Diners in Gaithersburg

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Behind American City Diner’s red neon sign, there's a billboard of cartoon family driving through the countryside, emblazoned with the text “There’s no way like the American Way.” It's an image that, like the restaurant as a whole, looks like it could fit right in Eisenhower-era 1950s America. The train-car-style exterior has a coating of blue paint, and inside, there's a constant soundtrack of Sinatra and Elvis. Picture windows line the front of the diner; wouldn't feel out of the ordinary to see a young couple with two straws dipped in one malted milkshake as they simultaneously dance the Mashed Potato.

Breakfast is served all day, and diners can also enjoy quintessential diner dishes such as burgers and sandwiches.

5532 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington,
DC
US

Open 24 hours a day, Amphora's Diner Deluxe and Amphora Restaurant plug yell-holes with tasty eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The eateries share a menu loaded with local and international dishes ideal for feeding a hungry family or Spartan army. Mouths waiting for main courses can munch on appetizers such as pita chips and baguette slices dipped in hot spinach and artichoke dip ($6.95), or spear hunger with thai shrimp skewers smothered in a ginger-soy glaze ($8.95). Treat taste buds with royal deference with a selection of grand plates, including the sloppy joe bake served over screwy rotini pasta ($12.95), Cajun rib-eye steak with mango salsa ($18.95), and two fresh lump crab cakes, broiled or fried ($19.95).

377 Maple Avenue West
Vienna,
VA
US

No matter what the hour, the coffee is always hot at Bob and Edith’s Diner. The landmark diner has kept its doors open around the clock for more than 40 years, first under the helm of owners Bob and Edith Bolton, and then of their four children. Throughout the generations, the Boltons have made sure there's a constant flow of hot coffee, blueberry hotcakes, and omelets with grits during the day and through the night. Ample windows, counter stools, and wooden booths make a cozy atmosphere no matter the hour, encouraging guests to linger over tuna melts, homemade meatloaf, and slices of homemade pie a la mode. Each of the heaping platters is made to order, ensuring meals are as fresh as possible without zapping them in a time-travel microwave.

2310 Columbia Pike
Arlington,
VA
US

Though the food is comfortably familiar, the d?cor is a cross between a sea vessel and a spaceship. So while guests order classic burgers, stacks of chocolate chip pancakes, and bowls of chilled gazpacho, they can admire Cesar?s Diner's cosmic-oceanic aesthetic. A space age-evoking shiny chrome ceiling reflects the sky blue and periwinkle booths, and porthole windows contrast the sprawling, knee-to-ceiling windows along the front walls. Servers navigate this scenery around the clock on the weekends, moving grub from grills to table so clients can indulge cravings for midnight breakfasts after a night on the town or after having spent the previous 24 hours at the diner.

539 23rd St S
Arlington,
VA
US

Corduroy: A User’s Guide

Seasonal Cuisine | Local Ingredients | Acclaimed Bar Menu

Sample Menu

  • First course: red-snapper bisque
  • Second course: Wagyu beef strip loin with rutabaga gratin
  • Dessert: pistachio bread pudding
  • Chef’s surprise: this five-course tasting menu is based on the day’s freshest ingredients

Who’s Cooking: Chef-owner Tom Power moved Corduroy from its original location inside the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in 2008. Since then, he’s continued to build a loyal following thanks to his fresh, ingredient-focused cuisine. He’s a loyal supporter of local farms, and Corduroy’s menu reflects that with its ever-evolving seasonal options.

When to Go: Make sure to go when you have plenty of time: Corduroy asks that you allow a minimum of two hours to get the most out of your dining experience.

Inside Tips

  • There’s a bar upstairs bar that offers a three-course tasting menu, which Zagat reviewers call one of the best bar bargains in town.
  • Because of its historic designation, the building that houses Corduroy isn’t wheelchair accessible.

What to Wear: The code here is dressy casual, so look nice. And do so in pants—shorts are strictly prohibited.

If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Chef Power’s other restaurant, Baby Wale (1124 9th Street NW), sits right next door to Corduroy. This follow-up effort serves upscale bar food, such as sandwiches, pupusas, and hot dogs.

1122 9th St NW
Washington,
DC
US

Breakfast for dinner is a popular meal theme, but The Diner takes the concept one step further: you can have breakfast in the morning, the evening, or even after the bars close. That’s because the 24/7 eatery isn't tethered to the clock, instead offering its full menu of diner staples whether it's 2 a.m. or 7 p.m. Those looking for breakfast can tuck into the signature Diner Royale, which features two eggs, a choice of meat, challah french toast, and home fries or grits. Besides the familiar brunch standards, patrons can sample some innovative options such as bread-pudding french toast and the Croque and Dagger—two over-easy eggs on sourdough bread topped with bacon, béchamel, and gooey melted gruyère. The rest of the menu is filled with comfort foods of all types, from fried green tomatoes to bacon-wrapped meatloaf with whipped potatoes and creamed corn. Like a midterm exam at clown college, no meal is complete without a taste of one of the house’s fresh pies, which come in flavors such as coconut custard, sour cherry, and sweet potato. Some of the delectables even make it into the bar's creations, such as the Apple Bottom milk shake—made with Sailor Jerry rum, vanilla ice cream, and apple pie. Bartenders also blend up bloody marys, cocktails made with cognac and chamomile-lavender tea, and old-fashioneds.

2453 18th St NW
Washington,
DC
US