Daily, 24 hours
C, E at 50th St.; 1 at 50th St.; N, R, W at 49th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
45th St. to 50th St., Ninth Ave. to Sixth Ave.
The prostitutes and pushers of years past may have found new corners on which to operate, but the Olympic Diner has dug in its heels and evolved into a steadfast anchor for comfort food with fresh ingredients. Two decades of brewed coffee and corned beef hash imbue this greasy spoon with the irresistible aroma of bitter grinds and bacon fat, yet the more-than-generous menu has acclimated to the evolving neighborhood, adding crispy panini and Southern fried chicken to the long list of overstuffed gyros, spaghetti bowls, and pastrami sandwiches. This intimate 65-seat diner separates itself from the competition with unexpected flourishes such as fresh-squeezed orange juice and delightfully sticky baklava (made by the Greek owner). Über-attentive service and old-fashioned highlights such as egg creams atone for dry buffalo burgers, empty walls, and kitschy turquoise booths. The breakfast standbys (such as fried eggs and Belgian waffles) are executed flawlessly all day, and a slice of homemade (lite!) cheesecake is worth the walk after an evening at the theater. With 'round-the-clock service, the Olympic is the quintessential late-night gorge and morning hangover cure-all.Recommended Dishes
Belgian waffle, $7; moussaka, $12.40; cheesecake, $5.40