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
This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Canada's largest city spreads out along the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, and it's a dynamic, multicultural and inclusive experience like almost no other place on earth. Not only is Toronto a thriving living city,it's also become one of the world's truly must-visit destinations. Regularly ranked as one of the greatest places to live, Toronto is the cultural center of the country and home to the biggest events, the most pro sports and the greatest concentration of theaters and restaurants.
Recent decades have seen regular multi-million-dollar upgrades to the city's public spaces, with a slew of great museums, iconic architecture and the redevelopment of the now glittering lakefront adding to the city's appeal.
Add in an ever-growing number of world-class hotels, upbeat nightlife that runs from dusk until dawn and a vibrant and diverse culinary scene influenced by the eclectic makeup of the city's people. Bright and bustling, cosmopolitan and cultured, unpredictable and energetic, Toronto has become one of the greatest cities on earth.
What you see and where you go will depend on the length of your stay. A week is good, longer is better. But even a long weekend will give you a taste of 'The Six' — one of the city's many nicknames, reworked recently as 'The 6ix' by one of its most famous sons, Drake.
However long you stay, you can't hope to see it all. So, consider what follows a starting point for your first visit…
City Hall, Toronto
The checklist sites
No visit to The Six can be considered complete without ticking off several of Toronto's true heavyweight sights. All of the following are in or within easy reach of the city's compact, walk-able and very vibrant center.
The CN Tower is unmissable in every sense, a vast freestanding spire that looks down upon the city and takes its place as one of the 'Seven Wonders of the Modern World'. Head up for the city's best 360-degree views, or get your heart racing on the EdgeWalk — a journey around the circumference of the tower's main pod, 116 stories high and tethered by a harness.
Back on solid ground, Ripley's Aquarium is almost right next door to the CN Tower and is home to 16,000 aquatic animals and the Dangerous Lagoon. A moving sidewalk that whisks you through a long tunnel surrounded by sharks and stingrays is guaranteed to make your heart race all over again.
Also close to the CN Tower is the Rogers Center, home to Canada's only baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Visit on game day for the full experience, or take the stadium tour to go behind the scenes and through closed doors.
In a city of so many museums and galleries, the Royal Ontario Museum stands out. Not just because it's home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens, but as much because it hosts exciting Friday night events that include dance, drink and top DJs.
Two other must ticks include the Art Gallery of Ontario, which houses 95,000 works of art and is free for visitors under 25, and the Hockey Hall of Fame, which taps into Canada's national obsession in stunning depth.
Art Gallery of Ontario
Casa Loma is a must-visit Gothic castle in the heart of the city. North America's only castle is filled with artworks and treasures from Canada and beyond, but its big pull is the network of hidden tunnels to explore as they stretch out beneath the city.
Toronto's multi-cultural makeup is visible all across the city but reflected best in its remarkable culinary scene (see Where to eat and drink). The city's 'fresh and local' mantra is perfectly showcased at St. Lawrence Market, one of the world's greatest food experiences. Pay it a visit and grab a peameal bacon sandwich — a Canadian staple invented in Toronto and now considered the city's signature dish.
St. Lawrence Market
Afterwards, walk off the calories by wandering the historic cobblestone and car-free Distillery District. Once a vast whiskey distillery and an important spot during prohibition, historians mention that even Al Capone would visit the Distillery to load alcohol destined for the States . This iconic landmark now distils creativity within the 19th century buildings now home to hip restaurants, bars, independent boutique stores, galleries and theaters. Visit in December for the Toronto Christmas Market.
Finally, don't even think about returning home without having had a picture taken with your head poking through an 'O' of the multicolored, 3D Toronto sign at City Hall — the most Insta-worthy location in a city of so many. You'll need to head there early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
If you stay long enough, take a ferry and hop across to Toronto Islands, a chain of 15 small islands in Lake Ontario just south of the mainland. They're home to beaches, a theme park and a breathtaking view of the city's skyline and will very happily fill a full day of your stay.
The bucket list
You absolutely cannot leave Toronto without having witnessed the power of the Niagara Falls and its hypnotic mist up close. Trying to visit the Falls from the States is a trip on its own, but it's almost non-optional when you're less than two hours away in Toronto. Take the trip, buy the T-shirt and tick off one of the world's must-see sights.
Explore like a local
Away from the sleek, gleaming towers of downtown lie many of Toronto's less obvious but no less essential attractions. West Queen West is Toronto's hippest neighborhood and artistic heart, a one-mile strip of very chic galleries, stores, restaurants and boutique hotels. Kensington Market is a fantastically chaotic neighborhood and perhaps the best example of the city's famous multiculturalism. It's not a market as the name implies, but a collection of independent shops, vintage boutiques, art spaces, cafés, bars and restaurants from every corner of the globe.
The Bata Shoe Museum is one of the city's quirkiest collections, an unexpectedly fascinating exhibit that retraces the 4,500-year history of footwear. And as you wander the city, you can't fail to notice that Toronto's walls are alive with graffiti. Take a free 90-minute walking tour through the back alleys of Queen Street West and down Graffiti Alley to gain a better understanding of the city's street art scene. If you visit during the sunnier months, escape the hustle by heading just east of the center to High Park, the green heart of the city where forests, walking trails, picnic spots and even a zoo await you. Ideal to unwind after a long day of urban adventures.
When to go With the sun shining, May through October is a great time to visit, but the city is alive through all four seasons. The Spring and Autumn months are ideal as the humidity and visitor numbers are lighter, while Toronto comes alive through the colder months through a wide array of winter celebrations. One of the most spectacular is the Aurora Winter Festival, a six-week celebration that sees the Ontario Place, West Island transformed into four mystical worlds. Whichever season you choose, plan to stay for at least five nights to get a true flavor of the city.
Toronto skyline view
Where to stay To be at the heart of most of the attractions you'll want to see, aim for downtown. One of the best options is the Marriott City Center, not only because it's located right next to the CN Tower but also because it's attached to the iconic Rogers Center where the Toronto Blue Jays play and countless concerts and popular events are held.
Toronto Blue Jay stadium
Opt for a Stadium room and you'll look out onto the field. If you want to experience Toronto's non-stop nightlife, the Entertainment District is the place to be. If you're looking for a luxury experience, discover Canada's first St. Regis hotel in the heart of downtown.
Where to eat and drink Nowhere is Toronto's incredible diversity more evident than in its food scene — taste Toronto and you're tasting the world. The city is brimming with restaurants and cafés serving everything from high-end fine dining to comfort food from an informal neighborhood joint — plus every option imaginable in between.
For fine dining, consider Alo, Canis and Edulis. Book a table at Canoe, Lavelle, The One Eighty or 360 at the CN Tower and you're guaranteeing a view as spectacular as the food. Or experience the city's remarkable fusion food at DaiLo (French-Cantonese), El Catrin (Mexican-French) and the unexpected mashup of Rasta Pasta (Jamaican-Italian).
The above suggestions don't even scratch the surface of a food scene to rival any city on earth, with options to suit every taste and any budget.
How to get around Toronto is perfect to explore on foot or via a growing network of cycle routes. For a quicker journey, buy a Presto card to use the TTC, Toronto's subway, streetcar and bus system.
How to get there Fly into Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) with United and you're around 15 miles west of the city center. The most comfortable route in is via the Union Pearson Express, which runs every 15 minutes and gets you downtown in 25 minutes ($13).The TTC is a cheaper option at under $5, but it can take an hour and a half and involves a number of transfers, while a taxi will take around 30 minutes and cost $45.
United flies to Toronto from numerous U.S. cities including our Hub city locations. Book your trip via united.com or by downloading the United app.
Around the web
Following the devastating wildfires in Australia and powerful earthquakes that shook Puerto Rico last week, we're taking action to make a global impact through our international partnerships as well as nonprofit organizations Afya Foundation and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency).
Helping Puerto Rico recover from earthquakes
Last week, Puerto Rico was hit with a 5.2 magnitude earthquake, following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake it experienced just days before. The island has been experiencing hundreds of smaller quakes during the past few weeks.
These earthquakes destroyed crucial infrastructure and left 4,000 people sleeping outside or in shelters after losing their homes. We've donated $50,000 to our partner charity organization Airlink and through them, we've helped transport disaster relief experts and medical supplies for residents, as well as tents and blankets for those who have lost their homes. Funding will go towards organizations within Airlink's partner network, which includes Habitat for Humanity, Mercy Corps and Americares, to help with relief efforts and long-term recovery.
Australian wildfire relief efforts
Our efforts to help Australia have inspired others to make their own positive impact. In addition to teaming up with Ellen DeGeneres to donate $250,000 and launching a fundraising campaign with GlobalGiving to benefit those impacted by the devastating wildfires in the country known for its open spaces and wildlife, our cargo team is helping to send more than 600 pounds of medical supplies to treat injured animals in the region.
Helping us send these supplies is the Afya Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit that seeks to improve global health by collecting surplus medical supplies and delivering them to parts of the world where they are most needed. Through Airlink, the Afya Foundation will send more than $18,000 worth of materials that will be used to treat animals injured in the Australian fires.
These medical supplies will fly to Melbourne (MEL) and delivered to The Rescue Collective. This Australian organization is currently focused on treating the massive population of wildlife, such as koalas, kangaroos, and birds, that have had their habitats destroyed by the recent wildfires. The supplies being sent include wound dressings, gloves, catheters, syringes and other items that are unused but would otherwise be disposed of.
By working together, we can continue to make a global impact and help those affected by natural disasters to rebuild and restore their lives
Australia needs our help as wildfires continue to devastate the continent that's beloved by locals and travelers alike. In times like these, the world gets a little smaller and we all have a responsibility to do what we can.
On Monday, The Ellen DeGeneres Show announced a campaign to raise $5 million to aid in relief efforts. When we heard about Ellen's effort, we immediately reached out to see how we could help.
Today, we're committing $250,000 toward Ellen's campaign so we can offer support now and help with rebuilding. For more on The Ellen DeGeneres Show efforts and to donate yourself, you can visit www.gofundme.com/f/ellenaustraliafund
We're also matching donations made to the Australian Wildfire Relief Fund, created by GlobalGiving's Disaster Recovery Network. This fund will support immediate relief efforts for people impacted by the fires in the form of emergency supplies like food, water and medicine. Funds will also go toward long-term recovery assistance, helping residents recover and rebuild. United will match up to $50,000 USD in donations, and MileagePlus® members who donate $50 or more will receive up to 1,000 award miles from United. Donate to GlobalGiving.
Please note: Donations made toward GlobalGiving's fund are only eligible for the MileagePlus miles match.
In addition to helping with fundraising, we're staying in touch with our employees and customers in Australia. Together, we'll help keep Australia a beautiful place to live and visit in the years to come.