The Delight of a Coffee
Shop Diner!

Is a Coffee Shop Diner a thing of the past? Nah! Drive down US Route 40 or Route 66 through America, and you’ll see gleaming, stainless steel diners in almost every town and city. These restaurants may seem like a relic of a bygone era, but they almost always have cars outside and people inside.

How can it be possible that such places still hold a piece of the American Dream? No one really knows, but after almost 150 years, coffee shop diners are still a strong piece of Americana.

The Classic Coffee Shop Diner got their start back in 1858 when a man by the name of Walter Scott started selling sandwiches to people in Providence, Rhode Island. By the late 1800’s, diner owners bought old, decommissioned street cars and turned them into diners, adding a counter, some stools and a kitchen.

Then came the 1950’s, and diners were transformed into a form recognized today – lots of stainless steel, large windows, and art deco decor.

Over the past fifty years, diners have disappeared and changed hands many times over. Journalists have frequently extolled about the impending loss of the diner. But it never seemed to happen.

Instead, the diners keep going year after year, with new owners serving the same great customers and travelers who are just passing through.

Today, coffee shops and diners are located in towns and cities, airports and bus and train stations. Most offer a fairly large menu with a wide variety of standard American food--chicken, hamburgers, eggs, bacon, and pancakes.

Most still prominently feature a counter with stools in addition to tables where waitresses take your order. A large number of these diners are in major metropolitan areas and stay open 24 hours a day, offering cheap food at all hours of the day and night. They’re frequented by people of every walk of life.

But why have these pieces of Americana lasted nearly 150 years? Maybe it’s their inexpensive but tasty menus. Although some people coin Coffee Shop Diners “greasy spoons,” the food is normally far from greasy and can actually be quite good.

When you walk into a diner, there’s a sense of welcome and community. There isn’t an ounce of pretension; it’s just classic American food and people. And don’t forget the bottomless pots of coffee, just waiting to top off your cup.

A Coffee Shop Diner is best known for their coffee and breakfast fares. Don’t stop by a diner expecting to order a Grande Mocha Hazelnut Latte, No Sugar and Skim Milk, without being laughed out the door.

The Coffee Shop Diner coffee is served fresh and hot and black. If you want cream and/or sugar, check your table for the little packets. Breakfast is usually served around the clock, and it’s not made up of croissants and pastries.

It’s a classic American breakfast – eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, and everything else that makes breakfast the best meal of the day.

Most diners are family owned and operated, with Mom & Pop behind the counter taking orders and filling plates.

This helps lend to the homey, comfy feel of the diners. No one is a stranger, even if you’re just passing through. Expect to hear stories bandied about as people guzzle their coffee and savor their meals.

When it comes right down to it, coffee shop diners are a throwback to days gone by. By stepping in the door, you feel like you may have been transported back in time.

As you toss back your coffee, you feel the warmth of the place seep into your bones and know that this is what Americana is all about.

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