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Joe’s Diner -A true 1950s style diner in OTR

Posted by on March 12, 2013
Joes dinner cincinnati

Joe’s Diner: 50s charm and shine

More than one person has called me an old soul…  Is it any surprise I nearly jumped out of the car while still driving when I first saw Joe’s Diner?  With the sparkling stainless of a yesteryear… Joe’s Diner is classic.  We had to stop and eat.  Sure, a few of us had just gone to Madison Diner hours earlier, but when opportunity knocks you don’t run the other way.

First thoughts on Joe’s Diner

Joe’s Diner menu is about what you’d expect: burgers, fries, milkshakes, and the like.  It was a stressful event contemplating what to order.  I was not hungry by any stretch of the imagination, but I wanted the full experience while there- first world problems, for sure.  I feel gluttonous and arrogant for even mentioning this to the world.  Thankfully, my order for a cheeseburger wouldn’t be served today.  After a rowdy Bockfest crowd the previous night, Joe’s Diner was fresh out of beef.  If you don’t know what Bockfest is, repent, and check it out here.  With no burgers, we split an order of wings and added an order of funnel cake fries.  Sure, it’s not like we ordered salads here, but better than full meals to go on top of the full meals we had three hours earlier.

joes diner mason jars

The server was nice, and plenty apologetic after informing me they would not have any cow for me.  He kept our mason jar glasses full and did his job just fine.  We didn’t have the same relationship with him we sometimes enjoy at other dives- where the server feels like part of the table, but we weren’t exactly inviting him to the conversations like we often do.  I’m sure when we return to Joe’s Diner with a larger crowd we’ll see more of the staffs’ personalities.

The food at Joe’s Diner

Full stomachs or not, we were going to enjoy these wings and funnel cake fries.  The wings at Joe’s Diner had a unique sticky, gooey honey sauce on them.  I’ve never quite had wings that tasted like this, but they were the right level of sweetness and spice.  With an empty stomach, I could see our group of guys polishing off quite a few, but I’ll admit we left a few in the basket this trip.

joes diner wingsjoes diner funnel cake fries









The wings were a highlight, but the funnel cake fries disappointed.  The fried part tasted more like the fryer than any sort of dough.  The powdered sugar helped sweeten them up, but overall it felt like using fried sticks to pick up some sugar.  I won’t be ordering them again.

joes diner insideA true review of Joe’s Diner remains unfinished business

Probably the saddest thing from our trip to Joe’s Diner is we didn’t get to try more.  With milkshakes, burgers, and so much more Joe’s Diner has a menu full of the greasy spoon staples we love.  Unfortunately, by the end of our meal all we could contemplate was getting home and taking a nap.  Dives Without Wives will be back to Joe’s Diner, though, with empty stomachs very soon.  Hopefully they will have burgers available next time too.

While reading other reviews about Joe’s Diner, you see a myriad of reactions.  Aside from being out of beef, (which don’t get me wrong- is a huge deal for a DINER) I can’t complain… yet.  We’ll be sure to return to Joe’s Diner  again, try more, and report back.
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