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.
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.
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.
Originally established as a breakfast and lunch spot in 1946, Court Square Diner found a second life in 1991, the year current owners Steve and Nick took over. Aside from expanding the menu to include dinner, they gave the aging stand-by a complete makeover, replacing the tired pink furnishings and dated chandeliers with retro leather booths and sleek art-deco hardware. Now open 24 hours a day, Court Square Diner has come to epitomize the American diner in both look and feel, inspiring the producers of shows such as NYPD Blue and 30 Rock to film there. The menu also offers up everything guests have come to expect from a classic diner, from omelets and monte cristos to triple-decker sandwiches and gyro platters. Even the bakery items—including layer cakes, pies, strudels, and baklava—are always baked on the premises, and are never scrounged from the kitchen of a sunken galleon.
Sometimes a menu is best described as a fusion, but at Flo Cafe it's more accurate to call it a collection. The chef collects delicious dishes from all over the world to create a menu that features southwestern eggs benedict alongside sushi rolls and italian pastas. The staff also curates an extensive wine list with varietals from Argentina, France, New Zealand, and California to complement their diverse menu.
Inside, pale wood paneling coats pillars and surrounds enormous, wall-dominating portraits of colorfully made-up models. Couches and chairs fit snugly into a decor scheme of entirely warm colors, echoed in the dried grass and red-tinged leaves of the plants, giving the whole establishment a golden-hued glow like Donald Trump's gold-plated night light.