Hot Dish

They’re Grrrrrreat

Why Joe’s Diner is going strong in its second decade

BY May 13, 2016


When you put a culinary school diploma-holder in charge of a retro diner, it’s carte blanche for reinventing the breakfast wheel.

Joseph DiBernardo of Joe’s Diner has been holding fort at his North Naples location and seeing crowds flock in ever since he took it over from his dad at the turn of the century (another place on Airport-Pulling Road was started by him; he sold it and the new owner kept the name).

It’s easy to see why when you take a look at the menu. French toast isn’t just French toast, but an extra-crunchy, sugary sensation with the thick-cut battered bread dipped in Frosted Flakes cereal, and the toast itself is flecked with pecans and walnuts. When I ordered it for the first time last year (and then again and again), I asked for whipped cream and strawberries. I just knew I had to put it in my annual round-up for our Best of the Gulfshore issue.

There are also Peaches and Cream crepes with warm cinnamon-spiced stone fruit inside and ample whipped cream and strawberries atop, and Joe’s Ultimate Challenge, a hulking combo of really anything savory you could possibly want for breakfast—scratch-made sausage gravy, biscuits, country potatoes, eggs, and slices of American cheese and bacon.

The coffee comes strong (now 100 percent Colombian and ground each day); if you need something stronger, he’s got Lavazza espresso drinks (an extra shot of sophistication that makes sense at this better-than-ever old-school spot).

He experimented with staying open for dinner last season and is going to continue the later hours year-round. So for the summer expect the daily hours to remain from early morning until 8:30 p.m. (except Sundays when it closes at 3 p.m.), and although breakfast is served all day long, by midday it’s rounded out with burgers, melts, roasts and more.

Crunchy French Toast

Joe's Ultimate Challenge


To plan a visit:

Joe’s Diner

9331 Tamiami Trail N., Naples

(239) 254-7929


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