Whereas Saturday brunch often winnows away your paycheck, New York City diners offer an alluring concept in Manhattan: wallet-friendly, non-fussy comfort food served without pretension. At any hour, the uptown socialite, midtown office worker, and downtown hipster can be found eating pancakes and pierogi in a convivial environment. Take a moment to plan your visit to these 10 New York classic diners.
Tick Tock Diner is known for its pancake stacks and decadent, cheese-covered, gravy-laden “disco fries.” With an original location in Clifton, NJ, Tick Tock Diner ensures that it does not miss any menu item on the diner repertoire, whether it is the Monte Cristo or the black and white milkshake.
With its antique wall photos and retro chrome stools, Lexington Candy Shop is a true blast from the past. Old-fashioned colas, ice cream sundaes, and diner classics dominate the menu while a 1940s ambiance sets the mood. Admire the decor while sipping your refreshing egg cream (or malted egg cream, if you are feeling bold).
La Bonbonniere may be the neighborhood’s greatest value for an indulgent afternoon meal. Both locals and non-residents flock to this modest storefront emblazoned with a vintage Coca-Cola to fill up on the glorious challah French toast. Delectable chocolate chip pancakes and chili omelets provide sustenance to explore a neighborhood where $10 and under dishes are far from a dime a dozen.
A short block from the Spring Street subway stop, there stands a hidden gem in a stylish area of downtown between Nolita and Little Italy. Three restaurants hide inside the unassuming facade of La Esquina. On this excursion, choose the casual Corner Deli ‘taqueria’ and enjoy the simple yet artfully prepared tortas, tacos, and intriguing Mexican-influenced cuisine. No trip to the stomping grounds of Beyoncé and Karlie Kloss is complete without devouring the delicious elotes callejeros, or grilled corn smothered in cotija cheese, chili powder and mayonnaise.
Katz’s produces legendary pastrami beauties and aromatic knishes. Linger over your sky-high meat-stuffed sandwich and delicately crafted rugelach. Don’t worry, your fitness instructor will understand the reason for your extra workout session this weekend.
Situated near Columbia University, Tom’s Restaurant is a beloved pilgrimage destination for Seinfeld fans looking to enjoy a meal. Two decades later, it still remains a meeting spot for daily conversation amid life-sized portraits of its most legendary patrons, Jerry and the gang. Although the cuisine does not pretend to put on airs, a creamy milkshake, dense slice of traditional cheesecake, or a comforting stack of pancakes makes this Morningside Heights landmark worth the trek.
Coppelia, named for a well-known ballet, is a sophisticated, Havana-inspired luncheonette with diverse menu offerings specializing in Latin comfort food. Appreciate your mojito while deciding between chimichurri home fries, flavorful lomo saltado, oxtail empanadas, or the nearly perfect Cubano.
Ambling into Veselka after a night out in the East Village is one of the most revered late-night activities in this lively neighborhood. Open 24/7, there is no better place to find comforting plates of goulash, kielbasa, borscht, and even continental options like mac n’ cheese for the picky eater. However, the most rewarding experience results from ordering all the pierogi varieties, from cheese to seasonal blueberry, and arguing with your dining companions over which savory dumpling reigns supreme.
For hotel guests and visitors, Midtown can be challenging to navigate when it comes to locating quality, affordable food. Market Diner welcomes diners to its architecturally unique mid-century building with an informal vibe, efficient yet friendly service and a textbook menu full of no-nonsense diner favorites. This tranquil space allows guests to enjoy their hearty egg benedict, chicken gyro, piping-hot mozzarella sticks or healthful fruit salad far from the Times Square crowds.
Evoking a classic Manhattan feel, this historic stand-alone diner sits amid towering office buildings in one of the most prolific financial districts in the world. Menu prices and the half-lit “Diner” sign outside its entrance have changed little since 1962. Explore the Pearl Diner’s inexhaustible choices, from overstuffed baked potatoes to the oversized Reuben and triple-decker BLT sandwiches without overlooking the 44 types of burgers. Or enjoy a cup of joe while reflecting upon the endlessly energetic and continually evolving Manhattan landscape outside your window.