Diners in Cortland

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As the name implies, Kellie's No Name Diner exudes an unpretentious, no-frills attitude, with friendly servers carting out plates of hearty American diner fare. Guests pair piping-hot cups of coffee with huge portions of eggs and bacon, waffles, and pancake stacks, chatting with neighbors and passing the time until lunch, where feasts of roasted chicken, chicken parmesan, and fried fish quell noisy stomach rumbles.

3900 New Court Ave
Syracuse,
NY
US

Sky-high stacks of pancakes, super-stuffed omelettes, and lunch and dinner savories fill IHOP's mile-long menu. To ensure all your breakfast dreams come true at any meal, opt for eggs benedict ($8.99) or stuffed french toast ($7.49), or have it all with the Split Decision breakfast ($8.49), in which pairs of eggs, bacon, sausage links, french toast, and pancakes fill empty torso trunks and brunch arks. For a heartier meal, gobble down an 8-ounce country-fried beef steak smothered in gravy and served alongside eggs, hash browns, and buttermilk pancakes for breakfast ($8.99) or have it dressed up for dinner with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli ($9.99). IHOP also offers a bonanza of fresh salads ($3.99–$8.99), burgers ($3.99–$8.99), and entrees.

4002 W Genesee St
Syracuse,
NY
US

Cooks at the family-owned Hammi's BBQ slather tender cuts of pork, beef, and chicken in a signature dry rub before slow-smoking morsels over cherry wood. Skilled hands sculpt burger patties and pull pork on site, piling platters with honey-glazed ribs and texas brisket showered in house-made barbecue sauce alongside fresh-sliced curly fries and cornbread accomplices. Red, wooden stools speckle the restaurant's patio for outdoor dining, and the restaurant dispatches its mobile barbecue truck to serve up meals at concerts, festivals, special events, and the North Pole.

3712 New Court Ave
Syracuse,
NY
US

Since 1945, Don's Original has been stifling stomach rumblings with varied menus consisting of famous original sandwiches, not-yet-famous sandwiches, plates, and sandwich-complementing sides. Don's Original maintains a come-as-you-are atmosphere, allowing customers to order comfort eats free from the chaos of family-member-attended singles' masquerade balls. Savor your selection while watching sandwich engineers manufacture mouthwatering masterpieces at the inside counter, or take your order to the patio and dine at one of Don's outdoor picnic tables during warmer months (not available at the Brighton location).

2055 Fairport Nine Mile Pt
Penfield,
NY
US

Twenty years as a traveling salesman was more than enough for James Brown. So when he finally decided it was time to set down his roots, he turned to something that sang of home: his passion for cooking. And that passion shines throughout his menu. In the hearty breakfast selections, guests can see it in the signature stuffed french toast—made from bread that's baked in-house—as well as more imaginative items, such as the Greek-inspired diner breakfast with gyro meat. Then there are the half-pound burgers, po-boy sandwiches with Cajun-spiced chicken, and James Brown's legendary Friday-night barbecue. Such a range hints at two things: that James's passion isn't picky, and that his inspiration comes from everywhere. And indeed, if a diner gives James a recipe that matches the standards of his menu, not only will he put it there, he'll even name it after the guest who gave it to him.

This inclusionary style echoes throughout the diner itself. Checkered tiles run across the floor from the front door to the back wall, passing a scattered assortment of tables and booths that look in on the open kitchen. And as a diehard Yankees fan, James fills two entire sections of a wall with memorabilia, including black-and-white photographs of past rosters and fan fiction that imagines the team being comprised only of James Brown clones.

1356 Culver Rd.
Rochester,
NY
US

Proprietors Jerry and Kim Manley serve up delectable paragons of diner cuisine crafted with fresh ingredients sourced from local businesses. Like the Yankees' short-lived lederhosen uniform, the menu combines American classics with a hint of German flavor, gracing breakfast tables with house-made apple pie ($3.25), potato pancakes ($6.95), and homemade bratwurst ($3.95). Dinner menus change daily, often featuring mouthwatering standbys such as hand-cut fries, chicken and biscuits, and hand-pressed burgers. On the weekend breakfast menu, strawberry irish oatmeal ($8.95) tantalizes palates with fruity flavor and a charming brogue, and a bourbon-raisin french toast ($7.95) rings in the end of the workweek with a tastefully tipsy sweetness.

2500 East Ave
Rochester,
NY
US