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New York City’s Best “Old-School Diners” and Where to Find Them   blog image

New York City’s Best “Old-School Diners” and Where to Find Them

August 22 2022

Whether you’re visiting from overseas, a few states over, or you’ve been an NYC lifelong resident, there is something quite nostalgic about visiting “Old School Diners” and taking a step back into the New York of the past.

New York is home to thousands of different eateries and restaurants when you want to grab a bite to eat, but nothing beats the simplicity and time-tested diner menu.

Often family-run, many diners struggled to stay open as the city grew and an increasing number of large corporations opened their doors, raising rents and taking custom. While diners used to be found on every street in the city, they have been mostly wiped out – but if you know where to look there are some great, classic diners that are winning the battle and still in business.

red and white

Lexington Ave Candy Shop and Luncheonette

If you’re looking for simplicity, tradition, and nostalgia, don’t miss Lexington Ave Candy Shop. The diner has been in business for just shy of a century and the same family continued to serve New Yorkers until the diner closed in October 2020 when the lease was taken over by a former employee. The diner is known for still making Coca-Cola the traditional way and one of their most popular treats is the ice cream soda floats.

Jackson Hole

Located close to the LaGuardia Airport, the traditional diner was originally called Airline Diner, before being taken over by the once popular burger chain, Jackson Hole. The diner has been in operation for 70 years and was one of the filming locations for the film Goodfellas. If you’re looking for vintage coke, gum machines, and pink booths – it doesn’t get more “diner” than Jackson Hole.

traditional coke float, with lots of foam on top and red and white striped straws inside, small pink plastic tub to the side of them

Westway Diner

Freestanding diners are almost impossible to find in New York, but right in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen is the Westway Diner – one of the very last ones. The restaurant was opened in the 80s and is still owned by the same family. Open early morning until late night, the diner boasts over 100 menu items – including all your favorites: waffles, burgers, bagels, and giant slices of cheesecake.

If you’re in New York for business or pleasure, the Hotel Beacon is conveniently located in a residential neighborhood in the heart of the city – within walking distance of transport links, Central Park, and some of the city’s most loved attractions.