There’s just something about a diner: the counter lined with stools, the smell of hamburgers and fries, the glow of a neon sign.
These old-school vestiges make for the perfect dining experience, whether you experienced the 1950s or not. Here are some of the best diners in the Dayton area that even Fonzie would approve of.
2424 E 3rd St., Dayton
Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, all 24 hours Friday and Saturday
Info: 937-252-3318 | Facebook
Known for being one of the most affordable diners in Dayton, Abner's has a reputation for also being one of the tastiest. There are plenty of great choices on the menu, but don't forget to check out the specials board behind the counter. People swear by their burgers and are just as thrilled with their breakfast menu of diner staples. One visit to this friendly diner will be enough to get hooked!
Bunny's Hasty Tasty Pancake House
3509 Linden Ave., Dayton
Hours: 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Info: 937-254-8431 | Facebook
Whether you call it Bunny's or just the Hasty Tasty, this diner is the perfect place to enjoy a big breakfast with your family or a hearty lunch or dinner of homemade favorites. Regulars usually take their hash browns extra crispy and don't mind the waitress sitting down with you to take your order. The coffee cups are small yet seemingly bottomless and a slice of pie is around a dollar with a meal. It doesn't get more American than that.
K's Hamburger Shop (Troy)
117 E Main St., Troy
Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday
Info: 937-339-9114 | kshamburgershoptroy.com
This authentic 1940s diner hasn't changed much in the decades since they opened in Troy. They still do things the old fashioned way, which includes preparing their burgers on a "wet grill” (for those of you who don’t know, that means ). K's has earned national recognition as well as occasional celebrity visits and it's easy to see why: Louis P. on Yelp describes it best, saying that eating at K's is like being inside of a "living, breathing, Norman Rockwell painting."
George's Family Restaurant
5216 N. Dixie Dr., Dayton
Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
Info: 937-275-0705 | georgesdayton.com | Facebook
Even if you've never been down this stretch of North Dixie Drive, you've probably heard of George's Family Restaurant. They have won accolades all over Dayton media, including (but not limited to) Dayton's Best Diner in the Dayton.com Best of Dayton poll. With a ton of fans and a full, diverse menu it's no wonder this popular eatery wins award after award.
2627 Smithville Rd., Dayton
Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Info: 937-254-5000 | Facebook
Serving everything you could ever want to order, Starlight Diner has the perfect diner menu and all of the decor you would expect at a cozy diner in Dayton. Their most notable offering is, of course, the Hungry Woman breakfast, featuring what can only be described as the entire left side of the menu. If you visit, remember to come hungry.
Sam & Ethel's Restaurant
120 E Main St., Tipp City
Hours: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
Info: 937-667-0113 | samandethels.com | Facebook
If you're looking for a small town diner oozing with charm, Sam & Ethel's in Tipp City is the place for you. Despite having been around for a number of decades, this diner is going places – literally! Next time you're at a festival, you might run into the Sam & Ethel's trailer serving up fresh diner favorites on the road. Of course you can still enjoy the original brick and mortar diner – and don't forget a piece of their popular homemade pie for dessert.
Did we miss your favorite diner in the Dayton area? Tell us about it! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.