Few People Know That Rhode Island Is The Birthplace Of The American Diner
Going to a diner feels like a quintessential American pastime. There’s just something both nostalgic and comforting about enjoying a plate piled high with pancakes (complete with strong coffee) or a tasty burger and shake at all hours of the night. And if you feel like our Rhode Island diners seem a bit better than most, you’re not mistaken. In fact, most people don’t know this, but the concept of the American diner got its start right here in the Ocean State.
It all started in Providence back in 1872.
That year, a Rhode Islander named Walter Scott got the idea to open a horse-drawn, portable restaurant. In other news, he sort of invented the food truck about a century ahead of his time.
Walter Scott started serving food from his horse-pulled wagon to employees of the Providence Journal.
The concept of these walk-up lunch wagons really took off, with more opening Massachusetts and other states.
In 1893, a man named Charles Palmer got a patent for the first brick-and-mortar diner after experimenting with late night versions of lunch wagons.
That was the beginning of late night and 24 hour diners, which we all know and love today.
Diners are popular for many reasons -- but in the end, as with all restaurants, it's the food that matters most.
Diners are best known for their all-American menus, especially breakfasts and burgers. Much of the food is grilled, as early diners were always based around a grill.
Another reason that diners are so popular: they're typically small mom-and-pop businesses, which people love to support.
Rhode Island has Jigger's Hill. Blue Plate Diner, Seaplane Diner, and so many more.
These days, the closest thing Rhode Island has to offer to its original diner is the beloved Haven Bros. in Providence.
It has a carry-out window and a menu full of classic comfort food.
The next time you’re craving a hearty diner meal and you slide into a shiny booth and smell the freshly brewed coffee, you can smile knowing you live in the state that started it all.
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12 Dorrance St, Providence, RI 02903, USA
Blue Plate Diner, 665 W Main Rd, Middletown, RI 02842, USA
Jigger's Diner, 145 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818, USA