Classic diners that rely on good food and great service rather than flashy decor and trendy menu items are an endangered species. In this man-eat-biscuit world, Smith Street Diner is a textbook example — a diner that’s not only surviving but thriving — and its finest hour is 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. “This is a really great diner in downtown Greensboro,” Ashley Davis says. “They quite simply have the best fresh-cooked breakfast in town.”

Except for whimsical portraits of pigs on the wall, Smith Street has a no-nonsense diner ambience, with a counter where patrons consume the morning news along with cup after cup of fresh-roasted and freshly ground Counter Culture Coffee, as well as tables and booths for the overflow crowd.

Oranges wait to be squeezed into juice in one corner, and through a cubby hole from the kitchen come heroic portions of classic diner breakfast fare — corned-beef hash, hash browns cooked with onions, pancakes, scrambled eggs with crispy bacon, and huge biscuits slathered in homemade apple butter.

On weekdays, business types meet and eat on their way to work. “On Sundays, lots of people eat there before church,” Davis says.

Smith Street Diner

438 Battleground Ave., Greensboro
(336) 379-8666

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Platter-size biscuits with homemade apple butter.

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