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“My favorite diner ANYWHERE” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Billy's Downtown Diner

Billy's Downtown Diner
10 E Broad St, Bethlehem, PA 18018-5902
610-867-0105
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Ranked #28 of 316 Restaurants in Bethlehem
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch
Bethlehem, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“My favorite diner ANYWHERE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

I'm amazed by anyone that doesn't love this place. We have breakfast here at least twice a month and have NEVER had a bad meal. The staff never change and are great at what they do. Billy is often there making conversation with the locals and checking that everyone is happy.

Lunch is also great. Very good sandwiches and fries and good portions too. I'd much rather spend my money here than any chain restaurant.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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93 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    29
    10
    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
bethlehem, pa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Room for Improvement”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2009

We have been to Billy's many times, since it is only a block from our house. It is usually crowded, with a wait, because it is not very spacious, and one of the few places to get a sit-down breakfast in downtown bethlehem. Everybody is always very nice, so the problem has never been with service. It's the food that lacks any luster.

I started with a breakfast sundae. Yogurt, banana, strawberries, and frozen blueberries. Good, but expensive for what it was, at around 6$. My chocolate shake was discraceful. It was thin as milk, and borderline warm, no sign of any ice cream. At 4$+ I should have ordered just a chocolate milk. I finished with a crazy pancake special. This was WILD. A large banana, with peanut butter, choclate chips, wrapped with a pancake, topped with strawberries, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. Any kid should go NUTS over this breakfast dish. It was like a banana split for breakfast. Fun. At 5$, I was most happy with this.

My friend had a tres amigos benedict. Polenta cakes, topped with watery poached eggs, sliced deli ham, green chilies, and DROWNING in a cheesy sauce. His plate looked more like a bowl of soup than and egg dish. PERPORTIONS, instead of PORTIONS are very important sometimes, and is the culpret for spoiling this dish. I also remember having an omelet here in the past, and there was no less than a whole onion chopped up in it. He did compliment the polenta as very tasty. The home fries, which are a necessity in any good diner, have never been very good. Always under cooked, and SATURATED with grease. I know, homefries are supposed to be greasy, they are fried. But, they had an overall total yellow oil infused color to them that does not appeal to us, and not a hint of crispy brown anywhere. Although fully cooked, they showed no sign of being fried, except for all the oil.

I will go back again. The service, selection, and convenience, for me, is great. Our check was 32$+tip, so not cheap for breakfast. Unfortunatly, I go there for food, and not service, so I will be more cautious on what and how I order it next time(sauces on side, well done fries). I reccomend trying it for yourself, and just based my score on this one visit. Billy is usually there, greeting and seating customers, which is a nice touch, but I didnt see him this visit. Hopefully he was in the back, updating the staff on how to make milkshakes and homefries.

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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great food but a little...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2009

Great food but a little expensive for every day

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Philadelphia, PA
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“yummy breakfast.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2008

yummy breakfast.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haworth, New Jersey
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
“Best breakfast in Bethlehem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2008

Based on reviews we ventured into Bethlehem and found Billy's Downtown Diner at 10 East Broad Street www.billysdiner.com. (Frankly, the Courtyard Marriott charged $10.95 for a mediocre breakfast so we decided to branch out from the hotel if we were going to have to pay anyway.)

Fantastic meal! The good news, despite a rather large crowd waiting outside, we (party of 7) were seated in 10 minutes. The owner Billy is also the doorman and personally greets all guests at each table. There is no ambiance whatsoever in the decor, but the music is great - diverse and cool. The food is a little slow in delivery, but well worth the wait.

To be fair, the time spent waiting for the food was because the pklace was simply so popular it was croowed. The charming wait staff seem to be speeding around as if on rollerblades, but they are not - they just work that hard to cover all the tables and with smiling faces!

We had french toast, stuffed french toast (adorned with fresh fruits), quesadilla (there's also a lunch menu), salmon Benedict, salmon omlette, snazzy pancakes (filled with strawberries, choc chips and peanut butter), and a great specialty drink call Iced Cocoa...there was not one complaint and we really enjoyed the meal.

Truth is, we SCRAPED our plates!

Billy's is a very busy place and could use a little help with bussing - I asked the waitress to do a second wipe on our table, and the floor could use sweeping more frequently, but the bathrooms were spotlessly clean.

If you are in this area, it's well worth the trip. Under $70 for 7 including several rounds of drinks (tea, coffee, juices, soda, and...iced cocoa). Charming staff too!

Billy took the time to thank us for visiting, and we DEFINTELY will again.

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