The Diners of Trumbull County

Presidents Day Visit to the Chat-n-Chew Diner in Warren

I love a good diner: the kind of place where you can get a made-to-order burger or grilled cheese sandwich, served with a big pile of french-fries — and maybe a slice of pie for dessert. The good old American diner seems to be a dying breed. Except in Ohio’s Trumbull County. I’ve recently been exploring the county’s natural spaces, just east of Portage County, on another one of my hiking quests — and more often than not, when I’ve finished a hike and started looking for someplace to restock on calories that have been spent, I’ve been finding diner after diner after diner. And they’re amazing!

Raptis Diner

Here are some of the hallmarks of the great American diner, generally. Or the great Trumbull County diner, specifically:

  • Vinyl seating
  • Formica tabletops
  • A lunch counter near the kitchen
  • Rectangular paper placemats with an amber-colored geometric pattern around the edge
  • A blackboard or whiteboard listing the daily specials
  • A tri-fold menu listing various options for breakfast (often served all day) and/or lunch
  • A television mounted to the wall near the lunch counter, playing Spectrum 1 local news
  • Waitresses who often call customers, “Hon”
Special Thing to the Chat-n-Chew Diner in Trumbull County

I really don’t know why diners like these are so abundant in Trumbull County, while being so hard to find in other parts of Ohio. But I’ve been loving the opportunity to experience these gems. Here are a few of the places that I’ve found in Trumbull County:

That’s not even an exhaustive list! But honestly, any of these places would be a good place to get the Trumbull County diner experience.

Special Thing to the Chat-n-Chew Diner in Trumbull County

Looking back, I can recognize that my kids and I actually stumbled across the Trumbull County diner scene way back in 2020, right before the COVID-19 Pandemic shut down the world more generally, and the Short Stop Diner specifically. I kind of assumed that the quaint old diner in Center of the World, Ohio, was the last of its kind. And I mourned the loss.

Korner Restaurant

But it’s been a joy to discover that diner culture is still alive and well in Trumbull County, and in the Mahoning Valley more generally. There are a few classic diners in Mahoning County, too, though they were overshadowed by that county’s fantastic Hot Dog Culture. It’s a special cultural treasure that I hope others will get to experience for years to come, too.

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