Author (Your Name)

Jill Gardner, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. American Studies Program




A diner is now, as it has always been, a restful spot. It is a restful spot that is currently branching out into chains to capitalize on this same sentiment all over the nation. It focuses on the caricature like qualities that people recognize in a diner. People are willing to pay a little more, not much more, but a little more, to get away from McDonald's. These restaurants have been built with old memories but with new conveniences and some new menus. Finally, with health food on the march, I have to ask--where else can you eat a big bleeding hamburger with lots of cheese and french fries and a chocolate milk shake made with real chocolate and unadulterated ice cream, fat and all, except in a diner? How else can we justify eating what our taste buds really crave? Diners are the only safe spots our hardening arteries and thickening waistlines have left. The health critics have attacked the Big Mac but they cannot prevent us from eating a memory. They cannot prevent the visitor to a new city from sneaking away from the well organized amusement centers to enjoy some real fried eggs--yolks and all--bacon--no turkey please--toast--with all the butter it will hold--and home fries--glorious greasy home fries dripping in ketchup--in a small diner where the true flavor and tempo of the city comes shining through. This is what the diner in all its evolutionary forms represents to me and I think to many diner patrons all across America. It is a feeling and a flavor--a flavor of home cooked food and a flavor of people past and present. So if you really want to understand what American diners are all about, go visit one. While you're there, have a cup of coffee and absorb the subtle nuances of the world around you.


Diners (Restaurants) -- United States -- History -- 20th century, United States -- Social life and customs, Middle class -- United States -- History -- 20th century