Eating at Tom’s Restaurant is such a restorative experience that regulars show up hoping to stand in line, where free coffee, orange slices, and cookies are handed out by smiling employees. While the 70-year-old diner retains its old-fashioned, soda-fountain sensibility and hours (they're open only for breakfast and lunch), the recipes are updated to appease the increasingly yuppified Prospect Heights population. Try the harvest pancakes with corn and cranberries, the pumpkin-walnut waffle, or the world’s best crab cakes—not for those with cholesterol troubles, as they’re deep-fried. Leave room for their specialty drinks, including homemade cherry-lime rickey, whipped coffee, or that Brooklyn staple, the egg cream. It can be a long wait on weekend mornings, but once you get in the door, you feel like family.
Crab cakes, $8; mango-walnut pancakes with assorted butters, $8