5 old-fashioned Pittsfield dinettes worth checking out
Originally Posted Friday, June 15, 2018 2:42 pm at BerkshireEagle.com
By Stephanie Gravalese, Eagle correspondent
The beauty of American diners and lunch counters is it often feels as if time has stood still. The wafting smell of eggs and bacon, the coffee is bottomless and the service quick and with a smile. Many are family-owned and have been around for decades, with a genuine mission: simple food, cooked quickly and done well.
Pittsfield has a perfect mix of diner/luncheon spots — ranging from timeless classics to retro-inspired favorites. The selection below are just some of the many places to get a good omelette or short stack in Pittsfield. Happy dining!
Open Monday- Friday 5:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday 5:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-1 p.m. 860 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield, 413-442-1875
Since 1962, Kelly's Diner has been serving short stacks, eggs over easy and corned beef along with other favorites to old and young alike. Located in the Allendale area of Pittsfield, it's the perfect stop after a shopping trip or if you are on your way out of town. While Kelly's displays their Irish-American pride — from the forest green exterior to the shamrocks on the menu — their food is all American. Keep an eye out for their sandwich boards for specials, including, of course, corned beef and cabbage. Make sure to stop by the ATM, as Kelly's Diner takes cash only. Serving breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, serving breakfast only on the weekends.
The Soda Chef
Open Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Closed Sunday, 161 North St., Pittsfield, 413-447-9401
Looking for some downtown diner eats? The Soda Chef is best described as hidden in plain sight. Located on North Street in downtown Pittsfield, it is next-door to Steven Valenti`s clothing for Men and Massive Graphics. While the downtown location has been in that spot for 40 years, the owners of the establishment have had the Soda Chef for over 70 years. The fan favorite is the Big Beef Burger that boats lb of fresh beef for a cool $4.95. The Soda Chef is another establishment that is cash only, but while your friends run out to get cash, you can take in the retro decor and get another cup of coffee. It's worth the wait.
Joanne's Elm Street Luncheonette
Open Monday-Friday 5 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday 5 a.m.-noon; Closed Sunday, 123 Elm St., Pittsfield, 413-447-9375
Joanne's Elm Street Luncheonette has been serving breakfast and lunch for more than 43 years and is a locally owned Pittsfield staple with traditional diner decor and menu, friendly staff and a commitment to good food, done well. Make sure to take a peek in the back where you'll find photos of the luncheon during its early days. Grab a chocolate milkshake ($2.95), or a slice of homemade pie ($3), and enjoy some Pittsfield history.
Open Monday-Saturday: 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sunday: 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 1245 W Housatonic St., 413-442-3567
Flo's Diner offers breakfast and lunch with breakfast served all day. The menu at Flo's not only is with filled traditional diner breakfast and lunch counter staples, but highlights local ingredients, including Berkshire Mountain Bakery. You will also find an extensive vegetarian menu, including the Macedonian Hummus Wrap with tomato, baby artichoke hearts, green leaf Mancini red roasted peppers and dressing and Grilled Fakin Bacon with cheddar, tomato and red onion on sourdough. Make sure to save room for dessert! Their homemade pies and cakes are on point.
Misty Moonlight Diner
Open, Monday, 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 565 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield, 413-499-2483, www.mistydiner.com
The Misty Moonlight Diner is the newer kid on the block on this list (1996), and is inspired by the retro age of American diner culture and has the food to match. Family-friendly with an expansive menu, it's the perfect place to take the family for a weekend brunch or a large group for casual diner-inspired eats, including Fried Pickles with Ranch Dressing, Disco Fries topped with Cheddar Cheese and Gravy or the Ricky Ricardo — roast pork, baked ham, Swiss Cheesecake pickles and yellow mustard on grilled sourdough. While most of these on the list are early breakfast and lunch spots, Misty Moonlight Diner is open in the evening and offers "every item, every hour, every day."
Before you set out to check out any of these for the first time or revisit your favorites, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to wait for a table, especially on the weekend! You'll be sitting in a booth with a hot cup of Americana ... I mean coffee, before you know it.