The Best Old-School Diners In Philadelphia
Top classic eateries in and around the city
As you probably know, Silver Linings Playbook is set in and around Philadelphia and was largely filmed here. One of the locations that figures prominently in the film is the legendary Llanerch Diner in Upper Darby, just outside the city.
The Llanerch is the scene of the first “non date” date between the characters of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. (If you want a sneak peek, you can see parts of the scene about a minute into the movie’s trailer, embedded below.)
But long before it got its star turn in Silver Linings, the Llanerch Diner has been an institution among locals in Delaware County.
And it’s just one of many iconic diners that pretty much blanket Philadelphia proper, stretching all the way from the Great Northeast across the city to deep South Philadelphia. So we decided to put together a quick roundup of some of the most well known and well-frequented classic diners in Philadelphia, making an effort to cover as many neighborhoods as we could.
Check out our list below and see if your favorite diner from growing up in or around Philadelphia made our list.
The slogan at the Melrose Diner, a 70-plus-year-old South Philly institution, is “Everybody who knows goes to Melrose.” And, on weekend nights, it seems like every Philadelphian does. Booths here are shared, peach pies are homemade and the longtime servers are no-nonsense. (215) 467-6644
Details: 1501 Snyder Ave, (215) 467-6644
Trolley Car Diner
The large neon lights reflect off the silver exterior of the Trolley Car Diner, a Mount Airy mainstay on Germantown Avenue serving up fresh, locally-sourced fare. Nostaglic noshers can sip La Colombe coffee while they work their way through a stack of hotcakes and the local paper’s crossword puzzle.
Details: 7619 Germantown Ave, (215) 753-1500
The Mayfair Diner
Located in the — you guessed it — Mayfair section of Northeast Philadelphia, The Mayfair Diner has been a local favorite since 1932. President Obama has even eaten here. The classic diner-style restaurant is 125 feet in length, making it one of the longest diners in the area. NB: we still recommend getting there early on the weekends.
Details: 7373 Frankford Ave, (215) 624-8886
Touted as the place “where good people meet to eat,” Bob’s Diner has been serving the good people of Roxborough for more than 20 years from a vintage 1940s silver dining car on Ridge Avenue. (Take a sneak peek at Bob’s here.)
Details: 6053 Ridge Ave, (215) 483-9002
The Dining Car
Located deep in the great Northeast, The Dining Car has been around for more than 50 years. This “Great American Diner” is famous for its French onion soup and Jewish apple cake. There’s also a full bar.
Details: 8826 Frankford Ave, (215) 338-5113
Down Home Diner
Inside the always bustling Reading Terminal Market you’ll find the Down Home Diner, a little slice of “when times were simpler” that serves up no nonsense diner food to the Center City faithful.
Details: 51 N 12th St, (215) 627-1955
Located deep in the heart of South Philadelphia, the Oregon Diner has been serving up classic diner fare around the clock for more than 20 years now.
Details: 302 W Oregon Ave, (215) 462-5566
Tried and true, the Manayunk Diner serves up hot breakfast to the East Falls, Roxborough and Manayunk area until 2 a.m.
Details: 3722 Main St, (215) 483-4200
With its close proximity to the stadiums and special late-night menu, the Penrose Diner is the perfect spot to fuel up on dippy eggs and scrapple after the game (or before the tailgate for that matter).
Details: 2016 Penrose Ave, (215) 465-1097
This cash-only, cheap eats diner off Rittenhouse Square has been filling bellies at 3 a.m. with delicious home-style hits for years. A Little Pete’s breakfast doubles as the perfect way to kick off the day or, conversely, end the night. (215) 545-5508
Details: 219 S 17th St, (215) 545-5508, 2418 Fairmount Ave, (215) 232-5001
The Llanerch helped inspire this roundup. It’s been an Upper Darby institution since 1952. And now, thanks to its star turn in Silver Linings, the Llanerch is more popular than ever. The classic diner fare is served 24 hours a day, and is best enjoyed in the booth Bradley Cooper sat in. But be prepared for a wait, especially if you want to sit in the “Bradley Cooper Booth.”
Details: 95 E Township Line Rd, (610) 789-6057
This retro diner in Hatboro, Montgomery County has been around since the 1950s and has been featured on The Food Network. Daddypops serves up huge portions with a side of charm. And with a name like Daddypops, it’s got to be good. (215) 675-9717
Details: 232 N York Rd, (215) 675-9717
Dating back to the 1940s, Lancers Diner in Horsham, Montgomery County has served as a true diner destination and continues to maintain its original recipe for hospitality.
Details: 858 Easton Rd, (215) 674-5088
At Eagle Diner in Bucks County, one thing is for sure: you won’t walk away hungry. It’s a family-owned, always-open diner that keeps the locals coming back for more.
Details: 739 W Street Rd, (215) 672-8228, 6522 York Rd, (215) 862-5575
Check out the trailer for Silver Linings Playbook below. You can catch a glimpse of the Llanerch Diner scene around 1:20.