3rd Street Diner Historical Landmark

Whether you are here at night after an evening in Shockoe Bottom, meeting colleagues for a business lunch, or a weary traveler looking for the right cup of coffee, Third Street Diner always provides the warm atmosphere an delicious homemade food you seek.  You keep coming back because it is part of America we all share.  We are proud that our customers have helped us earn the title of "institution" in the heart of downtown.

A diner since 1926 when coffee cost a nickel and schoolboys wore knickers, this site once boasted one of the most successful Confederate hospitals in the South.  It all began when a local judge donated his home to a nurse known affectionately as "Aunt" Sally Tompkins.

Under her caring guidance the hospital opened in 1861, ten days after the first Battle of Manassas.  One of the only private hospitals allowed to remain open through the end of the war, it became famous for its food and cleanliness.  (Only 73 deaths out of 1,333 patients!)  Even President Jefferson Davis took notice and bestowed Aunt Sally with the rank of Confederate Captain of the Calvary.

Considering this history, it wasn't out of place when the city decided to use the basement as part of its morgue system, but don't fret, though we have the ghosts to prove it, our food won't spook you!

These days the hemlines of the waitresses are higher and the beehives are out of style, but the value and classic diner atmosphere persevere 24 hours a day!