Have you ever been in Manhattan for the day and wanted an inexpensive meal without having to go to some lame fast food place? Well then look no further then Ellen’s Stardust Diner, located on Broadway and West 51st Street.
The moment you walk into Ellen’s Stardust Diner, you feel like you are taking a step back in time. This unique eatery is designed to make the customers feel like they are dining in the 1950s. At the center of the diner is a huge drive-thru theater screen and other smaller television sets that showcase videos and musicals from the 50s. Also, the old-fashioned booths where you are seated to eat add to the “Back to the Future” effect. There is even an indoor model train, which the diner boasts as the largest in New York City, that circles the upper-level of the diner while you eat. However, you might not notice it because of all the neat decorations from that era on the wall. For example, one of the walls features a section called “Miss Subways,” which are pictures of beauty queens from the 50s.
With all of these creative and entertaining distractions, there is one thing that outshines all of these other diversions from your meal. What can it be? None other than a singing wait staff. That’s right, your waiters will eventually sing some time during your meal. But don’t make the common mistake of thinking that they are going to sing your order to you. There is a karaoke machine set up behind the bar and the waiters and waitresses sing to tunes from the 1950s. If you are lucky, you might catch a waiter named Joey that looks like a much skinner version of Carson Daly. He actually climbs on booth dividers and walks across it. No matter who your waiter is, there is a pretty good chance that you will be entertained during your meal. Why? The restaurant pays for the waiters’ singing lessons- a bucket is passed around for tips.
Regardless of the big movie screen or the singing staff, the important thing when going to a diner is the food. While Ellen’s is a great choice for saving a couple dollars, I recommend just going to McDonald’s.
But you definitely get your money’s worth at Ellen’s and no one can beat its great desserts.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a “must-go” while in the city. It offers a great place to just sit, hang out and be entertained. Since Ellen’s is such a great theme, it is quite popular; you may have to wait a few minutes for a table or your table might be squeezed in a corner to make extra space. However, if you try to avoid times that coincide with Broadway shows getting out, you’ll probably have a better time at the diner. Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a great New York City attraction that must be visited at least once.
Phone (212) 956-5151
HoursMon.-Sat. 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.Sun. 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
How to get thereTake the Q46 to the E& take the E to 50th