There’s no better spot to get your hands on a classic, endless cup of Joe than at a good, old-fashioned diner like the Tel-Wink Grill, Dimitri and Peggy Bokos’s local institution since 1940.

Coffee has been an American institution since the colonial days—it took off after the Boston Tea Party in 1773 made tea drinking unpatriotic—but it was returning soldiers from World War I and then World War II who really established the trend of a steady intake of drip brew throughout the day. The term “cup of Joe” was even purportedly inspired by the G.I. Joes who came back home very intent on having their coffee fix. Enter the Tel-Wink Grill.

At Tel-Wink the service is the diner style that you know so well, a waitress sidling up to refill your white porcelain mug from the brown-handled pitcher (regular) or orange-handled (decaf) carafe being refilled constantly from a Bunn coffee machine. And be sure to order up some homemade Belgian waffles or a plate of biscuits topped with gravy—the diner was proclaimed one of the best in the nation by the website Thrillist a few years back.

“We’re a breakfast place and people expect a good cup of coffee—nothing fancy, though,” says Dimitri Bokos. “Because we give them all-you-can-drink, we go through many gallons a day.”

Refills, of course, are free and encouraged (though since Tel-Wink is pretty busy most of the time, consider not lingering too long), while the waitresses seem to be used to a clientele who are always ready to spill their beans, so to speak.

Tel-Wink Grill

Gulfgate | 4318 Telephone Rd, 713-644-4933