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Top 11 Boston Eateries From 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives'

Top 11 Boston Eateries From 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives'

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The Boston area is known for some eclectic fine dining, from Menton’s small plates, to the award-winning excellence at O Ya (which the New York Times named the best restaurant outside New York), but it’s not all about fine, waterfront dining. Sometimes you’re just in the mood to eat some thick, creamy New England clam chowder from a greasy-spoon diner.[slideshow:

We dug deep and found the best casual eateries and comfort food-havens in Boston, Cambridge, Peabody and other surrounding towns, as featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network show: “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” On the show, fiery chef, Guy Fieri visits casual eateries and samples some of the best dishes these diners, drive-in's, and dives have to offer.

From lobster ravioli the size of your fist at Rino’s Place, to a meaty and melty pastrami sandwich at Sam La Grassa’s and to a little burger joint where the long list of burger specials are all named after celebrities, we've got you covered in Beantown. Guy has really uncovered some of the best high-calorie dishes at the homiest dives in Boston, with diner-worthy prices that range from a $7 pastrami sandwich to a $16 poblano food.

For a more in-depth look at Boston's best diners, drive-ins, and dives, check out our slideshow.

336 Sumner Street
Boston, MA 02128
(617) 561-0038
Average Plate: $13
Must Try: Rolled Eggplant Menino

Sam La Grassa’s

44 Province St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 357-6861
Average plate: $12
Must Try: Chipotle Pastrami

37 Davis Sq,
Somerville, MA 02144
Average plate: $10
Must-try: Mac Attack

131 Lexington Street
East Boston, MA 02128
Phone: (617) 567-4972
Average plate: $16
Must Try: Chilaquiles Verdes

284 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445
Average plate: $7
Must Try: Pork Fennel Sandwich

258 Saratoga St, Boston, MA 02128
(617) 567-7412
Average plate: $14
Must Try: Lobster Ravioli

2366 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 661-5655
Average plate: $9
Must Try: Corner’s Special Gyro

1 Railroad Ave, Peabody, MA 01960
(978) 977-7775
Average plate: $8
Must Try: Monte Depot

Bartley’s Burger Cottage

1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 354-6559
Average plate: $12
Must Try: Tom Brady Burger

1714 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
(617) 267-9393
Average plate: $10
Must Try: Turkey Dinner

674 Broadway (Ball Square)
Somerville MA 02144
(617) 623-8102
Average plate: $7
Must Try: Homemade Corned Beef Hash Special


Stacey’s Rexall Drugs & Olde Tyme Soda Fountain

Stacey’s is located only a couple hundred feet off of Highway 59 in Foley, the main road that leads to Alabama’s sugary white beaches. The interior takes you back to days gone by—to 1929, in fact—when the store first opened. Model airplanes made of balsa wood and tissue paper hang from the ceiling, an old Lionel toy train runs its daily route along a track near the ceiling, and, of course, the store is a good old-fashioned apothecary.

But, the real treat is the soda fountain where you can grab a quick hamburger, hot dog, or chicken salad sandwich. To wash your meal down, ask one of the soda jerks to concoct a fantastic beverage, like a real cherry Coke, or the northern favorite, a New York Egg Cream (some call it a Dishwater). Whatever you call it, the drink doesn’t include any eggs or dishwater, and it’s the best.

Then, finish off your meal with a fantastic ice cream dessert, like hot-fudge-covered ice cream in a homemade waffle cone.

Toomer’s Drugs

A trip to Auburn is not complete without a stop at the corner of North College Street and East Magnolia Avenue, what is affectionately known as Toomer’s Corner, and the famous Toomer’s Drugs.

Toomer’s has been in business since 1896, when Sheldon Toomer, one of the first halfbacks for Auburn’s college football team, graduated with degrees in agriculture and pharmacy. With a $500 loan he opened the doors to the store, and it has been booming ever since.

The store was sold to Don and Betty Haisten in 1999, and today, Betty continues the traditions of Toomer’s and its great food and soda fountain.

The lunch menu runs the gambit, with everything from PB&Js to turkey and cheese melts to everything in between. A local favorite is the grilled pimento cheese sandwich. And, you can’t visit Toomer’s without a glass of the “special formula” lemonade or limeade.

Of course, we can’t forget about the soda fountain, which serves up all sorts of tasty frozen treats, like old-fashioned Black or Brown Cows, banana splits, and hot fudge brownies.

Payne’s Sandwich Shop & Soda Fountain

Belly up to the bar—or rather the lunch counter—and enjoy the retro atmosphere of Payne’s. Its red, white, and chrome interior will take you back to the 1950s, and the soda fountain and lunch counter will bring you back time and time again.

The sandwich menu includes the classic Reuben, with thin slices of corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, all served up on the classic marble rye. Local favorites include the BBQ Ham Slider, and the Great Southern Pimento Cheese sandwich, which has pimento cheese slathered on toasted sourdough bread, plus sweet pickles or lettuce.

From the fountain, dive into an Elvis Sundae with peanut butter and bananas, or the huge Banana-Rama with 12—count ‘em, 12!—scoops of ice cream.

Written by Joe Cuhaj for RootsRated Media in partnership with BCBS of AL.

20 To-Die-For Desserts Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

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Guy Fieri is a polarizing figure: he’s either your favorite Food Network celebrity chef or you absolutely can’t stand the dude. But one thing is for certain: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is a show that makes us all hungry thanks to Guy’s adventurous and voracious appetite. While we love our triple decker burgers and habañero poppers, sometimes all we really need is a great way to satisfy our sweet tooth. These 20 dishes are perhaps some of the best diner desserts you’ll ever try, guaranteed.

1. Apple Dumplings from Smokey D’s (Des Moines, IA)

Photo courtesy of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Facebook

Get some of their doughy cinnamon apples and share it with your cinnamon apple. We think you probably should order two though, because it’s so good that you probably don’t want to share in the first place.

2. Maple Bacon Donut from Nickel Diner (Los Angeles, CA)

Photo courtesy of @ms_airess on Instagram

Seems like society is finally becoming more receptive to bacon in desserts. Bless up. The smoky bacon provides just the saltiness you need to balance out the sweet donut, satisfying your sweet and salty craving in one convenient dessert.

3. Butterfinger Pie from Athena’s Greek Cafe (Bakersfield, CA)

Photo courtesy of @jumble on

Usually we’d complain about getting Butterfingers stuck in our teeth, but that’s not the case with this creamy pie. It might give you a massive sugar rush, but that’s the mark of an excellent diner dessert.

4. Butter Rum Caramel Crepe Cake from Foolish Craig’s Cafe (Boulder, CO)

Photo courtesy of @essie4879 on Instagram

Stacks on stacks on stacks of thin, sweet crepes. The cream cheese frosting that’s smothered on top is the bee’s knees, I promise.

5. Lavender Honey Ice Cream from The Creole Creamery (New Orleans, LA)

Photo courtesy of @prestonmeche on Instagram

While we certainly have NOLA to thank for beignets and spicy gumbo, The Creole Creamery makes it a point to have some of the best ice cream you can find in the soul food haven. Perfect for a post-stroll snack, or when you need a huge treat yo’self day.

6. Red Velvet Cobbler from Early Bird Diner (Charleston, SC)

Photo courtesy of

You definitely don’t need fruit to have a perfectly good cobbler. This red velvet version is just as rich as its cake counterpart, but even better with its warm and gooey comfort.

7. Crème Brûlée Toast from The Brick House Cafe (Cable, WI)

Photo courtesy of

Having crème brûlée for breakfast is actually possible, and boy does it taste good. Smooth, buttery caramel sauce is drizzled on top of sautéed pears, tying the entire dish together into the ultimate morning dessert.

8. Bacon Bourbon Pie from Dixie Supply Bakery (Charleston, SC)

Photo courtesy of @rebeccamaikai on Instagram

Dixie Supply’s pie is fit for the Ron Swanson inside of you that craves a sugary, bacon-filled dessert. Think of it as a pecan pie that got a little boozy.

9. Cinnamon Roll from Mountain Shadows Restaurant (Colorado Springs, CO)

Photo courtesy of @mountainshadowsrestaurant on Instagram

Look at the size of that thing. This is definitely a bun you can’t pick up. But have no fear, because perhaps the best part is licking your fingers in satisfaction after finishing the largest cinnamon roll you’ll ever eat.

10. Butterscotch Ice Cream Sandwich from 300 East (Charlotte, NC)

Photo courtesy of @300east on Instagram

This ain’t your ordinary ice cream truck sandwich. Sorghum molasses is baked into the cookie shells, adding a dark depth to the sweet butterscotch, while the caramelized pineapple on the side cuts through the heaviness of the entire dish. Talk about fancy pants.

11. Frozen Peanut Butter Pie from Cornbread Cafe (Eugene, OR)

Photo courtesy of @sobo21 on Instagram

Everything on the menu is vegan, offering a plant-based alternative to traditional diner foods. This frozen peanut butter pie is best served a little thawed. That way, you can feel the butter melt in your mouth without it getting too sticky in there. You can also make this peanut butter fudge in the freezer, which is kinda the same thing.

12. Chess Pie from Arnold’s Country Kitchen (Nashville, TN)

Photo courtesy of @arnoldscountrykitchen on Instagram

That smooth custard filling, doe. They have both chocolate and original flavors, but you’re perfectly entitled to order both and get the best of both worlds if you want. Hannah Montana would be proud.

13. Baklava from Byblos Mediterranean Cafe (Syracuse, NY)

Photo courtesy of @bakedmagazine on Instagram

Let the flaky layers shatter with each bite. Tucked between each sheet of puff pastry are crunchy nuts and sweet honey, which is pretty much one of the most authentic Greek dining experiences you’ll ever have.

14. Strawberry Shortcake from Aunt Carrie’s (Narragansett, RI)

Photo courtesy of @phantomgourmet on Instagram

Better than how you remember it as a kid. But if you can’t make the trip all the way to Rhode Island, we’ve got you covered.

15. Butter Pecan Donut from Pies ‘n’ Thighs (New York, NY)

Photo courtesy of @piesnthighs on Instagram

Pies ‘n’ Thighs serves up some mad chicken and waffles and homemade slices of pies (obviously), but their donuts are pretty darn good as well. Definitely worth the trip all the way to Brooklyn.

16. Dixieland Crepe from Midtown Creperie (Stockton, CA)

Photo courtesy of @pastoracedo on Instagram

The inside is stuffed with probably the best cream filling you’ll ever have, and drizzled on top is Ghirardelli chocolate sauce. That’s basically liquid heaven, right?

17. Blueberry Cheese Pie from Three Sisters Cafe (Indianapolis, IN)

Photo courtesy of

Nah, that’s not a cheesecake with plain ol’ cream cheese. Three Sisters uses goat cheese, providing just the perfect tang to balance out the sweet blueberries. I promise it tastes better than it sounds. Much better.

18. 8 Layer Citrus Cake from Succotash (Kansas City, MO)

Photo courtesy of @melissa_crouch on Instagram

Have no fear, this isn’t a take on the already obnoxious rainbow trend. You’ll find a tart punch in every layer of the cake, but it’s just subtle enough to keep you wanting another bite.

19. Loukoumades from Niko Niko’s Greek and American Cafe (Houston, TX)

Photo courtesy of @eliuwells on Instagram

These round desserts soak up honey and cinnamon, making each one a pillow of sticky sweetness. Don’t worry about trying to pronounce the actual name. They know just what you’re talking about if you simply say “honey balls.” Greek food is kinda lit, yo.

20. Bread Pudding from Sammy’s Foodservice and Deli (New Orleans, LA)

Photo courtesy of

Alright, I’m sure that by this point you’re literally sick of everything pumpkin flavored. But have no fear, Sammy’s pumpkin bread pudding is just what you need to regain faith in the basic fall flavor. Enjoy the doughy, tender goodness year-round, simply because you can.

Top 11 Boston Eateries From 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives' - Recipes

Guy Fieri heads to Fairbanks for an Alaskan culinary adventure. There's authentic German specialties at a super funky food truck, a food-and-music jamfest featuring Cuban favorites and a local hot spot servin' up comfort with meatball subs.

Guy and Hunter Fieri combine cooking at home and great restaurant food with recipes sent by DDD alums who join in the fun via video chat. The menu includes a stromboli from Wyoming and seafood stew from a classic Georgia diner.

In Pacifica, CA, Guy Fieri revisits an old barbecue buddy to check out his take on pork ribs, and a neighborhood joint in Boulder, CO, serves crepes and corned beef hash. Plus, a Minneapolis brewpub dishes out Minnesota staples like a wild rice burger.

Guy and Hunter Fieri are cooking up recipes sent by DDD alums who join in the fun via video chat. On this menu, there are monster beef ribs from Las Vegas, a waffle-hamburger mashup from Atlanta and pizza and wings from San Antonio.

Guy Fieri revisits an old favorite in San Francisco for cod rillettes and chowder. In St. Paul, MN, the Godfather of pasta is still servin' scratchmade everything, and a neighborhood hot spot in Wisconsin has some new appetizers.

Guy Fieri is heading to San Francisco for Ethiopian-style flank steak and sauteed prawns. In Minneapolis, an Italian joint is still scratch-making their pasta and prosciutto. Then, a Duluth diner is gathering ingredients straight from their planters.

Guy and Hunter Fieri are cooking up recipes sent by Triple-D alums who join them via video chat. On this menu, there's gangster gorditas comin' from Phoenix, Korean chicken wings out of Denver and a steak specialty from a Jewish deli in Houston, TX.

Guy and Hunter Fieri make recipes sent by DDD alums who join them via video chat. On this menu, there are fish tacos out of San Francisco, a Cajun shrimp creation comin' from Des Moines and sensational spicy Thai straight out of Los Angeles.

Guy Fieri is cruising the neighborhood to revisit local hangs, starting in San Francisco, where an Italian joint keeps crankin' out favorites like chicken marsala. Then, in Philadelphia, an old-school diner is still offering up scrapple and French toast.

On this trip, Guy Fieri is tasting everything from pasta to pescatarian grub. First, Vanilla Ice takes Guy to an Ecuadorian joint in Florida for standout ceviche. Then, in Minnesota, a former DJ mixes it up with his take on scratch-made pasta and poutine.

Top 11 Boston Eateries From 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives' - Recipes

Season Seven, Episode Twelve

Guy Fieri hits nothing but diners on this trip. In Santa Cruz, California, where east coast diner meets Vietnamese cooking for everything from Reubens to spring rolls In Peabody, Massachusetts, an old lunch car turned diner where the locals pile in for home made favorites like Boston Baked Beans And in Norman, Oklahoma, a beloved local landmark serving award winning chili on everything from fries to burgers and hot dogs.

Video for the Little Depot Diner
For video from Santa Cruz Diner, click here
For video from The Diner, click here

Santa Cruz Diner - website
909 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 - map
(831) 426-7151

The Little Depot Diner - *closed* website
1 Railroad Ave., Peabody, MA 01961 - map
(978) 977-7775 - article on closure

The Diner - (no website)
213 E Main St., Norman, OK 73069 - map
(405) 329-6642

Recipes from this episode
Shrimp and Salmon Cakes - Santa Cruz Diner - Chip and Kim Kirchner
Mulligatawny Soup - The Little Depot Diner - Judy Miles
Southside Chili - The Diner - Mark Amspacher

Guy Ate Here - Santa Cruz Diner - photo credit Rob McCleland


Article on Santa Cruz Diner,

You aer being redundant when you say "lunch car turned diner". The Little Depot Diner is a diner built by the Worcester Lunch Car Company. "Lunch car" is an earlier term for "diner".

Can someone post the recipe for the Boston Baked Beans from The Little Depot Dinner

Mark Amspacher, owner of Norman landmark The Diner, dies,

Hmmm. just caught this episode. Looking at the Boston Baked Beans - which do look great, BTW - I think some ingredients have been left out of the narration. Take a look at the decanted bean liquid, after it has the molasses, brown sugar, mustard, and ketchup added. See the consistency? Thin!
Then look at it when it's poured into the crock - all of a sudden it's thick and chunky. I think there were a few secret ingredients left out, LOL.

Greg when you cook something that long, it is bound to get thicker especially when the beans and meat start breaking down.

Oh, and from what I saw, here is the recipe:
Boston Baked Beans

Dried Navy Pea Beans seems like 6-8 cup
Soak Overnight
Add water to cover beans
Put rind (raw) of a meaty salt pork (2 inches by 6 inches)
Chop up remaining raw pork for later to add
Add about 3 tbs of baking soda
Bring to a boil then simmer for 12 minutes
Strain Juice (seems like 12 cups)
To the juice add molasses (seems like 2 cups)
add mustard powder to juice about 1/4 cup
add brown sugar to juice about 1/2 cup
add 1/4 cup ketchup to juice

Line bottom of casserole dish with 3 slices of white onions
add pork layer
add beans
add onions
add pork
add beans

I forgot to mention above to add the juice to the casserole dish to cover the beans.

However, I just found this recipe which the owner claims is what he used originally:

Here's the Boston Baked Beans recipe, from Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book:

Soak overnight in cold water 1 qt. Navy or Pea Beans.

Simmer in same water until tender (2-3 hr.) EXCEPT OWNER SAID BRING TO A BOIL THEN SIMMER 12 MINUTES-HUGE DIFFERENCE. Drain, and save liquor. Place in 2-qt. bean pot in layers.

The drained cooked beans
1 lb. salt pork (scalded, rind scraped)
2 slices onion

1/3 cup molasses
2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried mustard

Pour over beans. Add just enough bean liquor to cover beans. Cover pot and bake. Remove cover last half of baking, draw pork to top, and add a little boiling water if beans seem dry. Serve hot with steaming hot Brown Bread.

TEMPERATURE: 300* ( slow oven)
TIME: 8 hrs.
AMOUNT: 10 servings

Everyone is leaving stuff out-

Soak a pound of navy beans overnight
Drain the water.
In a pot- cover beans with fresh water- Bring them to boil, with a teaspoon of baking soda, and some salt. then let them roll for 12 mins- make sure you add some pork fat.
Remove from stove, take out beans, leave your liquid.
Add 1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tsp.. dry mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
throw in some ketchup for good measure.. not much, just eyeball about 1/4 cup!
and let all ingredients cook until
alternate in your crock pot or bean pot the following..
sliced onion
smoked pork rind with lots of meat
the beans you set aside.
Then cover in the pot with liquid- cook FIVE hours on 300.

This is my tried and true recipe, I perfected to our taste after watching the show! We love it!

The Pit Stop Restaurant on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives

Locations Guy Fieri visits in the USA - Places to eat comfort home-style, healthy, gourmet & fast food meals!

We're proud to introduce you to the Rubano's, the family whom have run this restaurant for generations upon generations. This "Pit Stop" really is a great place to take a break and enjoy some freshly made, homestyle cuisine. Try something different from what you may be accustomed to, such as the Stuffed Spaghetti Squash plate that is to die for, or the Cuban Sandwich that always packs a serious punch! We love the old-school counter-serve style that you'll find here, you know you're in for a great meal and experience. As their slogan goes, "We've Got What You're In The Mood For" and we strongly agree! Each time you arrive here in Merrick, you can rest assured you will receive the freshest homemade foods possible.. literally the same as you would get at home. No shortcuts are taken here like most fast food or big chain alternatives do. Each meal is prepared from scratch just for you, nothing frozen or shipped in for different states, etc. They take pride in sharing their time-tested family recipes with you, so you can experience good old-fashioned meals like they are supposed to be. They started out back in 2001 using an 1950's ice-cream location and truly became the living definition of a mom-and-pop joint. With nearly two decades of service under their belts, they have grown their menu thanks to the tireless support of the community and returning customers. So many amazing things to try here such as their timeless Burgers but other surprises include their Butternut Squash Soup, fresh Milk Shakes, Cobb Salads and plenty more. If you are ready to take a break from greasy, fast food non-sense, then come visit the The Pit Stop.

Address / Location:

For menu, health nutrition facts, hours, delivery, reservations or gift cards please call: 516-223-7799

24 Must-Visit Chicago Restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

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Chicago is a city after any foodie’s heart, but it can be hard to find places that fit a college budget. We’ve compiled a list of restaurants featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” so you can enjoy all the tastiness without having to watch Guy go to Flavortown.

1. Hopleaf Bar

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $16
Dish to try: Duck reuben

2. bopNgrill

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $8
Dish to try: Umami burger

3. Irazu

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $7
Dish to try: Chifrijo (fried pork layered with whole black beans, white rice, pico de gallo and topped with avocado)

4. Nana

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $12
Dish to try: Huevos rancheros

5. Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $13
Dish to try: Eggplant parmigiana

6. BIG & littles

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $4
Dish to try: Spicy beef short rib taco

7. Chicago Brauhaus

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $18
Dish to try: Schweine schnitzel

8. Paradise Pup

Photo courtesy of

Average plate: $4
Dish to try: Char cheddar burger
No website

Watch the video: Diners Drive Ins and Dives S19E03


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