This story originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Jerk Magazine.
If you live in the Syracuse area, then your go to place to eat on Saturday morning has probably been Stella’s Diner. But what a lot of people may not know is that there are many different diners in the area, all with different backgrounds and styles.
The Rise N’ Shine Diner
Located on Thompson street in Syracuse may be one of the most unique diners we’ve seen. While talking to the owner of the diner, Danielle Mercuri she was eager to tell me how “trendy, cool, and different” this diner truly is. The diner prides itself on their crazy food options such as, birthday cake hot chocolate and their “Big Daddy Pancake wrap”. Their decor consists of lightbulb salt and pepper shakers, silverware chandeliers, and anything considered outside the box. Mercuri stated that “Whatever Isn’t out there, we have”. But aside from all the bells and whistles the Rise N’ Shine diner is known for there involvement with their community, and their appreciation for “all walks of life”. With support from their community, they may open a second location as well as a food truck. This diner’s success is only growing and we look forward to seeing them more often.
Finally Ours Diner
Owned by David Laffin, this diner is located on West Seneca Turnpike in Syracuse. According to Laffin, the diner got its start when him and his wife were offered a building space after 20 years of working for other people. Finally Ours is known for their famous Garbage plate dish. This dish is filled with everything you could hope for in a breakfast, with eggs, hashbrowns, fried steak, and biscuits covered with gravy. The diner is best known for their excellent service and portion size. Laffin states, “We try different things, not just cut and dry pancakes, french toast, etc. We have cinnamon roll waffles, lemon stuffed french toast, and this weekend we’re trying chocolate candy bar stuffed french toast with a baileys whipped cream”. The name “Finally Ours” came from the joy of finally being able to work for themselves and have their own place. Laffin was proud to say, “Our diner speaks for itself and that’s why we’re as busy as we are”.
The Gem Diner
Gem is another diner in the Syracuse area that people are starting to talk about. Founded in 1950 as the “Little Gem Diner”, it became a hot breakfast spot for people in the Syracuse area. Doug and Tammy LaLone re-opened the business as The Gem Diner and it has continued to make a name for itself. The diner is known for their classic breakfast choices and their friendly service. Their favorite dish on the menu is the strawberry and banana pancakes, and their most unique dish are their pineapple pancakes. These dishes may be considered a little out there, but they have become what makes the Gem Diner stand out as one of the best diners in Syracuse.