The Best Diner in Every State (Plus Washington, D.C.)

Filet mignon and chocolate soufflé are fine and dandy, but when a burger and chocolate shake craving strikes, only a diner will do. We consulted our friends at Yelp to uncover the best diner in every state (plus Washington, D.C.). Here, 51 greasy spoons around the country to put on your bucket list.

The Best Cheap Eats in Every Single State

uncle micks cajun market and cafe diner in pratville alabama
Patrick H./Yelp

Alabama: Uncle Mick's Cajun Market & Cafe

Cajun and Southern cuisine (think: seafood gumbo, boudin sausage and buttermilk pie) reign supreme at this casual spot.

136 W. Main St., Prattville; 334-361-1020 or

little richards family diner in north pole alaska
John D./Yelp

Alaska: Little Richard’s Family Diner

This North Pole (yep, that’s a real place) greasy spoon offers old-school vibes (like checkered tiles and retro posters) and local fare—try the reindeer sausage.

2698 Hurst Rd., North Pole; 907-488-2117

Arizona: Welcome Diner

A friendly eatery that lives up to its name, this is hearty comfort food with a modern twist (try the jackfruit po’boy or the fried honey chicken biscuit sandwich).

924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix; 602-495-1111 or

Arkansas: C-j's Butcher Boy Burgers

Retro ’50s decor and fresh dishes (the fries are hand-cut only after you order) make this a local favorite.

2803 N. Arkansas Ave., Russellville; 479-968-2300

California: Carlito’s Diner

Don’t be fooled by the no-frills interior. This family-owned restaurant is worth the trip for its tasty Mexican cuisine like huevos rancheros, tacos and chimichangas at bargain prices.

7451 Warner Ave., Ste. G, Huntington Beach; 714-841-9966 or

Colorado: The Little Diner

The hot chocolate with whipped cream and Dutch Baby are must-haves at this cozy gem.

616 W. Lionshead Cir., Ste 204, Vail; 970-476-4279 or

Connecticut: Meraki

Locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal fare are the stars of this charming eatery, although the fresh baked goods, porchetta and breakfast burritos are (happily) always available.  

239 West St., Litchfield; 860-361-9777 or

Delaware: Frankford Family Diner

Good quality food, fair prices (try the $20 dinner for two deal) and a relaxed atmosphere make this diner popular with locals.

34067 Dupont Blvd., Frankford; 302-732-9292 or

Florida: Jesse’s Place

This family-owned joint may be small, but the menu is surprisingly extensive. (And the proximity to the beach isn’t too shabby, either.)

7008 Thomas Dr., Panama City Beach; 850-708-1356

pork sandwich ricos world kitchen in georgia
Rico's World Kitchen

Georgia: Ricos World Kitchen

They’ve got chicharrones, fried green tomatoes and po’boys, y’all.

306 W. Main St., Buford, 678-765-7518 or

Hawaii: Rebel Kitchen

Hang loose at this Big Island surfer-style diner that’s known for its juicy burgers, kombucha on tap and homemade ketchup.

79-7399 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kealakekua; 808-322-0616 or

Idaho: Buffalo Cafe

This diner may be off the beaten path, but it’s worth the trek for the giant pancakes, homemade jam and freshly baked biscuits.

218 Fourth Ave. W., Twin Falls; 208-734-0271

Illinois: Sanguche

Classic Peruvian dishes like empanadas, slow-cooked pork, fried yuca and quinoa burgers feature heavily on the menu but save room for the freshly baked alfajores cookies.

535 Fairway Dr., Ste. 115, Naperville; 331-701-7175 or

Indiana: India Café

Fragrant spices, flavor-packed dishes and plenty of options for vegetarians make this Indian restaurant a worthwhile pit stop.

1450 W. 86th St., Indianapolis; 317-757-6204 or

Iowa: Suzie-q Cafe

This red-and-white diner may be tiny, but the tenderloins are huge. Order one with a side of fries and let the owner wow you with his magic tricks as you wait.  

14 Second St. NW, Mason City, 641-423-5021

Kansas: Doo-dah Diner

Did you know that “doo-dah” is a term used for Wichita residents with a laid-back attitude? It also perfectly sums up this friendly spot.

206 E. Kellogg, Wichita; 316-265-7011 or

sparetime belly and soul in alexandria kentucky
Matt M./Yelp

Kentucky: Sparetime Belly & Soul

This ’50s-style diner has been serving happy customers for decades and even featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning flick Carol. 

7807 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria; 859-448-0523 or

Louisiana: Liz’s Where Y’at Diner

A bright and cheery eatery with plenty of local seafood like Louisiana crawfish tails, shrimp and grits and gumbo.

2500 Florida St., Mandeville; 985-626-8477 or

Maine: Palace Diner

Built in 1927, it doesn’t get more charming than this historic spot that’s located in a Pollard car (one of only two remaining in the country).

18 Franklin St., Biddeford; 207-284-0015 or

Maryland: Cindy’s Kitchen

Originally a general store and a service station, this relaxed Eastern Shore diner, with its quirky decor and hearty dishes (try the corn fritter pancakes), makes the perfect pit stop on your way to the beach.

3127 Aireys Spur Rd., Cambridge; 410-228-3830

Massachusetts: Villatoro Restaurant & Cafe

This cozy neighborhood gem mixes New England favorites with Latin American classics. The result? Muy bien.

353 Lincoln St., Marlborough; 508-658-2380

Michigan: Rosy’s Diner

Chances are you’ll meet Rosy herself at this old-school diner. If you do, be sure to ask for the mashed potatoes.

1313 Ludington St., Escanaba; 906-786-1983

Minnesota: Our Kitchen

For those who love hash browns (and who doesn’t?), this cute spot is for you.

813 W. 36th St., Minneapolis; 612-825-3718 or

Mississippi: The Tracks

Get the burger with melty pimento cheese on top and you’ll know why this no-frills Winona joint made the list.

100 C. N. Front St., Winona; 662-283-3505 or

Missouri: Q39 Midtown

Kansas City is all about the BBQ, and this industrial yet rustic joint is no exception. Headed by a national barbecuing champion, everything from the sauces and rubs to the sausages and coleslaw is homemade.

1000 W. 39th St., Kansas City; 816-255-3753 or

Montana: Roadhouse Diner

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried the Atomic Sinatra burger, with pepperoni, red onion and jalapeños with spiked ranch sauce. You just haven’t.

613 15th St. N., Great Falls; 406-788-8839 or

Nebraska: Debs Diner

Come for the sandwiches, stay for the house-made cinnamon buns.

817 Lake Ave., Gothenburg; 308-537-2575 or

Nevada: Sns Diner

It’s attached to a car wash, but don’t judge a book by its cover. This joint serves up incredible waffles and eggs with house-made bacon.

1100 E. Colton Ave., North Las Vegas; 702-269-9696 or

New Hampshire: The Wellington Room

It’s definitely fancier than your average diner, but this upstairs hideaway probably won’t mind if you eat these red pepper and manchego cheese balls with your hands.

67 Bow St., Portsmouth; 603-431-2989 or

New Jersey: Tops Diner

You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at this East Newark spot, from rigatoni Bolognese to red velvet pancakes.

500 Passaic Ave., East Newark; 973-481-0490 or

New Mexico: Pantry Restaurant

Need Mexican food immediately? (Hey, we’ve been there.) This fast-casual joint will hit the spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

1820 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe; 505-986-0022 or

New York: The Village Diner

If you need us, we’ll be headfirst in this French toast breakfast sandwich.

255 Floral Ave., Johnson City; 607-217-4134 or

causeway gourmet flounder
Causeway Gourmet

North Carolina: Causeway Gourmet

Ordinarily, we’d be a little nervous about ordering fish in a diner, but the sautéed local flounder at this seaside spot in Ocean Isle Beach is a major exception.

100 Causeway Dr. SW, Ste. 7, Ocean Isle Beach;

North Dakota: Randy’s University Diner

The Day Breaker comes with “golden hash browns,” aka taters topped with lots of cheese. Best of all, it’s served all day long.

2130 University Dr. S., Fargo; 701-280-0414 or

Ohio: Southside Diner

It’s time you’ve met the corned beef stacker, a meaty breakfast monstrosity featuring a potato pancake, horseradish mayo, sauerkraut, hot corned beef, Swiss cheese and a sunny-side-up egg.

10705 W. Pleasant Valley Rd., Parma; 440-842-6888 or

Oklahoma: Sid’s Diner

Grilled onion burger + fries + malt = the world’s most perfect meal.

300 S. Choctaw Ave., El Reno; 405-262-7757

Oregon: Addi’s Diner

What’s the only thing better than a gigantic pancake? A gigantic pancake and a gigantic serving of hash browns.

207 S. A. St., Springfield; 541-747-9482

Pennsylvania: David’s Diner

If you’re hungry enough to eat a bear, order this plate featuring four eggs, three meats and veggies with cheese. (It’s called, appropriately enough, the Bear Hungry.)

2800 Freeport Rd., Springdale; 412-463-8482

Rhode Island: Ollie’s Diner

It’s alllll about the pancakes at this Cumberland joint. (Or if you’re a savory gal, get the corned beef hash.)

802 High St., Cumberland; 401-830-9402

South Carolina: Iron Dog Diner

Any meal that comes with maple syrup and hot sauce isn’t kidding around. Case in point: this amazing chicken and waffles.

4245 Rivers Ave., North Charleston; 843-203-4682 or

South Dakota: Rosie’s Café

You might have to wait for a seat in this postage-stamp-size restaurant, but one bite of those crispy hash browns, and it’ll be so worth it.

2200 W. Madison St., Sioux Falls; 605-334-7928

Tennessee: Old Lighthouse Diner

Now that’s a cheeseburger. Anemic-looking round patties need not apply.

2520 W. State St., Bristol; 423-274-0200

Texas: Sylvia Mae’s Soul Food Llc

We’re dreaming of chicken-fried steak, fried okra and mac and cheese.

564 Main St., Jacksonville; 903-658-3122 or

Utah: Cactus Room

Don’t even think about leaving before you try the farm-raised buffalo burger.                            

771 W. Highway 9, Virgin; 435-635-7872

Vermont: Dot’s Restaurant

A dinner-plate-sized cinnamon roll counts as lunch, right?

3 W. Main St., Wilmington; 802-464-7284 or

legrand kitchen burger
LeGrand Kitchen

Virginia: Legrand Kitchen

This place just oozes cool, whether it’s serving up a double-decker burger or duck breast with foie gras gnocchi.

4515 Colley Ave., Norfolk;

Washington: Thai Wok Kitchen

This casual spot refuses to let burgers and fries have all the fun. One order of chicken pad thai, please.

5000 E. Fourth Plain Rd., Ste. A101, Vancouver; 360-852-8103

Washington, D.c.: Kinship

Lobster toast, beef rib eye and fig tart—this isn’t your grandpa’s diner. Before tucking in, be sure to soak up the elegant ambiance with a craft cocktail or two.

1015 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-737-7700 or

West Virginia: Dem 2 Brothers And A Grill

Soul food at its finest. (Pass the sweet potato casserole.)

423 Virginia St. W., Charleston; 304-400-4977 or

Wisconsin: Harry’s Diner

Just give us a plate of steak, eggs, hash browns and a seat at this low-key Sheboygan spot and we’re set.

2504 Calumet Dr., Sheboygan; 920-458-5200 or

Wyoming: Jody’s Diner

The burger looks great, but let’s face it: We’re really here for the onion rings.

260 Bear River Dr., Evanston; 307-789-8550 or

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...