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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

North Carolina's Best Diner

Posted August 20, 2008 7:24 a.m. EDT

What is North Carolina’s best diner? Ponder that culinary question as we continue our Best of Carolina series. Randy Cotten of Cary suggested this topic. Here’s what he had to say:

“I am drawn to the historic diners of the Northeast. Many of these great eating places are being featured in the current series on the Food Network, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives". Unfortunately, N.C. is not a diner mecca. However, many great cafes do exist here. You know, the type where you can get breakfast 24/7, homemade desserts, great vegetables and wonderful, sincere service. Yes, I know the Triangle has places labeled as diners, but they have a menu that is very basic, almost fast-foodish and with no real love applied or selection that makes them stand out.   While I love cuisine from speciality restaurants, I can always count on the family atmosphere and comfort food awaiting in a "how are you today honey" diner. And, don't we all need a bit of that at times? So, where are they in N.C.?"

Great question, Randy. Thanks. What are the best diners in North Carolina?  What diners or cafes serve an outstanding and wide range of food with casual atmosphere, reasonable prices and extended hours?

We’ll take your nominations today and vote tomorrow.   By the way, pass the lemon pie, would ya.