Review of 'Ellen's Stardust Diner'

This diner sort of sets you aback if you are not sure what to expect. The flashy neon lights becon you in but you might not expect the servers to break out in song every few minutes (technically, about 12 songs are sung an hour), often show tunes. Often they will continue serving while they are singing or jump up onto a walkway between seating areas on the ground floor. Most of the servers are Broadway actors that are between theatre appearances or are just getting started in the business. Periodically a bucket is passed around for diners to put donations in to pay for theatre classes for the staff.


This is all fine and dandy, but it IS a diner and it DOES server food, so what is the food like? We visited for breakfast and were one of those not expecting the “singing servers” but took it in our stride. The seating is a bit cramped, as you might imagine, on the ground level but there is a balcony area up top so good views of the singing action no matter where you are seated. We were put near the kitchen area at bar-style seating which was very tight indeed with staff frequently passing very close behind us.


The breakfast menu is quite basic divided into “Griddle Delights”, “Breakfast Blues”, “Egg-citing Omelettes”, “Bakery”, “Bowls” (cereals and fruit) and “Kids” with numerous drinking sections: “Rise & Shine” (cocktails), “Breakfast Bubbles” (more alcohol), “Drinks”, “Hot Beverages”, “Cocktails” ($17 each), “Sangria”, “Frozen” (frozen cocktails), “Tin Can Alley” (ice cream shakes), “Parlor Classics” and “Signature Shakes”. Most of the dishes came, unusually, with “tater tots” (a guilty pleasure of mine: small nuggets of deep fried potatoes).

Short Stack

My companion had the “Short Stack” (“(2) pancakes or (2) waffles topped with (1) egg and choice of ham, bacon or sausage”; $18) which I had with ham and a sunny-side up egg. The pancakes were wonderful and fluffy, delicious with the provided syrup. A side of fresh “joe” (“coffee”; $4.50) completed the typical American breakfast.

I had the “Morning Glory” (“house made corned beef hash, served with two (2) eggs any style”; $18.50) which was absolutely wonderful – deliciously tender corned beef and perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs on top melting into the meat (and I really enjoyed my tater tots, thank you). A side of fresh orange juice ($4.95) completed another typical American breakfast.

They are keen to add tips to the menu here so with 20% added to our bill taking it to just below $60 which seems a bit steep for breakfast. Yes, the tips are optional but you certainly feel that after eating and a show you should probably give them a bit more though this is a bit much when you are then asked to also donate to their education fund.

The place was extremely busy and crowded with the staff running around everywhere. Despite this we did find our seating area was a bit dirty (sticky table, for example) though this is likely an exception rather than a rule as they seemed to be very good at cleaning up after people left to make room for the next punter.

The singing was good and a lot of fun with the audience either ignoring the singer or joining in. If you are not into this sort of experience it is probably not a place for you to visit (for a non-singing and amazing breakfast try nearby Junior's) but we found it a good lot of fun, though a bit expensive with the staff friendly and efficient.

You might want to watch out for the occasional confetti canon…


Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-02-27

Cuisine: American/British

Address: 1650 Broadway, New York, New York, 10019 United States

Public Transport: NYCSUB 50 Street

Location: New York (USA) - Manhatten



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Telephone: +1 (212) 956-5151