Travel any length of time on Connecticut’s roads and you’re bound to pass more than one diner. Of the hundreds in the state, an estimated 28 are open for business 24 hours a day. If you’re driving in the overnight hours and need to pull over for some coffee or something to eat, skip the usual Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonald’s and try one of them. These are the best diners in the state that provide great food and warm hospitality any time of day.
Athenian Diner
864 Washington St.
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-2272

The kitchen at this Greek diner in central Connecticut prepares some of the tastiest meals of any diner in the state. Throughout the afternoon it serves what it calls “mini-dinners,” lunch-size portions of dishes like meatloaf, pot roast, and chicken parmesan. After 6 p.m. there are specials on grilled swordfish, prime rib, roast lamb and London broil, among others. Seafood and pasta offerings include shrimp scampi, veal scallopini, chicken piccata, and calamari. You can also get all your breakfast favorites any time of day. Athenian Diner also has locations in Milford and New Haven.

Elmer’s Diner
22 Padanaram Road
Danbury, CT 06811
(203) 731-2559

It is almost impossible to decide what to order from Elmer’s sprawling menu. Omelette-lovers have four dozen kinds to choose from, for instance, as well as over forty sandwiches and nearly twenty wraps. There are plenty of multicultural options, including its popular Guatemalan country breakfast (a platter of scrambled eggs with tomato and onions with a side of rice, beans, sausage and tortillas) and Italian, Greek and Tex-Mex specialties. And don’t overlook Elmer’s scrumptious paninis, which go perfect with cole slaw and sweet potato fries.

Vernon Diner
453 Hartford Turnpike
Vernon, CT 06066
(860) 875-8812

Chef Teddy Demos worked at some of Manhattan’s top restaurants before opening the Vernon Diner with his family. Breakfast is served round the clock, with unique omelettes, Belgian waffles, and French toast made with challa bread. There are also an abundance of salads, Angus burgers, and seafood dishes. Among the desserts are creative milkshakes and sundaes, and, best of all, Demos’ renowned cakes. Whether it is strawberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake, or coconut custard pie, make sure you try a slice – and then order a whole one to take home.

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Andros Diner
651 Villa Ave.
Fairfield, CT 06824
(877) 680-0161

Andros is owned by the Pertisis family, who named the diner after the Greek island where they grew up. Their heritage is reflected in the menu, which contains many Greek specialties like spanakopita (a spinach and feta cheese pie) along with gyros, chicken souvlaki skewers, and baklava. There is also a wide range of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and melts, and plenty of healthy and vegetarian choices. College students can receive a ten percent discount on their order with a school ID.

New Colony V Diner
14 Stony Hill Road
Bethel, CT 06801
(203) 791-2280

In addition to all the usual standbys, New Colony V in Bethel offers a number of original and unusual dishes. For breakfast try the Monte Cristo French toast made with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese or a moussaka omelette stuffed with ground beef, eggplant and potatoes. You will also encounter mac and cheese prepared with creamy Jack and sriracha chicken, a holiday grinder filled with roast turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, and a burger with pastrami. New Colony V also has a full bar that even serves frozen drinks.

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