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An overhead shot of oval dishes with burgers, french fries, pickles, and greens laid out across two blue tables with booths and chairs on the side
Old John’s Diner on the Upper West Side.
Molly Tavoletti/Eater NY

21 Timeless NYC Diners and Luncheonettes

These enduring gems are an increasingly rare breed

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Old John’s Diner on the Upper West Side.
| Molly Tavoletti/Eater NY

Breakfast for dinner, bottomless coffee, and corned beef hash. Whether it’s 10 o’clock in the morning or 10 o’clock at night, these are the things that give life to America’s diners.

The pandemic has taken its toll on these beloved institutions — East Village Ukrainian diner Odessa closed in July 2020, while 91-year-old Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop shut down in March 2021 — but that diner spirit is still alive in a number of the Formica countertops and laminated booths of New York City. From Junior’s in Downtown Brooklyn to Pearl Diner in the Financial District, New York’s most iconic diners are still oases for people craving old-fashioned food. Here’s where to find that feeling.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Tom's Restaurant

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Tom’s has been open in different variations as a diner for more than 70 years, but the Morningside Heights location has a few distinct claims to fame. It was the inspiration for Suzanne Vega’s song of the same name, and the exterior stood in for Jerry's regular spot, Monk's Cafe, in Seinfeld. Show fans aside, the longtime restaurant serves Columbia University students and locals.

The exterior of a restaurant with a neon sign that says “Tom’s Restaurant.”
Tom’s Restaurant in Morningside Heights.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Lexington Candy Shop

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Upper East Side’s Lexington Candy Shop opened in the 1920s and feels like a time capsule of what it was like to eat in the ’60s. The diner makes malted beverages with real malted milk powder and, true to its name, does in fact sell candy.

A diner counter with a cake inside a cake stand.
The counter at Lexington Candy Shop.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Old John's Diner

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Old John’s Luncheonette, an Upper West Side cornerstone, actually didn’t make it through the first year of the pandemic. The nearly 70-year-old establishment closed down in October 2020, but a former employee took over the lease and revived the space eight months later. The “Luncheonette” was switched out for “Diner,” and there’s fancy cocktails available now, but diners can still find the egg creams, chicken pot pie, and stacks of blueberry pancakes that have sustained the neighborhood for decades.

Several cakes and pies on white and glass cake stands of varying heights are arranged inside a glass case with bar seating visible in the background.
The pastry case at Old John’s.
Molly Tavoletti/Eater NY

Neptune Diner

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Neptune Diner, a Queens staple that opened in the 1940s, serves both American and Greek diner fare and has a large parking lot out back. Open from 7 a.m. to midnight, and with a menu accommodating enough for the pickiest eaters in any group, Neptune has earned its place as one of Astoria’s longest-standing diners — although its future is in jeopardy. An employee at the shop confirmed that the diner will likely be closing in the next two years after local legislators voted to approve a plan to bulldoze the lot to make way for a new real estate development.

Jackson Hole

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This restaurant near LaGuardia Airport opened as Airline Diner in 1953 and became part of the Jackson Hole burger chain more than 20 years ago. The space still has an old-school vibe that may be recognized from an early scene in classic ’90s film Goodfellas.

An open-faced burger topped with cheese on a white plate.
A burger from Jackson Hole.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Bel Aire Diner

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This Astoria diner has been around for more than 50 years, serving up buttermilk chicken fingers and tuna melts alongside Greek mainstays including spinach pies and souvlaki platters. The restaurant is open every day of the year and (almost) around the clock, from 5 to 2:30 a.m.

Westway Diner

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Legend has it that Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David first talked about writing Seinfeld in Westway Diner. This family-owned restaurant opened in 1988 in Hell’s Kitchen and is one of the few remaining freestanding diners in Manhattan. True to diner form, Westway’s kitchen cranks out more than 100 menu items, ranging from omelets and burgers to spaghetti and quesadillas.

Founded over a century ago, Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlors used to be everywhere in New York. They were the stuff of local legend, in part because of their monstrous Kitchen Sink sundaes, which contained as many as 30 scoops of ice cream. Today just one location remains in Queens, but that classic ice cream bar experience is exactly what’s keeping this spot afloat. Most of the Jahn’s original decor has been updated since its 1897 opening, but the ice cream menus still date back to that era.

Hector's Cafe & Diner

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This little red box of a diner calls upon the days of the Meatpacking District before the High Line and Chelsea Market. Hector’s Cafe & Diner has been serving tourists, meatpackers and the 4 a.m. masses since 1949. The restaurant still makes its burgers with meat from Weichsel Beef Company, which was one of the last meatpacking holdouts in the neighborhood before relocating in 2012.

The red exterior of Hector’s Cafe & Diner, with a yellow sign above the door spelling out the restaurant’s title.
Hector’s Cafe & Diner.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

La Bonbonniere

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La Bonbonniere is a "lovable dump" with a French name, and one of the last places in the West Village that has both diner charm and low prices. The menu has all of the breakfast staples with none of the frills. Weekend lines are the norm here, not the exception. Cash only.

The exterior of La Bonbonniere, with tables and chairs and huge white sign bearing the name.
La Bonbonniere.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Joe Junior

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Over the last five decades, Joe Junior in Gramercy has won over high school students, aspiring filmmakers, and area workers. It’s also a critic favorite for serving one of New York’s best — and simplest — burgers. 

B & H Dairy

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The East Village almost lost B&H Dairy's challah and blintzes in 2015 after a gas explosion on Second Avenue, but dedicated fans of the neighborhood staple open since 1938 stepped in. After raising close to $30,000 B&H reopened in 2015. The kosher diner was thrust again into turmoil in the first year of the pandemic, but it has managed to keep fueling the neighborhood with its giant, griddled tuna melts throughout the crisis.

An employee reaches over the counter at B & H Dairy to serve a customer.
Inside B & H Dairy.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Manhattan Three Decker

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Manhattan Three Decker has an ever-changing display of posters and themed art on its windows. This Greenpoint diner, while only one story, has a whole section of the menu dedicated to triple-decker sandwiches. It’s been open since 1928.

A tall brick building with a sign that says “Manhattan Three Decker Restaurant.”
Manhattan Three Decker.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Square Diner

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The charming, classic, century-old train car diner in Tribeca lined with wood panelling is actually shaped like a triangle, not a square. Husband-and-wife team Ted and Anna Karounos currently run the restaurant, but Square Diner has been in their family for more than 40 years.

The corner view of Square Diner, with a light-colored exterior and a shingled rooftop.
Square Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Kellogg's Diner

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This classic 24-hour diner has been around since 1929 and has survived despite — or perhaps, because of — its location in the heat of Williamsburg's hipsters and condos. It went through a renovation in 2008 to reveal a shinier exterior but still retains that old-school feel inside.

A person bikes by Kellogg’s Diner in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn during the coronavirus pandemic on May 7, 2020 in New York City. 
Kellogg’s Diner.
Rob Kim/Getty Images

Pearl Diner

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Pearl Diner's big neon sign stands out in the sea of skyscrapers in FiDi, with the word “Diner” lighting up the street at night. It closed for a bit after Superstorm Sandy, briefly worrying fans of the spot, but ultimately returning to its glory. The standalone restaurant opened in the '60s and still maintains the look of it inside.

Diners eating in booths and tables inside Pearl Diner.
Inside Pearl Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Junior's Restaurant

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Owner Alan Rosen made news in 2014 when he rejected a $45 million offer from developers to buy the famed Downtown Brooklyn location of his diner, known for its cheesecake. The Rosen family debuted Junior’s in 1950 and have since opened four additional locations, but the promise of cash couldn't persuade him to sell the original. “This is more than a restaurant,” he said at the time. “It's our roots, tradition and heritage, and it is just not sellable.”

Mike's Coffee Shop

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Mike’s Coffee Shop has been a Clinton Hill staple has been around since the 1950s, serving up chicken and waffles to Pratt students and celebrities alike, including Chris Rock, Biggie Smalls, and Rosie Perez. The bright neon sign that bares its name was made by a student artist, and the place still gets a line on the weekends.

Tom's Restaurant

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This Prospect Heights institution debuted in 1936 and is still run by the same Greek-American family that opened it. The diner sometimes hands out free coffee and cookies if there’s a wait, and there’s a signed photo from Suzanne Vega, even though her song "Tom's Diner" wasn't technically about this location. But that doesn't mean people think it's any less special.

A restaurant with a green exterior and evergreen bushes placed out front.
The exterior of Tom’s Restaurant.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Sunset Park Diner & Donuts

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Perched on the corner of one of Sunset Park’s main thoroughfares lies neighborhood fixture Sunset Park Diner & Donuts. Slide into a booth by the window and people-watch over bowls of mac and cheese topped with ham, corned beef paninis, and — true to its name — a colorful array of fluffy, frosted donuts. Cash only.

New Dyker

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Seating at New Dyker Restaurant may be limited, but the $2 coffee is endless. On weekends, expect a wait for a table — between counter and booth space, this Greek diners seats about 20 — but not for food. The wait staff at this Bensonhurst diner are known to serve soups-of-the-day faster than it takes to descend the elevated subway platform overhead.

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Tom's Restaurant

The exterior of a restaurant with a neon sign that says “Tom’s Restaurant.”
Tom’s Restaurant in Morningside Heights.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Tom’s has been open in different variations as a diner for more than 70 years, but the Morningside Heights location has a few distinct claims to fame. It was the inspiration for Suzanne Vega’s song of the same name, and the exterior stood in for Jerry's regular spot, Monk's Cafe, in Seinfeld. Show fans aside, the longtime restaurant serves Columbia University students and locals.

The exterior of a restaurant with a neon sign that says “Tom’s Restaurant.”
Tom’s Restaurant in Morningside Heights.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Lexington Candy Shop

A diner counter with a cake inside a cake stand.
The counter at Lexington Candy Shop.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Upper East Side’s Lexington Candy Shop opened in the 1920s and feels like a time capsule of what it was like to eat in the ’60s. The diner makes malted beverages with real malted milk powder and, true to its name, does in fact sell candy.

A diner counter with a cake inside a cake stand.
The counter at Lexington Candy Shop.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Old John's Diner

Several cakes and pies on white and glass cake stands of varying heights are arranged inside a glass case with bar seating visible in the background.
The pastry case at Old John’s.
Molly Tavoletti/Eater NY

Old John’s Luncheonette, an Upper West Side cornerstone, actually didn’t make it through the first year of the pandemic. The nearly 70-year-old establishment closed down in October 2020, but a former employee took over the lease and revived the space eight months later. The “Luncheonette” was switched out for “Diner,” and there’s fancy cocktails available now, but diners can still find the egg creams, chicken pot pie, and stacks of blueberry pancakes that have sustained the neighborhood for decades.

Several cakes and pies on white and glass cake stands of varying heights are arranged inside a glass case with bar seating visible in the background.
The pastry case at Old John’s.
Molly Tavoletti/Eater NY

Neptune Diner

Neptune Diner, a Queens staple that opened in the 1940s, serves both American and Greek diner fare and has a large parking lot out back. Open from 7 a.m. to midnight, and with a menu accommodating enough for the pickiest eaters in any group, Neptune has earned its place as one of Astoria’s longest-standing diners — although its future is in jeopardy. An employee at the shop confirmed that the diner will likely be closing in the next two years after local legislators voted to approve a plan to bulldoze the lot to make way for a new real estate development.

Jackson Hole

An open-faced burger topped with cheese on a white plate.
A burger from Jackson Hole.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

This restaurant near LaGuardia Airport opened as Airline Diner in 1953 and became part of the Jackson Hole burger chain more than 20 years ago. The space still has an old-school vibe that may be recognized from an early scene in classic ’90s film Goodfellas.

An open-faced burger topped with cheese on a white plate.
A burger from Jackson Hole.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Bel Aire Diner

This Astoria diner has been around for more than 50 years, serving up buttermilk chicken fingers and tuna melts alongside Greek mainstays including spinach pies and souvlaki platters. The restaurant is open every day of the year and (almost) around the clock, from 5 to 2:30 a.m.

Westway Diner

Legend has it that Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David first talked about writing Seinfeld in Westway Diner. This family-owned restaurant opened in 1988 in Hell’s Kitchen and is one of the few remaining freestanding diners in Manhattan. True to diner form, Westway’s kitchen cranks out more than 100 menu items, ranging from omelets and burgers to spaghetti and quesadillas.

Jahn's

Founded over a century ago, Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlors used to be everywhere in New York. They were the stuff of local legend, in part because of their monstrous Kitchen Sink sundaes, which contained as many as 30 scoops of ice cream. Today just one location remains in Queens, but that classic ice cream bar experience is exactly what’s keeping this spot afloat. Most of the Jahn’s original decor has been updated since its 1897 opening, but the ice cream menus still date back to that era.

Hector's Cafe & Diner

The red exterior of Hector’s Cafe & Diner, with a yellow sign above the door spelling out the restaurant’s title.
Hector’s Cafe & Diner.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

This little red box of a diner calls upon the days of the Meatpacking District before the High Line and Chelsea Market. Hector’s Cafe & Diner has been serving tourists, meatpackers and the 4 a.m. masses since 1949. The restaurant still makes its burgers with meat from Weichsel Beef Company, which was one of the last meatpacking holdouts in the neighborhood before relocating in 2012.

The red exterior of Hector’s Cafe & Diner, with a yellow sign above the door spelling out the restaurant’s title.
Hector’s Cafe & Diner.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

La Bonbonniere

The exterior of La Bonbonniere, with tables and chairs and huge white sign bearing the name.
La Bonbonniere.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

La Bonbonniere is a "lovable dump" with a French name, and one of the last places in the West Village that has both diner charm and low prices. The menu has all of the breakfast staples with none of the frills. Weekend lines are the norm here, not the exception. Cash only.

The exterior of La Bonbonniere, with tables and chairs and huge white sign bearing the name.
La Bonbonniere.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Joe Junior

Over the last five decades, Joe Junior in Gramercy has won over high school students, aspiring filmmakers, and area workers. It’s also a critic favorite for serving one of New York’s best — and simplest — burgers. 

B & H Dairy

An employee reaches over the counter at B & H Dairy to serve a customer.
Inside B & H Dairy.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

The East Village almost lost B&H Dairy's challah and blintzes in 2015 after a gas explosion on Second Avenue, but dedicated fans of the neighborhood staple open since 1938 stepped in. After raising close to $30,000 B&H reopened in 2015. The kosher diner was thrust again into turmoil in the first year of the pandemic, but it has managed to keep fueling the neighborhood with its giant, griddled tuna melts throughout the crisis.

An employee reaches over the counter at B & H Dairy to serve a customer.
Inside B & H Dairy.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Manhattan Three Decker

A tall brick building with a sign that says “Manhattan Three Decker Restaurant.”
Manhattan Three Decker.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Manhattan Three Decker has an ever-changing display of posters and themed art on its windows. This Greenpoint diner, while only one story, has a whole section of the menu dedicated to triple-decker sandwiches. It’s been open since 1928.

A tall brick building with a sign that says “Manhattan Three Decker Restaurant.”
Manhattan Three Decker.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Square Diner

The corner view of Square Diner, with a light-colored exterior and a shingled rooftop.
Square Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The charming, classic, century-old train car diner in Tribeca lined with wood panelling is actually shaped like a triangle, not a square. Husband-and-wife team Ted and Anna Karounos currently run the restaurant, but Square Diner has been in their family for more than 40 years.

The corner view of Square Diner, with a light-colored exterior and a shingled rooftop.
Square Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Kellogg's Diner

A person bikes by Kellogg’s Diner in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn during the coronavirus pandemic on May 7, 2020 in New York City. 
Kellogg’s Diner.
Rob Kim/Getty Images

This classic 24-hour diner has been around since 1929 and has survived despite — or perhaps, because of — its location in the heat of Williamsburg's hipsters and condos. It went through a renovation in 2008 to reveal a shinier exterior but still retains that old-school feel inside.

A person bikes by Kellogg’s Diner in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn during the coronavirus pandemic on May 7, 2020 in New York City. 
Kellogg’s Diner.
Rob Kim/Getty Images

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Pearl Diner

Diners eating in booths and tables inside Pearl Diner.
Inside Pearl Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pearl Diner's big neon sign stands out in the sea of skyscrapers in FiDi, with the word “Diner” lighting up the street at night. It closed for a bit after Superstorm Sandy, briefly worrying fans of the spot, but ultimately returning to its glory. The standalone restaurant opened in the '60s and still maintains the look of it inside.

Diners eating in booths and tables inside Pearl Diner.
Inside Pearl Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Junior's Restaurant

Owner Alan Rosen made news in 2014 when he rejected a $45 million offer from developers to buy the famed Downtown Brooklyn location of his diner, known for its cheesecake. The Rosen family debuted Junior’s in 1950 and have since opened four additional locations, but the promise of cash couldn't persuade him to sell the original. “This is more than a restaurant,” he said at the time. “It's our roots, tradition and heritage, and it is just not sellable.”

Mike's Coffee Shop

Mike’s Coffee Shop has been a Clinton Hill staple has been around since the 1950s, serving up chicken and waffles to Pratt students and celebrities alike, including Chris Rock, Biggie Smalls, and Rosie Perez. The bright neon sign that bares its name was made by a student artist, and the place still gets a line on the weekends.

Tom's Restaurant

A restaurant with a green exterior and evergreen bushes placed out front.
The exterior of Tom’s Restaurant.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

This Prospect Heights institution debuted in 1936 and is still run by the same Greek-American family that opened it. The diner sometimes hands out free coffee and cookies if there’s a wait, and there’s a signed photo from Suzanne Vega, even though her song "Tom's Diner" wasn't technically about this location. But that doesn't mean people think it's any less special.

A restaurant with a green exterior and evergreen bushes placed out front.
The exterior of Tom’s Restaurant.
Bess Adler/Eater NY

Sunset Park Diner & Donuts

Perched on the corner of one of Sunset Park’s main thoroughfares lies neighborhood fixture Sunset Park Diner & Donuts. Slide into a booth by the window and people-watch over bowls of mac and cheese topped with ham, corned beef paninis, and — true to its name — a colorful array of fluffy, frosted donuts. Cash only.

New Dyker

Seating at New Dyker Restaurant may be limited, but the $2 coffee is endless. On weekends, expect a wait for a table — between counter and booth space, this Greek diners seats about 20 — but not for food. The wait staff at this Bensonhurst diner are known to serve soups-of-the-day faster than it takes to descend the elevated subway platform overhead.

Related Maps