Luckily, a visit from my aunt this weekend timed up perfectly with my desire to pay Lost City Diner a visit so we set off milkshakes and more on a wonderful Friday afternoon. Since we are nearing the peak of Fall's beauty, it was a treat to be able to get off campus and relish the last of mid 70s degree weather and fall foliage, both which will soon be gone with winter just around the corner.
Perfectly fitting in to the artsy area that surrounds it, Lost City Diner is authentic blast from the past. I loved how the diner is sci-fi themed with comic books and retro art scattered around.
Though I didn't ask about their main menu and did not see marked gluten-free options, I noticed that their expansive options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner are very vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, and carnivore friendly. Focused entirely on their dessert and fountain service menu, I eagerly looked the myriad of creations they could render dairy-free with the use of vegan ice cream or Silk soymilk. Shakes, smoothies, sundaes, and just plain ice cream scoops are all one the menu for the dairy-avoidant. Their soy-based ice cream is made locally in small batches and came in three flavors- chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.
Upon ordering, I decided on a plain and simple chocolate milkshake. Although I knew that the shake was safe, I made sure to double check that they use clean glasses and separate stirrers for the shake as to avoid cross contamination. I was assured that they do use two separate stirrers for the dairy and non-dairy creations.
It's easy to fall into a habit of saying that food is good... for being gluten and dairy free. I hate this line of thinking because it assumes that gluten and dairy free foods are somehow inferior to their gluten and dairy containing counterparts.
Not quite sure what to expect after going so long without having a milkshake, one sip was all it took to bring a huge grin to my face. It was absolutely delicious and was everything I remembered a milkshake to be and more. Cold, creamy, and rich, I loved the thick texture and chocolate flavor that was not too dark or too sweet. As I sipped it down, I kept pinching myself mentally as I was incredulous that I was actually falling in love with chocolate milkshakes again. My euphoria lasted well into the evening as I kept turning to my aunt and repeating affirmations to just how amazing the shake was. The milkshake was simple, yet delicious and proved that dairy is one thing a milkshake can live without.
Cuisine: Dairy-free shakes, sundaes, ice cream, and other fountain creations. Vegan options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (gluten-free status unknown).
Ideal For: Late breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. They open at 5pm Mon-Thurs and 11am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They are open until midnight or later each day.
Price: My milkshake was $8.49. Prices on other fountain options can be found here.
Accessibility: The restaurant was wheelchair accessible
Special Features: The cafe is situated near Penn Station and is a great choice if connecting via train.