Central MA's long history with diners dates back to 1906 and should come as no secret to anyone who has driven just a few blocks through the city. It’s the comfort food of the Northeast, and can serve as a pick me up at any time of the day – whether it’s the wee hours of the morning after a night out, a lunch break from your 9-5, or a quick dinner after your kids sporting practice. There is a few that stand out amongst the many, but diners often serve as a nostalgic place of dining and many form their favorites based on that. A super foodie will get a thrill out of the Crunchy or Stuffed French Toast variations at Miss Worcester, whereas the classic eater will enjoy the Turkey Club at the Parkway Diner with onion rings.
148 Shrewsbury St - Worcester, MA
When you’re standing on Shrewsbury Street on a Saturday morning around 10 am out on the sidewalk waiting to move up in line gazing at everyone in Red Sox and Patriots gear, it feels like you are doing just about the most New England thing you could be. That’s because you are! It’s been around since 1936 and operated as one of the original lunch carts. Because of that, it’s not the biggest place you could choose to dine and that’s alright -because within the first bite you’ll see it was worth the wait. Breakfast selections have all the classics, some with a twist – like the Italian Stallion which is eggs served with a Meatball. Lunch and dinner portray all your classic pub favorites - along with the option to have a cocktail while you’re at it with their bar offerings.
155 Shrewsbury St - Worcester, MA
Friendly in service, small in seating, but hearty in portions! The Boulevard diner is a classic for a reason. A few seats at the bar, 6 booths, and a bathroom not located inside of the establishment, this diner is the definition of not moving with the times and perhaps that’s why so many love it. Often found as a late night spot, if you drive on Shrewsbury St around the midnight hour you can see diners enjoying breakfast foods and juicy burgers while conversing with the waitress. It’s open 24/7, so even if you don’t make it for the midnight hour you can still experience this 92 year old staple.
Miss Worcester Diner
300 Southbridge St - Worcester, MA
French Toast lovers unite! The Crunchy French Toast has becoming famous for a reason – one that is kind of unexplainable. Not to make it all about French Toast – they serve up 15+ different versions – basically a breakfast lovers dream. Lunch items range from Veal Parm, to a Fenway Faithful (sausage, peppers, and onions), to Burgers & Dogs. Another one in the original Lunch Cart gang of Worcester, the establishment has added some street art on the sides - fun pin-up images- that play homage to history and provide a fun flare to gaze out while you wait your turn to try the famous Crunch FT, as they call it.
250 Franklin St - Worcester, MA
A place that’s packed late at night AND packed in the early mornings tends to show a sign of a good diner and Kenmore Diner does just that! Maybe it’s the history of how long it’s been open, or maybe that it’s located less than a mile from many of the nightlife places. It’s the kind of diner where you can ask for a Grilled Bagel, a Chocolate Milk, and two Eggs and it just feels right. It’s cash only, three generations owned, and serves up the classic favorites that come to mind when one thinks of a diner.
4023, 308 Hartford Turnpike - Shrewsbury, MA
Located just outside of Worcester, in Shrewsbury MA, is a diner that serves up a homey atmosphere and enormous sized plates. Of course, there’s the classic dishes with the eggs and sausage and so on. But this diner serves up some flare with their buffalo chicken omelet and shakes it up with their crab cake eggs benedict! This diner will satisfy the classic eaters and the daredevils. With reasonably priced dishes and the nostalgic atmosphere, you will be glad you came.
Dinky’s Blue Belle Diner
70 Clinton St - Shrewsbury, MA
If you’re looking for that small-town local feel of a diner, Dinky’s Blue Belle Diner is the perfect match. Their comfort food covers the basics of breakfast, with a local twist where the plates are named after the local regulars of the town. The charm oozes from the little blue diner with the classic diner setting of booth and bar seating. The coffee will be refilled without you having to ask, the workers are friendly, and this cash-only restaurant will take you back in time.