7 Best Breakfast Foods from NYC's Top Diners

New York City's food industry is pretty brutal. With restaurants popping up or shutting down every other day, it's truly remarkable for a small business to keep up with the competition. 

Unfortunately for fans of quality, cheap eats, NYC's diners are disappearing, taking some pretty iconic NYC foods along with them. 

With the loss of these quintessential NYC food eateries, we'll lose a whole assortment of tried and true New York cuisine. 

Here are some of the foods that we'll be devastated to lose if NYC's diners disappear for good. 

1. Bacon Egg and Cheese

hungrybetches Bacon, egg, and 2 KINDS of CHEZ

This is the most iconic of all New York City breakfasts. You can get them on pretty much every street corner, but if you want an absolutely incredible one, you hit up diners like Kelloggs in Brooklyn, or Eisenberg's in the Flatiron. 


It really doesn't matter whether you sandwich your eggs, bacon, and cheese between a bagel, english muffin, or a roll. What does matter is if you call it a BEC. We understand that it's a great abbreviation, but we're just not so thrilled with anything messing with the original. 

Baconeggandcheese is one word. 

2. Bagel, lox, and schmear

fancyfrancois Breakfast! Bagel, Lox and Schmear ๐Ÿ˜‹ It's a New York thing ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ #bagellox #bagelloxschmear #sundaymorning #capers #loxbagel

NYC has some pretty deep Jewish roots, and we're incredibly lucky for it. Without the historical Jewish heritage in NYC, we wouldn't have killer bagels, lox, and cream cheese. 

If you want the best of the best, you have to hit up Russ & Daughters on the LES. 

3. Challah French toast

tinytuesdays Berry Stuffed French Toast

Everyone who is anyone knows that the best French toast is made with thick slices of challah bread. We're obsessed with essentially any breakfast food that comes from a diner. In fact, we've probably never met a breakfast we didn't like, but the real winners (in our opinion) is some challah French toast.


When you smother the challah French toast with syrup and melted butter, you know you're in for a treat.. and potentially a few extra pounds around the waist, but that's to be expected with diners. 

If you're looking for memorable, delectable, absurdly delicious challah French toast, head out to Brooklyn, and take a seat at Tom's

4. Eggs Benedict

biteofthebest Eggs Benedict from Pete's #breakfast #eggs #foodporn

Want to know our favorite thing about diners? They have dishes from all realms of cuisine. If you want simple pancakes, they've got 'em. You want meatloaf? They probably make some better than your mamma used to make. But they also have fancy dishes like Eggs Benedict. 

Did you know that Eggs Benedict was invented right here in NYC? We're not sure who can claim it, but it was definitely created by a chef with the first name of Oscar. 

So, yeah, we can pretty much get these at any breakfast joint, but the cheapest, creamiest, butteriest Eggs Benedict come from a diner. No diner does them better than the Empire Diner in Chelsea. Okay, we get it. It may not be a greasy spoon full of cheap eats, but it's amazing. 

Oh, wait. You're right. Empire Diner is closed. For good. Just another testament to the quickly-evaporating diner culture in NYC. So, head over to Malibu Diner, also in Chelsea, for incredible Eggs Benedict. 


5. Corned Beef Hash

shwanka Corned beef hash with scrambled eggs

NYC is a melting pot. In case you didn't know, and you missed Leonardo DiCaprio's excellent performance in Gangs of New York, NYC was the home to many Irish immigrants who brought along their own cuisine. 


We love corned beef on rye and mustard, but we don't want to be eating it for breakfast. Instead, we'll stick with corned beef hash to get our corned beef fix in. If you're stuck in Midtown, try the corned beef hash at Scotty's Diner.

6. Combos

johannting Big Man #Breakfast at Johny's. I asked "What's really special here?" and the reply was "If it ain't special, it ain't on the menu." Great response! #food #NewYork #healthy #MaybeNot

If you're as indecisive as we are, you'll probably spend five minutes reading the diner menu, another five deciding on an item, and another two deciding whether or not you really want what you decided on. You're hungover, so you got eggs, but you really want the pancakes. 

That's the beauty of diner combos. You want eggs? Have 'em! Pancakes? No problem. Bacon? Sure thing! You're all set with the best breakfast option in NYC. Hit up Johnny's Luncheonette in Chelsea when you just can't decide on one plate. 

7. Hash browns

justinyn Brunch at 2 pm in Williamsburg. #brooklyn #brunch #gobble

Sorry Not Sorry, but we're all about the fried carbs. Essentially, hash browns have little to no nutritional value, but they're damn friggin' good, so we're going to shamelessly eat them all and probably get a side to go. 

But everyone knows there's plenty of types of dishes that diners call hash browns. Some diners think they can play off homefries as hash browns. False. Hash browns are crispy, fried, and delicious, whereas homefries are just big heaps of meh.


We may have to move to Jersey if NYC diners disappear, because we can't live without our hash browns. For now, though, we can safely stay on our side of the river and enjoy amazing hash browns at either The Stop Inn out in Queens, or the Waverly Restaurant in the West Village. 

Check out 7 Best Waffle Joints in NYC

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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