Defining a diner in the Pacific Northwest is tough. Sure, there are the obvious choices, ones that are unmistakably diners — Fuller’s, Polar King, Blue Moon — but then there are the cusp spots. Is a dive bar with diner food, like My Father’s Place or Nite Hawk, considered a diner? What about a ritzier, newer breakfast cafe with a clear diner menu, like Grits N’ Gravy? What about one of the nostalgia diner sort of places that feel a little too polished, like Cadillac Cafe or the Daily Feast?
For this map, we decided to classify as a “diner,” the restaurants included would have to share these traits: they have to serve breakfast, including eggs and pancakes; they have to serve lunch, including burgers and fries; and the space itself has to at least have either booth seating or diner counter, as well. (That does exclude some great drive-in-esque spots that stick to lunch, like Skyline and Roake’s — we see you, we love you, we’ll be back for milkshakes and hot dogs in the near future.) Bonus points go to the places that are clearly modeled after a dining car, keep a pie case stocked, and/or serve old-school diner standbys like liver and onions, country fried steaks, and sides of cottage cheese. Sure, some of these spots have a particularly Portland flavor — smoked salmon Benedicts, marionberry pancakes — but they all serve their coffee hot and their milkshakes cold. For more options, check out our breakfast or old school restaurant maps.Read More