One of the last places you can get a cheap and greasy meal in Greenwich Village, La Bonbonniere is a loveable dump that's been there for years (how many?)--and it's still going strong.
A regular describes it aptly on Yelp: "Blue linoleum flooring, ripped bar stools, wobbly tables, tin walls (knock on 'em), newspaper & magazine clippings taped up, a griddle that appears to have outlasted the energizer bunny, dripping a/c units perched above the entrance (bring your umbrella in the summer), and the most precarious staircase leading to the dungeon bathroom (with sign that reads 'Not responsible if you fall down')."
Tucked onto a quiet stretch of 8th Ave., at Jane St., Bonbonniere feels like a well-kept secret. But that's far from the truth. The walls are covered with photographs of the diner's famous fans: Ethan Hawke, Molly Shannon, James Gandolfini.
Serious Eats likes their unpretentious double-cheese burger. And they've even made it onto Vogue's radar.
Still, any time I've gone for lunch, I've never waited in line. The people I've seen in there are reading the paper or a magazine or just staring out the window, not feverishly texting or shouting into cell phones. It's still a Village place--in a time when Village places are fast disappearing. And any fame La Bonbonniere has received has not gone to its head.