The term "diner" gets thrown around a lot in D.C. It's a problem because real diners adhere to somewhat strict standards. First, the food has to be greasy, and the options should be nearly unlimited — usually about eight menu pages or more.
Then, there's the inexpensive price point. Diners are there for the working man, the retiree, the off-duty cop, and the 20-something who can barely afford rent. States like New Jersey and Pennsylvania have figured this out. Their diners are located on busy highways or in city centers and run on a 24-hour cycle.
Here's what a diner certainly is not: diners should not be "flexitarian" (sorry: Silver Diner). They don't serve boozy milkshakes and fancy Pop-Tarts (sorry: Ted's Bulletin). Usually, they also avoid food trends at all costs, as well as things like "small plates" (sorry: The Diner).
Now, back to the basics. A diner is a gathering place for the most important meal of the day — breakfast — and it's quick, convenient, cheap, and filling. So, in honor of Eater breakfast week, here are the D.C. diners that are truly diners.Read More