Taste

The Disappearing Charm Of New York City's Diners, Captured In Photos

"I am rushing to document as many as possible."
03/15/2016 10:47am ET | Updated March 15, 2016

The New York City diner is in danger.

Where there used to be a thousand or so stand-alone castles of comfort food, now only a couple hundred remain -- 222 to be exact, according to New York City's public records. Blame it on the rising cost of real estate, Dunkin' Donuts or time itself -- some people just want out of the business.

While there's no hard and fast rule that defines what is and isn't a diner, ask any New Yorker and they'll tell you it's more about how the place makes you feel. And of course, the coffee. It's got to be hot and cheap.

Photographer and HuffPost fellow Riley Arthur has been documenting these restaurants, and she's hit up 71 of them so far, from the famously iconic (Tom's Restaurant on Broadway -- anybody who's seen Seinfeld knows about it) to the gloriously kitschy (see Orion Diner & Grill on 2nd Avenue, where it's always a partly cloudy day inside).

"I see this project as a living archive," she said. "Each diner is aesthetically unique, attracting its own crowd of colorful regulars. In a fast-moving city I think many feel comfort in these 50-year-old institutions that have stood the test of time. As some diners are at risk I am rushing to document as many as possible."

Check out a selection of the photos here, and give her a follow on Instagram at @dinersofnyc.

Metro Diner, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Jax Inn Diner, Jackson Heights, Queens
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Manhattan Diner, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Big Daddy's Diner, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Broadway Restaurant, Manhattan Valley, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Hector's Place, Meatpacking District, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Good Stuff Diner, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Galaxy Diner, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Lyric Diner, Gramercy, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Lexington Candy Shop, Upper East Side, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Joe Jr. Restaurant, Gramercy, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Jackson Hole, Astoria, Queens
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Buccaneer, East Elmhurst, Queens
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Pop's Diner, Flushing, Queens
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Tick Tock, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Stardust Diner, Theater District, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Star On 18 Diner Cafe, Chelsea, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Square Diner, Tribeca, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Skylight Diner, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Remedy Diner, Bowery, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Waverly Restaurant, West Village, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Tom's Restaurant, Morningside Heights, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Times Square Diner & Grill, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur
Orion Diner & Grill, Gramercy, Manhattan
Riley Arthur
Riley Arthur