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The diner interior of Lexington Candy Shop
Lexington Candy Shop
Bess Adler/Eater

21 Iconic NYC Diners and Luncheonettes

These enduring gems are an increasingly rare breed

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Lexington Candy Shop
| Bess Adler/Eater

Breakfast for dinner, bottomless coffee, and corned beef hash. Whether it’s 10 o’clock in the morning or 10 ’til midnight, these are the things that give life to America’s diners, but only if they’re available on a 200-line menu.

The spirit of the American diner is still alive in the Formica countertops and laminated booths of New York City — at least for now. Since 2014, at least 15 diners have closed in New York due to rising rent prices and lucrative offers to sell. Today there are just five freestanding diners left in all of Manhattan.

Those that remain can often feel frozen in time, despite being open 24 hours a day. From Junior’s in Downtown Brooklyn to Pearl Diner in the Financial District, New York’s most iconic diners have become oases for people craving old-fashioned food, even as the neighborhoods around them rapidly change. Here’s where to find that feeling.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2015.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tom's Restaurant

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2880 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 864-6137
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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. Seinfeld tourists aside, the longtime restaurant serves Columbia University students and locals.

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

2. Lexington Candy Shop

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1226 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10028
(212) 288-0057
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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 Bess Adler/Eater

3. Neptune Diner

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3105 Astoria Blvd N
Astoria, NY 11102
(718) 278-4853
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Neptune Diner serves both American and Greek diner fare, but what’s made it an Astoria staple over the last 30 years is a parking lot out back. Open 24/7 and with a menu accommodating enough for the pickiest eaters in any brunch roster, Neptune has earned its place as one of Astoria’s longest-standing diners.

4. Jackson Hole

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6935 Astoria Blvd N
East Elmhurst, NY 11370
(718) 204-7070
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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 Nick Solares/Eater

5. Bel Aire Diner

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3191 21st St
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 721-3160

This 24-hour Astoria diner has been around for more than 40 years, and current owner Argyris "Archie" Dellaportas bought it in 1996 after working his way through the kitchens of other spots like Westway Diner in Hell's Kitchen. Bel Aire was named the city's best diner in 2001 and 2005, in part because it still makes its own baked goods in a time when most diners buy them wholesale.

A diner with a shiny silver exterior Bel Aire Diner [Official Photo]

6. Westway Diner

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614 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036
(212) 582-7661
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Legend has it that Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David first talked about writing Seinfeld in Westway Diner. This 24-hour, 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.

A hamburger, cheeseburger, and fries on a white plate Westway Diner [Official Photo]

7. Jahn's

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8104 37th Ave
Flushing, NY 11372
(718) 651-0700

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.

8. Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

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174 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 675-5096
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Eisenberg's is one of the oldest greasy spoons on the list, with an opening dating back to 1929. It’s undergone a few ownership changes, but its sandwiches — especially the tuna — are among the city's best-known comfort meals.

Eisenberg’s tuna salad sandwich has lots of thick tuna piled onto wheat bread. There’s a pickle on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater

9. Hector's Cafe & Diner

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44 Little West 12th St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 206-7592

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 but current owner Danny Manesis has had it since 1987. 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 Nick Solares/Eater

10. La Bonbonniere

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28 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014
(212) 741-9266

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 cash-only menu has all of the breakfast staples with none of the frills. Weekend lines are the norm here, not the exception. While waiting, try to spot pictures of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Stiles, and James Gandolfini among the many celebrity photos plastered on the walls. It’s not entirely clear how old La Bonbonniere is, but the woman who runs it has been there for over 30 years.

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

11. Joe Junior

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167 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 473-5150

Over the last five decades, Joe Jr. 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. 

12. B & H Dairy

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127 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-8065

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.

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

13. Odessa

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119 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
(212) 253-1470
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Ukrainian diner Odessa has technically only been open in Alphabet City since 1994, but the spot is an expansion of Odessa Cafe and Bar, which had been open for nearly 50 years before closing in 2013 due to a rent hike. Following the closure, Odessa added a bar in the back of its dinerthat serves pierogies and kielbasa in addition to traditional diner fare.

A dining room lined with booths and art on the walls Odessa Restaurant [Official Photo]

14. Manhattan Three Decker

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695 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-6565
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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” Bess Adler/Eater

15. Square Diner

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33 Leonard St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-7188
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The charming, classic 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. But Anna said that the structure itself has been around since the '40s — and the location may have always been a diner, even when it wasn't called Square.

16. Kellogg's Diner

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518 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 782-4502
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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.

The blue Kellogg’s Diner Eater

17. Pearl Diner

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212 Pearl St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 344-6620
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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.

18. Junior's Restaurant

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386 Flatbush Avenue Ext
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 852-5257
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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.”

The exterior of Junior’s with neon signage Junior’s [Official Photo]

19. Mike's Coffee Shop

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328 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 857-1462

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.

20. Tom's Restaurant

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782 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 636-9738
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This Prospect Heights institution debuted in 1936 and is still run by the same Greek-American family that opened it. Tom Vlahavas passed it along to his son, Gus, who started working there when he was nine years old. Gus kept going for 60 years and made such an impact in the neighborhood that locals dubbed the street corner "Gus Vlahavas Place" after his death in 2014. The diner 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.

The exterior of Tom’s Restaurant Bess Adler/Eater

21. New Dyker

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8505 18th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 234-1435
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Seating at New Dyker Restaurant may be limited, but the $1.75 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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1. Tom's Restaurant

2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
The exterior of a restaurant with a neon sign that says “Tom’s Restaurant” Bess Adler/Eater

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. Seinfeld tourists aside, the longtime restaurant serves Columbia University students and locals.

2880 Broadway
New York, NY 10025

2. Lexington Candy Shop

1226 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028
A diner counter with a cake inside a cake stand Bess Adler/Eater

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.

1226 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10028

3. Neptune Diner

3105 Astoria Blvd N, Astoria, NY 11102

Neptune Diner serves both American and Greek diner fare, but what’s made it an Astoria staple over the last 30 years is a parking lot out back. Open 24/7 and with a menu accommodating enough for the pickiest eaters in any brunch roster, Neptune has earned its place as one of Astoria’s longest-standing diners.

3105 Astoria Blvd N
Astoria, NY 11102

4. Jackson Hole

6935 Astoria Blvd N, East Elmhurst, NY 11370
An open-faced burger topped with cheese Nick Solares/Eater

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.

6935 Astoria Blvd N
East Elmhurst, NY 11370

5. Bel Aire Diner

3191 21st St, Astoria, NY 11106
A diner with a shiny silver exterior Bel Aire Diner [Official Photo]

This 24-hour Astoria diner has been around for more than 40 years, and current owner Argyris "Archie" Dellaportas bought it in 1996 after working his way through the kitchens of other spots like Westway Diner in Hell's Kitchen. Bel Aire was named the city's best diner in 2001 and 2005, in part because it still makes its own baked goods in a time when most diners buy them wholesale.

3191 21st St
Astoria, NY 11106

6. Westway Diner

614 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
A hamburger, cheeseburger, and fries on a white plate Westway Diner [Official Photo]

Legend has it that Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David first talked about writing Seinfeld in Westway Diner. This 24-hour, 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.

614 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036

7. Jahn's

8104 37th Ave, Flushing, NY 11372

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.

8104 37th Ave
Flushing, NY 11372

8. Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

174 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
Eisenberg’s tuna salad sandwich has lots of thick tuna piled onto wheat bread. There’s a pickle on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Eisenberg's is one of the oldest greasy spoons on the list, with an opening dating back to 1929. It’s undergone a few ownership changes, but its sandwiches — especially the tuna — are among the city's best-known comfort meals.

174 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010

9. Hector's Cafe & Diner

44 Little West 12th St, New York, NY 10014
The red exterior of Hector’s Cafe & Diner Nick Solares/Eater

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 but current owner Danny Manesis has had it since 1987. 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.

44 Little West 12th St
New York, NY 10014

10. La Bonbonniere

28 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014
The exterior of La Bonbonniere, with tables and chairs and huge white sign bearing the name Robert Sietsema/Eater

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 cash-only menu has all of the breakfast staples with none of the frills. Weekend lines are the norm here, not the exception. While waiting, try to spot pictures of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Stiles, and James Gandolfini among the many celebrity photos plastered on the walls. It’s not entirely clear how old La Bonbonniere is, but the woman who runs it has been there for over 30 years.

28 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014

11. Joe Junior

167 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Over the last five decades, Joe Jr. 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. 

167 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

12. B & H Dairy

127 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
An employee reaches over the counter at B & H Dairy to serve a customer Bess Adler/Eater

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.

127 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

13. Odessa

119 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
A dining room lined with booths and art on the walls Odessa Restaurant [Official Photo]

Ukrainian diner Odessa has technically only been open in Alphabet City since 1994, but the spot is an expansion of Odessa Cafe and Bar, which had been open for nearly 50 years before closing in 2013 due to a rent hike. Following the closure, Odessa added a bar in the back of its dinerthat serves pierogies and kielbasa in addition to traditional diner fare.

119 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009

14. Manhattan Three Decker

695 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
A tall brick building with a sign that says “Manhattan Three Decker Restaurant” Bess Adler/Eater

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.

695 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

15. Square Diner

33 Leonard St, New York, NY 10013

The charming, classic 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. But Anna said that the structure itself has been around since the '40s — and the location may have always been a diner, even when it wasn't called Square.

33 Leonard St
New York, NY 10013

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16. Kellogg's Diner

518 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
The blue Kellogg’s Diner Eater

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.

518 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

17. Pearl Diner

212 Pearl St, New York, NY 10038

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.

212 Pearl St
New York, NY 10038

18. Junior's Restaurant

386 Flatbush Avenue Ext, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The exterior of Junior’s with neon signage Junior’s [Official Photo]

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.”

386 Flatbush Avenue Ext
Brooklyn, NY 11201

19. Mike's Coffee Shop

328 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

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.

328 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

20. Tom's Restaurant

782 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
The exterior of Tom’s Restaurant Bess Adler/Eater

This Prospect Heights institution debuted in 1936 and is still run by the same Greek-American family that opened it. Tom Vlahavas passed it along to his son, Gus, who started working there when he was nine years old. Gus kept going for 60 years and made such an impact in the neighborhood that locals dubbed the street corner "Gus Vlahavas Place" after his death in 2014. The diner 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.

782 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

21. New Dyker

8505 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11214

Seating at New Dyker Restaurant may be limited, but the $1.75 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.

8505 18th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11214

Related Maps