We were happy we made the effort to check out Skylight Diner for lunch recently. Skylight Diner is located near the Javits Convention Center, a part of Manhattan not blessed with many food options. We went there on the later side of lunch and found the place was more than half full. Despite all the hard surfaces–particularly tile and glass–it was immediately clear that the space was comfortable. The only obvious (and annoying) noise was the restaurant phone, which rang very loudly with each take out order.
We could also hear the staff bantering with each other at the counter that runs down the middle of the space, but their banter wasn’t distracting–it was very easy to have a conversation. We assume that the drop ceiling helped to absorb or diffuse sound, as did upholstered booth seats. But the clear reason for the comfortable soundscape was the absence of music. When packed, Skylight Diner will be louder. In fact, we’ve been here (without a meter) on a very busy day–every seat was taken–and it was a lot louder, but it wasn’t awful. No music makes a significant difference.
In the end, Skylight Diner is a good old-school New York City diner–nothing fancy, old school decor, and a solid menu of diner classics. There seems to be a fairly even mix of regulars and tourists. As noted, there aren’t many good food options in the blocks that surround the Javits Center, so this is a good place to keep in mind should you find yourself in the neighborhood. We recommend it for a good burger or filling American breakfast and a conversation.
Open 24 hours a day, every day
402 W. 34th Street (very close to 9th Avenue), New York, NY 10001