The Best Diners in New England: A Guide for Grub in Every State

New England is the birthplace of the American diner, so it’s no surprise we’ve got some of the best. But these 15 go for the gold.

Red Diner Stools

Join Yankee magazine and award-winning food and travel writer Mike Urban as he shares his expert picks for 15 of the best diners in New England, as part of the Yankee Places to Eat Collection.

The unassuming diner may be one of the most nostalgic symbols of America. They’re rarely fancy, yet always comfortable. They may be in the midst of a bustling city or on a lonely stretch of a forgotten highway. They can come in the form of a clapboard shack or a gleaming, decommissioned railway diner car. But one thing they all have in common is that they are the place to go when you want a plate of comfort food and a bottomless cup of coffee.

New England has no shortage of diners, but these are some of our favorites, and they all have their own personality, like the diner in Connecticut that is filled with retro rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia. Of course, serving some of the best homemade donuts in New England doesn’t hurt either! Another good stop for handmade donuts sits on mid-coast Maine’s U.S. Highway 1, where it’s been since the 1930s. This third-generation family diner is known far and wide for their pies, which are made with the co-founders lard-laden pie crust recipe.

As much as we New Englanders love our donuts, we also love a good old-fashioned eggs and bacon breakfast, which is exactly what you can get at one of our favorite charming diners along a two-lane highway in rural southern Vermont.

Blue Bonnet Diner

You don’t have to leave the city for a good diner, though. In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, you’ll find the first diner listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Housed in a 1940s Sterling Streamliner, this diner is best known for weekend brunches, but you can never go wrong with their home-cooked meat loaf.

And in Maine, a nondescript, shingle-sided building is home to a favorite local diner that sits alongside commercial fishing docks. This diner roasts fresh turkeys every day, serving up Thanksgiving-styled meals all year long.

If you want a touch of politics with your bowl of chili, there’s a New Hampshire diner well-known to every politician barnstorming the state during the New Hampshire primaries. The servers are renowned for their speed and cheerfulness, and if you time it right, you just might run into a big name politician hoping for your vote.

Where can you find these and more of our favorite New England diners? As part of the Yankee Places to Eat Collection, we’ll tell you where to find each one of them, and give you a few tips on what to order, all in 15 Best Diners in New England, which comes as part of your Yankee All-Access Charter Membership. You’ll also discover more of our favorite clam shacks, seafood markets, and the best pancake houses throughout New England.

If you aren’t hungry yet, you will be when you check out our Yankee Places to Eat Collection!

Whether you want to find the perfect pub, enjoy lunch at an Italian restaurant, or sit down for the best all-you-can-eat feasts, our Yankee Places to Eat Collection takes you across New England to explore the wonderful world that we call home. With your Yankee All-Access Charter Membership, you have full access to everything in the Places to Eat Collection, including:

Diner Coffee