Have you ever had that feeling when you eat somewhere that it’s going to become your “place?” You know, the kind of establishment you can see yourself eating at regularly, more than anywhere else, for the foreseeable future? That place, my place, is the 4 Aces Diner in West Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Located at 23 Bridge St., the 4 Aces Diner has been serving up delicious breakfast and lunch dishes for decades. A staple for Dartmouth students and locals alike, the 4 Aces features an original 1952 Worcester diner car at its center, with an addition built around it for extra seating and work space. The decor speaks to the 1950s classic diner vibe and the fairly extensive menu offers many quintessential New England breakfast items. This includes amazing homemade corned beef hash (that canned dog food nonsense from my childhood, begone!), delicious baked beans, an array of breakfast meats (many sourced locally), and fluffy King Arthur pancakes.
While we’re talking about breakfast foods, I’ll also give praise to the eggs Benedict, served traditionally, or often with a twist on their weekend specials menu. The 4 Aces does French toast really well too. The diner also offers fresh popovers, muffins, pie, and the pièce de résistance, a doughnut as big as your face (no kidding!), cut, grilled, and served with maple syrup and whipped cream. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a sucker for good breakfast foods.
I can’t speak as much to the lunch menu, since we typically only go for breakfast, but I’m sure it is just as delicious. The 4 Aces offers many barbecue and sandwich options that all sound good to me.
The 4 Aces Diner is my favorite place to bring visiting friends and family. Everyone is friendly and the food is great. Our guests have always asked to go back on subsequent visits. And I’m not the only one who loves the 4 Aces; Yankee Magazine recently voted it one of the “15 Best Diners in New England,” and King Arthur Flour featured the diner on their blog, Flourish, in August. The word is out about this little diner, and it shows. When you arrive after 9 on a Sunday morning and there’s a line of people out the door and down the walkway to the parking lot, you know you’ve stumbled upon something worth waiting for.
The 4 Aces Diner is my “place” in the Upper Valley. The diner is open seven days a week, until 3pm. You can keep tabs of their weekend specials by following them on their Facebook page. Get there early to beat the crowd for a table, or head straight to an empty seat at the counter. And don’t forget to order yourself a hot cup of White Mountain Gourmet Coffee (from Concord) while you’re at it!