On a recent trip to New York City with my 13-year-old daughter, I wanted to find somewhere fun to eat and I stumbled across Ellen's Stardust Diner. I can't believe I didn't know about this place before because we will definitely be returning and I would love to bring my whole family here.
Ellen's Stardust Diner: Home of the Singing Waitstaff is a place every family visiting New York City should experience. This 1950s themed diner is famous for the singing waitstaff who are amazingly talented performers. Many “Stardusters” are waiting tables and auditioning for roles on Broadway or off-Broadway.
The fun part about this cozy diner is that the waitstaff is singing and serving right around you and you feel like part of a huge party throughout your meal. We arrived around 2:00 p.m. and there was a line outside but we didn't have to wait too long to be seated. Sometimes the line can wind around the block. My daughter chose the macaroni and cheese and was so enthralled with the music that she proceeded to attempt to eat her food one noodle at a time so we could stay all afternoon.
The music was loud, upbeat and fun and covered all sorts of genres and decades. Some of our favorite performances were “All About that Bass” and “One Day More” from Les Miserables. The singing waitstaff move around the room, dance on the tables, and interact with the customers as they perform and the atmosphere is lively and entertaining.
Ellen's Stardust Diner is a great place to take kids to because the diner is already so loud that noisy kids won't be a problem. There were several families dining there when we were and it was fun to watch the kids dance and sing along. I especially loved watching one waiter serenade a cute toddler who was bouncing along to the music.
The one downside of falling in love with Ellen's Stardust Diner is that food really is only mediocre and was probably overpriced. My daughter's macaroni and cheese was pretty plain (she was happy) and boring. I ordered a Philly cheesesteak sandwich and the meat was tough and the roll was crusty and hard to chew. I had read Yelp reviews that the food was pretty greasy diner fare, and I have to admit I wasn't too impressed by the food. Go for the entertainment and not the food and you won't be disappointed.
But would I return to Ellen's Stardust Diner? Absolutely. I can't quit thinking about how I would pay $100 to get a ticket to Broadway and for the cost of a meal I could enjoy some excellent singing while getting a bite to eat right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Next time I am in New York City, this will be on my must-do list.
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