Famous Restaurant's menu spans the globe, picking the best American, Greek, Italian, Belgian, and Indian dishes to satisfy just about any craving. Diners can fill up for the day with breakfast dishes such as corned beef and hash or belgian waffles served with ham, bacon, or sausage. At lunch and dinner, Mediterranean-inspired entrees include spanakopita and chicken souvlaki paired with fresh greek salad, and Italian options include veal or shrimp parmigiana. There are also Mediterranean burgers topped with vine-ripened tomatoes and feta, as well as Texas burgers with fried egg. And on Thursday, Famous hosts its Taste of India and fills with the heady scents of ginger-infused roasted eggplant and garlic-marinated chicken kebabs.
Before it became the set of one of the most polarizing television series finales of all time, Holsten's was a classic diner and ice cream parlor. Now, it still serves its homemade ice cream and house specials—two burgers, made with beef chopped that day—but camera flashes aren't uncommon, especially near one particular booth. People who sit there tend to order onion rings, because that's what Tony Soprano ordered just before the show ended.
The staff doesn't mind the extra attention that The Sopranos fanbase showers on their restaurant. In fact, they sell T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, "The Final Episode." But they also stay true to their roots, whipping up diner fare from BLTs to grilled cheese and double-decker club sandwiches. The dessert menu features ice cream in flavors such as vanilla, black raspberry, and butter pecan, all of which can be piled atop brownies or bananas to make a sundae. There's also homemade candy, including truffles, assorted chocolates, and seasonal sweets more appetizing than autumn leaves dipped in honey.
The first IHOP?the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin?opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001. Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Like the songs of Frank Sinatra—a former regular at the eatery—the Market Diner’s history is full of highs and lows. The hanging lights above the faux-snakeskin booths went dark when the eatery closed down in 2006, but it was too soon for the restaurant’s rich 50-year history to come to an end. The diner is open again today, allowing patrons to feast on the omelets, half-pound burgers, and pies that have fed celebrities including Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, and even notorious gangsters from the ‘70s. An episode of Seinfeld also featured the restaurant in an important scene, which means patrons can revisit a favorite show without putting flowers on Alf’s grave.
Within the classic interiors of Pop Diner, mouths and eyes hungrily feed on all-day menu items influenced by Asian, Latin, and Caribbean flavors. Sink salivating chops into a triple-decker sandwich—sliced turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato smooshed between slivers of toast ($9.95)—or the Godfather burger—roasted red peppers, grilled onions, and mozzarella piled atop a patty doubly certified in Angus beefiness and lifeguarding ($9.95). Noodle aficionados and vegetarians can dive into a helping of pasta primavera deluged in vegetables and herb tomato sauce ($11.95). Thai–style grilled salmon—soaked and dressed in candied ginger and citrus segments ($14.95)—and Latin chicken ($13.95) allow patrons to live globe-trekking adventures vicariously through their taste buds.