Likin#039; Mike#039;s City Diner

by Beacon Staff • September 23, 2009

of home-cooked turkey onto a hot plate with all the accoutrements: green beans, gravy and the buttery goodness of mashed potatoes.,Hands deftly flip and fry as they churn out diner favorites. Your eyes dart back and forth as one chef slides from the waffle station to the open grill. He wipes his brow with the cuff of his long-sleeve tee and assembles the next heaping helping

of home-cooked turkey onto a hot plate with all the accoutrements: green beans, gravy and the buttery goodness of mashed potatoes. Mike's City Diner can bring out the thankful in anyone.

With a whole wall dedicated to the celebrities that have dined at Mike's City Diner, you know it's gotta be good. Located in Boston's South End, Mike's exudes a quaint 50s-style charm. Its cozy booths are embellished with checkered tablecloths, and the full-service breakfast bar overlooks the open kitchen.

Since opening almost fourteen years ago, Mike's has developed a reputation

as one of Greater Boston's greatest

diners. Mike's is a perennial "Best Breakfast" champion, raking in the South End News' Best Breakfast Award seven times and the South End News', Best Cheap Eats Award thrice, among other distinctions of deliciosity.

Priding themselves on serving heaping portions of delicious homestyle food for cheap, a meal at Mike's is an excellent way to satisfy mind, body and wallet.

In 2007, Food Network featured Mike's on Guy's Big Bite in an episode entitled "Talkin Turkey." Host Guy Fieri reviewed Mike's famous turkey dinner, sold at a reasonable $9.95. With prices like that, Thanksgiving can come early, often and away from home. Sorry, Mom.

Victoria Vigna, a waitress who has been working at the diner for close to six years, said Mike's fame is so well-known that visitors have been known to dart straight to the diner from the airport.

The spot has also been featured on MSNBC, Phantom Gourmet and The Boston Herald.

The array of food selections at Mike's can make choosing what you want daunting. They offer traditional breakfast items all day, and the lunch menu is available weekdays only from 11 a.m. until the diner closes at 3 p.m. The lunch menu includes soups, salads and sandwiches, juicy 8 oz. burgers with fries for $6.95 and a selection of full entrees, including a fried chicken dinner with two sides for $8.95.

Hailing from California, Emerson junior Tyler Wilson said he has come to enjoy Mike's cheap eats. "Their hours aren't the most convenient, but they serve really good food and it's not that expensive," the communication disorders major said.

The unique style and cheap grub gains a lot of attention, but it's Mike's human touch that keeps locals coming back for more. If you want some satisfying small talk with your scrambled eggs, simply sit at the breakfast bar. The friendly face behind the counter will talk your ear off.

Mike's attracts people from all corners

of Boston. Their booths are filled with suited professionals and college students. The diner has seen the likes of many local celebrities such as Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, players from the Red Sox and United States senators. Their Web site even boasts: "Bill Clinton loves our ham and eggs!"

Located a stone's throw from the Worcester Square stop on the Washington

Street Silver Line, anyone who considers themself a true Bostonian should head over to Mike's for a nationally-

renowned, tantalizing meal. In true diner fashion, you gotta show up early, and you gotta have some green: no reservations,

cash only. If that gives you a slight headache, the food will chase it away.