The 20 best diners in America
There's a time and a place for fine dining, but there's nothing quite like washing down a grilled-cheese sandwich with a chocolate malt at a retro greasy spoon. Here, the 20 best diners across the 50 states.
1. Fremont Diner; Sonoma, CA
You might be tempted to pass by this unassuming shack on your drive from Sonoma to Napa Valley…but don't. Instead, grab a table on the outdoor patio and order anything containing fried chicken. The tangy, homemade pickles are a much-welcome addition.
2698 Fremont Dr., Sonoma; 707-938-7370 or thefremontdiner.com
2. Florida Avenue Grill; Washington, D.C.
Called the oldest soul food restaurant in Washington, this Southern cookin', U Street spot attracts everyone from politicians to college students for its hot cakes, grits and biscuits.
1100 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-265-1586 or floridaavenuegrill.com
3. Miss Worcester Diner; Worcester, MA
Known as Miss Woo, this '50s-style diner in the working-class neighborhood of Worcester specializes in French toast. In fact, the menu offers over a dozen varieties like S'mores and Apple Pie.
300 Southbridge St., Worcester; 508-753-5600 or yelp
4. Little Goat; Chicago
This Chi-town favorite is a classic diner with a modern twist, serving creative interpretations of classic comfort foods. We're talking kimchi, bacon-and-eggs scallion pancakes and Fat Elvis waffles topped with peanut butter, banana and bacon maple syrup.
820 W Randolph St., Chicago; 312-888-3455 or littlegoatchicago.com
5. A1 Diner; Gardiner, ME
A1 Diner--an original Worcester Lunch Car--hasn't changed much in 60 years. Walking into the chrome enclosure and sitting at one of the mahogany booths is like stepping back in time. Make sure to order a side of the famous potato hash.
3 Bridge St., Gardiner; 207-582-4804 or facebook
6. Highland Park Diner; Rochester, NY
This '40s-era dining car is as quaint and old school as they come. The milkshakes are phenomenal, and each month you'll find a new special on the menu. Order it.
960 Clinton Ave. S, Rochester; 585-461-5040 or yelp
7. Mickey's Diner; St. Paul, MN
This Art-Deco landmark in St. Paul has been run by the same family for three generations. Stop by for breakfast 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and order a “One Eyed Jack"--an egg-in-a-hole meets a grilled-ham-and-cheese sandwich.
36 Seventh St. W, St. Paul; 651-222-5633 or mickeysdiningcar.com
8. Town Topic Hamburgers; Kansas City, MO
This Kansas City staple has been serving its famous griddled, steamed hamburgers since it opened its doors in 1937. Sure, it puts the “greasy" in greasy spoon, but in the very best way.
2021 Broadway St., Kansas City; 816-842-2298 or towntopic.com
9. Tops Diner; East Newark, NJ
In a state teeming with diners, this is surely “top" dog. The menu is enormous, but the MVP is Tops' famous meatloaf with gravy.
500 Passaic Ave., East Newark; 973-481-0490 or thetopsdiner.com
10. Harry's Coffee Shop; La Jolla, CA
In 1959, Brooklyn native Harry Rudolph moved to California and opened this blue-collar joint, known for its straightforward all-day breakfast menu. If you've never had eggs Benedict on a waffle, now's your chance.
11. Tom's Restaurant; Brooklyn
Tom's original Prospect Heights location is certainly one Brooklyn's most beloved breakfast spots. The weekend lines can be rough, but free coffee and the promise of blueberry ricotta pancakes makes it all worthwhile.
782 Washington Ave., Brooklyn; 718-636-9738 or yelp
12. Sid's Diner; El Reno, OK
This old-timey spot is known for its signature fried-onion burgers, which are seared on the griddle until crispy. Consider it a necessary pit stop on any Route 66 road trip.
300 S. Choctaw Ave., El Reno; 405-262-7757 or yelp
13. Modern Diner; Pawtucket, RI
Three words: custard French toast. That's the dish to order at this Ocean State diner, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The thick-cut French toast layered with a custard-like vanilla pudding, fresh fruit and raspberry syrup puts Modern Diner on the map.
364 East Ave., Pawtucket; 401-726-8390 or themoderndinerri.com
14. 24 Diner; Austin
Not your run-of-the-mill breakfast spot, this Austin eatery serves what it calls “chef-inspired comfort food." Order up a sourdough, cheddar, Havarti and roasted tomato grilled cheese or fried chicken and waffle at any hour of the day.
600 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin; 512-472-5400 or 24diner.com
Eat Your Heart Out/Yelp
15. Ruth's Diner; Salt Lake City
This Salt Lake City tradition has been around for nearly 90 years, making it Utah's second oldest restaurant. It's one of few diners that can boast canyon views, but the real reason to visit is for the fluffy “Mile High Biscuits."
4160 Emigration Canyon Rd., Salt Lake City; 801-582-5807 or ruthsdiner.com
16. The Blue Benn; Bennington, VT
Step into this old dining car and find a long lunch counter, booths and jukeboxes that'll play your favorite old-time songs for 25 cents. Three generously sized blueberry pancakes will cost you only about $5 at this cash-only establishment.
314 North St, Bennington; 802-442-5140 or yelp.
17. Big Al's Diner; Cleveland
Huge, cheap breakfast plates are the specialty at this no-frills Cleveland spot. Big Al's corn beef hash, made with thick, chunky potatoes and green peppers, got a shout-out on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, but locals rave about the eggs Benedict.
12600 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland; 216-791-8550 or yelp.
Jenn H./ Yelp
18. Skillet Diner; Seattle
Serving American comfort food from an Airstream trailer, Skillet has become a local favorite in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Think: creative twists on classic diner favorites like the “Ultimate Grilled Cheese," served with bacon jam and a fried chicken thigh.
2034 NW 56th St., Seattle; (206) 922-7981 or skilletfood.com
19. Rick's White Light Diner; Frankfort, KY
This divey hot spot serves Cajun-style dishes like oyster po' boys and crawfish étouffée in a lively setting. With a handful of tables and half a dozen counter stools, it draws a serious lunch hour line.
114 Bridge St., Frankfort; 502-696-9104 or whitelightdiner.com
20. Historic Village Diner; Red Hook, NY
There's always a crowd at this 1920s-style, Hudson Valley diner. On weekend mornings, the booths are packed with road-trippers and locals fueling up on eggs and homemade muffins.
7550 N. Broadway, Red Hook; 845-758-6232 or historic-village-diner.com
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Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.
When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.
They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.
I want them to look no further than United Airlines.
That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.
They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.
That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.
We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.
We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.
We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.
As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.
Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.
They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.
Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.
Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.
Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.
But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.
We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.
It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.
On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.
Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.
"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.
"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."
Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.
The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.
Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.
Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.
Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.
"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."
When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.
For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.
Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.
That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.
"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."
The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.
About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.
"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."
When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.
"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."
On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.
"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."
For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.