Tom’s Diner

Pittsburgh, PA

Tom’s is the quintessential Pittsburgh establishment: open all night, connected to a sports bar where at least one Pitt game can usually be seen, and yes, they put French fries on everything, including the sandwiches and gyros (Did you know that was a ‘burgh thing? It was a surprise to us!). But they’re not afraid to try new things, either, says manager Bridget—their huge craft beer selection and experimental new recipes like slow-cooked pot roast and fiery feta sauce is evidence of that.

Diner on Clifton

Cleveland, OH

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.)

George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner

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.