Comfort food with a side of history at the Lincoln Street Diner

This week, we’re back at the Lincoln Street Diner, which opened in its current Fall Creek location in 1964 as Mae’s Diner. It also used to be Bud’s Diner, and Ziffy’s, and with breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, it’s a perfect place for a quick but hot lunch on a chilly day, or an early-morning breakfast.

lincoln-blueberry-pancakesBreakfast could be blueberry pancakes, a spinach and feta omelet, or just eggs and toast.

The “daily breakfast special” is home fries and corn bread topped with sausage gravy, and just on Saturdays, there’s homemade Cajun sausage gravy. Who could ask for anything more? Well, I’ll come clean and admit that I usually add a pair of eggs over easy to this dish, just for the sake of completeness.

There’s always an inexpensive breakfast sandwich option, a filling meal wedged between two halves of an English muffin, and lots of fresh coffee is brewing non-stop.

At lunchtime, try a turkey club sandwich or a reuben, or a one-third pound burger. All of the burgers and sandwiches come with chips and a pickle, or you can add a side of hot and crisp fries for a little more.

The Lincoln Street's Tullyburger.

The Lincoln Street’s Tullyburger.

There are better burgers in Ithaca, but I’d call this the best of the diner burgers. Of course the options include a Tullyburger, the local specialty with raw onion, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Or, you can go all out with a Bo-Burger, that wince-inducing delicacy, a cheeseburger topped with a fried egg.

We’ve enjoyed the frequent lunch specials like Texas hot dogs topped with chili, fried clams with macaroni & cheese, or a “Thanksgiving sandwich,” hot turkey with stuffing and gravy. Don’t forget about the soup of the day, like the excellent chicken chorizo soup, the split pea, or the Friday clam chowder. Either one can turn a sandwich into a hot comfort-food experience, perfect for a wintry afternoon.

lincoln-soup-coffeeThe Lincoln Street Diner isn’t open 24 hours a day as many diners are, but they pack plenty of diner atmosphere into the hours they’re open.

You can spend as little as three or four bucks on breakfast, or five to ten on a complete meal. Find the Lincoln Street Diner at 309 East Lincoln Street, right near the north end of North Aurora Street and just a couple of blocks from the Ithaca Falls. Call 607-216-1616 or visit and tell them you heard about them here.

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