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.
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).
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.
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.
Luna Grill and Diner is the opposite of a greasy spoon. They cook with oils that are free of trans fats and cholesterol, and present several vegetarian options such as a portobello panini on whole-wheat bread. The menu goes beyond diner basics to include create-your-own pasta dishes and benedicts with anything from crab cakes to grilled sirloin.
Seasonal Cuisine | Local Ingredients | Acclaimed Bar Menu
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.
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.