Daily, 24 hours
A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
3rd St. to 12th St., University Pl. to Bleecker St.
Say the phrase “classic diner” and for most people, you’ll conjure up visions of chrome and Formica. Yet the Waverly Restaurant actually hearkens back to an earlier model, a kind of working-class steakhouse with dark-wood paneling, snug, vinyl-padded booths, and a very small counter of backless stools. In keeping with the more familiar diner tradition, there’s still the neon sign; a glowing rack of half-eaten cakes and pies; and an overly long menu of burgers, breakfasts, parmigianas, Greek specialties, and entrées destined to fail: Lobster tails with crabmeat stuffing, anyone? Mercifully, the dishware hasn’t updated from ceramic to plastic and, amusingly, when your omelette arrives, it’s still in its frying pan. In the end, you just might reinterpret those black-and-white actors’ eight-by-tens lining the perimeter as a forgotten pantheon: patron saints of cheap food, fast service, and fading traditions, like the bottomless cup of coffee.Recommended Dishes
Muenster cheese omelet, $7.45