Craving a hearty dose of comfort food? These Houston diners, some of which have been around in Houston since the 40s, serve classic, no-frills American fare at cheap prices. From huge, cooked-to-order breakfasts and blue plate specials to every type of pie you could imagine, hungry patrons will find something to satisfy every craving at these Houston classics.
Go to this Houston institution for its eggs, sausage and pancakes, challah french toast and old-fashioned milk shakes and malts. Avalon Diner, which once operated along with Avalon Pharmacy, has been serving up true greasy spoon fare in River Oaks since 1938. The drugstore closed in 2008 but the diner beloved by generations is still going strong. And with two other locations in Houston, you have more options to get your fix. Open for lunch and breakfast.
House of Pies
This kitschy 24-hour diner serves freshly baked pies and cakes to satisfy every taste. We’re talking cream pies, fruit filled pies, baked pies, cheesecakes and cakes that have devoted followers and hit the spot no matter when the sweet cravings hit. Despite its name, this house also has an all-day menu of greasy spoon fare offering generous portions at reasonable prices. Try the omelets and hash browns and don’t miss the multi-layered Bayou Goo and Texas pecan fudge pies.
Dot Coffee Shop
Squeeze into a vinyl booth at this retro diner owned by the Pappas family. Dot Coffee Shop has been serving heaping portions of comfort food since 1967. Eggs made to order, buttermilk pancakes, grits and other southern-style specialties -- don’t miss the chicken fried steak with country gravy -- are among the homestyle items you’ll find on the menu. Dot is open 24/7 so whether you want a huge breakfast, a late-night meal or coffee and pie, this Houston favorite fits the bill.
Tel-Wink Restaurant + Grill
Feel at home at this Telephone Road diner where hearty omelettes, biscuits made from scratch, delicious Belgian waffles and other breakfast items are served all day. Owned by Dmitri and Peggy Bokos, Tel-Wink has been around since 1940 (since 1962 at its current location). While breakfast is what it’s known for, the diner also serves a variety of lunch options including triple-decker sandwiches, burgers and soups. Be prepared to stand in line if you go on the weekend.
Harry’s Restaurant & Cafe
Known for its breakfast and brunch, Harry’s menu combines traditional southern cooking with Latin and Mediterranean influences. Established in 1948, the restaurant changed hands in the 70s when Johnny and Patricia Platsas bought it from its original owner. Taking from Johnny’s Greek heritage and Patricia’s Ecuadorian heritage, the menu features dishes such as baklava french toast with honey-vanilla Greek yogurt ice cream, a Greek omelet with feta and spinach, and llapingachos (traditional Ecuadorian potato and cheese patties). You’ll also find the traditional American breakfast staples and daily lunch specials.
The Buffalo Grille
Don’t miss the pancakes at this beloved Houston classic. Light and fluffy, their hotcakes are the size of your plate and will have you coming back for more. Established in 1984, Buffalo Grille has two locations serving some of the best breakfast around. Aside from its famous pancakes, diners can also build their own omelets, enjoy French toast and other egg dishes including huevos rancheros and egg burritos. Get there early on weekends, when lines can snake out the front door.
Located in a 70-year-old building in The Heights, this bright-colored, modern diner serves local families breakfast, lunch and dinner. Go for the chicken and waffles, pancakes topped with fruit, chocolate or peanut butter, or chicken fried steak and eggs. For lunch, you can’t go wrong with the roast beef roll or their well known Day After Thanksgiving sandwich (roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing on a buttered bun served with a side of brown gravy). Those with special diets will love Lola’s vegetarian, gluten-free and heart healthy options.