Columbus has no shortage of great diners (check out my Columbus Diner Guide to see them all!), and Tommy’s Diner in Franklinton is one of the best. The family-run eatery, operated by Tommy and Kathy Pappas, has been gracing West Broad Street since 1989, and it’s the place you go for a warm welcome and hearty breakfast or lunch.
Nowadays you’ll still find Tommy, Kathy, and their son Michael running the place. Their son Louie runs Milo’s Catering. Fun fact: Milo’s started as Milo’s Deli down the street from the diner, and was named for Michael and Louie: Mi + Lo.
But Tommy’s is also the most diner-ish diner in Columbus. Pink neon lights line the walls. Posters depict Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. Old street signs dot the restaurant. Vintage Coke machines, radios, model airplanes, loads of family photos, framed articles cover every inch of vertical space. And don’t miss Tommy’s wall of photos depicting all the notable people who have stopped through.
For seating, you can grab one of the red vinyl booths or a spot at the U-shaped counter in the center.
Even the countertops echo the classic American diner.
And, of course, the breakfasts are every bit as a good as the decor!
I love their classic combos like eggs, home fries, toast, and meat – I’m especially partial to the sausage patties.
Don’t miss the eggs benedicts as well. They offer a classic benedict but will rotate through specials, too.
The country fried steak features a giant portion of crispy, tender steak topped with their sausage gravy and served with home fries and eggs cooked your way.
Omelets are a heavy feature on Tommy’s menu, too, loaded with everything from spinach and feta to western to meat lovers to gyro and feta to Greek.
The one absolute must on Tommy’s menu is the Belgian waffles. Waffles are easy to phone in, but they whip up one of the best in the city – a big, golden, crispy disc that’s lightly dusted with powdered sugar, topped with a scoop of soft butter and served with warm syrup.
It manages to hold its crispy structure when dowsed with syrup and butter.
If you’re lucky you’ll spot Tommy at the diner, often ringing up guests at the register!
Tommy’s is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For fun, you can read my old 2010 post about Tommy’s Diner.