Billy’s Downtown Diner

Billy’s Downtown Diner

Long-awaited and much-anticipated, the relaunch of the dazzlingly renovated Billy’s Downtown Diner in Allentown once again brings the likes of The Cannoli Tower and The Pretzel Reuben to hungry local audiences. Of course, with a consistent menu (and pricing) at the flagship Bethlehem restaurant, opened in 2000, and an Easton locale added last year, all the familiar breakfast and lunch favorites can be experienced across the Lehigh Valley—simply choose the most convenient setting. Just don’t expect a cookie-cutter franchise-style environment. Owner Billy Kounoupis likens his trio of eateries to having three children, sharing the same DNA but each having a distinct personality.

Kounoupis explains that the unique, progressive menu of modern American cuisine presents “comfort food with a flair,” adding that he thinks about everybody’s palate, which is reflected in the recent introduction of plant-based options such as a bountiful Quinoa Potato Bowl and Red Velvet Pancakes—assuredly vegan, made with coconut milk, red beets, icing, and crushed pecans. “We’re always trying to evolve,” he says.


With benedicts reaching a zenith of popularity in our culinary culture, more traditional forms of the English muffin, poached eggs, and Hollandaise-draped dish here are supplemented by a distinctive Zip City Benedict version, boasting slow-roasted pork carnitas, grilled plum tomatoes, and chevre cheese, topped with a sprinkle of green onions. Kounoupis clearly likes to play with his food, and customers reap the benefits.


An original Billy’s staple introduced 20 years ago—which endures among the most-often ordered items—Berry Krunch puts a decidedly decadent accent on this multi-textured crème brûlée French toast with granola, strawberries, and cranberries drizzled with a sugar glaze and crowned with whipped cream and a powdered sugar dusting. Good for breakfast, lunch, or dessert, or any hunger-driven craving. (See the next page for a fabulous make-at-home rendition of the recipe.)


Learn the lingo for specialized versions of favorite dishes. Requesting “OPA the Papas” puts onions, potatoes, and America cheese on your order; “Billyfy the Fry” adds chili, chiles, cheddar, and sour cream; and “Make It Healthy” brings egg whites to your dish of choice.


Kounoupis describes the remodeled Allentown location as having a hipster New York club feel combined with a white-tiled subway station, and glittering globe chandeliers—reminiscent of the Times Square ball that drops on New Year’s Eve—decorate the entrance. There’s a fresh openness to the 10,000-square foot space, which boasts revamped fireplaces and private event spaces. The restaurant also pays homage to Allentown’s history with near-billboard sized photos of the old Hess’s store, which once dominated the corner across the street, and a photo of Hamilton Street from 1941. Industrial accents also pay tribute to the city’s past, while celebrating the present and future. In Easton, the ambiance has a crisp, Park Avenue edge, while maintaining a homey and personable appeal. The original Bethlehem Billy’s delivers the most retro and homestyle vibe. “When you’re sitting next to someone, you feel like giving them a hug for no reason,” Kounoupis says of the cozy character.


Renowned illusionist Criss Angel worked with cousin Billy to create the magical Mindfreak® Burger that puts everything you want tucked inside of and piled on top of a handcrafted burger, with a gluten-free bun option; actor Butch “Eddie Munster” Patrick and Billy teamed up on an amply-topped Breakfast Burger crowned with a sunnyside egg on a roll, plus singer Tony Orlando’s favorite light and luscious Vegan“esque” Omelette.


840 Hamilton St


10 E Broad St


123 S 3rd St

Berry Krunch


  • 3 slices French baguette bread, about 4-inch diameter
  • Your favorite French toast batter
  • 2 oz. granola  
  • 2 oz. fresh sliced strawberries
  • Whipped cream, to taste
  • Powdered sugar for garnish


Dip bread in batter and grill on both sides until nicely toasted. Transfer to plate, top with granola and strawberries, crown with whipped cream, and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy immediately.

Serves 1

Yanna’s Omelette 


  • 1 oz. fresh baby spinach, cleaned and sprinkled with a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 oz. thinly chopped Spanish onions
  • 1/2 oz. diced plum tomatoes
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 oz. crumbled Greek feta cheese 


In a hot pan that is lightly greased, sauté spinach, onions, and tomatoes for about 20 seconds and remove from pan. Cook the scrambled eggs over medium heat in the same pan and stir in vegetables. Flip over the mixture in the pan, scatter feta cheese on top and fold before serving with toast.

Serves 1

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