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Slim’s Diner
Photograph: Lani Furbank

The 15 best diners in DC

From greasy spoons to luncheonettes, you’ll want to eat all your meals and lots of comfort food at the best diners in DC

By Lani Furbank
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Diners are a part of America’s heritage. Sure, the best French restaurants in Washington, DC and the best seafood restaurants in DC are always great dining destinations, but all Americans can conjure up childhood memories of sitting in a vinyl booth, putting too much syrup on pancakes while getting a brain freeze from a giant milkshake. And, as luck would have it, our town boasts a sizeable amount of luncheonettes and greasy spoons that serve the kind of comfort food (including some of the best burgers in DC) that you’re most likely always craving. Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, the best diners in DC have got you covered.

Best diners in DC

11
Bob & Edith’s Diner
Photograph: Lani Furbank

Bob & Edith’s Diner

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Diners Arlington

Originally a staple on Columbia Pike in Arlington, Bob and Edith’s Diner now has two additional locations in Northern Virginia. The no-frills spot stays true to the diner lineup. Build a breakfast of champions with eggs, any kind of meat, hot cakes, waffles and French toast. Or stop in for lunch or dinner and try a New York steak, homemade meat loaf, fried chicken, open-faced sandwiches, hefty burgers, subs and more. Don’t miss the milkshakes, which are made with real ice cream.

12
Tuna tartare at Silver
Photograph: Courtesy Silver

Silver Diner

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary American Bethesda

Now spread as far north as New Jersey, Silver Diner has roots in Rockville, Maryland. It was founded as a single American diner by Chef Ype Von Hengst and Bob Giaimo in 1989, but it has since become a household name in the region. The menu has a featured chef-driven flexitarian section, which includes a local kale and blue cheese salad and wild-caught Carolina fried shrimp. They also boast locally-sourced ingredients. Of course, the basics are covered with breakfast fare, burgers and milkshakes. The vast selection should satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

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13
Lincoln’s Waffle Shop
Photograph: Lani Furbank

Lincoln’s Waffle Shop

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Diners Downtown

This is the sort of spot we imagine Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation would frequent. Breakfast is served all day long, so there’s no end to the waffle mania. Add chocolate chips to satisfy a sweet tooth, or get your waffle with chicken wings and call it lunch. For those less enthusiastic about waffles, there are plenty of other options to choose from—pancakes, French toast, eggs, sandwiches, country fried steak… you name it.

14
Jimmy T’s
Photograph: Lani Furbank

Jimmy T’s

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Diners Capitol Hill

Walking into Jimmy T’s is like walking into a living room straight out of the 1970s. That’s because not much has changed since the diner opened in 1969. This true greasy spoon is a Capitol Hill favorite that serves up the basics, just like mom used to make. The prices can’t be beat, but fair warning: it’s cash only and it’s a small joint, so politicians and regular folks rub elbows over breakfast and lunch.

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15
Tastee Diner
Photograph: Lani Furbank

Tastee Diner

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Diners Silver Spring

The oldest of the lot, Tastee Diner has been around since 1935. There are now three locations in Maryland: Bethesda, Laurel and Silver Spring. Each has its own unique story and history, but Bethesda was the first of the trio. It was considered the Cadillac of dining cars in its day. The Silver Spring location was made a historic landmark in Montgomery County in 1994.  The menus vary slightly from location to location, but they all include the usual eggs, hot cakes, home fries and breakfast meats. Specials also vary by site, with highlights like meat loaf, chicken and dumplings, and cream of crab soup.

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