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Best of – Brooklyn Diners


So a girl walks into
a diner…

Brooklyn, I’ve
recently discovered, does a lot of things well.  Even diners.  There are a wealth of wonderful spots with excellent pancakes, eggs, French toast, oversized, late-night sandwiches, and a great bottomless cup of coffee. 

By RG writer – Caitlin Decker

Tom’s Diner

Address: 782 Washington
Ave (corner of Sterling Place and Washington Ave)

Phone: (718) 636-9738

My first visit to Tom’s Diner (pictured right) was anything but eventful.  TV cameras were swarming the entrance.  The Mayor was eating at a nearby table.  Say what you till about the Bloomberg’s politics, but the man has great
taste in diners.

             But Tom’s is prepared for big crowds, whether the mayor’s there or locals.  On the weekends,  they set up chairs outside and bring table plates of
cookies, sausages, toast, and orange slices for patrons to snack on while they’re outside. The dining
room is warm and outfitted with trimmings that date back to 1938 when the diner first opened.  The menu is a whopper, but it’s the breakfast that really stands out. 

You’re going to need an ordering strategy, some plan of attack.  Luckily, the staff
brings over items you’ll want to try, like beef sausage with lemon (free of charge,) so you can cross that off the list.  Whatever you do, get the pancakes. They rival the best I’ve ever eaten and there’s so many great options, like chocolate chip pancakes, pumpkin and
walnut, or lemon ricotta. The best card they’re holding are the lemon ricotta, but the chocolate chip will turn a grown up dad into a selfish 8 year-old who won’t share. I’ve seen it happen.  By the way, why are pancakes in Manhattan
$15?  At Tom’s and most diner’s in Brooklyn, they don’t get pricier than $10 for an order.  There’s also great beef sausage, and terrifically crispy, corned beef hash. 

Dizzy’s Diner

Address: 511 9th St
(Between 8th Ave and Prospect Park W)

Phone: (718)   
Unfortunately, Dizzy’s brunch is not a well-kept secret.  So get there early because tables fill up fast.  And for good reason.  Kid-friendly” is an
welcome wagon sometimes includes a  tiny hand from the booth next to you, offering up part of a half eaten pancake.

          Here’s the rundown: You seat yourself and think mix up savory and sweet to really do brunch  right here.  Their menu features a great eggs, pancakes,  just-squeezed orange juice, and corned beef hash with big chunks of corned beef with peppers, potatoes
and lots of spices.  (No need for condiments.)  My favorite thing on the menu is the challah french toast, which manages to be thick, moist and fluffy.  Oh, it’s also extremely hangover-friendly.


toms pancakes.jpg

Diner 85

Address: 85 Broadway
(Corner of Berry & Broadway)

Phone: (718) 486-3077

Diner 85 is, by definition, a diner.  But the seasonal menu and service suggest otherwise. So do the loud music and hip crowd.   But there’s no pretense here: We were
seated right away and our server was quick to write the specials — which change quickly —
on our paper table cloth for us. There’s great cocktails and a creative offerings, like flatbread with lovely combination of quince puree, prosciutto,
fontina, and sage as well as a salad of braised rabbit, chicory,
cranberries and toasted hazelnuts accompanied by rabbit liver toast. 

          The menu’s filled with anti-diner dishes:  Mussels in a spicy tomato broth with lamb sausage, pan-roasted chicken over jerusalem
artichokes in a sherry vinegar sauce.  The dessert menu features apple tarte tatin with a creme fraiche made with vanilla, caramel and apple cider.  It was also deemed, “One of the best things I’ve ever tasted” by my friend.  Diner 85 is
not so much a diner as it is a spot for a great, inexpensive dinner.


Floridian Diner

Address:  2301 Flatbush
Ave (Corner of E 49th st)

Brooklyn, NY

Phone: (718) 377-1895
This is everything you want in a diner: Big plates, comfortable seats, and waitstaff that seem like they’ve been working there forever.  This Flatbush joint is great for families and the
hangover crowd alike.

         The menu is the size of a bible, so don’t be intimidated by the size as it’s hard to go wrong.  If you’re considering the reuben panini, find a partner-in-crime.  There’s no way you’ll make it through the sandwich alone.   It’s a deliciously glorious mess.  If the prices at
the Floridian seem pricey, consider the fact that it’s really two meals-in-one. You either share and split the bill or have leftovers for later.


Mike’s Coffee Shop

Address: 328 Dekalb Avenue
(Corner of St James Place and Dekalb)

Phone: (718) 857-1462

If you just want to roll out of bed without a shower or even brushing your hair, this is the perfect place.  Mike’s Coffee Shop — across the street from
Pratt University — is packed with the college crowd and stories from the night
before.  (Some of them never went to bed.)  The breakfast menu is less extensive than most diner menus, but what they do, they do well.

            The chicken & waffles, unusually crispy, are reason enough to have breakfast here, but so are the unusually light pancakes, crowned off with an ice cream-sized scoop of
butter.  Even if you skip the chicken & waffles, order their crunchy & moist waffles on the side.  

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