Though lunch cars were everywhere when Deluxe Town Diner was built in 1947, these precursors to the diners of today have all but vanished. But the 65-year old building—which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999—has continued to thrive well into the 21st century. Today, the Levy family runs the place, adding fair-trade coffee and cage-free eggs into the mix of make-your-own omelets, steak and eggs, and signature pancakes that they serve all day long. Garnishes of Merton’s maple syrup or mixed berry compote with whipped cream crown the selection of blue-cornmeal, sweet-potato, and fruit-infused flapjacks, a blueberry version of which Boston magazine called "rich and velvety, like blueberries bathed in sweet cream." At 4 p.m., the cooks begin slinging classic diner fare ranging from southern-fried chicken platters and tuna salad sandwiches. The desserts fit the diner theme as well, as fountain soda floats pair with flaky slices of apple or cherry-crumb pie. Should customers feel the urge to recreate the house pancakes at home or make snowmen that actually last for once, Deluxe Town Diner offers their signature pancake mix and Merton’s syrup for sale.
Allston Diner forges hearty breakfast platters all day long, filling a significant gap in the area's dining scene with its "down-South comfort food," according to a feature in the Boston Phoenix. The cooks ladle sausage gravy over house-made biscuits and top crispy cornbread waffles with golden-brown pieces of fried chicken. They also do their best to accommodate a range of diets by whisking together vegetarian-friendly omelets and vegan pancakes.
Much like the menu, the dining room toes the line between a nostalgic diner and a contemporary urban eatery. Backless stools line the front counter, and turquoise trim adorns the walls and booths. Even the tables embrace this whimsical eclecticism, featuring carefully arranged collages of comic-book panels and napkins that are made from hand-woven cotton candy.
Sugar Baking Co. & Restaurant’s kitchen is always full of appealing ingredients: cage-free eggs, certified humane meats, real Vermont maple syrup, and fresh picks from the Roslindale Farmers’ Market. It’s also almost always open; diners flock to the eatery for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the morning, diners bite into lemon ricotta pancakes and French toast stuffed with brie, and at dinnertime, they feast on braised lamb shank and pan-seared salmon. They complement their meals with wines from New Zealand, Argentina, and France and craft beers from nearby breweries such as Ipswich and Smuttynose. While they enjoy their meals, they also delight in the smell of fresh bread from the on-site bakery, whose treats range from cannolis and éclairs to apple turnovers—regular apples you eat with your feet touching the ceiling.
Patriots Diner is a throwback to the 1950s, a time when restaurants and soda fountains served as important hubs of socialization. The menu there deepens nostalgia with dishes that the owners hope emulates the cooking most people grew up with. Under glowing lights like hanging martini glasses, plates brim with juicy burgers, fish and chips, meat loaf, and pork chops. Coffee cups warm hands next to all-day breakfast offerings of omelets and waffles beneath walls decorated with vintage magazine covers and photos of Christopher Columbus’ wooden scuba flippers. The restaurant’s neon-blue lights are easily seen from the roadside and match the dining room’s royal blue booths and chrome-trimmed stools.
The chefs at Cookin Cafe & Grille bake up a full menu of classic American eats, specialty pizzas, succulently filled subs, and all-day breakfasts for pickup or delivery. Pizza prodigies spin out 14 specialty pies that blanket crispy crusts with tomato or buffalo sauce, fresh veggies, and classic meats such as pepperoni, grilled chicken, and sausage to comfort growling stomachs without swallowing a teddy bear. Steak tips, falafel, and shish kebabs pile into a choice of sub, triple-decker sandwich, wrap with a whole-wheat tortilla, or calzone with fresh, house-made dough. Cookin Cafe & Grille's all-day breakfast menu quells midday cravings for bacon and eggs, which can be ordered by clicking online or sending a postcard with binary scribbled on the back.
During its 17 years in business, Mike’s City Diner has been visited by dignitaries such as Bill Clinton and personalities such as Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host Guy Fieri. But Mike's owes its initial fame to the blue-collar types who flocked to the diner in its earliest days. Back then, the South End neighborhood was still up-and-coming, and the construction crews that gave the neighborhood its facelift soon became loyal patrons of this breakfast and lunch spot thanks to the heaping portions of homey fare, made entirely from scratch. As South End transitioned, so did Mike's clientele, bringing in the college students, taxi drivers, and families who have made this spot a Boston institution. That made-from-scratch philosophy extends to nearly every ingredient at Mike's from the down-home breakfast dishes––the kitchen cracks as many as 6,000 real eggs each weekend––to the pastrami, which they smoke themselves. The most famous dish, however, is the turkey dinner. Fresh turkeys are roasted in-house every day, then served with all the traditional Thanksgiving fixin's such as homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, creamed candy corn, and a vegetable. And the cooking isn't the only thing contributing to Mike's old-fashioned vibe: a recent renovation unveiled a vintage art-deco inspired interior, complete with a vinyl textured ceiling, chrome-rimmed tables, and red barstools, perfect for perching over a bottomless cup of coffee.