We walked into this tiny triangle-shaped slice of heaven with the late morning sun streaming into the diner from all directions.
Parks & Rec is one of the most beautifully designed places in the city, straddling the line between quirky and classic with ease. They’ve got Oreo shaped bar stools, a giant painting on driftwood of an antique postcard, and checker board tabletops that seem to have been taken right from a city park.
Not everything is old school though – there are power outlets and speedy internet abound if you want to power through some work with your cup of joe.
We sat down and asked for a jug of checkers to play while we waited for our food – you didn’t think those tabletops were just for aesthetics did you?
Shirt : J Crew Indigo Collection (he swears by these!)
Their menu pulls inspiration from the best diner dishes around the country. I’ve heard New York natives rave about their lox bagels, and their gooey country-style cinnamon buns are to die for.
This time around, the mister got The Standard – two eggs, crispy bacon, two slices of house-baked toast, seasonal homemade preserves, and a strong mug of coffee.
So good he couldn’t even wait for me to take pictures before digging in!
I got the Cajun Shrimp & Grits, wonderfully creamy and lightly spicy -the perfect meal to warm your soul this coming winter!
The coffee here is also top-notch with bottomless refills, and the staff somehow magically knows to pour you a top-up just as your mug is getting cold or dry.
If you’re looking for something a little stronger than caffeine, they’ve also got a fantastic little bar. My favourite is the House Bloody Mary, a fiery combination of habaneros and Jäger that comes with a beer on the side to wash it down with.
Another awesome thing about Park & Rec is that all they source almost all of their ingredients locally – including seventeen of the best producers in the metro area.
Parks & Rec also passes the Doughnut Test with flying colours, which my dad taught me when I was younger and goes something like “any diner with a cop having morning coffee and doughnuts in it is a good one.” Go in any morning, and you’ll see at least five.
They get pretty busy so go early or you might end having to queue up for a seat. But even if you do, trust me, it’s totally worth it.