13 CT diners open for late-night (or all-night) eats

Photo of Leeanne Griffin

Denny's presence may be shrinking in Connecticut, but the state is full of locally-owned diners, serving up generous portions of comfort food, plenty of hot coffee and typically breakfast all day. Whether you're looking for a three-egg omelet, a giant cheeseburger deluxe or housemade desserts, these spots offer it all.

A handful of these diners are open 24 hours, seven days a week. All of them are open until midnight or later on weekends. 

Blue Colony Diner
Newtown

Blue Colony Diner in Newtown is one of many classic diners in the region.

Blue Colony Diner in Newtown is one of many classic diners in the region.

Contributed Photo / Contributed Photo

The 24-hour spot off I-84's Exit 10 “offers everything you expect in a classic diner — an Art Deco, silver-plated exterior, plush, cushy booths inside and a menu that features a wide variety of solid breakfast, lunch and dinner options,” Connecticut Magazine’s Erik Ofgang wrote in 2017. Ofgang noted that Blue Colony’s challah bread is a “must try,” and powers the diner’s popular French toast dishes. Blue Colony also offers beer, wine and cocktails. 

66 Church Hill Road, 203-426-0745, @bluecolonydiner_.

 

 

Elmer's Diner
Danbury

Elmer's Diner in Danbury, pictured in a 2020 file photo.

Elmer's Diner in Danbury, pictured in a 2020 file photo.

H John Voorhees III/Hearst Connecticut Media

Elmer's, a popular 24-hour diner, features a giant menu with options for each meal: omelettes, Benedicts, pancakes, French toast and Belgian waffles for breakfast; sandwiches, burgers, salads and subs for lunch and a full lineup of dinners, including Tex-Mex, Greek, Italian and Spanish cuisine. The website notes that all baking is done on site, with treats like cakes, pies, cheesecake and baklava.

Notoriously, Bravo star Teresa Giudice of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stopped at Elmer's for a meal in January 2015 before surrendering at the Federal Correction Institute, less than three miles from the diner. The TV personality served 11 months of her 15-month sentence there for bankruptcy fraud. 

22 Padnaram Road, 203-731-2559, elmersdiner.com.

 

Cody's Diner
New Haven

Stephen Papp, left, of West Haven, has lunch at Cody's Diner in New Haven in this Hearst Connecticut file photo

Stephen Papp, left, of West Haven, has lunch at Cody's Diner in New Haven in this Hearst Connecticut file photo

Hearst CT file photo

Cody's, a Water Street institution, "is a great example of what a greasy spoon diner can be, and the social role it can play," Ofgang wrote in 2017. "At any hour of the day or night — all 24 of them — expect Cody’s to be full of all types of people, from all walks of life. The night crowd at Cody’s is a snapshot of a city: ambulance workers, punks, ministers in their Sunday best."

Cody's menu offers hearty breakfast plate and classic diner indulgences like gravy-covered disco fries, hot open-faced sandwiches and a variety of cheeseburgers.

95 Water St., 203-562-0044, 

Twin Pines Restaurant Diner
East Haven

Twin Pines Diner's famous chocolate lemon pie.

Twin Pines Diner's famous chocolate lemon pie.

New Haven Register file photo

At Twin Pines, "where the food is good and the price is right," the enormous menu offers just about everything: egg dishes, Texas and challah French toast and pancakes for breakfast and savory options like club sandwiches, stir-fries and Greek specialties like moussaka and pastitsio. More upscale entrees include steaks, chops, prime rib and broiled and fried seafood dinners.

Twin Pines is open for dine-in until midnight, and offers takeout only from 12 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. 

34 Main St., 203-468-6887, twinpinesdiner.net.

 

Vernon Diner
Vernon

Vernon is one of the communities that recently lost a Denny's, but the town is well-served by Vernon Diner, with an expansive menu offering "almost anything you could possibly think of — house-made soups, gourmet salads, wraps, paninis, roasts, chops, steaks and seafood," Ofgang wrote.

One of the diner's biggest draws is its in-house bakery, where sweets like strawberry cheesecake, chocolate layer fudge cake and fruit pies are available by the slice (or as whole desserts for takeout.) Vernon Diner also has a full bar.

Of note: Vernon Diner has previously operated on a 24-hour schedule, but is now open until 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

453 Hartford Turnpike, 860-875-8812, facebook.com/vernondinerCT.

 

Andros Diner
Fairfield

The 24-hour Andros Diner offers plenty of classic diner fare with some modern twists, like chicken and waffles and Nutella banana French toast. Dinners include Italian and Greek specialties, steaks and chops, seafood plates, entrees and roasts and even fajitas. Pies, cakes, and pastries are baked daily on the premises.

 651 Villa Ave., 203-384-8176, @androsdinerfairfield.

Athenian Diner II and III
Middletown and Milford

Athenian Diner’s version of the turkey club
Athenian Diner’s version of the turkey club
Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

Reviewer Jane Stern featured Athenian's Milford location in 2018, singing the praises of Greek diners.

"I can’t think of a single one I don’t like," she wrote. "The food varies place to place, but the ebullient spirit is always the same. Greek diners have huge menus, offering the customer everything from homemade blintzes to prime rib."

Both locations are open 7 a.m. to midnight.

Athenian Diner II, 864 Washington St., Middletown, 860-346-2272, atheniandiners.com/middletown.

Athenian Diner III, 1064 Boston Post Road, Milford, 203-878-5680, atheniandiners.com/milford.

 

Acropolis Diner
Hamden

Open since 1974, the Acropolis Diner in Hamden offers a classic Greek diner lineup: hearty breakfasts (including Greek French toast with tsoureki bread), an extensive menu of salads and sandwiches for lunch, and dinner entrees featuring everything from Yankee pot roast to a fried fisherman's platter. "Greek delights" include moussaka, gyros, souvlaki and spanakopita.

Open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. 1864 Dixwell Ave., 203-288-0400, acropolisdinerct.com.

 

Elm Diner
West Haven

 Ahmet Kangal, left, of the Elm Diner at 111 Elm St. in West Haven. He's joined in the photo by Manager Sophie Moisiadis, second from left, and waitresses Patty DelVecchio and Nina Simmons.

 Ahmet Kangal, left, of the Elm Diner at 111 Elm St. in West Haven. He's joined in the photo by Manager Sophie Moisiadis, second from left, and waitresses Patty DelVecchio and Nina Simmons.

Mark Zaretsky / Hearst Connecticut Media

Traditional diner fare with omelettes, Benedicts, breakfast quesadillas, stacks of pancakes and French toast, burgers, pastas, honey-dipped fried chicken, and cakes, pies and milkshakes for a sweet end to the meal. 

Open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. 111 Elm St., 203-933-9966, elmdinerwesthaven.com.

 

Post Road Diner
Norwalk

The gleaming Post Road Diner on Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk offers a full page of breakfast choices served all day.

The gleaming Post Road Diner on Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk offers a full page of breakfast choices served all day.

Frank Whitman / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Post Road Diner, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021, features a full slate of breakfast favorites, "fancy sandwiches" including a Cuban, diner classic entrees like meat loaf and chicken cordon bleu, and even an extensive pizza menu, available as 10 or 16-inch pies.

Open daily until 2 a.m. 312 Connecticut Ave., 203-866-9777, facebook.com/Postroaddiner.

 

Glory Days Diner
Greenwich

Glory Days Diner in Greenwich is one of the man classic diners in the region.
Glory Days Diner in Greenwich is one of the man classic diners in the region.
David Ames

Glory Days' all-day menu features classic diner fare with twists, like Montreal-style poutine, baked mac and cheese with spicy cauliflower bites and a chorizo hash Benedict bowl. The diner was a favorite of late TV host Regis Philbin, who called Greenwich home for many years.

Open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

69 East Putnam Ave., 203-661-9067, glorydaysdiner.com.

 

Athena II
North Haven

Athena II promises "classic diner fare, international dishes and Greek specialties," and its extensive menu offers plenty of variety at each meal, with Italian and Greek-inspired entrees, steaks, chops, seafood and "all time favorites" like open-faced hot sandwiches, baked ham, roast turkey and southern fried chicken.

Open on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and until midnight Friday and Saturday. 320 Washington Ave #1306, 203-239-0663, athena2diner.com.

 

Olympia Diner
Newington

"If there was an entry for 'American Diner' in the encyclopedia, you might see a picture of the Olympia Diner on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington — such is the iconic nature of this Connecticut institution," Ofgang wrote in 2017. "Known to locals as the 'OD,' the diner claims to be the 'longest stainless steel diner in the country'...The Olympia was first located in Massachusetts before relocating to the Turnpike in 1954."

Olympia serves breakfast anytime, with omelettes, Benedicts, pancakes, French toast and breakfast sandwiches, along with sandwiches and platters, Greek dishes like kabobs, gyros and moussaka; Italian pastas and parmigianas and traditional hearty plates like baked meatloaf, fried chicken and roast turkey with stuffing.

Open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. 

3413 Berlin Turnpike, 860-666-9948, olympiadiner.net.