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Down Home Diner - 17 Reviews - 51 N 12TH St, Philadelphia, PA - Southern Restaurants Reviews - Phone (215) 627-1955

Down Home Diner

51 N 12TH St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 627-1955
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I came to philadelphia on a business trip dec 3, staying at the marriot i enquried where i could get breakfast i was pointed in the direction of the down home diner i was greated...


You could go home and cook dinner in the time it takes you to get served. The cook is very good but some of the waitstaff just aren't capable of delivery. I made the mistake ...

Editorial review from Citysearch 7/4/2013

I had breakfast there and was very disappointed. I had the corned beef hash. As a chef and breakfast person i don,t always expect the meals to be something one would expect to see on diners, drive in,s, and dives but if i had to chose which of the three D,s to title this establishment it would certainly be a dive and not because the breakfast was wonderful. When my food arrived the presentation looked like the cook just threw the product on the plate without any thought to it,s appearance. The hash had the taste and texture of ground sausage tossed with potatoes and fried with the eggs on top to conceal the over cooked portion (slightly burnt) of the product. The plate was also presented with a fresh mixed fruit salad which was probably the best part of the meal. I really like the triple D,s tv show and i think if the cook at down home would check out some of the episodes to get some ideas and work them into the menu down home might be the spot to take top honors in the city at least for the best breakfast in town. more

Literally THE worst breakfast EVER! 7/20/2009

Went to this place for breakfast on a Sunday morning with a friend and my son. I have never had a worse breakfast in my life. The scrapple looked like it had been sitting out for 2 was hard, cool, and disgusting. My friends eggs were so uncooked and runny that the whites were clear rather than was gross to even look at. We could not figure out what was in the corned beef has but we are certain it was not corned beef. The bacon was so greasy and soggy that even my son who LOVES bacon would not eat more than one piece. And that is really saying something. We were all so hungry that morning that we would have eaten just about anything but the 'food' we were served was so inedible that we all 3 just ended up sharing my sons french toast and my homefries since they were the only edible food on our plates. I WOULD NEVER EAT AT THIS PLACE AGAIN. Pros: absolutely none Cons: everything was disgusting more

Stay Home Diner 2/8/2009

This place is a disgusting, filthy heckhole. Where's the H department when you need 'em? We'd heard nothing but great things about this place and checked it out on a Thursday around 7:15. They told us they normally close at 7 but had decided to stay open later. Why we'll never know. The dining room was FILTHY, trash and food strewn all over the floors, greasy tables, dirty dishes all over the place. It looked like a bomb had gone off, and there were CREATURES, big fat healthy little mammals (can't use the M or V word on here) running around in plain view in the corner. Still we rationalized - old building, bound to be some running around. We ordered the fried egg burger and a grilled cheese with ham. They told us all the buns were gone so they were serving everything on challah bread. No problem, sounded good. Our food finally comes and they're on thin-sliced white bread (they didn't bother checking with us first to see if we wanted something else). Ever try to eat a burger on thin sliced white bread? Also no cheese on the fries (they ran out of that too and didn't bother checking with us), and the fries were greasy, bland like cheapo ones right out of the freezer bag. We could have made a better meal at home. It's like everything was being made by a kid, a very filthy kid. The ham on my girlfriend's sandwich was RONCID (can't use this word here either), inedible. She ate a few bites and skipped the rest. Still she was sick and orally evacuating (can't use the V word) for the next 2 days. Can't prove the food badness (can't use the p word) came from here but it's a very likely candidate. We won't be back. AVOID THIS PLACE LIKE THE BUBONIC PLAGUE. Shame on you, McDavid. Pros: great location Cons: awful food more

outstanding food and service 1/14/2009

I came to philadelphia on a business trip dec 3, staying at the marriot i enquried where i could get breakfast i was pointed in the direction of the down home diner i was greated by a irish/english lady who also turned out to be my waitress the food and service was both outstanding. After returning home i noticed i has somehow lost $450.00. A few weeks later a letter arrived at my door, i must have droped it in the resturant, my only form of id was a blockbuster card but the waitress went out of her way to contact them and get my address to return my stuff. I will always be ever so thankful. These are the type of people that serve you at the down home diner. There are still good people around. I would without a second thought recomend the diner how can you go wrong with these kind of people looking after you and the outstanding food.(cornbeef hash w eggs) My best breakfast ever. more

Best Place to have breakfast in Philadelphia! 8/18/2008

I live in Wilmington Delaware, we take the train once a month into Philadelphia. The first place we stop in to have breakfast is the DOWN HOME DINER. Yes, the lines are long at times, but they go fdown pretty fast, it's worth the wait. The food is so fresh, and the wait staff are wonderful, very friendly! I recommend the Down Home Diner. more

That many people can't be wrong 7/25/2008

Only negative...LONG LINES. So many people try to eat here every saturday and sunday morning that you'll have to wait in line. This Philadelphia Breakfast institution deserves the reputation. BEST BACON EVER! I'm not sure the other reviewers ate at the same restaurant. We came for a convention, had breakfast the first day and ate there for the next five days. Try the Country Eggs Benedict. Poached eggs on a biscuit with Sausage Gravy. Out of this world!!! BEST BREAKFAST IN PHILLY...HANDS DOWN!! Pros: AMAZING COUNTRY STYLE COMFORT FOOD Cons: Too popular, long line. more

Worst Breakfast Ever 3/31/2008

My wife and I ?ate? at Down Home Diner and it was terrible. The food was so bad that both of our plates were inedible. Actually we concluded that this was the worst breakfast we have ever had. This is a real accomplishment considering breakfast is the one meal that is almost impossible to ruin. The food here was so bad that we went to McDonald?s two blocks away and had a hot Egg McMuffin and crispy hash browns for the cost of one plate. We were so disgusted and disappointed that I was actually compelled to write this. \r \r First, my wife had the low carb plate. She is not a foodie, and has never been this disappointed by food. Ever. Her eggs were cold and runny while the bacon was rubbery and lacked any heat. I ordered the biscuits and gravy. I can honestly say that aside of 8 years ago at Arthur Treacher?s in an airport THIS WAS THE WOST MEAL I HAVE EVER HAD. This plate consisted of one terrible ice cold biscuit, no potatoes, and they forgot toast. Actually it should have been called biscuit and gravy. The gravy was cold and nasty. And then there were the eggs. These eggs were so cold and runny to look at them repulsed me. \r \r While we partly attribute this culinary disaster to the waitress not delivering our food in a timely manner, I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND Down Home Diner to anyone at any time. Cons: Terrible food, bad service, a real waste of time and money more

Great Breakfast!! 8/5/2007

I was on vacation and I was looking for a good place to eat breakfast, and the Down Home Diner came highly recommended by a person I asked on the street. I was very happy I took his advice. I loved the food! Everything tasted fresh, including the wonderful orange juice they serve. I got the breakfast burrito with egg, cheese and spinach with a side of potatoes and it was wonderful. The restaurant is busy and you might have to wait for a table, but it's worth it!! more

Bad costumer service / Bad food 3/14/2007

I went to this restuarant this past Sunday before going to The Flower Show. The waitress was rude slamming our dishes down and rolling her eyes when we asked for juice that came with our breakfast. I ordered poached eggs and whe they came they were swimmimg in water on my plate. My boyfriend had the corned beef hash. He said it was so bad he couldn't even finish it, & he eats almost anything. Overall the food was gross and service really bad. DON""T GO! Pros: Near City attractions Cons: Food very bad more

Worst diner ever 12/10/2006

I had a friend in from out of town and we were walking through Reading terminal. I had always wanted to go to The Down home diner so we tried it. Big mistake. The indifferent server reluctantly seated us in the dirty dining area (i like a good dive but this place smelled bad). Two of us had the pulled pork and one a turkey club and soup. The pork was cold and flavorless except for the excessive vinegar taste,the soup was luke warm, and the turkey sandwich was wawa turkey and cold bacon on burnt toast. The prices were not bad but that said, it was a rip-off based on quality. My feeling is that it is an unmanaged place capitalizing on a busy location. The food is bad and the service mediocre. We won't ever be back and it was the only bad meal my buddy from out of town had in philly. Pros: location Cons: food, service, cleanliness more

Truly awful 12/3/2006

This place is exceedingly bad. I tried it again after having a bad experience about a year ago, and I wish I would have trusted my instincts and ran in the other direction. \r \r First, I looked at the menu on the wall and decided to try it again, but once we were seated and our drinks brought, we got a menu that is special for Sunday - meaning we had a very limited selection. Everyone on the menu cost $9, and you have no choice but what they offer. For example, I could've gotten pancakes, but NOTHING ELSE (no meat, no eggs, nothing). $9 is steep for pancakes, but I would've gotten them if I could've added something else (like bacon or sausage). But there's no a la carte.\r \r I wound up getting biscuits and gravy, which were mediocre, at best. The potatoes weren't great, but even still, I wish there was more than a small handfull. While I was eating, I kept smelling something bad, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Finally, when I took of bite of eggs, I figured out what it was - the eggs. They stunk and tasted awful as well. I couldn't even eat that bite, much less the rest of them. Gross.\r \r My parnter had a pulled pork sandwich, which was awful. Here's the thing: in ten years, I've never seen her hate something to the point of not eating it, or sending it back. Never. And she couldn't eat it. But they didn't want to replace it (the compromise was giving her soup that - while not very good - was edible.\r \r After we left, we went elsewhere to eat since we were still hungry.\r \r Add bad service, and it makes you wonder why this place stays open (the answer is that it's in a good location w/ lots of tourists). It's hard to screw up being a greasy spoon/ breakfast place, but they managed to do it. There's just nothing at all good about this place - run as fast as you can in the oterh direction. Pros: nothing Cons: everything more

FILTH... 8/2/2006

The place is unspeakably filthy. Watch them refill the ice buckets by the soda. I'd love to get the PA State Inspectors to check on bacteria levels in this place! We will NEVER recommend this place and will NEVER return. Pros: People say it's cheap, but you'll pay when you get sick. Cons: Everything. more

What a Waste 10/18/2005

I went to the Down Home Diner with high expectations for breakfast. I sure was disappointed--first we had to wait forever for a table. The service was so bad I felt like volunteering to help out. The food was lukewarm but would've probably tasted great if it had been served hot. Worst of all I asked for a glass of milk and was served a warm glass of milk. Most disacouraging of all was the 39 minute time limit-to sit at a booth which would have been fine if the restaurant could've held up their end of the bargain. more

go home instead of down home 9/10/2005

we went for breakfast and wished we hadn't. the waitress handed us our menus instead of walking us to our table, even though we were two of very few people there. eggs = wet and chewy. biscuits = hockey pucks. sausage gravy = scrapple and paste. cracker barrel is much, much better. whoever put the zing back into jack's firehouse ought to tackle this place next. we won't go back. Pros: prompt seating Cons: bad food, bad service, misleading reputation more

something for everyone 1/1/2005

A McDonald's loving meat eater and a picky vegetarian walked into the Down Home Diner... and both walked out happy. Everything was top-notch: the coffee, the real maple syrup, the pancakes, and (so I hear) the sausage. My only complaint is this place is too popular for its own good- I have tried to go back a couple times, but gave up when I saw the line for a table. Pros: amazing food, varied menu more

Down and Out Diner 6/30/2004

We would have been better skipping the two meals we've had here. Greasy eggs, fatty bacon, bland cold biscuits, and crusty, hard skinned pancakes comprised the breakfast on the first visit. Our less than helpful (and dentally challenged) server did not help the situation. Lunch is not much better there, either, as evidenced by a more recent visit. Rather than enduring another whole meal there, we took out a BBQ pork sandwich. Granted the roll was nicely grilled, but the sandwich tasted of hot sauce and vinegar, so much that you could not taste the pork underneath it all. And the home fries served with it were rather bland and generic. more

Best Breakfast in Philly 5/6/2004

When I first saw the long line, I didn't want to wait. But I figured it must be worth it if so many people were standing there. The host assured me it would only be about 5 minutes, and he was right. The line moves fast. Well I've been back many times since. Best gravy, best biscuits. If you like bacon, its thick and tasty. I like the Pancakes and the turkey sausage. Lunch is great too. Try the BBQ pulled pork. Classic diner atmosphere and the jukebox plays all the time. The waitress told us that the jukebox was free so we picked a few songs. They recommended dessert and the cakes and pies were worth it. I don't know where else you can get such a good meal for so cheap. more

You never waited this long at home 10/28/2002

You could go home and cook dinner in the time it takes you to get served. The cook is very good but some of the waitstaff just aren't capable of delivery. I made the mistake of going there once. Haven't repeated it. They only ever have one waitress on and it gets busy because its the only restaurant open near the convention center hotels. Pros: Food like mom made, Good food Cons: not that cheap, no childrens menu more
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Menu for Down Home Diner

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  • In Short
    Although this diner is located inside the Reading Terminal Market, it nonetheless bears the trappings of a genuine diner, including plenty of chrome trim and waitresses who might...

  • 8/8/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon. - Sat. 7am - 7pm;Sun. 8am - 4pm
  • Payments:

  • Neighborhoods:

    Center City, Center City East