All-American Diner Tour: Blue Dolphin Diner in Apalachin, New York
The Blue Dolphin Diner, off New York State Route 17 in Apalachin, New York west of Binghamton, is a Greek-style diner with a very unique sign and a dolphin statue visible from the highway. This place is a travelers’ favorite and opened in 1989.
On my visit, I ordered blueberry pancakes and a side of their homestyle toast. The toast was great and for 95 cents, you can’t go wrong. A stack of three blueberry pancakes are $6.25. I wasn’t prepared for how large they would be and barely finished. I’d recommend ordering two unless you’re really hungry. My waitress was attentive and the food came out fast. I didn’t put on a white glove, but contrary to some reviews, I found the place clean and well-maintained.
They have a separate menu for breakfast, so I didn’t see what they served for lunch and dinner. The breakfast menu is simple, with one page covering all the classics: eggs, omelettes, French toast (on challah bread – a braided, Jewish bread eaten on the Sabbath), pancakes, and Belgian waffles. Nothing fancy here, but it’s very affordable and the portions are generous.
Blue Dolphin Diner has a 4.3/5 average out of 167 Google reviews and 3.5/5 average on Yelp. Reviews are surprisingly mediocre, which was not my experience. Google-user Scott Bigelow even went so far as to write, “If you’re in a hurry this place will do. Get something fried and avoid the bathroom.” Yelp-user Benjamin V. from Boston, MA said, “I’ve eaten at this diner a few times in my life. Now that I am older, I find the quality of food to be sub-par. Normal diner greasy spoon.”
Yelp-user Michael G. from Apalachin, NY disagreed, writing, “I’ve been coming to this place since my childhood. Even through new ownership they continue to serve delicious food at a reasonable rate. Personally I recommend the Gyros or the chicken Souvlaki. Staff is usually great, once in a while they are slow but the food is worth it. Very generous portions as well. Also great homemade soups. If your driving by and hungry, do yourself a favor and make the stop. Well worth it!!”
Most negative reviews focused on slow service and mediocre food, but I don’t know why you would go to a diner expecting a 5-star meal. Other visitors were impressed. “Very cozy diner, very spacious interior,” Google-user Raj Deb wrote. “Food is excellent – choice of fare comparable to any haute cuisine restaurant and the portions sizes need to be seen to be believed! The dessert selection is massive.”
Blue Dolphin Diner is located at 7670 New York State Route 434 outside Apalachin, New York. Phone: (607) 625-5029. They are open seven days a week 7:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Google says they open at 6 a.m.–this is incorrect according to their menu). They do accept credit cards but not American Express.