When it comes to comfort food, your Mama might make the best meatloaf. But waking Mom up at 4 a.m. and asking her to make you a fresh loaf? You’re getting written out of the will. Thank god, then, that we live in a country where the 24-hour diner is as American as the apple pie they serve after a sweet older lady (Mom?!) calls you “hon” and offers to melt cheese on top. These are 24 of our favorite American purveyors of blue plate awesomeness… places that never sleep in their mission to keep you fed all day, every day. You want a scoop of ice cream on that, hon? Yes. Yes you do.
University of Michigan students and Ann Arbor locals share the limited space inside this trailer diner — there are only a handful of tables, so plan accordingly. Hefty breakfast combos and omelets make it worth the wait any day.
What you’re getting: The Ann Arbor institution is famous for its Hippie Hash, a plate of homemade hash browns covered with grilled tomatoes, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and broccoli… then buried in Widespread bootlegs. Or, feta. Definitely feta.
This chrome diner has anchored a Ponce de Leon Ave corner since 1929: The joint’s been around long enough to earn bucket-list restaurant status for ATL residents, and a massive, spicy Mexican omelet is just as good at 10 a.m. as it is at the end of a night out in nearby Little Five Points.
What you’re getting: If you’re actually there for breakfast — 6 a.m.-2 p.m., not 3 a.m. — grab the chicken and biscuits with gravy. Burgers and bagel sandwiches are great for all other hours.
Intensely delicious made-to-order milkshakes and the kind-of-fancy burgers — like Bacon Gorgonzola or a lamb burger with goat cheese — that are the things of diner dreams. That you can get them any time you wish makes that dream a reality.
What you’re getting: Everyone’s favorite crispy, golden duo: the chicken and (Belgian) waffle combo.
Guy Fieri (that’s pronounced “gey fay-ett-eeeeeh”) may be everyone’s favorite TV punching bag, but he really know his diners, drive-ins, and other eateries that start with d’s (Dunkin’ Donuts?), and he loved this family-run Charm City restaurant so much that he went and called the goulash “goulishious.” Ugh… somebody punch that dude.
What you’re getting: Both the Challah bread French toast and the Broadway Festival — pasta loaded with shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster, mussels, and calamari — could separately force you back into bed no matter what time it is. Together, you’re definitely out of commission for a solid day. Don’t try it.