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Every city’s got a handful of hidden little eateries that the locals don’t necessarily want you to know about. (After all, you might take up a favorite seat.) We’re talking diners, greasy spoons, and dives, and we’ve found them for you. So for once, skip the of-the-moment restaurant in favor of one of these anytime-is-the-right-time spots. By J.S.





HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY
White Manna Hamburgers

358 River Street
(201) 342-0914
The place is tiny, and so are the burgers. Pocket change (95 cents) will score you one, but bring along a fiver — you’ll want a stack of these babies.

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Jackie’s Place

2636 Spenard Road
(907) 274-3211
The building’s so-not-fancy exterior won’t wake you up, but the breakfast sure will. The chorizo is house-made. And the French toast? It’s made with Hawaiian sweet bread. Simply delish.

CLEVELAND, OHIO
Big Al’s Diner

12600 Larchmere Boulevard
(216) 791-8550
No matter what tempts you on the menu, make no mistake: The corned beef hash and home fries are a must for
newcomers to Big Al’s.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Brian’s American Eatery

1451 Washington Street
(619) 296-8268
One local raves: “They’re open late and a godsend at those times after the bars close and you just have to have something greasy.” What else do you need to know?

NASHVILLE, TENNESEE
Rotier’s

2413 Ellison Place
(615) 327-9892
Big old burgers on French bread. So bad for your waistline, so good for your smile.

DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS
The Choo-Choo

600 Lee Street
(847) 391-9815
Even if the kids in our life didn’t insist on food delivered by model train for their birthday, we’d keep going back for the turkey chili. Really.
New Iberia, Louisiana

NEW IBERIA, LOUISIANA
Victor’s Cafeteria
109 West Main Street
(337) 369-9924
Grab a tray and slide down
the line. If you see fried chicken, get it first. After that,
grab anything else they serve. Leave room for pie.