Anyone from Long Island or New Jersey knows that diner culture is a holy, integral part of a developing youth's life. A solid place to grab fries with friends at any time of day or night, a spot that holds no judgment as to whether or not you're choosing to eat breakfast for dinner, or if dinner really just is your breakfast. Where life feels like the very sitcom version of itself in the best way.
While New York's Upper West Side may be crawling with these fine, long-menu establishments, downtown has been decidedly needing with regards to such a respectable watering hole. Thus the newly opened Soho Diner felt brilliant before I'd even been to pay it a visit.
Tucked just next door to The Soho Grand, this 24/7 restaurant is a modern rendition on an old classic that's anything but pretentious. The salmon pink booths and coin-operated Crosley Vinyl Jukebox and yellow formica counter all seem as though they've been there for decades - albeit well preserved decades.
Of course, being in Soho, the soon to be neighborhood favorite does come with a few delightfully bougie elements. When your waiter asks "would you care for tap or bottled?" When the menu includes Chia Pudding, Vegan Banana Pancakes, a Vegan Matcha Milkshake, Grilled King Salmon and Ahi Tuna. Very obvious is it that this be a different breed. One that a new generation of discerning New Yorkers will no doubt flock to. One where it's socially acceptable to order fish! Though for you purists worry not, there are plenty of classics like disco fries, grilled cheeses, burgers, onion rings and non-vegan pancakes and milkshakes. And really, what else could you need?
[Photos courtesy Soho Diner]