Roadside America

All-American Diner Tour: Mother’s Cupboard in Syracuse, New York

Located on State Route 290 (James Street) near a cemetery and railroad tracks in northeastern Syracuse, New York, Mother’s Cupboard is a greasy spoon serving up giant frittatas and pancakes in the morning and fried fish in the early afternoon.

Think sizzling bacon, fried fish, fried frittatas, french toast and pancakes covered in bacon grease, a chef sweating over a hot grill in front of you while you eat, and you have Mother’s Cupboard in a nutshell. The diner/red shack is famous for appearing on an episode of Travel Channel’s Man vs Food in 2010. If you can finish a full-plate frittata (6-lbs. of eggs, sausage, pepperoni and hash browns), you win a t-shirt and get your photo on the wall.

This diner has a simple and affordable menu, with some interesting surprises. Have you ever wanted to eat outside the box and try peppers and eggs, pepperoni and eggs, or even broccoli and eggs? Now you can, for less than $5. Or just chow down on a full pound of home fries with or without onions for $2.25. That’s a heart attack waiting to happen. They offer 12-inch pancakes as well.

Mother’s Cupboard has a 4.6/5 average out of 122 Google reviews. Customers rave about their enormous portion sizes. In the most hilarious Yelp review I’ve ever read, Zoe B. writes: “Best breakfast in Syracuse. Lit this place beats any diner within like 38,488,284 miles… O.M.G. Their frittata is like famous it was featured on food network. They have three sizes… GET THE QUARTER. Don’t be like ‘nah, I got this I am a manly man and can eat ALL THE BREAKFAST.’ Sit your ego down. Plz. Get the quarter. You’ll be so full.”

It’s hard to find negative reviews of this place but a few complain of long wait lines, cramped spaces, and a less-than-pristine environment. These are all valid complaints in my experience, but long wait times can also reflect positively on a diner because there are so many people clamoring to get in. During peak times, it’s not unusual to stand outside for 15 to 20 minutes. There is one picnic bench, but otherwise you’re on your own.

Mother’s Cupboard is located at 3709 James Street in Syracuse, New York. Phone: (315) 432-0942. They are open Sunday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


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