The Royal is everything you want out of a Greek diner. You want it to serve breakfast all the time. You want it to be open 24 hours. And you want the food to be plentiful, fast and delicious.
This modern Greek diner serves traditional fare along with diner favorites on plates that are piled high with hot, hearty food. For the price, you will never leave hungry. Combination breakfasts of eggs, pancakes, waffles and omelets are $4 to $9, sandwiches and wraps range from $5 to $10, and entrees run between $9 and $15.
In two visits – once for a weekday dinner and another for a weekend breakfast – the experience was superb. The staff was friendly and attentive, and the food was fast and abundant. The owner walks around checking in on tables, refilling coffee and water along the way.
Like every Greek diner in Western New York, the Royal has modernized its décor and seating, but what still remains are the blue-and-white photos of Greek beaches, ruins and a large water feature in the middle of the restaurant.
On a Thursday evening, the restaurant was about half full. My friend and I started with an appetizer of spanakopita ($5.55), presented in a spiral of phyllo dough filled with a creamy spinach and feta mix and dotted with tomatoes, olives and feta on top. It was buttery and satisfying.
My friend ordered the pork souvlaki (a rarely available meat choice for Greek restaurants) and received well-marinated, juicy pork strips atop a heaping Greek salad ($7.75).
I ordered a Greek burger, a hand-packed patty made with 100 percent ground pork and mixed with onions and spices, topped with melted feta cheese ($6.50 on its own and $7.85 with fries). Our waitress suggested I pour Greek dressing on top of the burger, but the patty was so flavorful and juicy, I didn’t need to. A warm slice of sweet baklava ($3.95) was the perfect way to end our meal.
I returned two days later for a Saturday morning breakfast and found the Royal packed but humming along efficiently. I waited less than five minutes for a table and was in and out in less than an hour, despite the steady flow of customers.
The Greek Florentine omelet ($7.75), stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, was so massive that it must have been made with four eggs. With the accompanying home fries and choice of toast, I was so full that I skipped lunch that day. The coffee was strong, hot and plentiful.
The Royal’s main competition for years has been the Olympic, another Greek diner located right across the street, but having been to both diners on multiple occasions, the Royal wins every time.
Where: 1320 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda
Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Extra: Vegetarian friendly. The Royal sells bags of their own coffee at the counter. Credit cards accepted. Takeout is available.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes