LOOK: The 10 Best Classic Diners In America

LOOK: The 10 Best Classic Diners In America

SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com

Chrome and vinyl and neon, oh my! Burgers, fries, milkshakes, and pies! Memorialized in songs, movies, paintings and books, the American diner is world-famous for serving simple comfort food at fair prices. Part of what gives the diner its allure is that it becomes part of the fabric of a community in a way no fast food restaurant can. Whether you’re a regular or just traveling through, you can count on a warm welcome and a hot meal at any of the 10 classic American diners featured here. Many of them have been in business since the 1930s, and still are family owned and operated.

Read on to find places to enjoy a slice of history with your slice of pie!

Zip's Dining Car
Location: Dayville, CT When the locals of Dayville want to go where everybody knows their name, they head to this family-owned and operated diner on Route 6 for a chocolate frappe and maybe the “Zip’s Special” – an open-faced sandwich featuring an 8 oz. rib-eye seared to perfection, served with a side of fries. Since it first opened in 1954, Zip's has attracted local residents and travelers alike, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Liberace, Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, and Renee Zellweger. The diner has a literary presence, too; it was used in Steven King’s novel 11/22/63, and made the cover of J.A. Jance’s Ring in the Dead.Get more information: Zip's Dining Car
Skyliner Diner
Location: Rochester, NY Guests to the Strong Children’s Museum in Rochester are literally in for a treat if their visit includes a stop at the Skyliner Diner. Diners were built to be mobile, and the Skyliner traveled from its original location on Route 15 near Williamsport, PA, to its current home in the museum's atrium. Today, you’ll find children and their parents and grandparents enjoying milkshakes or root beer floats on the stools and in the booths, where long-distance truckers used to sip coffee and snack on pie. Want more than a drink? The Skyliner has a full menu of diner favorites available. Get more information: Skyliner Diner
Pink Cadillac Diner
Location: Natural Bridge, VA Located just a few miles from Virginia’s Natural Bridge, which attracts visitors from around the world, the Pink Cadillac Diner is a must if you’re in the area. The food is tasty diner fare; you can get a plate of chili fries with cheese, or munch on an “Elvis” burger, with its house-made secret special sauce. Plus, the ice cream bar serves up shakes and sundaes that are sure to please. But what you’ll remember best about the Pink Cadillac is the décor. Memorabilia including life-size cutouts of movie icons from Elvis to Marilyn Monroe, a vintage jukebox, and even a Texaco gas pump make the dining experience fun for everyone. Get more information: Pink Cadillac Diner
Goody Goody Diner
Location: St. Louis, MO No one is sure how the Goody Goody Diner got its name. One story is that it was inspired by the Johnny Mercer tune of the same name, but the most popular legend is that kids would exclaim, “Goody! Goody!” when their parents took them to this St. Louis eatery, and the name stuck. The Goody Goody has been operating since 1948, and has been owned by the same family since 1954. The place can get crowded, especially on weekends, but it’s generally agreed that a meal here is worth the wait! A particular favorite: chicken and waffles. Get more information: Goody Goody Diner
66 Diner
Location: Albuquerque, NM It’s not as easy to get your kicks on Route 66 as it used to be, but the 66 Diner still delivers. With all the bells and whistles a 50s-style diner should have – neon lighting, a checkerboard floor, a jukebox, wait staff in crisp uniforms, and plenty of kitschy décor – you can easily imagine you’ve stepped back into the heyday of “the Mother Road.” The 66 Diner has a full soda fountain that boasts the best milkshakes in Albuquerque, and still offers Blue Plate Specials, too. Get more information:66 Diner
Ruth's Diner
Location: Salt Lake City, UT Just two miles from the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, you’ll find one of the oldest dining establishments in the state of Utah; Ruth’s Diner has been serving up award-winning comfort food since 1930. What started in a trolley car now features outdoor tables with a view, as well as cozy indoor options. And with specialties like the Mile High Biscuits with Country Gravy, Pecan Cinnamon Roll French Roast with Lemon Cream Cheese, and the Holy Smokes Pulled Pork Sandwich with house-made barbeque sauce, you may want to visit more than once. Get more information: Ruth's Diner
Mickey's Diner Car
Location: St. Paul, MN Since 1939, Mickey’s Dining Car has been serving customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and boasts a media presence that rivals that of Honey Boo Boo, having been featured on the Food Network, the Travel Network and in films like The Mighty Ducks, Jingle All the Way, and A Prairie Home Companion. But locals crowd into Mickey’s today for the same reasons their parents and grandparents did: good food at a fair price. Tuck into a signature sandwich like Mickey’s Sputnik – a double decker burger with lettuce and special sauce – or try a malted “so thick you can eat it with a fork.”Get more information: Mickey’s Dining Car
Slim Goodie's Diner
Location: New Orleans, LAVisit the website for Slim Goodie’s Diner, and you’ll find a page that lauds “the best customers anyone could ask for,” adding “we love them one and all.” After Hurricane Katrina, the staff made good on this proclamation of love, by rallying and feeding hundreds of local residents, even though there was no power. After Hurricane Isaac, displaced victims were fed and asked to “pay what you can.” In other words, beneath the shine of chrome and steel at Slim Goodie’s beats a heart of gold that pulls visitors from around the world through the door. The mouthwatering food and the toe-tapping music are just a bonus - sure to keep you smiling long after your meal is done.Get more information:Slim Goodie’s Diner
A1 Diner
Location: Gardiner, ME Since it opened in 1946, the A1 Diner has changed its name a few times, but what hasn’t changed are the vinyl stools and the pink marble counter tops. More importantly, the A1 still is as committed to serving wholesome food to the hard-working residents of Gardiner as it was the day it opened. Ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible, making the menu truly fresh. Locals and tourists alike rave about the quality of the meals, including dinner specials like Oakland Farms Beef Stew or the Sicilian Lamb Stew. If you go, make sure to save room for dessert! Watch for seasonal treats like Pumpkin Caramel Pudding; chocolate lovers will swoon over the Warm Brownie Cup a la Mode. Get more information: A1 Diner
Wellsboro Diner
Location: Wellsboro, PA Located on a street still lit by antique gas lamps, the Wellsboro Diner is an integral part of what is easily one of the prettiest towns in America. Visitors to the nearby Pennsylvania Grand Canyon often find their way to the diner before or after seeing the gorge, and enjoy the sensation of stepping back in time. A cake stand on the counter showcases the mouthwatering, mile-high cake of the day, like the chocolate and peanut butter or banana cake with buttercream icing. Everything is baked on-site, and locals come in for the pie and coffee today just as they did in 1939, when the diner first opened its doors. The food is comfortably simple, and served in generous portions. Get more information:Wellsboro Diner

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