Vintage Lunch Spots of the Mid-Atlantic

It seems that nearly every town and city in America has at least one retro restaurant it can call home—places where generations have grown up enjoying their favorite meals, from classic hamburgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes to local delicacies. (The corn fritters from Hinkle's Pharmacy in Columbia, Pennsylvania, are this author's personal favorite.) And sometimes, it's best to get out and explore the delicious side of these historic places. Our guide to some of the coolest vintage restaurants, diners, and ice cream shops in the Mid-Atlantic from Retro Roadmap's Mod Betty will set you up for a tasty treat during your next road trip.

  1. Holsten's, Bloomfield, New Jersey.

    Photo By: Retro Roadmap/Beth Lennon

    Holsten's (Bloomfield, New Jersey)

    More than just an ice cream fountain, Holsten’s has been serving up lunch—or luncheon, according to the vintage neon sign in the window—since 1939. There's even a candy counter, in case you want to take some sweets home after your meal.

  2. Red Rabbit Drive-In, Duncannon, Pennsylvania.

    Photo By: Retro Roadmap/Beth Lennon

    The Red Rabbit Drive-In (Duncannon, Pennsylvania)

    Open seasonally since 1964, The Red Rabbit is a weekends-only road trip lunch stop for those driving alongside the Susquehanna River. This carhop is the home of the "Bunny Burger," with its seeded bun and special sauce.

  3. G&A Restaurant lunch counter, Baltimore, Maryland.

    Photo By: Retro Roadmap/Beth Lennon

    G&A Restaurant (Baltimore)

    The G&A has been open in the same location in Baltimore since 1927, and it's still family owned and operated. The only place in Baltimore to get a Coney Dog (hot dog in a bun, covered in meat-based chili sauce), the G&A cooks them up right on the same grill that has been in the front window for decades.

  4. Doyles Restuarant and Diner, Paterson, New Jersey.

    Photo By: Retro Roadmap/Beth Lennon

    Doyles' Restaurant and Diner (Selbyville, Delaware)

    Located just half a mile north of the Maryland border, Doyles’ is recognized by the state of Delaware as the “oldest operating and best-preserved Silk City diner car in the state.” The shiny diner is covered with a pitched roof, but its interior is practically a step back in time.

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