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15 Classic Old-School Diners in South Florida

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Well before cafeterias, fritangas, and sushi bars became ubiquitous in South Florida, locals knew that if they wanted something delicious, filling, and wallet-friendly, they could always head to the local diner. In Miami, these iconic American eateries seem to have gone the way of manatees, panthers, and other endangered species as casual Latin restaurants and late night chains that resemble diners have taken over. Broward, on the other hand, has a much stronger diner game.

To clarify, a diner is a casual eatery that serves American food. While the exact definition of American food can be as contested as whether Miami or Tampa makes the better Cuban sandwich, it is generally accepted that the majority of a diner’s menu items wouldn’t typically be associated with any particular cuisine outside of the United States. Exceptions are made for ethnic dishes significant to a particular region of the country (like a Cuban sandwich in Miami or Tampa) and Greek food. Historically, many diners were Greek-owned and operated, and dishes like gyros and spinach and feta omelets have become menu staples. Perhaps of the most important feature of a diner, however, is its substantial variety of breakfast offerings, typically available all day.

To help you get a taste of this old-school American tradition, here is a list of 15 essential diners in South Florida in geographical order from north to south. See a favorite missing? Hit the tipline, the comments, or in the forums to make your case

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Peter Pan Diner

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1216 E Oakland Park Blvd
Oakland Park, FL
(954) 565-7177
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While also a 24-hour Greek diner, this place offers a completely different people watching experience from Lester’s. It is a favorite last stop for Wilton Manors revelers after a night of bar hopping, meaning that you may catch a potpourri of club kids, drag queens, and even some leather clad macho guys enjoying some pancakes or a nicely charred burger and steak fries. There is also a separate full liquor bar in the back in case you want to keep the party going.

Peter Pan Diner
Florida Burger Lover

2. Ally's Comfort Cafe

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13674 W State Road 84
Davie, FL
(954) 476-4343
Visit Website

This breakfast and lunch spot has two Broward locations in Davie and Sunrise. Like many old-school diners, this is a family-run operation, and Ally, herself, does all the cooking along with her mom, husband, and kids when it gets busy on the weekends. Expect all the classics, plus its famous huge pancakes made with anything from chocolate chips to pecans.

Ally’s Comfort Cafe
Yelp/Alex G

3. Lester's Diner

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250 W State Road 84
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(954) 525-5641
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This 24-hour Greek diner has several locations throughout South Florida, but their Marina Mile outpost is perhaps the most iconic. Its location near the airport and sea port mean that everyone from flight crew to truckers end up. Their Greek specialties should not be missed, including a sampler big enough for two to share, and you should definitely save room for one of its mile-high cakes.

Lester's Diner
Yelp/Matt L.

4. Grampa's Bakery & Restaurant

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17 SW 1st St
Dania Beach, FL
(954) 923-2163
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Even if Guy Fieri didn’t feature this diner and bakery on his show, there would still be a line to get into this Dania Beach staple for breakfast on the weekends. Several display cases of house-made cakes, cookies, and doughnuts will tempt you before you even sit down, and in case you forget that Grampa’s is also a bakery, the waitress will plop down a plate of warm, freshly baked pastries on the table once you place your order. As with all diners, expect to find most of your favorites here with one or two surprises.

Grampa's Bakery & Restaurant
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5. Jack's Hollywood Diner

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1031North Federal Highway
Hollywood, FL
(954) 929-2888
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While many diners in South Florida occupy a strip mall space or a non-descript building, Jack’s is one of the few that actually looks like what you’d imagine a diner to appear. The 24-hour Hollywood mainstay has been in business for more than 60 years, and you can definitely taste the secret to its long-lasting success. Their gyro omelet is particularly noteworthy and Jack’s offers a pretty exceptional meatloaf, too.

Jack's Hollywood Diner
Facebook

6. Flashback Diner & Coffeehouse

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220 S Federal Hwy
Hallandale, FL
(954) 454-8300
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Night owls can find sustenance at this 24-hour diner with two locations in Hallandale Beach and Davie. This old Hollywood themed eatery offers most of the classics, as well as a selection of sandwiches named after celebrities. A few Greek specialties and even some more upscale options like steaks, chops, and seafood round out the menu if you really want to treat yourself.

Flashback Diner & Coffeehouse
Facebook

7. Plaza Diner

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This Miramar diner is a great place to get your fix of gyros, spanakopita, and pastitsio along with eggs any way you like them. The menu has all the usual suspects, just like you’d want in a diner, although one breakfast item that Plaza Diner is specifically know for: the heart attack sandwich. It features gyro meat, ham, sausage, bacon, three fried eggs, and cheese.

Plaza Diner
Google Images

8. Stadium Diner

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19904 NW 2nd Ave
Miami Gardens, FL
(305) 652-6912

While Broward seems to have the lion’s share of Greek diners in South Florida, Miami certainly won’t let itself fall off the map. This Miami Gardens hidden gem serves up solid Greek standards along with American comfort classics. Its signature sandwich, Yanni’s Favorite, is certainly a draw: grilled rye bread stuffed with pastrami, sautéed veggies, hot sauce, and melted Swiss cheese.

Stadium Diner
Yelp/Dan C.

9. Ham & Eggery

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530 NE 167th St
Miami, FL
(305) 948-6733

It’s hard to miss this North Miami Beach diner. Although the van painted to resemble the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo is not always parked in front, the red barn exterior is sure to catch your attention. This lunch and dinner spot is known for its extensive list of breakfast classics, including the hard to find creamed chipped beef. If the menu doesn’t feel old-school enough, then the décor will certainly make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Ham & Eggery
Yelp/Dan C.

10. Jimmy's Place

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510 NE 125th St
North Miami, FL
(305) 892-1633

This North Miami diner has been a local favorite for decades. The nearly untouched décor and sassy waitresses make for a quintessential old-school diner experience, and the food is everything you’d want from a place like this: dependable, tasty, and affordable. Make sure to leave room for a slice of peanut butter pie.

Jimmy's Place
Yelp/Monika S.

11. Jimmy's Eastside Diner

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7201 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL
(305) 754-3692

It’s good to know that even in one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, you can still get a taste of old Miami with a plate of banana pancakes or a patty melt. This MiMo diner was actually featured in the Academy Award winning film, Moonlight. On top of having a solid menu and comfortable retro digs, they also openly embrace the diversity of their community – pretty cutting edge for such an old-school place.

Jimmy's Eastside Diner
Google Images

12. Cozy Corner

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90 Westward Dr
Miami Springs, FL 33166
(305) 884-1880

This Miami Springs institution occupies a corner of an oh-so-Miami art deco style building. Die hard cafecito enthusiasts can get their fix of Cuban coffee here to accompany any of its breakfast specialties or to wash down a Salisbury steak or one of the diner’s creative salads.

Cozy Corner
Trip Advisor

13. Floridian Restaurant

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1410 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(954) 523-8636

It’s hard to believe that an old-school diner would be situated among the trendy restaurants on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, but this diner has been feeding hungry locals round the clock for more than 70 years. All the favorites one would expect could be found on the extensive menu, but its selection of internationally inspired meatloaf makes this place particularly unique.

Floridian Restaurant
Floridian Restaurant

14. Chuck Wagon

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7355 Bird Rd
Miami, FL
(305) 266-4979
Visit Website

Three Southwest Miami locations provide diners with stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts with a Southern bent, such as biscuits and gravy and country fried steak and eggs. You can also skip the eggs and order a country fried steak with vegetables and corn bread off of its lunch menu, which also includes a selection of sandwiches and burgers.

Chuck Wagon

15. Walter's Coffee Shop

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17009 S Dixie Hwy
Palmetto Bay, FL
(305) 232-1235
Visit Website

This Palmetto Bay diner has been around since the 1970s, but its history dates back even farther to the original Walter’s Coffee Shop in Long Island, New York. The racecar themed eatery features a wide selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner standards with original names, so take a look at the descriptions to know exactly what you’re getting. This is also a good place to get southern breakfast dishes like salmon croquettes and grits.

Walter's Coffee Shop
TripAdvisor

1. Peter Pan Diner

1216 E Oakland Park Blvd, Oakland Park, FL
Peter Pan Diner
Florida Burger Lover

While also a 24-hour Greek diner, this place offers a completely different people watching experience from Lester’s. It is a favorite last stop for Wilton Manors revelers after a night of bar hopping, meaning that you may catch a potpourri of club kids, drag queens, and even some leather clad macho guys enjoying some pancakes or a nicely charred burger and steak fries. There is also a separate full liquor bar in the back in case you want to keep the party going.

1216 E Oakland Park Blvd
Oakland Park, FL

2. Ally's Comfort Cafe

13674 W State Road 84, Davie, FL
Ally’s Comfort Cafe
Yelp/Alex G

This breakfast and lunch spot has two Broward locations in Davie and Sunrise. Like many old-school diners, this is a family-run operation, and Ally, herself, does all the cooking along with her mom, husband, and kids when it gets busy on the weekends. Expect all the classics, plus its famous huge pancakes made with anything from chocolate chips to pecans.

13674 W State Road 84
Davie, FL

3. Lester's Diner

250 W State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Lester's Diner
Yelp/Matt L.

This 24-hour Greek diner has several locations throughout South Florida, but their Marina Mile outpost is perhaps the most iconic. Its location near the airport and sea port mean that everyone from flight crew to truckers end up. Their Greek specialties should not be missed, including a sampler big enough for two to share, and you should definitely save room for one of its mile-high cakes.

250 W State Road 84
Fort Lauderdale, FL

4. Grampa's Bakery & Restaurant

17 SW 1st St, Dania Beach, FL
Grampa's Bakery & Restaurant
Facebook

Even if Guy Fieri didn’t feature this diner and bakery on his show, there would still be a line to get into this Dania Beach staple for breakfast on the weekends. Several display cases of house-made cakes, cookies, and doughnuts will tempt you before you even sit down, and in case you forget that Grampa’s is also a bakery, the waitress will plop down a plate of warm, freshly baked pastries on the table once you place your order. As with all diners, expect to find most of your favorites here with one or two surprises.

17 SW 1st St
Dania Beach, FL

5. Jack's Hollywood Diner

1031North Federal Highway, Hollywood, FL
Jack's Hollywood Diner
Facebook

While many diners in South Florida occupy a strip mall space or a non-descript building, Jack’s is one of the few that actually looks like what you’d imagine a diner to appear. The 24-hour Hollywood mainstay has been in business for more than 60 years, and you can definitely taste the secret to its long-lasting success. Their gyro omelet is particularly noteworthy and Jack’s offers a pretty exceptional meatloaf, too.

1031North Federal Highway
Hollywood, FL

6. Flashback Diner & Coffeehouse

220 S Federal Hwy, Hallandale, FL
Flashback Diner & Coffeehouse
Facebook

Night owls can find sustenance at this 24-hour diner with two locations in Hallandale Beach and Davie. This old Hollywood themed eatery offers most of the classics, as well as a selection of sandwiches named after celebrities. A few Greek specialties and even some more upscale options like steaks, chops, and seafood round out the menu if you really want to treat yourself.

220 S Federal Hwy
Hallandale, FL

7. Plaza Diner

Miramar, FL
Plaza Diner
Google Images

This Miramar diner is a great place to get your fix of gyros, spanakopita, and pastitsio along with eggs any way you like them. The menu has all the usual suspects, just like you’d want in a diner, although one breakfast item that Plaza Diner is specifically know for: the heart attack sandwich. It features gyro meat, ham, sausage, bacon, three fried eggs, and cheese.

8. Stadium Diner

19904 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Gardens, FL
Stadium Diner
Yelp/Dan C.

While Broward seems to have the lion’s share of Greek diners in South Florida, Miami certainly won’t let itself fall off the map. This Miami Gardens hidden gem serves up solid Greek standards along with American comfort classics. Its signature sandwich, Yanni’s Favorite, is certainly a draw: grilled rye bread stuffed with pastrami, sautéed veggies, hot sauce, and melted Swiss cheese.

19904 NW 2nd Ave
Miami Gardens, FL

9. Ham & Eggery

530 NE 167th St, Miami, FL
Ham & Eggery
Yelp/Dan C.

It’s hard to miss this North Miami Beach diner. Although the van painted to resemble the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo is not always parked in front, the red barn exterior is sure to catch your attention. This lunch and dinner spot is known for its extensive list of breakfast classics, including the hard to find creamed chipped beef. If the menu doesn’t feel old-school enough, then the décor will certainly make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

530 NE 167th St
Miami, FL

10. Jimmy's Place

510 NE 125th St, North Miami, FL
Jimmy's Place
Yelp/Monika S.

This North Miami diner has been a local favorite for decades. The nearly untouched décor and sassy waitresses make for a quintessential old-school diner experience, and the food is everything you’d want from a place like this: dependable, tasty, and affordable. Make sure to leave room for a slice of peanut butter pie.

510 NE 125th St
North Miami, FL

11. Jimmy's Eastside Diner

7201 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL
Jimmy's Eastside Diner
Google Images

It’s good to know that even in one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, you can still get a taste of old Miami with a plate of banana pancakes or a patty melt. This MiMo diner was actually featured in the Academy Award winning film, Moonlight. On top of having a solid menu and comfortable retro digs, they also openly embrace the diversity of their community – pretty cutting edge for such an old-school place.

7201 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL

12. Cozy Corner

90 Westward Dr, Miami Springs, FL 33166
Cozy Corner
Trip Advisor

This Miami Springs institution occupies a corner of an oh-so-Miami art deco style building. Die hard cafecito enthusiasts can get their fix of Cuban coffee here to accompany any of its breakfast specialties or to wash down a Salisbury steak or one of the diner’s creative salads.

90 Westward Dr
Miami Springs, FL 33166

13. Floridian Restaurant

1410 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Floridian Restaurant
Floridian Restaurant

It’s hard to believe that an old-school diner would be situated among the trendy restaurants on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, but this diner has been feeding hungry locals round the clock for more than 70 years. All the favorites one would expect could be found on the extensive menu, but its selection of internationally inspired meatloaf makes this place particularly unique.

1410 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL

14. Chuck Wagon

7355 Bird Rd, Miami, FL
Chuck Wagon

Three Southwest Miami locations provide diners with stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts with a Southern bent, such as biscuits and gravy and country fried steak and eggs. You can also skip the eggs and order a country fried steak with vegetables and corn bread off of its lunch menu, which also includes a selection of sandwiches and burgers.

7355 Bird Rd
Miami, FL

15. Walter's Coffee Shop

17009 S Dixie Hwy, Palmetto Bay, FL
Walter's Coffee Shop
TripAdvisor

This Palmetto Bay diner has been around since the 1970s, but its history dates back even farther to the original Walter’s Coffee Shop in Long Island, New York. The racecar themed eatery features a wide selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner standards with original names, so take a look at the descriptions to know exactly what you’re getting. This is also a good place to get southern breakfast dishes like salmon croquettes and grits.

17009 S Dixie Hwy
Palmetto Bay, FL

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