the blue benn diner
Flickr/Jun Seita
The Blue Benn
the bluebird diner iowa
Flickr/Alan Light
Bluebird Diner
the breakfast club
John Carrington/Thrillist
The Breakfast Club
Brent's Drugs
Courtesy of Adam M. White
Brent's Drugs
diner grill chicago
Sean Cooley/Thrillist
Diner Grill
Frank's Diner
Courtesy of Sue Leiting/
Franks Diner
Galley Diner
Courtesy of Galley Diner
The Galley Diner
Harry's Coffee Shop
Sara Norris/Thrillist
Hayes Hamburger Kansas City
Shanley Cox/Thrillist
Howley's Diner
Courtesy of Howley's Diner
Howley's Restaurant
Natalie St. John/Thrillist
Palace Diner
Flickr/John Dalton
Palace Diner
the pantry santa fe
Flickr/Dave Malkoff
Poole's Diner Raleigh
Courtesy of Angie Mosier
The Skyline Portland
Andy Kryza/Thrillist
St. Francis Fountain
Flickr/Thomas Hawk
St. Francis Fountain
Steve's lunch
Karin McKenna/Thrillist
Steve's Lunch
Strawn's Eat Shop
Courtesy of Strawn's Eat Shop
Strawn's Eat Shop
Tel-Wink Grill
Michelle Petrash/Thrillist
Tel-Wink Grill
Tops Diner
Flickr/Alan Levine
Tops Diner
wagner's louisville
Josh Johnson/Thrillist
Wagner's Pharmacy
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1. Bluebird Diner 330 E Market St, Iowa City, IA 52245

Do yourself a favor and get the Huevos Epsteinos, a “cross cultural collision” of homemade chili verde, smoked pork, Parmesan polenta, over easy eggs, and hash browns.

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2. Blue Benn Diner 318 North St, Bennington, VT 05201

The Blue Benn -- a diner that glows azure from its stools to its trim -- was shipped from Jersey to Bennington and assembled on its current spot in 1948 and, since, very little has changed. An eclectic menu ranges from falafel to cream cheese & spinach omelettes.

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3. The Breakfast Club 1500 Butler Ave, Tybee Island, GA 31328

Helmed by a CIA graduate, The Breakfast Club is governed by a homemade policy, so everything from the Smackwater Jack Omelet’s spicy sausage to the toast that’s definitely the most boring part of the, uh, “Emotionally Satisfying!” PMS Omelette order, are fresh from scratch.

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4. Brent's Drugs 655 Duling Ave, Jackson, MS 39216

This neighborhood institution, which made its Hollywood debut in The Help and grabbed a name check in the book, has been operating since 1946, and happily maintains its old-school soda fountain-style. Grab a stool and order a French Toast Sandwich -- two slices housing a fried egg and gooey American cheese.

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5. Diner Grill 1635 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613-2526

Slinging diner-style fare in Lakeview, The Diner Grill features 'merican grub staples like burgers and breakfast.

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6. Frank's Diner 508 58th St, Kenosha, WI 53140

Do as everyone else in Kenosha has for the last 89 years and order a Garbage Plate, that’s as much a legend as the diner itself: five eggs, hash browns, peppers, onions, and one (or three) meats. It also comes with toast, which you won’t be able to eat.

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7. The Galley Diner 11 P St, Boston, MA 02127

When you are hurting, and you need something quick to eat in shame back in your apartment, their sausage, egg, and cheese on an English muffin is the move. But if you’re actually willing to show your face, get the Southie omelet — full of hash and cheese, it’s a signature dish, and will assist your inarguable transformation back to being a normal functioning person.

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8. Harry's Coffee Shop 7545 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

This New York-style diner in the heart of California surfer territory ditches the NYC attitude, while serving up 12 styles of omelets and creative coffee options, like a mocha with Mexican chocolate and espresso. What’s more, Harry’s Coffee Shop is the genius force behind the B.W. Benny, a nationally acclaimed recipe that takes a golden brown waffle stuffed and topped with bacon, adds grilled ham and poached eggs, and drowns it in hollandaise.

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9. Hayes Hamburgers & Chili 2502 NE Vivion Rd, Kansas City, MO 64118

Hayes -- blessedly -- has been operating the same way for 60 years: fresh hamburger meat is ground and delivered every day and the homemade chili is made using a recipe from 1906. And the tiny Kansas City institution is still selling plenty of sliders in the present day, including an estimated "35-40% in the morning." Nothing like a chili cheeseburger before noon.

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10. Howley's Restaurant 4700 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Despite the restaurant tag, Howley’s is an all-classic ‘50s diner from its red leather counter stools to its neon glow that lights up Dixie Highway. The menu lines upgraded dishes, like crab cakes and fresh juice smoothies (Remember: you’re in Florida.), alongside banana cream pie, berry pie, apple pie, and key lime pie.

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11. Loose Kaboose 4514 Pacific Way, Seaview, WA 98644

It’s a tiny spot with only a few seats, but it’s worth the inevitable wait to get a huge burger or halibut fish & chips. Where else can you score eggs Benedict with crab cakes fresh from the ocean (it’s across the street) while a tiny toy train makes the rounds above your head, then tack an autographed dollar bill to the ceiling?

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12. Palace Diner 18 Franklin St, Biddeford, ME 04005

With 15 stools, the space is small, and features an equally diminutive menu: five breakfast items, four sandwiches, and some side dishes. But once you taste the bacon and egg and cheese deluxe with jalapeños, or the brown butter banana bread, and wash it down with a red birch beer, you won’t need anything else.

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13. The Pantry Restaurant 1820 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Around since 1948, it’s damn iconic and serves impeccable New Mexican breakfasts, like the Buenos Dias (pantry fries topped with green chile, cheese, and two eggs), and a dinner Carne Adovada plate using a red chile marinade that might make you weep when you can't have it anymore.

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14. Poole's Diner 426 S McDowell St, Raleigh, NC 27601

James Beard award winning Chef Ashley Christensen and her crew meticulously restored and preserved the old Poole’s Luncheonette, with its double horseshoe bar and red banquettes, and offer up a seasonal menu on their chalkboard based on what’s available right now.

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15. Skyline Restaurant 1313 NW Skyline Blvd, Portland, OR 97229

Skyline offers diner-ish digs (Red-checked floor? Check!) where you can scarf your usual steak burger, but wash it down the right way thanks to an full bar rocking delicious cocktails.

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16. St. Francis Fountain 2801 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Done up in an old-fashioned, nostalgic aesthetic that mimics diners of yore, this classic "soda fountain" serves up homey egg-centric breakfasts with spuds, biscuits, and a choice of protein. Renown, juicy burgers are also on offer, and can be enjoyed on top stools and classic diner counters that look like they haven't been changed since the '50s.

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17. Steve's Lunch 5004 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102

Most cities would be lucky if their diners were half as amazing as the Detroit-Shoreway 'hood's Steve's Lunch, a 60-year institution that has seldom closed its doors since it opened them. With less than a dozen seats in the place (and tabletop jukeboxes for nostalgia), the joint's specialty is its amazing, skinless beef franks piled with dry chili (kind of like Detroit Coney-style), or its take on the classic Polish Boy.

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18. Strawn's Eat Shop 125 Kings Hwy., Shreveport, LA 71106

Strawn’s has some of the best pie in the entire South, from a diner, restaurant, bakery… whatever. The ice box pies -- there are five standbys: strawberry, coconut, butterscotch, banana, and chocolate, plus the seasonal peach -- are indulgent, decadently sweet, and come buried under a few inches of rich, homemade whipped cream.

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19. Tel-Wink Grill 4318 Telephone Rd, Houston, TX 77087

Dmitri and Peggy Bokos brought their restaurant industry knowledge with them from Chicago, and Tel-Wink is now a legendary fixture on Telephone Road.

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20. Tops Diner 500 Passaic Ave, East Newark, NJ 07029

Tops differentiates itself from a run-of-the-mill diner by being a place you'd actually want to order seafood (it's fresh, and is available frequently as a special), as well as the ever-popular meatloaf and beef ribs.

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21. Wagner's Pharmacy 3113 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40214

Located just outside Churchill Downs, the pharmacy/general store opened in 1922 and branched into a cafe to gain the business and friendship of the racetrack workers and horse trainers. You’ll get plenty of history with your huge and cheap breakfast plate (go for sausage & eggs with biscuits and potatoes), and you might also overhear a tip before placing your bet for the day.