What makes a diner great? Cheap, tasty food? A sense of community? An aura of mid-century nostalgia? A short-order cook working the grill with balletic grace while also carrying on a conversation? No need to pick just one or two—get them all at the Band Box, an actual historic landmark where you’ll often find owner Brad Ptacek at the flat-top, flipping burgers, cracking eggs, and holding court with the crew of regulars and anyone else who wanders through. There’s a sincere all-are-welcome spirit here, so come on in. You’re home, and your cheeseburger—no-frills yet utterly perfect—awaits.
Readers’ Choice: Mickey’s Diner