Lou Mitchell's is a gosh darn American diner institution. And we mean that literally - this place is on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to its iconic status as the "first" restaurant on old Route 66. Opened in 1923, Lou's was set on serving both locals and weary travelers setting out on the road, and it's the little things that make it so well-known. Little things like passing out donut holes to everyone who walks in, plus a small box of Milk Duds for women and kids. Sorry, men. You don't get any Milk Duds. It's all part of an old tradition that dates back to Greeks offering something sweet to welcome people into their home.
But Lou Mitchell's is more than history. It's basically the diner version of Cheers. Even if you aren't a regular, you can expect to be referred to as hun, darling, or sweetie all the time. You can always post up at the counter by yourself, or come with friends and possibly get seated at communal tables. You're all travelers on Route 66. Or something.
As for the food, you'll get the typical large diner menu. The usual staples - pancakes, waffles, fluffy omelets, and benedicts are all solid, and our favorite is a "hobo skillet," which is an omelet mixed with hash browns inside.
But even better are the fresh baked breads and pastries that really kick Lou Mitchell's up a notch. The Greek and raisin toast are delicious, and a slice of the homemade special pie of the day is also a good life decision.
No place like the beginning of the Mother Road to grab yourself a meal.
Freshly baked and it shows. The Greek toast is more dense and hearty than the side of toast you're used to. Consider opting for the raisin version, which is otherwise the same.
A classic order from a classic place.
The usual with poached eggs and real ham over an English muffin. We like.
The classic ham, peppers, and onion. Add some cheese and you're good to go. Hobo Style, with the potatoes inside, makes everything better.
We like pie. It's just a fact. Lou Mitchell's has different and homemade varieties available, and the slices are always quite large. Flavors aren't always the same, so make sure to ask what's fresh.