light blue menu with a dark blue diamond in the center and the words "Leesport Diner"

Diners hold a special place in the hearts of many. They’re comfort food destinations that in many ways harken back to a bygone era.

And you certainly can’t mistake a great diner when you see one.

Leesport Diner shines brightly at the corner of Routes 61 and 73 just south of the Leesport borough line.

Stainless steel diner with a tall roadside that reads "Leesport Diner Open 24 Hours"

It replaced the Leesport Family Restaurant, a tired, worn down building that never seemed to have any cars outside. Toward the end, the former 24-hour diner had a plywood board out front with hours painted on it.

The only thing the restaurant had going for it was a great location. So it was no surprise that after the restaurant closed, a buyer stepped up and started over.

Everything about the new Leesport Diner looks clean and new, even though it is now more than a year old. The stainless steel still shines. The blue and white decor brightens the interior.

Leesport Diner is a stereotypical diner in many ways. There’s the obvious aesthetics. Then there’s the menu – a seemingly endless array of options including all-day breakfast. And what diner is complete without a soup and salad bar?

a hand uses tongs to get lettuce from a bowl on a salad bar

It may not be the largest salad bar in Berks County, but it is certainly one of the best that I have found. It has a range of ingredients with the most popular dressings. There are three made-fresh soups available. And for grain lovers, there is a case full of warm breads and rolls to choose from.

I loaded my plate – plates to be more specific – with all of the above. I built a salad with my favorite ingredients: lettuce, red onion, cucumber and ranch dressing. For my soup, I chose chicken orzo. And for my grain, a plump dinner roll that was calling my name.

salad with ranch dressing next to a cup of chicken soup and a plate with a dinner roll and pad of butter

All was good. The soup was a little salty, but was definitely hearty. The greens on the salad bar all tasted fresh. The warm roll was a good addition to my appetizer ensemble.

It wasn’t long after I finished my salad that my entree arrived. I looked through the entire menu at least twice before finally deciding on one of the weekend specials: chicken and spinach.

bowl with chicken, spinach and red pepper atop a bed of white rice

The Italian-inspired dish featured white meat chicken with spinach and red peppers in a white wine sauce – one of those dishes that fits for a diner but you would never see on an authentic Italian restaurant menu.

I enjoyed the flavors of the dish. The sauce was heavy and a little creamy, and it complemented all of the ingredients well. What I didn’t enjoy was the chicken. It was the processed chicken breast strips that felt artificially inflated, and it has that texture that just isn’t pleasant.

It’s really a shame because the flavor was very good. I just may have enjoyed it more without any meat.

Julie went with a meal that is on every diner menu in the country – roast beef and mashed potatoes.

roast beef and mashed potatoes covered in beef gravy

There are two kinds of roast beef that you get at diners: the thin slice that’s closer to deli meat and the thick slice that feels more like a pot roast. This was the former.

Roast beef and mashed potatoes is an old favorite of mine from my trips to Risser’s Family Restaurant as a kid. Leesport Diner’s version is very much a comfort dish because it has that familiarity. The flavors are familiar and enjoyable.

As someone who has tried dishes from around the world and eaten at the highest quality restaurants, I still have a soft place in my heart for a good roast beef dinner. This was a good roast beef dinner.

And the food at Leesport Diner comes at reasonable prices as well. Our bill for the two dinners plus a glass of iced tea was right around $25, which is pretty standard for a diner today.

The Leesport Diner may not have the best food in Berks County, but it serves a niche and serves it well. It’s a nostalgia, but it’s also more than that.

A diner meal isn’t going to compare to a high-end steakhouse, but it’s enjoyable in its own way. That’s the legacy that Leesport Diner carries on.

BCE Rating
Food: Fair
Service: Good
Ambiance Good
Price: Very Reasonable

Leesport Diner
5407 Pottsville Pk
Leesport, PA 19533

More From Berks County Eats

Review

Exeter Family Restaurant

Review

5th Street Diner

Leave a Reply