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3 of the 50 Top Diners in New England

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Peterborough Diner, Peterborough NH

Peterborough Diner, Peterborough, New Hampshire

Initially, the Peterborough Diner, in all its modest ways, might seem like only a stop along the way but that would be a miscalculation. This small diner creates special dining memories in big time ways.

Located in a beautiful New Hampshire town (so many fall into this category; what a terrific state!) in one of the state's most scenic regions (Monadnock), the Peterborough Diner is like a reliable old friend that is always there for you. Perhaps it is the welcoming 1950s Worcester Lunch Car diner car setting with its “green and cream” colors, the "hometown” favorites like French toast, mac and cheese, lasagna, Shepherd's pie, American chop suey and franks and homemade beans, the excellent kids menu, the pleasant outdoor patio seating or the treat-you-like family service that helps make the Peterborough Diner “The Diner with Distinction” as they modestly and humbly call themselves.

Starting as a wooden diner in 1936, the Peterborough Diner has seen several different chapters in its storied local history, but one thing is for certain: the Diner has been an integral part of downtown Peterborough virtually since its inception. It’s the type of place locals will recommend if you are town and asking for a recommendation on where to eat. Waitresses treat out-of-towners just as well as the regular crowd -- very important, as not all diners as much an appreciation to visitors, although they should. They are diners, after all! Additionally, the Peterborough Diner looks like it was born to reside in this quaint New England town. Some local businesses in a given town look out of place or contrived. The Peterborough Diner has that well-established look, like the wise old grandparent -- or, maybe in this case great grandparent -- that provides a strong, respected and revered family presence.

Interesting Peterboro Diner tidbits: President Barrack Obama once had a slice of blueberry pie at the Peterborough Diner, according to Michael Samuels’ New Hampshire’s Classic Diners article in nhmagazine.com (http://www.nhmagazine.com/February-2014/New-Hampshires-Classic-Diners/). 2016 Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently stopped by the Peterborough Diner to meet local, hard-working folks, including those who work at the Diner. Part of the 2006 indie movie Sensation of Sight was filmed at The Peterborough Diner!

Peterborough Diner is located at 10 Depot St., Peterborough. Tel. (603) 924-6202. Web site: http://peterboroughdiner.com/


Lanna Thai Diner, Woburn Massachusetts

Lanna Thai Diner, Woburn, Massachusetts

I am going out on a limb to say this, but one of the tip offs that this Woburn diner is not your typical diner is the glass coffee pot on top of the coffee maker is full of ginger sauce. While the facade of the Lanna Thai Diner has Americana written all over its stainless steel exterior 1952 Worcester Dining Car, this little diner might just the only one in the northeast United States that serves Thai food.

Once known most prominently as Jack's Diner, this dining car has been through a few ownership changes, but definitely seems to have hit on a for-the-long-run niche as a Thai diner over the past several years. They do a great business and fill a need for suburbia in search of more diverse cuisines.

Lanna Thai Diner might be housed in a tiny diner, but the menu is big and full of authentic Thai lunch and dinner including appetizers, soups, salads, main entrees, Northern Thai specialties, noodles and fried rice, Thai curry selections, and desserts like roti (crispy pastry dough lightly fried and topped with sweetened condensed milk and sugar), fried bananas, ginger ice cream, and fresh mango. I recently had a delicious “lunch special” dish with egg noodles, chicken and vegetables that rivals the best in this culinary genre. The service is quick, but the pace is, by no means, rushed as the Lanna Thai Diner folks clearly want each customer to enjoy the overall experience.

The owner, Max, is very friendly and I have read that he uses vegetables from his own garden.  That’s no surprise, as the food tastes fresh and natural.

Many Thai restaurants have similar decor, but that is simply not the case at Lanna Thai Diner with its old-time diner look. Just as important, the Thai food tastes as good as what you would find in the city!

Lanna Thai Diner is located at 901C Main St., Woburn. Tel. (781) 932-0394. Web site: http://www.lannathaidiner.com/index2.html.


Seaplane Diner, Providence Rhode Island

Seaplane Diner, Providence RI

Located next to a former seaplane port, this O'Mahoney-style vintage silver diner from either the 1940s or 50s (conflicting info here) was once located in nearby Woonsocket (everything in tiny Rhode Island is nearby!) before moving in 1973 to its Providence location.

Its “Omelette French Toast” was once featured on the Food Network's Rachel Ray Show! Open for breakfast, lunch and, at this writing, dinner, the Seaplane Diner delivers pretty much everything you'd expect in a classic diner including Salisbury steak, pastrami and swiss on rye, stuffed French toast, waffles and pancakes, burgers and some Greek touches like the lamb gyro. The Oreo pancakes is a great idea. We love the large model airplane perched above the exterior sign!

Interesting Seaplane Diner tidbit:  Rhode Island Monthly included the Diner’s meatloaf in its 2002 Best of Rhode Island; Best Diners section. According to a Quohog.com article (http://www.quahog.org/cuisine/index.php?id=80), “the diner was hidden behind a plywood facade and topped with a mansard roof, but the siding was removed in the late 1990s revealing the glorious stainless steel exterior.”

Seaplane Diner is located at 307 Allens Ave., Providence. Tel. (401) 941-9547

Ready to read about all the top diners in New England? Read on...


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The Best Diners in New England Book Reveals 50 Great Local Diners


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New England is the place to go for diners. It was, after all, the birthplace of theBest Diners in New England book buy button diner, and still offers some of the best regarded dining cars and modern diners in the United States.

But while virtually everyone seems to love a good diner when traveling New England, how do you truly know which ones are the best?

VisitingNewEngland editor Eric Hurwitz took the guesswork out of finding great New England diners in his new book, The Best Diners in New England. The past several years, Hurwitz often stopped at diners as an affordable way to eat while writing articles for his web site. Some were great, others just OK, and a few achieved dubious greasy spoon status. Several months back, Hurwitz reviewed his list and started writing, in detail, about the 50 best diners he experienced in New England. The book features a lively mix of diner descriptions, food offerings, history, interviews, interesting anecdotes, some storytelling and lots of colorful photos of these local treasures. All types of diners are included -- historic, modern, popular, hidden, breakfast-only, 24/7, and even those those that serve lobster!

The Best Diners in New England is an ideal book for all walks of life -- froms ages eight to 98 (or older). The book can be taken anywhere -- whether at home or on the road -- since it is on Kindle and can also be read on your SmartPhone through the Kindle app. It is also affordable -- the price of a blue plate special!

Best Diners in New England book buy button


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Eric also wrote this informative and fun New England travel book just for you...

Massachusetts Town Greens Book


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