The diner concept was born nearly 150 years ago when a man named Walter Scott began selling food out of his horse-drawn wagon to local newspaper workers in Providence, Rhode Island.
“Lunch wagons,” as they came to be known, traveled up the East coast and by the late 1900s, were being commercially produced in Worcester, Massachusetts.
These early diners remained mobile units until the 1920s, when factories began making prefabricated diners for stationary use. It’s at this time when diners began to take on the long and narrow streamliner look, as the prefab structure had to fit inside a railcar or truck to be delivered to the site.
Fast forward to 2017 and diners can be found in all different shapes and sizes, and in abundance across the country. Their ubiquity has made them as American as apple pie and their close connection with the neighborhoods in which they operate, a beloved part of the American experience.
Recognizing the important stamp diners have made on American culture, Time Out honors the humble luncheonette with a list of the very best from coast to coast in its 20 Best Diners in America.
Representing Detroit is downtown brunch bar, Dime Store:
“This wildly creative brunch restaurant just qualifies as a diner, but the strength of its kitchen staff belies the usual expectations of plain old burgers and fries.
“Instead, look for original takes on diner fare, like a Belgian waffle made churro-style with malted batter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar; a Korean-style ‘duck bop’ hash made with house-confited duck leg and pickled veggies; and poutine-style fries piled with bacon and parmesan and drizzled with white truffle oil.”
Thank you kindly, Time Out, for including us among the country’s best diners. We couldn’t ask for tastier company and look forward to eating our way through this list!