Sunday, May 28, 2023

With a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, let’s dive in: ​The Why Coffee Shop

The Why Coffee Shop (lovingly shortened to “The Why” by the locals) is a diner in the city of Niagara Falls, New York. They pride themselves for being an old school style restaurant with counter service for breakfast and lunch every day. They are a ​cash-only ​establishment and no, they do not have an atm machine. The Why is open every day from 6:30 am to 1:30 pm.

The Why

The Atmosphere of The Why

This is a very busy establishment! In all the times I have had breakfast here, it has only been “slow” once. It is typical for every stool, booth, and chair to be filled, often resulting in a line of hungry patrons at the door.

The Why

The building is one of the most unique styles as it is built to fit the “Y” fork between Main Street and Portage Road. Once inside, you will see tables with chairs and booths lining the outer walls of the building. You will also see the breakfast bar with counter height stools. More than likely you will not find an empty table right off, but if you have the time to wait then you should.

Most of the staff are kind and hardworking but you may find the service lacking at times (even when it’s slower-paced). In my opinion, it says more about the local work ethic than it does the establishment itself.

The Food at The Why

The menu at The Why is quite expansive and includes a variety of breakfast and lunch options. Breakfast is served all day and lunch can be ordered between 11 am and 1:30 pm.

The why

Breakfast menu items include the following

  • Eggs
  • Toast
  • Pancakes
  • Omelets
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • And sides including bacon, sausage, and homefries
The Why

Breakfast at The Why can even be one of their famous “Breakfast Combos”. These meal options are perfectly portioned to satisfy any hungry soul! One of the combos is appropriately called ​Frankie. Frankie ​ is eggs, home fries, onions, toast, cheese, and hotdogs all mixed together! Yes, I said hot dogs for breakfast! That is one of the most unique items you can find at The Why.

Lunch menu items include the following

  • Hot and cold sandwiches
  • Grilled sandwiches
  • Burgers and Hotdogs
  • A variety of steak dishes
  • And sides such as onion rings and French fries
The Why

In addition to these popular lunch options, The Why offers seasonal specials available September to April. These specials include a bowl of chili with a grilled cheese sandwich, a Chili dog, or even an order of Chili fries.

The food is decent and comes out in a timely manner (most of the time). I have only tried their breakfast foods and I have yet to be truly disappointed. It is reminiscent of home cooking which is great if you don’t cook. The dishes on the menu may seem like basic diner food and in my opinion, most of it is. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t good, though. When you eat at The Why you get home cooking style food that tastes good, a great portion size and below-average prices. No one can beat that!

However, I enjoy cooking and I feel that spending money (any amount of money) on something I could have made at home (and better) is a waste of money. If you don’t cook and love diner food at an unbeatable price then you can’t go wrong with The Why!

My Final Recommendation

I do recommend The Why, especially if you don’t cook breakfast or lunch at home. You can’t beat their prices or portions for a meal out. Just be prepared for moderately good food, possibly good service, and be sure to bring cash in your wallet!


1319 main st 14301 Niagara Falls, New York


The Why Coffee Shop


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Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!


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