8 Foods That Are Always Better at a Diner

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Of all the restaurants in my neighborhood, the one you’ll find me at most often is the diner two block from my apartment. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good diner. There are some foods that are simply better there than anywhere else — especially these eight foods.

1. Breakfast Potatoes

Whether you go for home fries, hash browns, or simply breakfast potatoes, there’s no better place to enjoy this breakfast side than at a diner. Each piece of potato has the perfect balance of crisp and soft texture, and a seasoning that we can aim for at home — but there’s something on that griddle only a diner has.

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2. Pancakes

Diner-style pancakes are their own special breed of pancake. You know exactly what I’m talking about — thick, slightly dense, soft, and so tender they practically melt in your mouth.

3. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

There’s nothing fancy here, and that’s exactly what makes diner grilled cheese sandwiches amazing. It’s a simple sandwich, with simple ingredients and big results. Order a diner grilled cheese and the standard version will get you perfectly melted American cheese sandwiched between two thin slices of buttery, toasted white bread. Plus, let’s not forget the pickle spear and coleslaw on the side.

4. Tuna Melts

If there’s one thing diners taught us about sandwiches, it’s that everything is better with cheese — and nowhere is this sentiment more true than with a classic tuna melt.

5. Greek Salad

Diner-style Greek salads are lauded for their sheer and impressive size. This is one meal-worthy salad, and often enough to share. It’s the kind of salad you can order at almost any diner and always know what to expect — a big plate piled with crisp romaine, thick-cut cucumbers, tomato wedges, olives, and onion, topped off with more than enough feta to satisfy even the biggest cheese lover, and the perfect amount of herbed dressing.

6. Triple-Decker Club Sandwiches

If you’re ordering a club sandwich from a diner, be prepared for three layers of greatness. It’s lofty, yet totally manageable. The combination of thin ingredients, from the bread and bacon to the meat and sliced tomatoes, helps this sandwich reach impossible heights.

7. Milkshakes

A while ago I watched my shake getting made at the diner, and it was a real eye-opener. All of a sudden everything about my favorite sweet diner indulgence made sense. These thick, creamy shakes taste like they come with a serious kick of vanilla or a big boost of chocolate, because they do — in the form of an added shot of flavored syrup.

8. Lemon Meringue Pie

If you’re into this sweet, tangy pie for the meringue, then a diner is where you can expect to get the slice of your dreams. At these establishments, this pie is piled high with a loftiest layer of meringue you’ve ever seen.

Do you have a favorite diner food?