Junior's Restaurant386 Flatbush Avenue Extension Brooklyn, NY 11201
Plopped on a far corner of busy Flatbush Ave., Junior’s is as renowned for its world-famous cheesecake as it is for its mere survival. The loud red and orange façade–as well as the restaurant behind it–have remained largely unchanged since Junior’s opening day in 1950–and that’s just the way the patrons (a mix of BAM movie-goers, office drones from the Verizon building across the street, and Brooklyn nostalgia-hounds) like it. But for the most part, a trip to Junior’s is simply nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake. The food–classic New York deli, stick-to-your-ribs fare like matzo ball soup and giant 10-ounce burgers and fries–is perfectly passable, but certainly nothing special. Where Junior’s has the competition beat is attitude. That “We were here then, we’re here now, and we’re not going anywhere soon” swagger is what keeps the tourists and locals coming back for more. Oh, and there’s the cheesecake. — Amelie Gillette
Brooklyn’s landmark diner opened in 1950, and was restored after nearly being destroyed by a fire in 1981. It remains family-run.