The Bowery Diner: A Modern Traditional Diner Downtown

By Eda Haksal 

The Bowery Diner, on 241 Bowery, has an old classic diner feel with booths covered with duct tapes, hangers on their sides, neon clock wall, 80s era orb lamps, and an American flag hung on the far back corner touching the wall. On the other hand, the Bowery is not your traditional diner by any means.

The Bowery Diner is quintessentially Manhattan, standing chicly next to the New Museum right across from secondhand stores that foreshadow Canal Street and Chinatown further downtown. In a multicultural manner, the menu offers 34 different types of whisky categorized under bourbon, single malt scotch, rye and classics alongside an equally extensive milkshake list that includes a strawberry cheesecake shake amongst other feel-good shakes.

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The Manhattan vibe is immediately evident in the diverse clientele; from tourist groups sitting at the large tables in the middle of the diner with their big cameras to old friends to couples absorbed in drama-filled discussions. Soft light creates a cozy dining atmosphere whether you are there at 8 A.M. on a weekday or 2 A.M. on the weekend. The Bowery Diner serves food seven days a week as late as until 5 am on Friday and Saturday. If the Bowery Diner is ever your last stop of the night, make sure to order one of their feel-good shakes. Milkshakes come with walnut topped whipped cream and the rest of the milkshake is served in traditional diner fashion accompanied by the shake’s aluminum mixer. For breakfast, the Bowery has almost anything you can ask for from granola to smoked salmon bagel to corned beef hash to veggie omelet. For lunch, you can find burgers and salads with additional lunch specials such as fried calamari and mac & cheese.

In the middle of all the hassle and hurry that is Manhattan, the Bowery lets you take a moment to relax into your own element (once you passed the widescreen television by the bar) and perhaps read through the specials written on the blackboard on the subway-tiled walls. Similarly, though not functional, a jukebox stands off to the side of the restaurant, causing many patrons to stop and reminisce at an era gone by.

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The price of the food mostly ranges from $3-15 with the exceptions of fresh-half lobster ($19), a dozen market oysters for brunch ($28), pepper steak ($32) and roasted salmon ($22) for dinner along with wine and champagne by the bottle (for up to $65)- making the prices a bit higher than that of a typical American diner. The Diner also holds happy hour everyday from 6-8 pm and offers 50% off all beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and oysters. The Diner offers fast and clean service, and makes house deliveries from its website. On the other hand, the Bowery Diner is not so much a diner as it is a quasi-diner that lets you experience a diner experience of a small town.

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