Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner opened the original Waffle House in Decatur, GA, over Labor Day weekend in 1955, but the 24-hour diner didn’t become a franchise until 1960. Today the chain has more than 1,700 restaurants in 25 states. The diner’s cult following rolls so deep, Stephen Colbert and Strugill Simpson wrote a song about it and Bon Appétit deputy editor Andrew Knowlton joined the crew for a taxing double shift. The original location on East College Avenue as eventually shuttered, but it housed both a Chinese restaurant and a tire shop before Waffle House bought it back in the mid-aughts and re-christened it the Waffle House Museum in 2008. You can’t eat there anymore, but you can see an exact replica of the original dining room, plus early uniforms, old menus, and vintage dishware. Tours are available Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
2719 E. College Ave., Decatur, GA; 770-326-7086.