From Our Editors
Five Things to Know About The Madison Diner
You can’t keep a good diner down, even if it closes for more than 30 years. That’s the story behind The Madison Diner: a stainless steel dining car that was built in 1948. When the diner’s original lease ran out in 1963, new owners moved the car to a vacant lot in New Jersey where it sat until 1996. Fortunately, retired airline pilot Al Packard came along and moved the diner piece by piece across the country and reassembled its 50s-style atmosphere in Bainbridge Island. Here are a few more things to chew on before visiting this storied eatery:
The chefs cook breakfast all day. Or at least during the diner’s operating hours from 7 a.m.–9 p.m. That’s good news, since it gives you more time to sample specialty dishes such as Pacific salmon hash sauteed with hash browns, leeks, garlic, and mushrooms.
There’s more than one way to make a milkshake. To keep the classic diner vibe going, the staff hand dips shakes in several flavors, from vanilla and chocolate to blackberry and seasonal fresh fruit.
The kitchen makes a lot of their sandwich fillings from scratch. No pre-packaged meat loaf, tuna salad, or corned beef ever finds its way between The Madison Diner’s bread.
The menu accommodates dietary restrictions. Plates can carry vegetarian options, gluten-free options, or something that tows both lines, like the huevos rancheros with a choice of green or red sauce.
One of their most famous diners had really spiky hair. Guy Fieri profiled The Madison Diner (then known as Big Star Diner) for his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.