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Diners in New England: Top 5

Diners in New England: Top 5
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Diner StoolsNobody knows more about these classic eateries than Richard Gutman, curator of the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, and author of three books on the history of diners. When we asked him to name the venues he thinks are the best diners in New England, he groaned, “There are more than 300 diners just in Massachusetts!” Still, he agreed to confide all five of his top picks, with a little lore about each of them.

Kelly’s Diner
674 Broadway St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 623-8102
http://www.kellysdiner.net/
1953 Jerry O’Mahoney diner – this stainless-steel classic was profiled on the Food Network hit “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” It serves generous portions—Kelly’s Super, for example: two eggs, choice of meat, home fries, two huge pancakes, and toast.

Modern Diner
364 East Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 726-8390
1941 Sterling Streamliner – this was the first diner named to the National Register of Historic Places, in 1978. Go for the weekend brunch specials, such as lobster Benedict (made by Al Roker when he visited for his Food Network special “Diner Destinations”).

Capitol Diner
431 Union St
Lynn, MA 01901
(781) 595-9314
www.capitoldiner.net/
1928 Brill diner – this family-run business, since 1938, serves up one of the friendliest atmospheres, plus fare from meatloaf-and-mashed to crab sandwiches and quesadillas.

Libby’s Blue Line Diner
1 Roosevelt Highway
Colchester, VT
(802) 566-0343
http://www.libbysbluelinediner.com/
1953 Worcester Lunch car – this diner sits like a fort, perched high above I-89, with a spectacular view for the patrons inside. The baked goods excel, and the breakfast can’t be beat, as the frequent wait-for-a-seat will attest.

A 1 Diner
3 Bridge St
Gardiner, ME
http://a1diner.com/
1946 Worcester Lunch Car
Patrons of this small diner, a 1946 Worcester lunch car, enjoy its eclectic menu, as well as the owners’ deli and specialty food store next door. It has a unique location: perched on steel stilts alongside elevated Bridge Street. Its recipes and lore are chronicled in “A1 Diner: Real Food, Recipes & Recollections” by Sarah Rolph.

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4 Responses to Diners in New England: Top 5

  1. Mel Allen May 9, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    I have not been to all of these diners but I know this: if Richard Gutman says they are his favorites, then I want to follow in his steps. He is one of the diner experts in the country.

  2. Jeff Folger May 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    I stopped at a diner in Maine during a fall trip and it coincided with a power outage in the local area and everybody who lived in a five mile range was there also… The diner was the only one who had power and great meatloaf and mashed potatoes…
    There are several in this area like the Agawam up off I-95 in Rowley at the junction of 133 and 1A… It’s a big silver one that shines in the sun.
    Jeff

  3. kevin willett August 15, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Rosebud Diner Davis Square Somerville, MA. Peterborough Diner 10 Depot Road Peterborough NH and Lindy’s Diner Keene, NH

  4. Lisa McDermott November 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    I find it interesting that while trying to find a way to contact the manager at Kelly’s Diner in Somerville, MA the only “active” link is http://www.yankeemagazine.com/topfive/topfivetravel/fivediners

    The phone line goes directly to voice mail.

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