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These Famous Diners Take Us On A Delicious Trip Down Memory Lane

Although the diner concept started in Rhode Island in the 1870s, New Jersey became the leader in the game. Even beyond New Jersey, famous diners have become a part of American culture. Some of these diners boast the traditional decor– chrome metal, checkerboard floors, and neon signs– while others offer something unexpected, like a gift shop on-premises. Here are five of the most famous diners in history.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner, New York

Located right in the heart of New York City, this one-of-a-kind spot opened in 1987 and is considered the city’s first 50s-themed diner. Aside from the food, people also famously know the diner for its singing waitstaff, dubbed The Stardusters.

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These amazing performers sing from opening to closing. Everything on its menu looks delicious, but if you’re lucky enough to visit this iconic diner, try one of its specialty breakfast dishes, such as the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes or Holy Moly French toast.

Lou Mitchell’s, Chicago, Illinois

The famous diner, which started over a century ago, has been serving up excellent egg dishes, toasty sandwiches, and refreshing salads to politicians, celebrities, and more. It was the first place in Chicago to offer breakfast 24 hours a day.

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Lou Mitchell’s is so popular that it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Also, the Michelin Guide has recognized the diner for its “delicious omelets” and “iconic crowds.” They source their eggs and meat locally- they are always fresh.

Brent’s Drugs, Jackson, Mississippi 

A beloved diner and soda fountain since the 1940s, Brent’s Drugs is an old-school classic. Pharmacist Alvin Brent established the diner over 70 years ago. The popular eatery boasts vibrant blue booths, chrome stools, and a neon sign out front.

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The menu is packed with diner food classics, like chicken salad, grilled cheese, and pancakes- you shouldn’t miss their famous ice cream floats. They also have one of the best cocktail bars in the area located in the back, The Apothecary. 

The Original Haven Brothers Diner, Providence, Rhode Island

Founded in 1893 by Anne Philomena Haven, the family-owned restaurant is one of the oldest and first on wheels. Anne used her husband’s life insurance policy money to begin her horse-drawn lunch wagon, which morphed into a shiny metal lunch cart with seating inside.

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The famous dishes are the Murder Burger, made with bacon and a fried egg, and the Rodeo Burger, which has barbecue sauce and onion rings stacked in it. They also have an ice cream truck serving delicious desserts, including sundaes, milkshakes, and ice cream floats.

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner, Yermo, California

The famous diner came about in the 1980s when Champ and Peggy Sue Gardner, a couple from Southern California, decided to renovate an old roadside diner that dated back to the 1950s. They revamped the place into a local nostalgic diner.

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The spot boasts Peggy Sue’s grandmother’s family recipes like the Tina Turner Tuna Sandwich and the Mickey Mouse Club Sandwich. Aside from these popular dishes, the diner also has a gift shop, pizza parlor, 50’s tunes, and even a “dinosaur” park out back.

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