America’s best hole-in-the-wall diners

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The classic diner holds a special place in our hearts and imaginations.

Are you picturing malts and bright décor? Often, this can feel like a relic of the past, but there are still some diners out there maintaining that classic look and feel.

We checked TripAdvisor for the best classic diners in the country, taking into account what customers think of each establishment.

Whether it’s the Berghoff in Chicago or the Apple Pan in Los Angeles, these diners have stood the test of time and retained their distinctive charm while doing it. That’s no easy feat. They’ve had to survive the changing times, but the diners on this list have done so while keeping the look and feel that has earned them loyal customers.

No matter where in the country you are, you can find one of these iconic diners nearby. Stop by one for an experience you simply can’t get elsewhere.

Check out these nine diners for an authentic and nostalgic diner experience.

1. Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut

Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut

Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut. Photo Credit Wikipedia

  • TripAdvisor score: 4/5
  • Location: 261 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

Louis’ Lunch earns rave reviews for being the original hamburger joint. That isn’t idle boasting. The Library of Congress recognized the restaurant as the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich. It’s been around since 1895.

What customers say:The whole experience is awesome. Ordering is old school and the little ovens used to cook the meat are so amazing!” Von1287

2. The Blue Benn Diner in Bennington, Vermont

The Blue Benn Diner in Bennington, Vermont. Photo Credit:


  • TripAdvisor score: 4.5/5
  • Location: 314 North St, Bennington, VT 05201

The Blue Benn opened in 1948. It was actually manufactured in New Jersey, then shipped up to Bennington to be assembled. Sonny Monroe purchased the diner in 1973. The diner nearly closed during COVID, but a fan, John Getchell, purchased it with the intention of honoring the beloved traditions of the storied diner.

What customers say: “A retro diner worth visiting!” Dally55

3. The Apple Pan in Los Angeles, California

The Apple Pan in Los Angeles

The Apple Pan in Los Angeles. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • Signature dish: Hickory burger, made with freshly ground beef and topped with Tillamook cheddar cheese
  • TripAdvisor score: 4/5
  • Location: 10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

At the Apple Pan, they aim to do simple things exceptionally well. This is the quintessential ‘40s diner, down to their apple pies. Slide into a seat at the charming counter to enjoy your burger.

What customers say:Imagine a backyard cookout burger at its best. The hickory sauce is great and the pickles are amazing.” kpbooth3

4. Solly’s Grille in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Solly’s Grille. Photo Credit:

  • TripAdvisor score: 4/5
  • Location: 4629 N Port Washington Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53212

If you’re looking for the original Wisconsin butter burger, you’ll find it at Solly’s Grille. Established in 1936, it’s held on to its classic diner appeal. You can get a malt with your burger, but be quick. The inside is small and fills up quickly.

What customers say: “The fries are great. Not at all a bad place, but I’d go there for the nostalgia.” Milovan N

5. Dot’s Diner in Boulder, Colorado

Dot’s Diner in Boulder, Colorado. Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

  • TripAdvisor score: 4/5
  • Location: 2716 28th St, Boulder, CO 80301

Dot’s Diner hails itself as being “just like the old times.” It lives up to that with its old-fashioned aesthetic and classic menu offerings. This tiny hole in the wall can get crowded quickly, especially during breakfast.

What customers say: “Delicious! we went for breakfast and everything was great.” busyDsweetness


6. The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois

The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois

The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • TripAdvisor score: 4/5
  • Location: 17 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603

The Berghoff is an icon in its own right in Chicago. Family-owned and operated for more than 125 years, it is the city’s oldest restaurant. It has maintained its classic charm all that time, with a side of classic German food.

What customers say: “It feels like old-time Chicago with the dark interior and preserved surroundings.” Joyce H

7. The Tastee Diner in Bethesda, Maryland

The Tastee Diner in Bethesda, Maryland

The Tastee Diner in Bethesda, Maryland. Photo Credit:

  • TripAdvisor score: 4/5
  • Location: 7731 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

Though the first Tastee Diner opened in Washington, DC, in 1935, today, there are three locations. In classic diner style, they’re all open 24/7. That has made them beloved staples of their communities.

What customers say: “We descended on this Tastee Diner with 10 adults and 4 kids (…) Everyone found their favorite dish, and no one was disappointed.DCHigg

8. The Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire

The Red Arrow Diner in Manchester

The Red Arrow Diner in Manchester

  • TripAdvisor score: 4/5
  • Location: 61 Lowell St, Manchester, NH 03101

You can find a lot more than breakfast here. They make their own Twinkies at this classic diner. The Manchester location is the site of the original Red Arrow Diner, which opened in 1922.

What customers say: “Fun atmosphere with all the memorabilia and fun pictures of famous people that have been there.” Foxxie2777

9. The Little Goat Diner in Chicago, Illinois

The Little Goat Diner in Chicago, Illinois

The Little Goat Diner in Chicago, Illinois. Photo

  • TripAdvisor score: 4.5/5
  • Location: 3325 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Savor the classic diner experience inside or enjoy The Little Goat Diner’s cozy outdoor seating. Chef Stephanie Izard not only whips up the beloved menu items at the diner, but she’s also the owner.

What customers say: “We enjoyed both the savory and the sweet for breakfast! Loved the hash browns. Nice outside seating available.” Gilleny

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