The diner is one of those quintessential American restaurant genres. Whether it’s a tiny old railcar-style place or a sprawling institution alongside a New Jersey highway, these bits of Americana can be depended upon for a no-frills meal come rain or come shine. The fact that some are open 24 hours a day only adds to their appeal. These are the best 24-hour diners in America.
Located in the LINQ Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the only 24-hour location of this “twisted farm food” mini-chain is a sight for sore eyes, serving stuffed burgers (ham, Cheddar, and egg inside a burger, anyone?), a BBBLT (with extra bacon, of course), steak and eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, and their legendary sage fried chicken and waffles all through the night in a funky and comfortable diner setting. Not looking for a big meal, but eager to keep the party going? Go for the O’Hare of the Dog, a 24-ounce can of a Bud with a side of bacon.
Located on the quieter end of Bourbon Street (if such a thing is even possible) is the quaint and charming Clover Grill, a greasy spoon with a few tables and an 11-stool counter that serves stellar half-pound burgers, omelettes, biscuits and gravy, sandwiches, and pie à la mode. It’s the kind of place where what you see is what you get, and what you see is a New Orleans landmark.
This small trailer-style diner caters to Ann Arbor locals and University of Michigan students and faculty alike, who jockey for tables at which they can dig into menu items like the Half & Half Burger (with 50 percent bacon and 50 percent ground beef), gyro platters, omelettes, and their famous Hippie Hash -- a layer of hash browns topped with grilled vegetables and feta cheese.
Yelp / Yeji C
Founded in Seattle in 1954, this diner boasts “omelettes as big as your head,” and that’s no joke: They’re only available with six or 12 eggs! And while Beth's is most famous for their breakfasts (which also include fresh-made pancakes and waffles, biscuits and gravy, three-egg scrambles, and endless hash browns), their third-pound burgers, sandwiches, and homemade desserts are delicious as well.
Boasting some of Atlanta’s finest chrome and neon, The Majestic has been a local standby since it opened in 1929. The expansive menu includes breakfast items like homemade biscuits, eggs a la Mexicana, French toast, burgers, and hot dogs, pork chops, and quesadillas, and a visit is essential for anyone who wants to call him- or herself an Atlantan.
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“Everybody knows, everybody goes” is the tagline of Austin’s king of late-night dining, which has two locations in the city. Open “24/8,” the diner is renowned for its queso, gingerbread pancakes, and burgers, but is perhaps best known for its Tex-Mex breakfasts, especially the Love Migas -- eggs scrambled in garlic-serrano butter with tomato, onion, bell pepper, tortilla chips, and Jack cheese.
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There’s no lock on the door at this nearly 90 year-old Downtown LA institution, which hasn’t closed since 1924. Cash-only and with no shortage of long lines, the restaurant is renowned for its ample portions, perfect pancakes and sourdough French toast, apple pie, and French dip sandwich, as well as its steaks.
Veselka has been a port in the East Village storm since 1954, serving traditional diner fare and Eastern European specialties to NYU kids and graveyard-shift workers alike. Traditional diner fare includes pancakes and waffles made to order, challah French toast, Cobb salad, grilled cheese sandwiches, and macaroni and cheese, but their Ukranian comfort foods, including homemade pierogi, kielbasa, potato pancakes, goulash, and borsht are the stuff of legend.
Literally everyone from northern New Jersey has heard of the Tick Tock Diner, and just about all of them have dined there as well (seriously, ask them). The reason? It’s located on Route 3 in Clifton on the way to/from New York City, and it’s also really, really good. All chrome, neon, and glass brick, this diner is a quintessential New Jersey hangout, with a menu about as long as War & Peace. If you get one thing, however, make it the Disco Fries, New Jersey’s answer to poutine: fries topped with melted mozzarella and brown gravy.
This New Hampshire diner is a certified institution, and not just for the food: It’s a must-visit for every Presidential candidate on the campaign trail, making it a political institution as well. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are on offer 24-7, with perfect versions of old-school diner favorites including pancakes, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy, chicken-fried steak, Monte Cristo sandwiches, turkey dinner, meatloaf, liver and onions, and homemade beans being served to the hungry masses since 1922. Don’t forget to wash it all down with an Arrow root beer or cream soda, made just for the diner.