When you think about it, diners are like the ultimate best friend. They take you just as your are: in stretchy pants on Sunday morning, ready to indulge in a heaping plate of pancakes with extra syrup or in your Saturday night best, in desperate need of a bite after nibbling on unsatisfying hors d’oeuvres at a function. Always up for making new friends, I went on a search for the best Long Island diners and as usual, Pulse readers helped me find the top spots.
Glen’s Dinette, Babylon
A Babylon landmark, Glen’s Dinette is a cozy spot for a weekend (or weekday) breakfast. The neighborhood gem transports you back to the 1950s with retro burgundy booths and decor, thick milkshakes and service with a smile. Pro Tip: Bring cash. Glen’s doesn’t accept cards. Go.
Oconee East Restaurant, Islip
Oconee is like the diner version of your Pinterest-loving aunt who is always down for a party. The Islip establishment is just as well known for its festive decor (think goblins and foliage for Halloween and countless hearts for Valentine’s Day) as it is for its sandwiches, fries and tasty baked goods. Go.
Colony Diner, East Meadow
Colony Diner has bucked the trend of straying from 24-hour service and is open around-the-clock so you can satisfy that chocolate chip pancake craving whenever it sneaks up on you. The casual but clean environment, cushioned seats, cozy booths, several large TVs and much-raved about friendly service have made the spot an East Meadow institution. Go.
Landmark Diner, Roslyn
Landmark Diner in Roslyn knows that gathering at a diner is as American as apple pie, and it doesn’t take its customer service responsibilities lightly. Not only is the staff known to be friendly, the chicken and burgers are free of hormones and antibiotics and the water is filtered using a state-of-the-art system that keeps it safe to drink and makes the coffee taste oh-so-fresh. Put the s’mores pancakes on your foodie bucket list. Go.
Moriches Bay Diner, Moriches Bay
The murals on the walls are of waterfront views that will have you dreaming of a la fresco summer dining, and the oldies tunes will transport you back to your high school days (but with better hair). Then there are the burgers, which you’ll be writing home about. Go.
Golden Reef Diner, Rockville Centre
A friendly waitstaff, full liquor license, homemade gelato and Nutella-filled pancakes. Enough said. Go.
The Laurel, Long Beach
When we think diners, we think 1950s, but The Laurel has been serving the South Shore since 1932. Your grandmother might remember buying candy and soda there before going to the Laurel Theater, or sharing a banana split with your grandpa there on their first date. The tuna melts are reason enough to keep the tradition alive. Go.