By Alison Lippincott
What better place to go for brunch on a Saturday morning than the local “greasy spoon?” In Salem, OR, that place is the Court Street Dairy Lunch. Located in the middle of historic downtown Salem, Court Street Dairy Lunch is a prime location for locals looking to enjoy a day of food, shopping, and perhaps a walk through Riverfront Park.
When you enter the little restaurant, you are greeted with classic leather booths along the walls and a wrap-around counter in the center. The walls are plastered with framed newspaper clippings of things like “The Yearling” showing at the Elsinore signed by Gregory Peck and an article about the wedding ceremony held within this little diner. Dairy Lunch has been a staple in Salem dining since 1929, when Glen Morris started the business at the beginning of the Great Depression and has been a place for good home-cooking ever since.
Because of their small kitchen, Court Street Dairy Lunch serves breakfast from 6am to 11am and lunch from 11am to 2pm when it closes for the day. With many classic American meals on their menu, most people will find something to satisfy their taste buds and fill their stomachs.
If you order coffee, you will be given a mug from their eclectic assortment that seem to have been around for years. The refills come free and often. Be prepared to drink several cups of good coffee. Prices average at seven or eight dollars for a meal, but the portion size is worth at least ten.
The employees are very personable and prompt in their service. The customer feels like a part of the family while he or she waits for their food. At the end of the meal on a slow morning, the cook might even come greet you and ask how the meal was or take your plates. As a customer, you are treated with courtesy and friendship.
Overall, I would recommend this hometown favorite to any family looking for a good breakfast or lunch. While their menu is not huge, it does have American classics that anyone could enjoy. The Court Street Dairy Lunch is a place where old friends remember the “good ol’ times” over a cup of joe and new comers get a taste of the Salem most people have forgotten.