Seated on red leather bar stools, guests at Silver Star Diner sip on fresh-brewed coffee and peruse a menu of comfort cuisine such as half-pound burgers, deli sandwiches, and breakfast skillets. In addition to hearty diner staples, guests can sample a rotating selection of pastries, which are baked on-site daily. Diners can order anything off the menu regardless of the time of day or lunar cycle.
Dix Hills Diner's chef says that his philosophy is to "keep it simple." That's why he makes familiar diner dishes, such as soups, sandwiches, and steaks, from fresh ingredients and adds a single, memorable twist. He finishes off broiled beef liver with a demi-glace and stuffs baked jumbo shrimp in garlic sauce with a bit of crabmeat. Such dishes fit right in with the retro yet modern decor, which features classic blue-and-yellow vinyl booths as well as chic recessed ceiling lights.
Like any dutiful American diner, Setauket Village Diner serves burgers and fries, coffee, and omelets as part of its vast nine-page menu, which could please every diner. But like any history book about empires, it also adds Greek and Italian to the mix. Steak gyros and kebabs of chicken or salmon represent the former, whereas pasta such as linguine marinara and and shrimp scampi topped with feta and mozzarella are highlights of the latter.
Father-and-son duo Peter and Bill Tsibidis pepper Crosstown Diner's broad menu with ingredients hand-picked weekly from farmers' markets, featuring a cheeseburger that the New York Daily News deemed among the city's top three in 2011. Taste buds tingle and occasionally faint in the presence of celebrity burgers ($6.99+) such as the famously fresh open-faced cheeseburger, a build-your-own delectable, or one of the diner's 11 specialty burgers. Chefs salute the restaurant's Greek heritage in chicken athenian, a breast stuffed with spinach and feta ($15.99), and glasses of wine (a $5.29 value) toast nine specialty pasta dishes tossed in velvety sauces ($9.99–$19.99). Two country eggs team up with Eire's finest bacon or sausage to rout out hunger in the irish breakfast ($8.39), and pancakes as fluffy as clouds stuffed with teddy bears assemble outfits of red velvet batter, bacon bits, and bananas ($8.99) to attract forks.
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.