The Cup & Saucer Diner

New York is overfilled with flashy, archetypal steel-and-glass diners that look like they were transported here directly from the 1950’s. Sadly, as the city has become more and more gentrified, most of them have become carbon copies of each other in terms of quality (shitty) and price (rip-off).

One of my favorite diner exteriors is as unflashy as they come: The Cup and Saucer Luncheonette, nestled in Chinatown at the corner of Canal and Eldridge (as New York Magazine points out, “surrounded by Buddhist temples, a Chinese wedding salon, and a Chinese funeral parlor”).

Cup and Saucer - 01

I love its simplicity: basic sign with the Coke logo. Do you really need anything more? Also, it goes without saying that “Cup and Saucer Luncheonette” is the best fucking diner name ever.

Cup and Saucer - 03

How authentic is it? I have no clue how long it’s been here, and therefore no idea if the sign is genuine or (shudder) ironically retro. But if it’s any indication, the food prices are low, the quality is great, and it’s far enough off the beaten path (note that the rest of the building is boarded up) that much of their clientele are not of the variety who go for the diner kitch (note: this is my experience; any regulars, please correct me if I’m wrong!).

Cup and Saucer - 05

Anyway, I always pass this place often when I’m down near the Manhattan Bridge, and have been meaning to take pictures for a while. To my knowledge, it has never been featured in a movie…and maybe that’s a good thing.

Cup and Saucer - 04

Check it out it you can…Who knows when they’ll start slapping on the stainless steel and raising the prices…

-SCOUT

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  1. If you haven’t seen it already, do check out the Broadway Diner on 101st Street and Broadway on the UWS. The exterior sign is very old and the no-frills menu signs remind me of the 1950s. I think the movie “Meet Joe Black” was filmed there.

    Also, it’s one of the few places in the neighborhood where you can still get an omelet under $6! It’s a great greasy spoon.

  2. Oooh, I love this place. So simple. I’m no diner expert, I only play one on tv, but I don’t think it’s retro. I LOVE LOVE LOVE “Luncheonette”. We had a small supermarket in the town where I grew up called a “Superette”. Priceless. Thanks!

  3. Your blog is wonderful, managing to be outraged and appalled without the whiny sanctimonious tone that mars many similar efforts.

    Keep it going.

    [PS: “kitsch” not “kitch.” Can’t help myself, I’m a proofreader by trade.]

  4. Love that shot. I use to go there as a kid growing up in chinatown. Always got virginia ham on a roll with nothing. They always gave out so much meat. This was during the mid 80’s. Looks like nothing has changed.

  5. loving your blog!

    and this looks like an awesome place to eat!

    will have to check it out when i visit nyc again.

  6. Another candidate for best f***ing diner name is the Lemon-Lime Coffee Shop, on 6th Ave. near 21st St. Unfortunately, I think they changed it. Why?!

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