New York City has its share of diners. Some are good, some are bad and most are average. If you are in the Midtown West, Hell’s Kitchen/Clinton or Theatre District neighborhood, there are a number of diners to choose from. I’ve been to the 10 diners I’ve listed below. I checked their Yelp ratings too. I was surprised to see that Georgio’s Grill only has a 3.5 star rating on Yelp, as it is my favorite of all of these. I was also surprised to see Galaxy Diner had a 2.5 star rating because it is always crowded on the weekends when I pass by. I would say most of these get a 3 rating. So, here they are, in no particular order, but Georgio’s is my favorite.
1. Georgio’s Grill–Why do I like Georgio’s so much? Well, for one, I love the fresh-squeezed juices, but the number one reason is that the food tastes great. It’s cooked how you order it. Scrambled eggs are scrambled–not an omelet. And if you order them with cheese, you get them with the cheese scrambled in, not a melted slice of cheese on top. The butter is whipped and soft, so it’s easily spreadable. The pancakes are particularly delicious. The menu is the most extensive that I’ve seen at a diner and has many vegetarian options. And the use of mix-matched vintage dishes is quaint. It’s also at a great location for locals and tourists alike. Cons–can get a bit crowded and not the most private tables if it is.
2. Renaissance Diner–The food at Renaissance is good diner food, nothing to write home about, but cooked the way you order it and tasty.
They get extra stars for the adorable outdoor patio with fireplace. It’s painted so that you feel you’re in a Grecian village. Very cute. And it’s also in a great area for locals and tourists to visit.
3. Market Diner–How can you not like the Market Diner building? It has the classic diner look and stands out as an oasis in an otherwise barren 11th Avenue. For breakfast, you get a free biscuit here, which is a nice touch. The food is good but can be inconsistent.
4. Ellen’s Stardust Diner–OK, I debated including this one because it is a tourist attraction and has a totally different vibe than your average diner, but, hey, it’s fun. You don’t go here for the food–which is average and over-priced. You go here for the singing waiters and the atmosphere, which is a lot of fun and a way to be a tourist in your own neighborhood.
5. Junior’s–Junior’s is a little closer to Times Square in the Theatre District. I admit I haven’t eaten in, but I’ve ordered takeout desserts. I’m sure the food is overpriced and I would guess average, but one goes to Junior’s for the cheesecake. I love the strawberry shortcake cheesecake, but I haven’t had anything that wasn’t delish here.
6. Galaxy Diner–Galaxy Diner has fresh-squeezed juices too. The food here is average diner food, but it suffices. You really go here to dine among the stars, and I don’t mean celebrities, I mean celestial bodies on the planetarium-like ceiling.
7. Morning Star Diner–If you’re in the northern part of Hell’s Kitchen, Morning Star is a good option. The food is good, and it gets a bustling clientele. Service is friendly but can be slow and not so attentive.
8. The Flame Coffee House–The Flame is a standard New York City diner. There’s a nice revolving dessert case at the front. The food is good. I enjoy an egg white omelet here.
9. Cosmic Diner–If you’re closer to the Theatre District or work in Midtown, this is a good bet for lunch. The food is average but it’s also a standard New York City diner. Service is good and friendly.
10. Westway Diner–This diner is on Ninth Avenue closer to 42nd Street. A popular Hell’s Kitchen diner, it does a brisk business. I would say the food is average here. I would caution ordering well-done bacon here though, as it will come back black.