Sometimes campus food is good, but sometimes it's nice to get away from the buzz of the dining hall and go to a place that's more homey. In that case, your best bet would be to find a good diner, which fortunately, college towns seem to be ripe with. But which diners are worth going off campus for? I rounded up five that you can count on for your morning cup of coffee and some breakfast comfort foods to go with.
1. Nick's Original House Of Pancakes - Ann Arbor, MI
With a breakfast menu that's thorough enough to cover all of your bases, Nick's has something for everyone. Whether you're a fan of the classic buttermilk pancakes, or want to try their "Fat Cat" skillet, you're bound to find a dish that you love. As for the staff? The folks at Nick's told Fresh U: "Other than our large made from scratch dishes, with fresh sourced ingredients, we'd say the number one reason our customers keep coming back is our friendly team. We love interacting with our customers, getting to know them and their families and making them part of our own Nick's family! Without them, we wouldn't definitely be where we are today!"
2. J's Homestyle Cooking - Cedar Falls, IA
If you're looking for a classic menu, J's Homestyle Cooking is your place. With authentic, homestyle dishes, J's will give you that taste of home that you've been craving. Both the customers and owner Janice Powers agree that, "....our main strategic advantage is the home-like feel that the restaurant and our food give to everyone. The college students at UNI love our large portion sizes, and the older folks come in for our homestyle recipes. You know, there aren't many places that you can go anymore that make food from scratch, like grandma did. We make all of our desserts from basic ingredients with no preservatives and people love the way they taste; they taste real, not processed."
3. The Market Diner - Syracuse, NY
The Market Diner is a traditional style diner with a comfortable atmosphere and friendly faces. If you need some mid-semester cheer and good food, this is place to go. Their team and their customers agree that, "What makes The Market Diner so special is our character. It's easy for a restaurant to say their food is better, their prices are cheaper, or any other typical response. However, we care about our customers. For students from SU, Lemoyne, ESM, OCC or any other school in our area, we care about them. We hope to feed them, not gouge them with our price, and get to know them and help their experience away from home feel better and more comfortable. We treat our customers like family and this what we feel makes us special."
4. Union Street Diner - Athens, OH
If you go to college near Athens, Union Street Diner is a place you surely won't want to miss. It is beloved for it's homey atmosphere and late hours. Fresh U contributing writer Annie Herr described it as, "the quintessential college town diner. It has 24/7 breakfast, wifi and pancakes that are literally bigger than the plates they're served on. I'm only a freshman and I've already been there twice late at night until morning for emergency pancakes to get me through studying for an exam."
5. Henry's Diner - Burlington, VT
Maybe you want to eat at a tried-and-true, classic diner. If that's the case, Henry's is your place! With slogans such as "Good food fast and breakfast all day," Henry's is sure to fulfill your craving for an old-fashioned diner. "Henry's is very unique. When you walk into the dining room, it's like taking a step back in time," owner, Naomi Maglaris says, "All of our orders are taken the old fashioned way, by hand, and the uniforms add to the retro atmosphere."
Whether you're looking for a newer place or a classic staple, diners are the hubs of comfort food. So the next time you need a detox from the dining hall, check out one of these places.