Charlie Parker’s

Diner
Memorable
One of the best
Save

No one ever has been able to eat a four giant stack at Charlie Parker’s, which is a shame, because if you do, it’s on the house. Otherwise, you’ll pay about $20. Actually, that is a bargain, considering that the four pancakes that comprise a giant stack are enough food for eight people, easily. Non-competitive customers order a single giant for about $5, and to finish that is a significant accomplishment. It covers an 18-inch diameter pizza pan and is nearly a half-inch thick. (It is flipped on the griddle using a pizza peel.)

Surprise! The giant pancake also is really good, made from a batter we want to call brut – not sweet at all, but fresh and farmy with a lot of good crunch to the edge. It arrives topped with a quartet of blister packs of Land O’ Lakes Fresh Buttery Taste™ Spread and a pitcher of corn syrup. All the spread and the whole pitcher of syrup barely stretch to cover the pancake, which expands to even greater size as it absorbs them both. A small portion of one of these mighty flapjacks is a terrific hors d’oeuvre before plowing into one of Charlie Parker’s fine breakfast horseshoes.

The shoes are a Springfield paradigm: big oval plates with a foundation of white bread topped by eggs, breakfast meats, hash browns and cream gravy and/or hot cheese sauce. About as hard to polish off as a four giant stack, the breakfast horseshoe makes a fine meal for two. Of course, the more typical lunch horseshoe is available, made with turkey and/or ham.

Charlie’s is an out-of-the-way Quonset hut diner that goes back decades but was given a spiffy-kitschy 1950s interior makeover that includes plenty of glass bricks, neon, and chrome-banded stools at the counter.

What to Eat
Charlie Parker’s, Horseshoe
Horseshoe
Must-Try
This mega-calorie breakfast shoe is topped with hash browns and cushioned with cream gravy. In between are eggs, breakfast meats, and cheese.
Charlie Parker’s, Pancake
Pancake
Must-Try
I was pretty filled up after making an insignificant dent in one of Charlie Parker's pancakes, presented to diners on a pizza pan. If you eat four of them, the quartet is free.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday7am - 2pm
Monday6am - 2pm
Tuesday6am - 2pm
Wednesday6am - 2pm
Thursday6am - 2pm
Friday6am - 2pm
Saturday6am - 2pm
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 5 MILES | 19 min

Although the horseshoe is technically an open-face sandwich, it is so big and profuse that it deserves a category of its own. Lunch and supper shoes are piled up with hamburgers, pork tenderloins, fried chicken, whitefish, or even just vegetables along with about a kilo of French fries and a flood of cheese sauce. Breakfast…

12 stops | 420 MILES | 7 hr 37 min

In 1946, when Bobby and Cynthia Troup drove their Buick convertible from the East to the West coast in hopes of finding a future writing songs, Cynthia suggested to Bobby that he write one about Route 40. But Bobby found Route 40 boring. When they got to Illinois and hit Route 66, something clicked. Bobby…

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

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