1 of 14
11. Pearl Diner, 212 Pearl Street, 212-344-6620
We almost lost this 51-year-old restaurant, a classic standalone diner in the heart of the Financial District, to Hurricane Sandy, but luckily it reopened last March. Despite a well-worn interior, the kitchen puts out hearty, cheap entree plates like turkey meatloaf, gravy-soaked turkey, and a sturdy patty melt -- all under $10. Pearl also played host to a pouty, beat-up Robert Pattinson in the 2010 film Remember Me, so no one will judge you when you wipe away a meaningful tear after that final bite of omelet.
For a time, diner culture was dining culture in New York. And although those halcyon days have long since passed, the city's need for greasy spoons endures even if wistfulness is often an establishment's most potent spice. Convenience and reliability are the hallmarks of truly great diners, and the most resilient among them usually last thanks to a combination of nostalgia and an occasionally excellent stable of American, Eastern European, Greek, or Italian dishes. Where some see grit and grime, others recognize the smell of a well-seasoned flat top. So brush past the seemingly endless sea of kale salads and join Adam and Eve on that raft ('Adam and Eve on a raft' is diner slang for two poached eggs on toast) in search of these, our 11 best greasy spoons. --Zachary Feldman
New York's Plethora of Single-Item Restaurants -- The Ten Best Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill Restaurants -- The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013 -- The Best New Restaurants in New York
Published on February 14, 2014