A lot of restaurants discourage special orders, but the chefs at Riverdale Diner have been welcoming them for the past 40 years. The made-to-order eatery operates what it terms an "open door policy", encouraging customers to add and subtract ingredients as they please and to ask for their favorite dishes, even if they don't see them on the menu. Finding something that falls into that last category may prove challenging, as the already expansive bill of fare seems to cover nearly every culinary category imaginable. Baby back ribs? Check. Romanian steak? Check. Mofongo? Check. All the usual diner favorites are there too, from giant one-pound burgers to breakfast that's served all day. Of course, there may come a day when only a carving board roast turkey dinner and laffy taffy-flavored martini will do. Or maybe a broccoli and ricotta brick-oven pizza, paired with a giant goblet filled halfway with strawberry daiquiri and the rest of the way with pina colada. So Riverdale Diner made sure to cover those fronts too. A final stop at the dessert case offers up an impossible choice between sweets—from fried cheesecake to linzer tarts, hot pecan pie to Jello—and there's even a selection of diet-friendly desserts for those who are watching their weight or being watched through binoculars by a personal trainer in the parking lot.
Father-and-son duo Peter and Bill Tsibidis pepper Crosstown Diner's broad menu with ingredients hand-picked weekly from farmers' markets, featuring a cheeseburger that the New York Daily News deemed among the city's top three in 2011. Taste buds tingle and occasionally faint in the presence of celebrity burgers ($6.99+) such as the famously fresh open-faced cheeseburger, a build-your-own delectable, or one of the diner's 11 specialty burgers. Chefs salute the restaurant's Greek heritage in chicken athenian, a breast stuffed with spinach and feta ($15.99), and glasses of wine (a $5.29 value) toast nine specialty pasta dishes tossed in velvety sauces ($9.99–$19.99). Two country eggs team up with Eire's finest bacon or sausage to rout out hunger in the irish breakfast ($8.39), and pancakes as fluffy as clouds stuffed with teddy bears assemble outfits of red velvet batter, bacon bits, and bananas ($8.99) to attract forks.
Great breakfasts aren't just for the early-to-rise crowd at Chillers Grill. Whether you're craving for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the menu has something to hit the spot?with most items served all day. But that doesn't mean it's easy to narrow the choices down. With hundreds of items that include benedicts, omelets, huge salads, burgers, and seafood, the selection seems almost endless. On nice days, the covered patio becomes an ideal spot for catching a breeze while catching up on you weekly requirement of milkshakes.
Though Metro Diner opened in 1996, the owners took great pains to pay homage to the American eateries of generations gone by, installing art deco-style booths, a neon wraparound marquee, and leather swivel stools that line a traditional lunch counter. The menu provides the only proof diners haven't left the 21st Century: time-tested staples such as burgers and Belgian waffles arrive alongside upscale entrées such as grilled Norwegian salmon or rigatoni bolognese slow-simmered with wine, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms. New York Magazine even lauded Metro Diner for baking its muffins and apple turnovers on-site––an old-fashioned notion in an age when most restaurants outsource their baking to tree elves.
Grab a burger and milkshake before you hula-hoop in your poodle skirt to the sock hop hand-jive dance with today’s Groupon. For $15, you get $30 worth of fine dinering at EJ’s Luncheonette, an establishment so old school they have no home on the mind-blowing Internet. It also doesn't deal with futuristic credit cards, so make sure you’ve got enough cash for a tip on your journey back in time. Your Groupon is good at both EJ’s East and EJ’s West.In a 1950s diner your server might dress as Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley to entertain and delight you.In an 1850s diner your server might dress as an Apache warrior to test your loyalty to your family and recruit you to defend their once vast empire.
Nothing about Orion Diner makes customers feel rushed. The kitchen stays open 24 hours a day, which ensures that passersby always have the opportunity to stop and recharge with a cup of Italian Segafredo Zanetti coffee or melted-down AAA batteries for robot customers. Even the menu seems to encourage perusal and deliberation, occupying more than a dozen pages with rib-sticking comfort food that ranges from omelets and Angus hamburgers to baked ziti parmigiana and gyros.
Orion Diner's decor places it a notch above greasy spoon, but the ambiance is undeniably cozy. Brick columns appear along the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, complementing the warm earth tones of the dark tan booths and their pendant-lamp lighting. The recessed ceiling is designed to look like a shattered roof, which encourages diners to look up and gaze through the faux skylight at clouds all of 12 feet off the floor—NASA would have saved billions of dollars by launching spacecraft from this spot.