Aside from a few hours on Sunday, the neon Open sign hanging at the entrance of Tiffany's Original Diner never powers down. This old-school, cash-only diner keeps its doors open 'round the clock the rest of the week, luring customers with the promise of burgers, booze, and hearty breakfast dishes.
That's been the scene here since 1960, when Tiffany's first opened its doors. One step inside, and you might feel transported back to that era: red stools line a long counter, dishes clang in the back kitchen, and a jukebox—with a meticulously assembled and proudly "Bieber-free" catalog—cranks out classic tunes. Every other Monday, performers stop by so customers can take in live music and the jukebox can head home to see his wife and kids. On your way out, feel free to borrow a book from the honor-system library, or leave an old paperback behind.
The short-order cooks at Clayton Diner deliver a slice of Americana with a menu of comfort-food and soul-food classics. No fan of breakfast could ignore the fruits of their labors: towering stacks of hotcakes, buttermilk biscuits, plump sausage patties, and chopped-pork-sausage gravy. Their culinary efforts also spark lunches of breaded-codfish sandwiches, cheese-oozing chopped-steak phillies, burgers made from freshly ground beef, and Chicago-style dogs draped in yellow mustard and pickles. Daily specials, such as the juicy rotisserie chicken, round out the diner's tried-and-true American dishes more effectively than a slice of the Constitution.
Family-owned Angelo's Chicago Taste evokes the Windy City with its menu of quintessential dishes, such as italian beef sandwiches, gyros, polish sausage, and Chicago-style hot dogs piled with neon relish. Freshly sliced meats and cheeses nestle between warm breads, beckoning patrons to indulge in a true taste of classic Chicago eats. Most of the ingredients are made from scratch from family recipes right in the kitchen, adding a dose of freshness with each slice of gyro meat shaved off the rotisserie, mound of italian beef, and sizzle of freshly ground meat. Patrons can dig into desserts, such as baklava, while admiring the paintings and Chicago ephemera that decorate the dining-room walls across Angelo's two locations.
No matter the time of day or night, the kitchen staff at Gingham’s Restaurant churns out any meal—be it breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 a.m.—that customers may be craving. Famous buttermilk pancakes speckled with everything from blueberries to bits of bacon hush grumbling stomachs, as the friendly wait staff shuffles around bottomless pots of Ronnoco coffee and homemade dinner rolls. Chefs scramble farm-fresh eggs into nine different omelets, masterfully fry chicken, and drown homestyle meatloaf in rich gravy.
Located near Lindenwood University, University Diner serves up homestyle cuisine classics alongside hookahs packed with fragrant shisha. In the morning, cooks griddle loaded omelets and sirloin steak breakfast skillets. Later in the day, they grill burgers and prepare hearty entrees such as grilled pork chops with mashed potatoes and carrots. As an added convenience, the eatery stays open 24 hours a day Thursday–Saturday.
As its name suggests, Downtown Diner is a down-home diner nestled at the center of downtown. Visitors can dine in or take their meal to eat with the lonely bill on the steps of the Capitol building. Breakfast is served all day, with selections ranging from stacks of fluffy pancakes to create-your-own omelets (egg white substitutions are also available); lunch options dance across the American palate, from philly cheesesteak sandwiches to Cajun-chicken salads. An array of homemade pies changes daily.