Life in the city can be hectic and exhausting but diners, with their simple menus, cheap prices and retro aesthetics, can provide a sense of comfort like no other restaurant. The following greasy spoons, all open 24/7, will satisfy your late-night munchies while serving you a blast from the past.
Good Stuff Diner
109 W. 14th St.
This quiet, unpretentious diner features a retro orange and green color scheme and a seemingly permanent row of regulars seated at the counter. The menu has some upscale options like steak and shrimp, as well as a huge list of salads, sandwiches and burgers. The portions are huge and the service is quick. Try anything from the classic soda fountain — it’s good stuff.
574 Sixth Ave
Hollywood Diner, just two blocks north of Good Stuff, features outdoor seating and walls plastered with images of black and white film stars. The celebrity-themed sandwiches are a big hit: the Howard Stern has grilled chicken, bacon and Swiss on pita bread with onion rings; the Robert DeNiro is made with pastrami, onions, hot peppers and Swiss, also on pita bread with onion rings. Try the Hollywood Burger with gooey cheddar cheese, sauteed mushrooms, onions and bacon, or choose from the extensive breakfast menu at any time of day.
Washington Square Diner
150 W. Fourth St.
The bright yellow lights and window sills full of potted plants lend themselves to a lively atmosphere for this Greek-style diner. The food is typical diner fare and the service is quick and friendly. The glass cases stuffed with cakes and pastries would be particularly appealing after a long night studying at Bobst, which is just a few blocks away.
452 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn
If you ever find yourself craving diner eats in Park Slope, check out Daisey’s — the neon storefront sign alone should be enough to entice any curious and hungry passerby to enter. The food is decent and the interior is filled with retro decorations, but this is the greatest spot on the list for people-watching. Although the neighborhood is now known for it’s bearded hipsters, at Daisey’s you’ll be eating with some of Park Slope’s original residents.
The Famous Cozy
Soup ‘n’ Burger
Cozy’s has been around for more than 25 years, and the food is so good that it’s no wonder the diner has stood the test of time. The portions are enormous and the service is crazy fast. The specialties are, of course, soups and burgers, but the incredibly extensive menu offers dozens of types of omelettes and sandwiches. For a side, the curly fries are definitely the way to go. Though it’s a little pricey, this place calls itself famous for a reason.
A version of this story appeared in the Nov. 30 print edition. Email Abigail Wienberg at [email protected]