written by Julie Lee | photos courtesy of Buddy’s Diner
Hungry? Hungover? Diners beckon. With Oregon paving a culinary trail on the national forefront for everything from craft beer and donuts to Vietnamese fish sauce wings, it’s tough at times to stay ahead of trend. Take a day off from the foodie world, park your diet at the door, and order up a greasy plate of diner food.
Buddy’s Diner in Eugene is your ultimate family-friendly diner, with small-town table service, 50’s relics hanging from walls and ceiling, and frosty milkshakes blended to perfection in stainless steel. Gigantic plates of food are served quickly, and breakfast and burgers here are the bomb. Be sure not to pass on the biscuits, made fresh on the daily in vast trays. For Duck fans, this is a terrific pre-kickoff stop to solidly line the stomach before consuming a bevy of adult beverages.
1725 Coburg Rd., Eugene | facebook.com/BuddysDinerEugene
Warning ahead: gargantuan, gluten-filled gluttony. There must be a rule in the world of diners that no guest shall ever leave hungry, and Otis Cafe adheres to it, serving up colossal mounds of food from sunup to sundown. Otis is known for its bread, so make sure to say yes when asked if you want a side of the homemade toast for breakfast or bread for dinner. This is must-stop, top-five Oregon diner featured by the New York Times in 1989.
1259 Salmon River Hwy., Otis | otiscafe.com
Off-grid in an old bank building in Warrenton is a sweet spot to stop by the next time you are on the coast. Serendipity Deli Caffe is diner style food and portions, but with a foodie influence and ambience. Open for breakfast and lunch only, Serendipity plates up elephantine sized omelets and breakfast burritos for a filling start to the day and terrific burgers and tots for a mid-day re-fueling. With its modern influence comes some gluten-free options and healthful salads, making this coastal café a nice option for those in search of a mammoth meal with a little less grease.
160 S. Main Ave., Warrenton | serendipity-caffe.com
There are plenty of restaurants in wine country—but only one delicious diner. The Diner in McMinnville is tucked away on Main Street and offers locally sourced classic diner fare, with portions as mountainous as the surrounding hills. Eggs are free-range and from the Willamette Valley, the bread is baked on-site using Bob’s Red Mill flour, and brownies are scratch-made using butter from McMinnville. Favorites here include the Benedict and fried-to-order doughnuts.
2580 SE Stratus Ave., McMinnville | thedinermcminnville.com
Open daily for breakfast and lunch, Byways Cafe in Portland is a tiny joint with big portions. While the Pearl neighborhood in Portland has sprouted a new restaurant hot spot almost monthly in the past two decades, Byways has been quietly doing its thing in the center of it all, offering hearty scrambles, hashes and burgers to regulars and hungry passers-by. A bonus here is the cocktails: great bloodies with bacon, Irish coffees and mimosas, which are not always available in traditional diners.
1212 NW Glisan St., Portland | bywayscafe.com