We couldn’t leave Cleveland without trying just one more diner. Big Al’s is as quick and no-nonsense as they come, with sneakered waitresses shuttling back and forth between tables with pots full of steaming coffee, shouting “what can I get for ya?” over the bustle of the place. What they got for us was two of their breakfast specials, which also don’t mess around—a bread-egg-meat combo never fails to satisfy.
The Diner on Clifton, a colorful little corner cafe with a super friendly staff, was just named the “Best Diner in Cleveland” by Scene, Cleveland’s weekly alternative newspaper. And we can totally understand why. Between the well crafted menu—think elevated comfort food like creamy homemade mac and cheese, Greek salad with crunchy pita chip croutons, and yellowfin club sandwiches—and the galaxy-themed décor, this diner was truly out of this world. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
We try not to pick favorites, but we have to say, we were especially excited for this stop. The Blue Moon Diner is an impeccably preserved and restored dining car, built in 1941 in our photographer’s hometown of Paterson, NJ before spending the majority of its life in Connecticut. Now, it’s on display (and at work) at the Gilmore Car Museum in Michigan—like a historic exhibit that serves hot dogs and milkshakes.