Diners in Mount Hope

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A lot of restaurants discourage special orders, but the chefs at Riverdale Diner have been welcoming them for the past 40 years. The made-to-order eatery operates what it terms an "open door policy", encouraging customers to add and subtract ingredients as they please and to ask for their favorite dishes, even if they don't see them on the menu. Finding something that falls into that last category may prove challenging, as the already expansive bill of fare seems to cover nearly every culinary category imaginable. Baby back ribs? Check. Romanian steak? Check. Mofongo? Check. All the usual diner favorites are there too, from giant one-pound burgers to breakfast that's served all day. Of course, there may come a day when only a carving board roast turkey dinner and laffy taffy-flavored martini will do. Or maybe a broccoli and ricotta brick-oven pizza, paired with a giant goblet filled halfway with strawberry daiquiri and the rest of the way with pina colada. So Riverdale Diner made sure to cover those fronts too. A final stop at the dessert case offers up an impossible choice between sweets—from fried cheesecake to linzer tarts, hot pecan pie to Jello—and there's even a selection of diet-friendly desserts for those who are watching their weight or being watched through binoculars by a personal trainer in the parking lot.

3657 Kingsbridge Avenue
Bronx,
NY
US

Great breakfasts aren't just for the early-to-rise crowd at Chillers Grill. Whether you're craving for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the menu has something to hit the spot?with most items served all day. But that doesn't mean it's easy to narrow the choices down. With hundreds of items that include benedicts, omelets, huge salads, burgers, and seafood, the selection seems almost endless. On nice days, the covered patio becomes an ideal spot for catching a breeze while catching up on you weekly requirement of milkshakes.

2191 Fletcher Ave
Fort Lee,
NJ
US

Deluxe on Broadway's cooks craft homespun diner fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, skillfully blending milk shakes and whisking together house-made quiche. Outdoor seating allows diners to sip coffee without taking a break from sunbathing or snowball fighting, and other guests can take refuge behind booths or on stools before the counter. Between bites, diners can take advantage of the WiFi service or peruse the framed pictures and frame-worthy thumbtacks that adorn the Tuscan yellow walls.

2896 Broadway
New York,
NY
US

In 1989, cameramen and a producer showed up at Tom's Restaurant to take shots of the exterior for use in an upcoming television show pilot. Though the restaurant wasn't even wearing makeup for those pictures, it still rocketed to stardom?the television show, as it turns out, was Seinfeld.

Tom's Restaurant played the role of the iconic Monk's Caf?, where Jerry and the gang hung out episode after episode. Today, visitors from across the globe travel to the corner of 112th Street and Broadway to take their own pictures with this slice of television history.

But long before the generic neon "Restaurant" sign became instantly recognizable, Tom's was the go-to hangout for actual people, including students from Columbia, men who worked in the trades, and other folks from around the neighborhood (one of whom was singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, who penned a song there that eventually morphed into "Tom's Diner"). These same customers have flocked to Tom's since the 1940s, and today, they continue to file in for the omelets, pancakes, and bagels in the morning, and the cheeseburgers, fresh soups, and milkshakes later in the day.

They're also not shocked when the interior of Tom's looks nothing like it did on TV. That part, like most of Babe Ruth's career, was filmed on a set in California.

2880 Broadway
New York,
NY
US

Soho specializes in a healthy horde of fresh gourmet sandwiches, wraps, breakfast fare, and more in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Early morning risers can pore over the menu, which features breakfast favorites such as whole-wheat and honey pancakes ($5.79), yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and granola ($3.79), and three-egg-white wraps with scallions, tomatoes, and provolone ($3.49). Denver omelets ($7.75), folded with red and green peppers, ham, and bacon, are prepared on top of the Chrysler Building each morning in order to impart authentic mile-high flavor on gaping mouths far below.

22-15 31st Street
Astoria,
NY
US

Flavor wizards sling a menu of fresh fare at The Manchester Diner, which was named after the 1910 Manchester building that housed famous figures such as Hank Jones and Flannery O'Connor. Grillmasters prepare each burger to order, perching the patty atop a toasted bun and pairing it with an edible coterie of coleslaw and a pickle. Beneath a mosaic of tiles and pendant lamps, diners can customize beefy bites with a slew of toppings, such as sautéed mushrooms, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, and french fries. Like certified-organic princesses, salads come crowned with premium ingredients, such as the fresh Norwegian salmon, blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, and feta that festoon the Royal salad. Lettuce whisperers toss the mesclun field salad with fresh melon and grilled chicken before servers whisk it to tables with citrus vinaigrette harvested from the tears of freshly zested lemons.

2800 Broadway
New York,
NY
US