Eat Garbage at Franks Diner Kenosha WI

Eat Garbage at Franks Diner Kenosha WI

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If you’re looking for a delicious, filling meal, Franks Diner Kenosha is the place to go! They serve up some of the best comfort food around, and their prices are unbeatable. You can’t go wrong with any of their menu items, but their garbage plates are especially popular. It is the diner’s signature dish.

Eat Garbage at Franks Diner Kenosha WI

So what exactly is a garbage plate?

You can get a half plate with just three eggs or a full plate with five and keep going from there! They are mixed into a combination of hash browns, green peppers, and onions. 

  • Add your meat or meats (ham, bacon, sausage, chorizo, or Spam) at $1.20 each, or try their scratch-made corned beef hash for $1.60.
  • Choose from American, Cheddar, Swiss, Hot Pepper Jack, Feta, or Mozzarella to add your cheese. Your pick is included but you can add more for just $1.20 each.
  • Don’t eat meat? No problem! There’s a great choice of veggies that could include zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, green pepper, onion, spinach, or even jalapenos.

Add your choice of toast and you are ready to eat garbage!

The fully loaded garbage plate is also just PART of their Red Men Challenge – where you have 45 minutes to eat an insane amount of food. Who doesn’t want braggin’ rights for eating a lot of garbage?

The garbage plate is what got them on Guy Fieri’s show, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network. Franks is a Kenosha institution that you definitely don’t want to miss!

Field of Flowers North Farm
Click on the picture to check it out

Franks Diner Kenosha Menu

Franks Diner Kenosha is a great place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They have a large menu with something for everyone. You can’t go wrong with their garbage plates, but they also have burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more.

We got a kick out of the occasional quips on their menu like:

Grilled Cheese: We have to have it on the menu… it’s the law in Wisconsin.

We all went for different things. One kiddo did the chicken tenders with fries. Seriously, you can’t screw this up – and they didn’t.

My Southern Kid was all over the homemade biscuits and gravy and practically licked the plate. They stole one of my “famous homemade toast” slices to get every last bit of the gravy off the plate.

Biscuits n gravy at franks diner kenosha
This got two thumbs up and the kid practically licked the plate

I went with one of “the usuals” with the Two Eggs, Meat, Potatoes & Toast. Spam. I had to have the Spam with my over medium eggs and American Fries. For toast? I had to try their famous homemade bread that has wheat bran, yogurt, and honey. However, I was tempted by the French Toast and saw some huge pancakes go to another table.

My eggs were undercooked and then sent out new ones – which were overcooked. The cook brought out a THIRD plate that was perfect. I liked that the American fries weren’t deep-fried – they were sliced and pan-fried nicely.

My breakfast at Franks Diner
Nothing fancy, but still tasty

That toast? The rockstar! I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to eat both slices and would order a second plate of it next time.

We also tried a cup of beef barley soup which was one of the daily specials. It was so thick it almost qualified as a casserole. It had a tomatoey base but was tasty enough that the teen took it from me after “just tasting” it.

beef barley soup from Franks Diner
Very thick beef barley soup – no need for the crackers!

I won’t sugar coat it – we are talking a definite vintage greasy spoon experience. You won’t find parsley or an orange slice on your plate, but get a generous serving of real food.

It is an experience

This unique place has a whimsical charm from the jokes on the menu to the banter the staff has with the regulars. The front door slides open into a pocket and the slightly sticky menu is covered with jokes. You look around at the snarky signs that make you chuckle.

franks diner original dining room
I love it – down to the Greek Key subway tile pattern

There is a certain group of people who will love Franks Diner for the nostalgic feeling of a true (and old school) greasy spoon. The prices can’t be beaten and you will get a great meal – no matter what you order.

My husband saw our pictures and is dying to visit – he is a young baby boomer and certainly falls into this group.

Then there is the younger crowd – this is serving up new traditions and a glimpse into the gems of history of eateries for a new generation. Seriously, how many lunch car diner experiences can you still find that are historical landmarks? My two teens were fascinated and I had to explain the three stooges to them.

(Where did I fail as a parent?!?)

Other notables who have dined there include Duke Ellington and Bela Lugosi.

famous people who have eaten at Franks
I’m guessing that Curley wasn’t one of the gang when they visited

So, if you’re looking for an amazing, filling meal, and a way to step into a blast from the past, Franks Diner Kenosha is the place to go!

Franks Diner Kenosha Owners

OK – Anthony Franks opened it up in 1926 and in 1935 added a larger kitchen with an additional dining room to bring the total seats up to 52.

It was kept in the Franks family until it was finally sold in 2001 to Chris Schwartz, Lynn Groleau, and Kris Derwae. It was sold again in 2010 to the current owners: Julie Rittmiller and Kevin Ervin.


Franks is NOT Handicap Accessible

First of all, it is sure to be grandfathered in as a historical landmark at almost 100 years old. You climb a set of stairs to get to the door, the walkways around stools and booths of the small dining room aren’t wide enough for a large stroller, let alone a wheelchair, and the 90-year-old bathrooms are down a flight of narrow stairs.

As they have “eat it – take out – or pick up” You do have a few other options to taste their good food.

grill at franks diner kensha
Check out the vintage grill that they cook on

Franks Diner Kenosha Hours

Like any classic diner – they are open for breakfast and lunch only, 7 days a week. M-F 6:00 AM-1:30 PM, SAT 7:00 AM-1:30 PM, and SUN 7:00 AM-12:30 PM. You will find them at 508 58th St in Kenosha, WI 53140. 262.657.1017

Check out these other things to do in the area: