South Florida's Ten Best Diners
You may have to drive a little farther than you would in New York, but even in a region as image- and trend-obsessed as South Florida, one can find plenty of these 24-hour, breakfast-all-day havens of hash browns and nostalgia. Here's a list of our ten favorite diners in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Anyone who treks up and down Federal Highway near Oakland Park Boulevard knows this joint by sight alone: It looks like it's been hanging out in the same dusty spot for eons, basically because it has (it's been around since the mid-'50s). But this old-school diner has earned its hardcore greasy-spoon stripes serving mammoth portions of chili omelets, hash browns, and crispy bacon for a song. Rub elbows with Fort Lauderdale's blue-collar crowd as you tip back a never-ending cup of piping-hot percolated coffee at the long lunch counter, or lay claim to a corner booth and work on an obscene portion of biscuits and gravy in relative peace.
The owners have taken such pains to capture the nostalgia of an imaginary postwar America that one practically expects to see the Fonz working the room and snapping his fingers to change the song on the diner's 1955 Seeburg jukebox. Decked out in a fit of 1950s memorabilia, this retro diner is particularly proud of its half-pound burgers, claiming "You can't beat Nick's meat." Mind out of the gutter, folks; this is good, clean, American value with nothing priced higher than $10 and a whole mess of sandwiches, hot dogs, and wraps for less than $8. The throwback vibe carries over to the menu, with fried clams, homemade meat loaf, and turkey-breast platters made with meat that's roasted on the premises.