Going On a Cross Country Road Trip for the Best Burger and Shakes? Here Are the Best Diners in the United States in Every State

by Shelley Thompson

From Alabama to Wyoming, America is filled with thousands of diners that offer a wide range of meals. Diners in the United States mainly serve "breakfast" foods throughout the day; some others focus on lunch and dinner comfort meals. Diners, however, are more than just a place that serves food: It embodies the heart of America. No wonder diner scenes are so common in American movies. It's a culinary home away from home. Want an authentic diner experience? If you are looking for top-rated diners throughout America, this article has listed the best ones in every state. This list is based on reviews by professional food critics and people on Yelp and other restaurant-reviewing websites. Try not to read this when you're hungry!

It's a sacred trinity: Philly cheese steak, chili dog, and grilled cheese

Alabama is filled with diners that serve a wide range of food, but no diner comes close to Salem's. The food and atmosphere at Salem’s have built a loyal fanbase that is constantly growing. It is the epitome of Southern food.

They are open from Monday to Saturday, and you have to try their famous Philly cheese steak, chili dog, and grilled cheese. The owner, Wayne, is a friend to everyone who steps into his restaurant and is known to offer his famous lemon icebox pie dessert to his customers.

A reindeer sausage at Little Richard's Family Diner

In North Pole, Alaska, the favorite diner in town is Little Richard's Family Diner. With a price range of $8 to $25, there's something for everyone. They are also one of the few diners that offer vegan-friendly food. This family-owned diner has great service and excellent food. Reviewers love the huge portions and the cute 50s theme inside.

Their menu offers their Denver omelet, buffalo burger, spicy fries, chicken fried steak, buffalo chips, and cheeseburgers. Their most popular meals are their reindeer sausage and eggs and buffalo chips. Did Santa ever have the reindeer sausage? Asking for a friend.

Don't miss the epic view of Red Rock Canyon

If you are looking for one of the most popular establishments to eat at, shop, and hang out in Red Rock Country, you must try Coffee Pot Restaurant in Sedona, Arizona. You are guaranteed the best food, scenic view, and meeting new and welcoming people. 

You can enjoy food and time with your friends and families. They are famous for their many omelet options and delicious blueberry pancakes with whipped cream. One customer said she was visiting the city for four days and had lunch here every day of the trip.

Retro vibes and old-fashioned burgers

If you are passing through Arkansas, visit the Neighborhood Diner. The Neighborhood Diner is the top-rated diner That offers more than 35 kinds of fried pie and ice cream. You should try the gooseberry pie with butter pecan ice cream.

The retro vibes and old-fashioned burgers highlight Harrison’s Neighborhood's Diner. Their homemade pies and dessert are a must-try, but you should also try the beans special. They also have their custom hot sauces and seasonings to cook burgers, steaks, fries, and chili.

A California Point of Historical Interest

At first glance, you can see the iconic statue of a chubby kid in front of Bob's Big Boy. The diner was named a California Point of Historical Interest. It was opened in 1949 and is famous for its classic car shows and old-school 50s vibe. 

People love the bacon cheeseburger, but the classic "Original Big Boy Combo" double-decker is an all-time favorite. Another iconic thing about the Burbank location is that The Beatles dined here in 1965. They wanted real American diner food and requested to eat there. 

One of America's best hole-in-the-wall diners

The Village Coffee Shop in Colorado is perfect for a guilty pleasure breakfast. The diner has been open for 49 years and has its fair share of regulars and long-time employees. The ambiance is relaxed and welcoming. It has been called "America's best hole-in-the-wall diners." 

They serve breakfast and lunch, with favorite meals being their awesome fluffy blueberry pancakes and French toast. The menu has a range of greasy American breakfast foods like bacon and sausage to gluten-free options and sandwiches. They offer fantastic service and have many positive reviews online.

Daily fresh homemade corned beef hash and home fries

Laurel Diner in Southbury is known for their homemade corned beef hash and home fries, made fresh daily on the restaurant premises. Southbury's Laurel Diner stands out and was recently included in Food & Wine's list of "The Best Diners in Every State."

Food & Wine acknowledged Laurel's homemade corned beef breakfasts as the selling point. The diner has an extensive menu, serving anything from "basic breakfasts" with eggs, home fries, and toast to creative omelettes and decadent pancakes with cannoli filling, Oreo, and Nutella.

The fries put McDonald's and Arby's to shame

Golden Eagle Diner has been a family-owned establishment since 1996. Located in Seaford, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. They offer delicious meals, service, and prices. Customers say the staff is very welcoming and attentive, and the waitresses seem to know everyone dining.

One customer said the fries were so good that they "put McDonald's and Arby's to shame!" The portions are very filling and they have a wide variety of menu options, including burgers, waffles, eggs, and soups. Some people drive miles to have breakfast here. 

A 28-year-old landmark

In Florida, there has been a diner located at a South Beach landmark for 28 years, and this diner is no other than 11th Street Diner. The diner is committed to serving its customers their favorite homestyle meals with fresh and quality ingredients using innovative flavors. 

They have a diverse range of nutritious meals, like thick juicy hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, and breakfasts. It has an art-deco theme, neon signs, patio seating, and a cocktail bar. You should try the "El Cubano" sandwich with pork, smoked ham, mustard & mayo on Cuban bread.

Georgia's comforting food in a shiny atmosphere

Marietta Diner in Marietta is another diner that has made our list for its classic and delicious dishes. Since 1995, the Marietta Diner has offered 24-7 deliciousness. Unlike many diners whose quality steadily declined as time progressed, Marietta Diner has maintained and improved its service quality. 

The diner has been a hit with people in the town and across the country. It was even featured on Food Network’s “Diner, Drive-ins, and Dives.” The chef cooked beef stroganoff, so next time you are in Georgia, visit Marietta Diner to enjoy its rich food.

Thousands of home-made Coco puffs sold daily

Liliha Bakery has been an iconic venue since 1950 and is best known for its famous Coco Puffs (chocolate cream puffs slathered in Liliha’s famous chantilly frosting.) The baked pastries provide a unique balance of sweetness and salt as the chocolate explodes in your mouth. 

Their Coco Puffs are so popular that the bakery sells between 4,800 and 7,200 per day every year. The bakery also opens 24 hours a day, Tuesday through Sunday, at the original location on Liliha Street. So grab some Coco Puffs whenever you vacation in Hawaii.

A time capsule diner you need to visit

Do you love the old days and not get that nostalgia in today's modern diners? Then Dixie's Diner in Idaho Falls is a time capsule diner you need to visit. This diner takes you back in time to 1950, so enjoy. 

The atmosphere is also incredible, and you can enjoy various meals as they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No matter what time of day you visit, you’ll have lots of choices. Customer favorites include omelets, malt milkshakes, and classic fries. 

Serving more than 200,000 locals since 1991

Established in 1991, Charlie Parker’s Diner is an independent and locally-owned restaurant that has provided quality meals to residents in Springfield and Illinois for years. When there try the fried cauliflower and fried onion in boom-boom ranch or Charlie's favourite chicken sandwich.

The restaurant has served over 200,000 locals and visitors. It is well known for its diner delights like burgers, breakfasts, and anything else hearty enough for the long road ahead. Their top-notch service and quality food have earned a spot on our list.

Tasty tenderloins, coney dogs, and root beer in a 50s décor

Edward's Drive-In diner is a 60-year-old diner that seats over 160 customers. Edwards Drive-In on Sherman Drive is known for tasty tenderloins, coney dogs, and root beer. The 1950s decor and the fact that the same family has run it since the start add charm to it.

The diner has been a staple in Indianapolis's southeast side. In there, you get to see the artwork made for special events that took place in the diner. These artworks are Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, early model automobiles, records, guys in penny loafers, and girls in bobby socks.

serving Midwestern Soul food since 2008

Bluebird Diner and Cafe is located on Cherry Street in North Liberty. The diner has a fun and funky staff and fantastic decor. They serve a long list of meals, allowing you to mix as many side dishes as possible.

The diner claims to be "serving Midwestern Soulfood since 2008." They use local and fresh ingredients in their breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. Customers love the cinnamon roll french toast, Krakatoa omelet, and chicken fried steak. The diner puts a fun twist on American classics. 

One of the longest-running diners in Kansas and the United States

Located in Wichita, Kansas, Old Mill Tasty Shop opens Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. They can be easily seen across Naftzger Park, serving sandwiches, soups, Mexican dishes, fountain drinks, desserts, and their daily blue-plate specials that vary daily.

The Old Mill Tasty Shop is a 90-year-old restaurant and one of the longest-running diners in Kansas and the United States. The late actress Kirsty Alley was a regular over there. Veggie burritos and cheese crisps were her favorites.

Using local ingredients and specializing in Creole and Cajun food

Rick’s White Light Diner is next to the “Singing Bridge” in Frankfort, Kentucky. The diner was built in 1943 and remained Frankfort’s oldest restaurant. The diner specializes in Creole and Cajun food, using local ingredients and seafood from the U.S.

Its small size allows you to sit at a table or dine at the counter. You can sit next to other patrons and chat with your friends. Once there, try one of the special dishes, like the crawfish pie or the New Orleans Muffuletta.

A league of its own

For a restaurant in a busy city like New Orleans to stand out and be named the best, it must have an impressionable quality. Many food critics and positive customer reviews regarded Hub City diner as the best in Lafayette.

Hub City diner serves classics in a rock n’ roll 50’s-themed diner. You should order local dishes, such as grilled catfish, fried jalapenos, and fried dill pickles. They also offer a menu for those who wish to stay fit and avoid greasy food.

The best diner on Portland's waterfront

Becky's Diner is on Commercial Street in Portland, Maine, and was opened in 1991 by Becky Rand, a mother of six. The initial aim of opening the restaurant was to serve the nearby fishermen who needed a place to dine before and after working. 

Since these fishermen worked at unusual hours of the day, there was no restaurant to accommodate them except Becky's. The diner has received coverage in Gourmet Magazine and a spot on Rachael Ray's Food Network program for $40 a Day.

A Baltimore breakfast staple

Awarded Baltimore’s Best Breakfast in 2010 and 2011, Pete's Grille is a must to visit. The food is cooked in front of you using only the finest ingredients. It is also an important Baltimore landmark, with its generous portions of breakfast and lunch.

Pete's Grille is a Baltimore breakfast staple; the classic egg dish is a must to try as it includes eggs with ham and cheese breakfast sandwiches. You can also enjoy eggs with grits, home fries, and bacon or a mushroom and Swiss omelet, perfectly seasoned.

Retro décor and Fresh classics

George Athanasopoulos opened the Breakfast Club in Allston in 2002. The restaurant started with breakfast specials, five kinds of omelets, and minimal sandwiches. Before it became its mighty self today, it was once a relic that had fallen into disrepair. 

Today's menu is substantially more extensive, having grown along with the restaurant. The decor consists of '80s records, movie paraphernalia, and the owner's own Atari. The diner makes fresh classics like corned beef hash, jams, fries, smoothies, and pancakes.

Classic diner with a side of Greek traditional food

Currently owned by George Fotiadis and Adi Demiri, The Fleetwood is a diner on the southwest corner of Liberty and Ashley that serves some of the best diner food in Ann Arbor. They operate 24 hours a day and have locations in Lansing and Ann Arbor.

They offer a pancake breakfast, steak at 3 in the morning, and various vegetarian options. In addition, they sell traditional Greek food, so make sure you order the hippie hash, which includes a generous portion of homemade hash browns with grilled green peppers, onions, tomatoes, broccoli & mushrooms. 

Designed to resemble a railroad dining car

Mickey's Diner is a classic diner in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. The exterior was designed to resemble a railroad dining car. This unique building was constructed in 1937 by the Jerry O'Mahony Diner Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and was then shipped to Saint Paul by rail. 

The restaurant is a local landmark. It was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 for having local significance in architecture and commerce. In addition to its many awards and recognition, the diner was nominated as a unique social institution.

Served (approximately) 300M butterbeans!

Ajax Diner in Oxford is another famous diner on our list. They have served Oxford and the Ole Miss community for over 20 years serving local food like red bean rolls, BBQ cheese fries, and gravy, lots and lots of gravy.

 They have a wide range of food that is not only healthy but affordable. They are known for their Mississippi comfort food classics like chicken and dumplings, turkey sandwiches, and casseroles. They pride themselves on serving approximately 300M butterbeans.

The oldest operating soda fountain in St. Louis

Crown Candy Kitchen is every kid's dream. It is a restaurant, an ice cream fountain, and a candy store. Owned by Andy Karandzieff, Crown Kitchen is a St. Louis landmark as it is the oldest operating soda fountain in the metropolitan area.

 The shop still maintains its old-fashioned decor with Coca-Cola memorabilia from the 1930s. Crown Candy Kitchen offers simple menu items like sandwiches but is known for its desserts, candies, handmade malts, or malted milkshakes. When there, make sure you try the desserts. 

Everything is made from scratch!

If you support local ranchers, then you will support Roadhouse Diner. Their meals are natural and made from whole products. The beef is exclusively from McCafferty Ranch for their burgers. Their buns are also made from scratch and are baked fresh every day.

The diner's coffee is also excellent as they use their unique Roadhouse Blend to brew. This blend is Yirgacheffe beans that have been air-roasted exclusively for Montana Coffee Traders and freshly ground at the Roadhouse Diner. Nothing beats their fresh fries that have been hand-cut to perfection.

An offering of love and positivity

Do you want to experience a day of love and positivity? A meal at Deb's Diner is what you need. Their breakfast menu is second to none, although they have the typical diner food you see in many restaurants. They promise tasty food, big portions, and affordable prices. 

Deb's little local diner is known to serve traditional American breakfast and lunches. They have a super friendly staff that is very attentive to customers. The salad bar at lunch is superior to other diners, and the daily specials keep things fresh and new for the regulars.

Their home-made jams are a gem

Lou's diner in Las Vegas is a little diner off the beaten path and has been run from generation to generation. The diner is known for serving every guest a sample of homemade jams upon seating. Depending on the day, the flavors rotate seasonably.

Every Tuesday, they serve their unique and classic chicken noodle, and you can enjoy the famous ham & beans on Thursdays. They also feature homemade desserts made by the owner's wife, and the sausage gravy is one of the best; on Fridays, order the New England clam chowder.

Enter as strangers, leave as friends

Rosie’s Restaurant was founded on June 26, 1987. The restaurant continues to provide the hard-working people of the mount Washington valley, lakes region, and visitors from all over with good food, value, consistency, and comfort of a home-cooked meal.

During the last 30 years, they served more than 5M eggs! That is a lot of sunny-side-ups. They serve breakfast and lunch using high-quality ingredients. They want to make everyone feel welcome and show this through the staff's dedication. 

A family diner

Tops Diner is America’s premier family-owned diner serving over 15,000 hungry customers weekly. It was established in 1942 by three brothers. The Top family didn't believe in babysitters, so the brothers spent their childhood in the kitchen, starting with sweeping the floor and climbing up.

They uphold the American dining culture and strive to deliver quality. They serve burgers, shakes, calamari, chicken parmesan, and baked goods. Their baked goods include a five (!) nut brownie and a vanilla bourbon bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. 

A mix of New Mexican and American favorites

The Pantry Restaurant in Santa Fe was opened in 1948. They have been serving fresh comfort food for over sixty years. The Pantry Restaurant offers fast and friendly service and prides itself as one of the few diners that serve their guests the freshest and most quality ingredients.

You would not want to miss their chicken fried steak, meatloaf (a blend of ground beef and pork), brisket (smothered in green chili), and pork chops. Also, try their grilled cheese sandwich, a Ruben, or a quesadilla. Their green chili stew is to die for.

A diner with a must-see location

You will love this Asian-owned diner underneath the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown, NY, if you support diversity.  They specialize in serving classic NY diner dishes. They work hand-in-hand with great farmers and locals. They serve a cultural, culinary mix of dishes.

They offer a matzo ball soup next to Thai cobb. Korean fried chicken wings and lemongrass avocado toast. They’re the perfect midnight meeting spots where the only rule is that the person on their fifth coffee refill is in charge.

You had us at Key Lime Pie

Do you want a well-dressed salmon, grilled prawns, and rich gumbo? Then the Causeway Gourmet in Ocean Isle Beach is the spot to go! They serve tasty coconut cakes, key lime pie, and chocolate custard. They also offer delicious marsala, bourbon, beer, and great tea.

The warm atmosphere of Causeway Gourmet makes visitors feel relaxed and have a good time. They could easily get away with higher prices for their quality, but since they keep it affordable, more people can experience their fantastic food and service.

A whole menu dedicated to omelets

Deaner’s lives up to its name as the best diner in North Dakota by serving sumptuous meals. They have a whole menu page devoted solely to omelets, and they’ve got classic diner shakes and malts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

When you order the meat omelet, we suggest you go with pancakes and juice. Their omelet contains bacon, ham, sausage, and a blended cheese blend. Before walking in, we recommend you watch the Fargo-titled movie or TV series for reference. 

The food feels home-cooked and you are treated like family

In 2021, Scott's diner was declared the Best Diner in Ohio according to Eat This, Not That! and Yelp. Scott's Diner has undoubtedly come a long way for a diner that opened its doors to the public in 2016. They serve quality food in a relaxed, hometown, family atmosphere.

They are a family-orientated diner and continually give back to the community by supporting local government, schools, and charitable organizations. They strive to serve quality meals to their clientele by using fresh ingredients, unique menu items, and modern plate presentations.

A destination stop- No matter where you are

Sid’s Diner will forever be a destination stop, no matter how out of the way it is. Their burger is to die for – not greasy – and the onions take it over the top. El Reno has always been famous for fried onion burgers.

Sid’s Diner makes onion burgers the old-fashioned way; a ball of ground beef is covered with sliced onions and given several whacks with a spatula to infuse the two into a gooey meat patty. Their fries are freshly cut every day and served hot. 

Everybody needs a mom like that

Mom's Kitchen is that little gem hidden away along the highway. It is a tiny place with a unique atmosphere. Their service is fast, friendly, and welcoming. Their food is lovely and very filling. Hey, mom is inside the kitchen, and that's home-cooked food for you.

Their reviews on TripAdvisor are the best, claiming they are the best little restaurant in town. Did we mention their portions are enormous? You must stop at Mom's Kitchen if you need a place to stop for brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Famous for its special "Greek sauce"

The Lawrence Park Dinor (the spelling "dinor" is unique to northwestern Pennsylvania) is a Silk City diner in Lawrence Park Township, Erie County. It was opened in 1948 by the previous owner George Gourlias, and today gets a 5-star (out of 5) grade on TripAdvisor. 

The diner was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The current owners took over in 2010, and the diner is known for its famous "Greek sauce." Greek sauce is a spiced ground beef mixture popular in Erie as a topping on French fries.

The heart of the neighborhood

Cindy's Country Cafe was established in 2003 and specializes in breakfast and lunch served in a family-style atmosphere. Their community loves their freshly made food. One wrote on their Instagram account: "WE LOVE YOU, and you are the heart of our neighborhood."

You should try their gingerbread pancakes with homemade apple cobbler topping. The soup is also worth the price as a fresh batch is prepared daily. In addition, don't forget their famous open-faced meatloaf sandwich and the hearty harvest omelets.

An example of American diner classics

The best place to get your breakfast is at The Early Bird Diner in South Carolina. When you go to The Early Bird diner, try the fantastic chicken and waffles special. Follow up with their fried pork chop generously topped with pepper jelly.

The meals are all made in authentic style, just like one might find at your mom's house. Early Bird Diner has been cracking eggs since 2008 and has become the talk of the town. They’ve become so popular over the years that they've come out with their merch line.

A great retro diner with contemporary dishes

If you're in the mood for all-American food piled high in a retro dining atmosphere, then stop by Phillips Avenue Diner. You can enjoy a fun malt or one of their great salads while enjoying classic diner specialties with the meal. 

They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as breakfast for lunch and dinner & a gluten-free menu. They keep the jukebox rolling if you want a late-night coffee or milkshake date. They are also open seven days a week. 

Who doesn't love an old lighthouse?

The Old Lighthouse Diner is a family-owned restaurant that prides itself on making the best home-cooked meal at a reasonable price. The decor of this establishment takes you back in time with an assortment of various 50s and 60s memorabilia displayed on the walls.

They love their community and help raise funds for kids and youth. They have just celebrated their 10-year milestone, thanking the community for the good and trying times. Their smiling staff greets you when you come in and help you understand any questions you may have about the menu.

The best breakfast hands down

The Starwood Diner in Lewisville has a modern decor and design that provides a nice cozy feel. They serve french toast and pancakes, along with the usual breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, and everything is delicious! They are an authentic high-end diner!

The online reviews show that guests feel wowed by the value and taste. Some customers wrote that the food was so good they felt obligated to write a review. The service is also excellent, and your coffee will never be below half-full. Overall, you are assured of a fantastic experience! 

A movie-star diner if there ever was one

El Bambi Cafe is regarded as the best restaurant in Utah. The decor is a combination of booths and food served by a waitstaff. We suggest you start with their chicken fried steak and combine it with eggs. They also have crunchy hash browns and some tasty coffee.

Everything tastes so good, even their water! At least, that is what their customers are saying. The restaurant is located in a small town, so if you don't mind driving a couple of miles away off the freeway, then the El Bambi Cafe is the best place.

Best in Vermont

Dot's Restaurant is the best in Vermont. It is known for its friendly and helpful staff, fantastic food, and fabulous decor. We suggest you have the waffle with fruit as it is light and crispy or the French onion soup.

They also serve delicious berry pancakes and corned beef hash. One guest wrote on TripAdvisor: "The breakfasts were standout - my faves include the sausage & biscuit gravy, corned beef hash, waffles, and omelets. Wow, and the same friendly staff".

Iconic sandwiches and burgers

The Gourmet Burger Bistro in Portsmouth is iconic for one of its gourmet sandwiches. It is made with a hand-pressed patty topped with cheese, grilled onion, peppers, and mushrooms and finished with lettuce and tomato. They are famous for their triple-smoke burger.

Their crab cake sandwich is yet another meal to enjoy as it is topped with lettuce, tomato, and a side of house sauce. Don't forget their surf-n-turf burger, which is made with a hand-pressed burger topped with American cheese and a homemade crabcake.

California hash browns in Arlington

Suppose you want to eat at a small, inexpensive restaurant that offers a wide range of American dishes. In that case, you need to visit Stilly Diner in Washington. And when you do- order the Cornbread Pancakes with Butter Pecan Syrup.

The Stilly Diner was opened in 2015 by cousins Matt Deberry and Cheri Graves to serve fresh, affordable meals. You should try their California Hashbrowns: Large hashbrowns with bacon, avocado,  tomato,  green onions,  cheddar, and hollandaise with two eggs and toast.

West Virginia’s best-fried chicken

Rossy’s Place, a family-style restaurant in Charles Town, has been named the Best Diner in West Virginia. It was also previously voted West Virginia’s best-fried chicken by Yelp reviewers. Owners Rossy Vallejo and Francis Olivares work together to create an environment that reminds guests of home. 

Olivares and Vallejo said their main focus is on fresh ingredients in their dishes. Vallejo said that the community is "loving,” and they aim to become the No. 1 food destination in Jefferson County. Try the pesto spaghetti with Milanese or the Escabeche de Pescado

Harry's Diner is duke's worthy

Harry's diner is a fantastic one with a retro 50s feeling. The servers are phenomenal, and the food is high-quality; however, it is a bit pricey. Also, they don't have any gluten-free alternatives. They do have burritos and skillets.

We suggest you try their breakfast meals. Start with the veggie omelet and add ham. The potato cake is a must-try, and so is the Barcelona breakfast if you're one to try rice for breakfast. The service provided is top-notch. 

An old-school drive-in

You know you've stumbled into a neighborhood hot spot when almost every license plate in the parking lot is from Wyoming. Locals always know where to find the best meal, and that's certainly the case at Jody's. Their decor is laminated tables and vinyl chairs.

Nothing is better than an old-school drive-in for a perfect burger or a homestyle meal, especially when surrounded by incredible scenery and view. You should try the chicken fried steak smothered in country gravy served with potatoes, two eggs, and toast.