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.
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Sparky's Coney Island System was first opened in 1915 by Theodore Kanelos, who envisioned a place where families could come for quality wieners. Nearly a century later, the restaurant is still going strong after being handed down through the generations, serving both warm breakfasts and classic wieners. Patrons can chow down on wieners slathered with meat sauce and onions, crispy fish 'n' chips, and stuffed omelets at any time. Or, if something green or lighter is required, there's grilled chicken or clam chowder.
At Good Days, the gears on a 1950s vending machine turn, sending a Coca-Cola bottle tumbling to the bottom. Smiles festoon vintage photos hanging on walls. And on hot days, an ice cream window refuses to stay shut, its staffer serving an endless line of customers who await their chance at a locally-made scoop. This is where the nostalgic and the simply hungry go to quell their cravings for American fare and breakfast served all day. In booths and at tables, forks dive into fish and chips, moist turkey roasted in house, and French toast made with dense slices of banana-nut bread. The restaurant is open seven days a week, just enough time to try almost everything on the menu or proclaim a new favorite dish 21 times.
Johnny’s is packed with mismatched ephemera that create a playful and irreverent vibe. The menu covers all the bases with diner staples that include matzo-ball soup, chocolate-chip flapjacks, and tuna melts. Just remember to save room for a classic beverage from the soda fountain.
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.