Saturday, December 21, 2013

NEW YORK CITY DINERS - 1990's - Updated September 2016 -

In the mid-nineties, I submitted an article with photos about the last New York City diners to french magazine Telerama. The article was never published and the photos were NEVER returned to me. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve some of these images while digging in my archives. Here they are...
Today, most of these beautiful diners are gone...

The Lost Diner / West side

The River Diner West Side

The Cheyenne Diner

The Jones Diner / Lafayette st.

The Moondance Diner / Soho

Sam Chinata / Chelsea (8th ave.)

The Market Diner


Stingy Lulu's (St Marks Place)

Please also see:

The Car series 

Signs and store fronts - Part 1 

Signs and store fronts - Part 2 

Signs and store fronts - Part 3 

Signs and store fronts - Part 4 


  1. Wow I had forgotten about Bright Food Shop and Kitchen/Market. Those were the days, gone forever.

  2. Sam Chinita in Chelsea! Best spanish/chinese food!! It is soo missed!!!

  3. Ate at all these joints back in the day. Their loss, what a tragedy.

  4. Sam Chinitas diner was the best. Also, does anyone remember Riss Diner on 8th between 22nd/23rd? Great daily blue-plate specials. Now its Murrays Bagels.....

  5. I actually ate at Riss a few times since I was living right on the corner for a few years. I don't think I remember any particular diner deco though.
    More like a neighborhood restaurant than an old classic diner, no ?

  6. And how was the food?

  7. What I can not remember is what Moondance was called before Moondance, which didn't happen until the mid-1980's. Anybody out there know?

    1. tunnel diner......1981 Larry Panish bought it. Fixed it...redesigned it as you see it..

  8. The Moondance Diner was moved to LaBarge, Wyoming in 2007. A family bought it, hauled it out there and put it back together with an expansion in the back that contained a modern kitchen. Sadly they couldn't make it work and it closed in 2012. Still closed as far as I know. Here's a gallery of its brief history in Wyoming up until its closing.

    1. Thank you for this information ! I did hear about this story a while ago and I knew that the Moondance was not totally lost...Unfortunately, it will always be missed at its original New York location !

  9. Such a shame the bankers took over the city.

    Cheyenne: best stainless steel and chrome in town
    Jones Diner: souther style hangover cure consisting of Fat, Sugar, Starch, and more Booze, you never left hungry or sober.
    Sam Chinita: I think it was Cuban-Chi but i can’t remember
    Empire Diner: The place to be after clubbing on the west side (Jackie 60s etc)
    Stingy Lulu’s: Sautéed spinach and garlic served by the hottest transexuals in town (where are you tina sparkles and krylon?)

    There must be a beautiful pic of Florent somewhere lost in France. Loved that diner. Hope Greg Alessandrini gets hi pictures back.

  10. It makes me both happy and sad to see these beauties again after all this time. Thanks so much for sharing them. I'm sorry to see you obviously spent time in Hell's Kitchen, yet you missed my fave: the unassuming, yet sorely missed Kraft Restaurant on W 42nd.

  11. Sam Chinita was indeed Cuban-Chinese... in the mid 80'2 it was known as Mi Chinita (Sam Chinata had a smaller diner just a block down 8th Avenue.

    Great photos, thanks for bringing back these memories of the real New York, now sadly lost in the shopping mall NYC has become.

  12. There was a diner on 16th and 1st, across from stuy town, owned by two greek brothers. Anyone remember what it was called?

  13. Does anyone remember a diner or restaurant from the 1990s that served great burgers near East 26th and 2nd Avenue?