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November 15, 2018

Biddeford's Palace Diner named among country's 38 essential restaurants

Photo / Greta Rybus for Palace Diner
Photo / Greta Rybus for Palace Diner
Biddeford's Palace Diner, the popular breakfast and lunch hotspot housed in a refurbished 1920s-era train car, has just been listed on Eater's 2018 list of America's 38 Essential Restaurants. It's one of 17 newcomers to the annual eatery hall of fame, which is in its fifth edition.
Photo / Greta Rybus for Palace Diner
A typical breakfast at Palace Diner in Biddeford.
Photo / Greta Rybus for Palace Diner
You won't leave hungry after eating a sandwich like this.
Photo / Greta Rybus for Palace Diner
With only 15 seats, the Palace Diner in Biddeford may be cozy, but the atmosphere is conducive to friendly conversations.

Biddeford's Palace Diner, the popular breakfast and lunch hotspot housed in a refurbished 1920s-era train car, has newfound national glory.

It's listed on Eater's 2018 list of America's 38 Essential Restaurants — one of 17 newcomers to the annual eatery hall of fame, which is in its fifth edition.

The 15-seat diner draws a loyal crowd of locals and tourists for its hearty fare from buttermilk flapjacks and French toast to cheeseburgers and fried chicken. Breakfast and lunch are both served all day (8 a.m.-2 p.m.), and fried chicken is actually a breakfast favorite. Lighter options include granola and yogurt and tuna salad sandwiches, also available in melt form.

Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell, who met while farming at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, took over the Palace Diner in 2014.

"Eating here haunts me," writes Eater reviewer Bill Addison. "I can't find better light, lemony, buttery pancakes, or a more precisely engineered egg sandwich, and theirs is the only tuna melt I ever hunger after."

He also describes Biddeford as "sleepy but quickly burgeoning" and gives a shout-out to Rabelais as "one of the country's finest food-focused booksellers."

Addison said he put together his latest guide after 34 weeks of travel and almost 600 meals in 36 cities, and notes that each one on his 2018 list cooks American food he can't imagine missing from the dining landscape.

The Palace Diner train car was built in 1927 in Lowell, Mass., by the Pollard Company, and is one of two Pollard cars remaining in America, according to the eatery's website. The single counter can fill up quickly.

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