We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“We will try again”
Review of Elmo's Diner

Elmo's Diner
Ranked #7 of 771 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: American, Diner
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“We will try again”
Reviewed June 25, 2014

Had an early dinner here. Arrived at 4:30, so no wait and very attentive service by a pleasant, knowledgable waiter. Cute, clean, homey place with crayons and coloring pages for the kids and breakfast all day.
(We saw several breakfasts served. )
Meatloaf was dry and bready. Mushroom gravy on the side was gelatinous, so I asked for the alternate tomato sauce, which was better, with a Mexican taste from chili or chipotle peppers. My mom was very pleased with her chicken and dumplings: hot, with little round drop dumplings, and a good amount of chicken.
Sides were so-so: Mac and cheese that had no cheese taste, floury-tasting sauce. Unusual molasses/bacon green beans were cooked too much, and bery sweet, but hey, this is the South! Cole slaw made from red cabbage was improved with additional vinegar and some sugar at the table. Was pretty tasteless prior. Cooked spinach was good, as was cornbread and a yeast roll. Desserts are made in-house. We tried the coconut cake: two layers of slightly dry cake, with frosting unlike any we had ever had: almost pure grease. Buttercream, we were told: not very sweet at all, no vanilla or coconut flavor. Just heavy and greasy. Toasted coconut sprinkled on top and sides. Not very good.
Service was great. We'll try again, but sandwiches might be a better choice.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Zoo_city_girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

644 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    258
    272
    88
    16
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kinston, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Did not match the hype”
Reviewed June 24, 2014

Was in Durham and a friend recommended Elmo's. We arrived for breakfast and the place was closed. It was 10am and some cars were in the lot waiting so we assumed it had to be great. Wait staff was friendly but seemed disorganized and the food was good but we just weren't overly impressed. Good little local joint though!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank J D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Menu”
Reviewed June 20, 2014

Not only did this place have an incredibly large menu, they had an incredibly great tasting menu. Our table of 6 ordered everything from pancakes to burritos to a clubhouse to a vegatarian chili. We came here after touring Duke's campus and loved it. Only complaint was our server seemed less than enthused to be working that day.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank andyarms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Finally found a good diner near Raleigh”
Reviewed June 20, 2014

I wanted to wait to write a review until we had more than one experience with Elmo's. I can now say that both times were very good. The prices are excellent. The choices were very good and the food was good as well. I like the fact that there are lots of selections on the menu. We have two people who are eating gluten free. They have options for them as well. Not a huge selection for them, but enough that they felt like they had choices. Both times I had the spaghetti with meat sauce which I thoroughly enjoyed. One person had a burger, another had a turkey burger and they said it was excellent. Someone else had a salad and said it was great too. The desserts are fabulous. Both times we had excellent service. The staff was very friendly.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AngD1968M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee, United States
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“sought after”
Reviewed June 19, 2014

We went to eat at this place Sunday for lunch; this little diner had people waiting outside. Inside is homey and pleasant; our waitress was all smiles and very patient with us. I think the food was pretty good. It was a nice experience overall.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Coleen2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Elmo's Diner? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing