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6 Best Old School Diners in Atlanta

Jan 12th, 2024

Vibrant colors, comfortable booths, a jukebox in the corner and neon signs are central themes of true old school diners — and if you’re lucky, your waitstaff might even wear roller skates. 

Diners are known for their comfort food, casual environment, convenience and often their affordability. A visit to the local diner often evokes feelings of nostalgia as you recall fond memories of sharing tasty burgers and milkshakes with loved ones. Below is a curated list of the top old school diners near our luxury Atlanta apartments you should consider visiting. 

Must-visit retro diners in ATL

Silver Skillet

Located in the heart of Midtown, the Silver Skillet serves up hearty breakfasts and lunches seven days a week. This diner is perfect for the early riser looking to enjoy a homestyle breakfast before the day gets into full swing. As a living legend in Atlanta, this diner has made a few splashes in the media, including Guy Fieri filming an episode for “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” The diner has also been featured in countless movies, commercials and print ads ever since its inception. The Silver Skillet has been family owned and operated since 1967. 

The Landmark Diner

Tom and Caroyln Lambrou moved to Atlanta in 1994 with the dream of introducing a New York style diner. Over the last three decades their dreams have flourished resulting in four restaurants favored by locals and tourists alike. No matter what time of day you visit, you will be treated like family and served a hot and delicious meal.

With two locations serving you 24/7, you don’t really have an excuse to not visit the Landmark Diner. You can swing by Buckhead or Downtown to check out the wide range of menu offerings from breakfast to sandwiches and hearty dinners. 

Majestic Diner

Opening in 1929, the Majestic Diner has been serving “Food That Pleases” for almost 100 years in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta. A coveted staple of Atlanta, this diner is one of the oldest restaurants in town. The retro diner (with the neon signs to prove it) serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week. Access to this diner couldn’t be any easier with parking in the Plaza parking lot or through Uber Eats. If you haven’t already, give this classic diner a try!

Thumbs Up Diner

With two locations in Atlanta and five more in the greater metro area, this diner is clearly a fan favorite. 

Thumbs Up Diner takes a step back in time and brings the best attributes of old diners to present time reality. The friendly waitstaff helps create a neighborhood meeting place where families, friends, business meetings and dates share the common bond of enjoying delicious food at a reasonable price. People gravitate to Thumbs Up Diner for the smoked meats, fresh squeezed orange juice, homemade southern eats, one-skillet dishes and homemade biscuits.  

There was so much neighborhood love in this one small diner they had to expand to several locations to share with the whole community! 

Metro Diner and Bar

What do you get when an old school diner and a bar combine forces? Metro Diner and Bar.

Come early for breakfast or stay late for evening drinks — Metro Diner and Bar has a karaoke bar on the first floor with a traditional style diner on the second level. Their expansive menu covers all meals of the day and highlights your favorite comfort foods including country fried steak and eggs, burgers and baby back ribs just to name a few. You can also get these classics at night as you dance the evening away under their glowing neon signs. 

Atlanta Breakfast Club

Atlanta Breakfast Club isn’t just any breakfast spot, it is upscale dining service in a casual environment. Their diverse menu features Southern-inspired breakfast and brunch options. Classic diner chairs and tables bring the nostalgia of America’s classic diner. This popular breakfast spot has been featured on Food Network, Travel Channel and CNN. The Peach Cobbler French Toast is a must try!

These are just a handful of the amazing places to eat in Atlanta and some of the best retro diners around. Enjoy!

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Featured photo by Amel Majanovic on Unsplash

Author of Article

Amy has lived most of her life in Washington state and enjoys baking and adventuring with her dog, Ki. Her favorite thing about the Pacific Northwest is the four seasons and the access to mountains and other outdoor activities.

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