381 Summer St, Somerville; (617) 666-6015 This diner is in the true railroad car style, with a handsome black lacquer exterior, parked a block from Davis Square. It’s been around since 1941, with a few periods of dormancy some of which were imposed after run-ins with local officials but that too is in the past. Refurbished in the spring of 1995, the Rosebud once again serves up good ol’ diner food to throngs of customers. Get here early; there are only half a dozen booths plus a long counter, and when Mine visited in the middle of the afternoon, the place was full up.
Appetizers include such standards as clam chowder ($3.50) and nachos ($5.25), and less-common offerings like fried zucchini strips ($3.25). Sandwiches all come with cole slaw or French fries. Double-decker BLTs are $4.50, while a fried crab sandwich is $6.95. Half-pounder burgers, served with fries, start at $4 for the basic, up to $5.25 for a Blue Boy topped with bleu cheese.
Main dishes include a ten-ounce sirloin steak for just $8.95, or marinated chicken breast, a mere $4.95. But the Rosebud doesn’t stop at classic comfort foods; specialties like swordfish in balsamic vinaigrette ($8.95) or fettucini primavera ($6.95) add a nice twist. Sure, the prices may have inched up a bit since the 1940s, when a full turkey dinner was 500 but the Rosebud Diner is still affordable and fun. Open from 7 a.m. to 11 P.M. seven days a week.