While a restaurant alone can win accolades—awards and admirers based on stellar food, service, and ambience—a truly great diner is always more than the sum of its parts. There should be soul in the grease and banter behind the counter; the staff needs to be witty, wise, and a little wacky. Since 1950, Al’s Breakfast has drawn an interesting mix of loyalists who line up for fresh blueberry pancakes and an impressive selection of omelettes. And with late-night Friday and Saturday service now part of Al’s repertoire, those killer hashbrowns can serve as hangover prevention as well as cure.
Readers’ Choice: Hi-Lo Diner