When Mod B hears there’s a potential Retro Roadmap worthy place she should share with her dear readers, she does what needs to be done to suss it out for you – even if it means driving an hour past our intended destination of Chincoteague VA, with tummy a growlin. But the vintage Exmore Diner in on Virginia’s Eastern Shore was worth the detour!
OK so here’s some history – The Exmore Diner in Exmore VA is a Silk City diner – built in Paterson NJ. It arrived in Exmore VA in 1954, only to be closed from the late 50s to some time in the 1970s. Nowadays it’s open 7 days, and family owned and operated.
As you can see from the photo below the place was a hopping when we were there for our lunch, and we were lucky to get a booth. With authentic “roadfood” places few and far between on route 13 it’s quite the destination for folks heading up from or towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. But please don’t let that scare you away from stopping, the’ll find room for you.
(Click here to see the lovely vintage Pink Black and Yellow diamond shaped tilework along the counter and sidewalls, and of course I had to get a photo of the official Silk City Diner Tag for Roadsidefan Glenn Wells! It’s above the door, just below the steer horns.Steer horns? Whatevs. I love it.)
We were “starvin, Marvin!” so Retro Roadhusband ordered some clam chowder along with his club sandwich, and we were both surprised to see it arrive more like crab soup than the chowdahs we’re used to. Totally tasty though.
I could not wait to gobble down my fried oyster sandwich – since we were at the beach I knew they’d be fresh and hooey they were good! Bursting with fresh briny flavor with a nice fried crunchy coating. It seemed a sin to hide these gems in a sandwich, so I’m glad my meal arrived with its top down.
We weren’t planning on having dessert…BUT… once we saw Smith Island Cake on the menu we knew we had to split a slice.
Smith Island cake is a regional delicacy from Smith Island MD, and is the official dessert of Maryland. Typically it’s yellow cake – 8-15 very thin layers- separated with fudge icing. Ours was coconut, and a bit too chilled from the cooler for us to get the full experience of this classic. But it just made us realize we’ve got to scout it out some more. Because as you know, regional delicacies are part and parcel of what we love here at Retro Roadmap.
Those of you who dig a classic diner photo op must stop at the entrance to snap a photo of the swell neon clock - letting you know that any time is right to eat in the Exmore Diner!
Open every day ’til 8 – except for Sunday when they close at noon. And a nice modern surprise – credit cards are accepted.
4264 Main St
Exmore, VA 23350
View VA – Virginia Retro RoadMAP in a larger map