Casey’s Diner

You really can’t get much more “old school” than Casey’s Diner at 36 South Avenue in Natick, Massachusetts. Little Miss and I were tooling around town on Veteran’s Day when a familiar question came out of the back seat: “Dad, can we go to Casey’s for lunch?”
I have been eating at Casey’s Diner for over 40 years, I remember having my first Casey’s hot dog shortly after my fourth birthday.

My grandfather used to take me there for a hot dog after he took me fishing in nearby Lake Cochituate. The 5th generation of my family now enjoys Casey’s famous hot dogs.

My first Casey’s dog was consumed at the original location on Washington Avenue in downtown Natick. It was at this prime location, right across the street from the Natick Common, ¬†for 50 years. In 1977, the Middlesex Bank needed more parking and Casey’s moved a few blocks over to it’s current location.
Here’s the original owner, Fred Casey, in front of the Diner.
Casey’s Dates back to the late 1890’s when Fred parked this horse drawn diner on Natick Common. This could be the original mobile food truck!
Casey’s is one of the oldest continuously run diner’s in the USA; it’s also the smallest.
It’s an old Worcester Lunch Car Company diner. It’s not restored, just lovingly maintained and operated by the Casey family for four generations. Here’s 4th generation owner Pat Casey getting ready for the lunch rush at the take out window.
If you’re looking for spacious dining accommodations, Casey’s is not the place for you!
There are only ten counter seats inside and a small shelf for when it gets really packed.
The take out window is always busy at lunch time, even in crappy weather. Thank goodness today was a nice day!
Casey’s is open seven days a week.
The menu features a variety of sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and fish cakes on Fridays and every day during Lent. There’s also a fine selection of yummy pies.
Casey’s is world famous for their hot dogs. These days, they serve up a natural casing Old Neighborhood frank. Their dogs are steamed in a custom built , copper clad steamer until piping hot and served up on a steamed bun.
The original hot dogs served at the horse drawn diner were actually made locally by a woman in Natick’s basement. The health codes might not allow that these days! In the past, they have used the now defunct Rothman’s, Jordan’s and Schultz’s hot dogs. Schultz’s dogs have been resurrected under the Shields brand and are made in Kennebunk, Maine.They used Old Neighborhood Franks in the past, but switched to Essem. When Essems got too expensive, they switched back to Old Neighborhoods.
Little Miss had her standard plain dog-they cut the dogs in half for youngsters at Casey’s.
I opted for one “All Around,” which means mustard, onions and relish. The phrase was made famous at Casey’s and if someone asked for a dog “all around,” they’ve probably eaten here.
Not much on presentation here, but they are very good dogs!
Time to CHOW DOWN!
Eating a Casey’s hot dog feels like home to me. They’re hot and they hit the spot. Casey’s may be famous for hot dogs, but I ALWAYS get a bacon cheeseburger when I stop for lunch. The burgers are fantastic. There’s my burger and bacon cooking on the grill; I always get the onions grilled in.
Time to CHOW DOWN again.
On our way out the door, we saw some guys who ordered a few more than one hot dog….
…they had four hot dogs each: WOOF.
Casey’s is a must eat for anyone who wants a taste of the past. It’s iconic and the place has been in business for over a hundred years. The food’s damn good too.
No wonder it’s Little Miss’ favorite restaurant….
If you happen to be in Natick, stop in at Casey’s. Tell Pat “the Hotdogman sent me.”

Here’s a video of Casey’s. My 13 year-old and I were eating lunch here when they made this video. At the 2:28 point of the video, you can see our butts!

Casey’s will have it’s own website soon….stay tuned.

Casey's Diner on Urbanspoon


  1. I lived in Natick in the early 60’s when I was in jr. high. Casey’s was the real deal, no hamburgers, I think an “all around” was 20 cents and I ate hundreds. “Casey” behind the counter told me all about the copper bun steamers, custom made, the art of a good frank and a lot of other tales. The clientele back then was blue collar, it was the first (and only) place I saw a guy, a mechanic, park his gum behind his ear before he ate.
    I am amazed and heartened that it is still a going concern. Keeton Turner, Corpus Christi, TX

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