The Best of Then — The Best of Now!

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Times Square, Midtown Manhattan, New York City – the home to Broadway theatres and the biggest New Years Eve party in the world, is also home to the future stars of stage and screen at Ellen’s Stardust Diner – THE home of our world famous singing waiters and some of the best diner food in the country. Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for tour groups and locals alike since 1987!

Ellen Hart-Sturm   It’s hard to imagine a life more quintessentially New York than Ellen Hart-Sturm’s. While still a student at Jamaica High School in Queens, she was selected to be Miss Subway in the spring of 1959. The promotion, which served as the inspiration for Miss Turnstile in the classic NYC musical On the Town, placed her picture on subway trains around the city and opened the doors for a singing, acting and modeling career.

Ellen married entrepreneur Irving Sturm, and together they opened Ellen’s Café across from City Hall which was open for 32 years. It became the gathering place for civil servants and politicians alike, including Mayors Lindsay, Beame, Koch, David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani. A tradition developed at the Café, where the Mayors would come in on their birthdays and would donate as many pies as their age to charity.  Ellen was the first to champion smoking and non-smoking sections in her restaurant in 1979 ( the first in NYC, and possibly the country).  Ellen’s Café also became known for the “instant marriage receptions” it provided for newlyweds who had just taken vows at City Hall.

Their success led them to open Ellen’s Stardust Diner, the 1950′s-themed eatery with its singing wait staff, the Stardusters. Ellen’s Stardust Diner has since served as the launching pad for many of its waiter/vocalists who have gone on to success in Broadway musicals and touring companies, both domestic and international.

Our retro 1950s theme diner is filled with nostalgic memorabilia including the famous “Miss Subways” gallery honoring the beauty queens of a bygone era. Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a top to-do item for all visitors to New York City  - so, sit back and relax as you will be taken back in time to an unforgettable era as you enjoy classic American diner cuisine with live musical performances of both iconic AND new hit Broadway show tunes with some of your favorite songs of all time!


  1. Glenn Starner-Tate says:

    Randy and I ducked in here for a “quick bite” after seeing Wicked in 2006. Almost didn’t stay because “it’s just not my thing.” WOW! am I glad I kept that idea INSIDE my head. WHAT FUN! and WHAT GOOD FOOD! Haven’t been back yet, but it’s part of what’s making me itch to get back to NYC! Hopefully this summer! Seems an appropriate way to celebrate our sixth anniversary!

  2. christina says:

    What a fantastic way to have celebrated my 40th birthday. I was not told anything other than meet us at The Stardust Diner. It was amazing. The food was fantastic and the entertainment was great. Thanks for a great 40th.

  3. Jay Hart says:

    Took the kids in to see the Statue of Liberty and somebody told me abouyt Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Got their and after only 20 minutes wait was seated to a packed diner. The kids and I had the time of our lives. Was fun watching our waitress perform. We made some wonderful memories that evening!

  4. gold account says:

    On Tuesday, some 25 Miss Subways gathered for a reunion at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, which features posters of Miss Subways on its walls. The diner is owned by Ellen Hart , who herself, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of her Miss Subways reign this year. Many of them had been tracked down by Fiona Gardner, a photographer who has been documenting Miss Subways for a book (parts of which have been featured in The Times ).

  5. dieta says:

    Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a timeless classic. The retro 1950s theme diner is filled with nostalgic memorabilia from that era. It has authentic 1956 Predicta televisions and a “drive-in theater” screen, which showcase performances of the 1950s. They also have a “Miss Subways” gallery honoring the beauty queens of yesteryear. Train lovers will also enjoy the city’s largest indoor train, the New York Central that you can watch as it circles around the mezzanine of the diner. Adding to the fun of this unique diner is the restaurant’s singing wait staff and variety shows.

  6. The singing waitstaff (girls in 50′s poodle skirts) perform nightly (photo right and below). During a recent dinner there, diners took to the dance floor and the place was rockin’!