American Dream Diner
1933 Herr Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
submitted by “wendyvee” and “Slicks” (John)

Larry Cultrera’s Diner Hotline is one of my favorite blogs. When I saw his recent “30th Anniversary” post, which featured the American Dream Diner when it was still The Bypass Diner, I thought it would be cool to try to replicate his photo from 1980. Click here to see Larry’s post.

The American Dream is only about 6 miles from my house. These days, what used to be the Harrisburg bypass is mainly used by local traffic and I don’t find myself in that particular area of Harrisburg very often. On past occasions when I’ve attempted to visit — I kept arriving after closing time or on a Sunday morning (American Dream is only open until 2 pm Monday – Saturday; and they are closed on Sundays). So, this morning I kidnapped Slicks and we made good on visiting when the diner was actually open 🙂

Hopefully Larry won’t mind that I swiped his original image to show to you

Just like Larry’s original visit, it was grey & blustery today. I tried a few shots myself, but John took over and matched the angle of original image much better than I had.

He had breakfast, including American Dream’s signature “Rope Sausage”, and I had one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches that I’ve had in a long time (plus, about half of John’s sausage when he wasn’t looking).

The diner was near capacity while we were eating; so I didn’t take any interior photos this time (hopefully I can manage to catch it at some point when there are fewer people to annoy and I’ll show you what the inside looks like).

10 thoughts on “American Dream Diner

  1. Wow. My father and I used to have breakfast at this diner over 40 years ago. I had thought, then, it was named the “Rte 22 Diner” or just “Diner 22.”

    My father was the district manager for National Life Insurance, at their Harrisburg district, just up the road a bit on Walnut St. Saturday mornings were spent hanging around his office, as he went over his agent’s books for the previous week.

    During the summer, I’d often go to his office and just hang out all day… on those days, my father used to love a little hole in the wall place called “Martin’s” further up Walnut Street. It’s gone now, the building all boarded up.

    1. Eric – So glad that you found my post!

      I think that it’s original name was the By-Pass Diner; but I would imagine that a lot of people referred to it as the 22 Diner (or some variation on the theme).

      I loved your memory about going to the office with your father. My father worked in Harrisburg as well. He worked for the Department of Treasury and I got to hang out there a few times when I was a kid (a truly gorgeous building!). Sometimes I was allowed to go over the the State Library across the park and I thought I was such daring urban adventurer 🙂

      1. As a kid, downtown Harrisburg was a little scary – very narrow streets that were also very dark, even during the day. But on those Saturdays when Dad was going to be running a debit with an agent (collecting premiums in that agent’s assigned territory, as well as selling more policies), we’d go out to the diner for breakfast, then come back downtown where Dad would drop me at the William Penn Museum for the day.

        I loved that place.

        Remember the bridge behind the capitol, if you were heading from downtown out to, say, Colonial Park? On the downtown side, those two HUGE pillars with the eagle statues on top? How Germanic can you get? Even as a kid, I could easily picture those things festooned with the flag of WWII Germany!

        I left PA (the Lebanon area) in the summer of 1877. About five years ago, my spouse and I vacationed in Philadelphia for a week. On our second day, we visited the area in which I grew up – a small farm about 20 miles north of Lebanon. From memory, I was able to navigate the back roads from that farm to Hershey Park, then on into Harrisburg, across the State Street bridge into Shiremanstown, where we also lived for eight years… after 30 years! I didn’t know it at the time, but on our last day in Philly I discovered the previous night had been my high school graduating class’s 30th reunion… though I wouldn’t have attended, even had I known about it.

  2. Is this the dinner that is about a mile from hardley davidsons warehouse? If so can you still park semis behind it? I used to drive by there and stop for breakfast there. If it’s the one I’m thinking of hope all is well. My partner and I stopped the a few times to pick up hardleys near by. Good food nice staff, keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.