is among the top-ranked diners in West Fargo, who love the friendly service, reasonable prices, and homey food. Among the most positively reviewed breakfast menu items are the caramel rolls, which are equally delicious as dessert. 

Ohio: The Union Street Diner

For those who prefer their comfort food deep-fried, The Union Street Diner in Athens, Ohio might be the perfect place. The menu includes familiar choices such as mozzarella sticks and onion rings, but there are also plenty of unique options like deep-fried cauliflower or mushrooms or deep-fried Oreos. 

Of course, there are more balanced meals available on the menu. In an interview with The Post Athens, co-owner Timothy Carman recommends burgers, the grilled chicken dinner, and steak and eggs.

Oklahoma: Angel's Diner

One look at the outside of Angel's Diner transports patrons back to the 1950s. However, this McAlester, Oklahoma, restaurant isn't just a retro diner, as it's also a pub and a steakhouse. In a DiscoverOklahoma segment, owner Angel Bernhardt outlined the two seating environments: a low-lit steakhouse section and a high-energy, '50s-themed diner section. 

The restaurant also has two distinct menus. The diner lineup contains classic breakfast and lunch options, plus daily blue plate specials. Meanwhile, the steakhouse menu includes a selection of steaks and brick oven pizzas. 

Oregon: Cameo Cafe

Korean food may not be the first thing people associate with diners, but that's exactly what guests can enjoy at Portland's Cameo Cafe. This diner offers everything from bulgogi to bento, and fans of sweet breakfast fare can enjoy plate-sized pancakes and fluffy waffles. 

Regarding breakfast, two dishes from the "specials" menu represent this marriage of American and Korean traditions: the kimchi omelet and kimchi hash. These fusion dishes add a unique flair to the standard diner breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns, and toast.

Pennsylvania: The Dining Car

In Philadelphia, The Dining Car pays homage to diners of the past with its name and retro decor. The old-school restaurant's reputation earned it a spot on a season 2 episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."

The diner is worth visiting in part because of its excellent service and extensive menu, with tasty offerings such as apple walnut pie and all-beef burgers. However, this restaurant is more than just a diner. Patrons can also visit the attached bakery and market for confections made daily.

Rhode Island: The Middle Of Nowhere Diner

Some diners, such as The Middle of Nowhere Diner in Exeter, Rhode Island, are not what they seem. This nondescript little restaurant may not look like much outside, but large portions and friendly service have earned the loyal affection of locals and out-of-town visitors alike. 

Patrons are particularly fond of the restaurant's steak and eggs breakfast, served with home fries. In addition to breakfast, reviewers praise dishes that offer a true taste of New England like clam chowder and fish and chips. 

South Carolina: Fillin' Station Diner

Mixing a service station and a diner may sound unusual, but the Fillin' Station Diner in Hollywood, South Carolina makes for a winning combination. The diner's fun decor replicates an old-time filling station with car fenders and vintage signs. 

Of course, the food is the true highlight of this restaurant. The menu features unique burgers, sandwiches, and other excellent lunch or dinner options. Many reviewers highly recommend the diner's hot dogs, which sometimes appear as lunch specials. 

South Dakota: Phillips Avenue Diner

Decadent diner-style milkshakes are a beloved sweet treat, and Phillips Avenue Diner is a great place to find one in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla, and somewhat more unusual options like butterscotch and banana.  The diner also has a seasonal features menu that often includes creative limited-time shakes. 

In addition to milkshakes, the menu features everything from poutine to jambalaya, along with traditional breakfast dishes. Fans have given dishes such as chicken and waffles and banana bread French toast high marks for flavor. 

Tennesse: Kokomo's 50's Diner

In Adamsville, Tennessee, the 1950s are alive and well at Kokomo's 50s Diner. This restaurant takes period decor very seriously, featuring wall-to-wall memorabilia and retro furniture. Many recommend that you try the milkshakes and malts, both made in the traditional 50s diner style. 

Many reviews suggest that you try the diner's various cheeseburgers, which are as delicious as the shakes. The burgers and sandwiches have perfectly on-brand names like Rockin' Robyn, The John Wayne, and Betty Boop.

Texas: Maple Leaf Diner

Dallas is probably the last place restaurant-goers would expect to find Canadian specialties. But don't dismiss the Maple Leaf Diner, which brings staples like poutine and Canadian beer to the Lone Star State. In 2022, the restaurant won The Best In DFW's best diner award from The Dallas Morning News.

Patrons of this diner enjoy various southern classics with a north-of-the-border flair, such as chicken-fried steak poutine. This delicious fusion dish appears in an episode of "Food Paradise" on the Travel Channel.

Utah: Ruth's Diner

Diners are often known for one particular specialty. Take Ruth's Diner in Salt Lake City, which has been in business for over 90 years and is the second-oldest restaurant in Utah. One of the diner's most popular offerings is its Mile High Biscuits, often served as a side dish or with classic country gravy. 

Although there are plenty of excellent menu options, reviewers rave about these biscuits because of their generous size and delicious flavor. Most agree that these biscuits are perfect with the diner's raspberry jam. 

Vermont: The Blue Benn Diner

In Bennington, Vermont, diner fans have visited The Blue Benn Diner since 1948, and many of its traditions live on today. The diner is so integral to the town's history that it inspired a book, "Sonny's Blue Benn: Feeding the Soul of a Vermont Town."

Along with classic diner dishes, vegetarians will love this restaurant's array of plant-based dishes. Noteworthy options include a pizza-inspired Margherita Sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, and basil or falafel with pita and hummus.

Virginia: Blue Moon Diner

It's not often that live music is part of the diner experience, but a little place in Charlottesville, Virginia, prides itself on providing this winning combination. The Blue Moon Diner allows singers and small bands to perform for their patrons weekly. 

Of course, it's the food that makes a diner special, and this restaurant's menu features unique breakfast dishes like shakshuka and a tofu scramble. The diner's omelets garner special acclaim, including a Nordic omelet made with smoked salmon and an apple omelet.

Washington: Twede's Cafe

Those who remember "Twin Peaks" should visit Twede's Cafe in North Bend, Washington for a dose of nostalgia. The exterior of this tiny breakfast spot served as the show's "Double R Diner." Although a fire caused massive damage to the building, visitors can still see the original neon sign from the 1980s.

In addition to experiencing a piece of television history, patrons can enjoy excellent omelets, hash browns, and coffee. But, of course, no "Twin Peaks" fan should leave without trying this diner's famous cherry pie.  

West Virginia: Mary B's Diner

In Parkersburg, West Virginia, Mary B's Diner proves that looks can be deceiving. This restaurant may not have a glamorous exterior, but its homey, well-made dishes keep locals coming back for more. New patrons will be sure to enjoy the restaurant's breakfast offerings, which include decadent stuffed French toast, large omelets, and breakfast burritos. 

The diner's assortment of homemade pies is a true standout. Reviewers especially recommend trying the coconut cream, blueberry, peanut butter, and blackberry pies.

Wisconsin: Frank's Diner

In downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin, patrons can enjoy comfort food with a side of history at Frank's Diner. This restaurant is among the oldest prefabricated diner cars still in operation, first making its way to Kenosha in 1926. 

Unsurprisingly, breakfast is the best meal of the day at this diner. Guests love Frank's Garbage Plates, one of the diner's specialties. These concoctions feature hashbrowns, peppers, and onions mixed with three or five eggs. From there, patrons can customize their garbage plate with various meat and veggie add-ins and top it with cheese.

Wyoming: G-Ma's Diner

Diners are popular because they give patrons a taste of home, and G-Ma's Diner in Mills, Wyoming takes that concept to heart. The restaurant boasts a warm atmosphere and decadent comfort food that tastes like your grandma made it. 

Reviewers praise the restaurant's huge portions, and the biscuits and gravy come highly recommended. The menu includes spicy sausage gravy or the restaurant's specialty, green chili gravy. Both are served with eggs and home fries.