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Best diners in NJ

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Hi. I am new to the board, but I always read posts and listen to advice given. I am trying to put together a book on the best NJ diners. Naturally, I have some my all time favorites throughout the state, but I know the state is loaded with diners, do I was hoping some of you could help me out and post your favorites.

As a child, I loved the Wildwood Diner. I also enjoy the Americana Diner in East Windsor and their new diner on Route 1 in Edison.

Thank you.

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  1. Well, a lot of my favorites are on the "GONE" list- Bosco's in South River, Clarksville in Lawrenceville, the Westfield Diner, etc. And, of course, the New Jersey Diner has been covered a few times already by other authors- Kaplan & Bellink in 1980's DINERS OF THE NORTHEAST and Genovese's more recent JERSEY DINERS. (I've got spare copies if you need 'em- as well as other diner books) and there's a few good websites, too (altho' "Dave's Diner Page" which was NJ oriented seems to be gone). You may want to post on the somewhat more diner-friendly forum on Roadfood and, with a lot less traffic since it's relatively recent, Roadside- http://www.roadsideonline.com/

    Link: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/

    11 Replies
    1. re: Jess Kidden

      Wow! Thanks Jess. I never knew about this website! I love it. Thank you again.

      1. re: Jess Kidden

        Westfield Diner is still there.

        1. re: Charlie

          It is? Sorry. I could have SWORN there was a series of newspaper articles a few years back about the diner and/or the land being sold out from under the couple who were running it at the time- articles even featured photos of them. (And, damn, I can picture what they looked like but can't remember their names).

          I quickly checked my file of articles on diners (hopelessly dis-organized) and couldn't find anything and, let me tell you, that's a depressing bunch of headlines to sort through-"Clarksville Diner to Nebraska"
          "Teamster Diner to Germany"
          "Lido Diner torn down"
          "Short Stop Diner devolves into a Dunkin Donuts"
          "Rosie's Diner to Michigan"
          "Classic NJ Diner moved to Montreal"....etc, etc.

          I used to have a good friend who lived in Westfield and another one in North Plainfield but both have since moved out of state and I've moved further south in NJ, so I don't get to the area much. I'm glad to hear the Westfield Diner is still there (altho' it would be nice if it was moved to someplace where it was situated correctly)- who's running it nowadays? I checked around the 'net but there isn't much info and it's not listed at http://www.dinercity.com/njDiner/nort...
          (altho' that list, nice as it is with photos, is hardly complete).

          It IS the Westfield Diner I'm thinking of, right? Located perpendicular to the street, the windows facing a building next door, the "back" towards a parking lot? I checked my "diner library" but so many of those books, frustratingly, DON'T have indexes (including Genovese's)!

          1. re: JessKidden

            The diner that was moved from Westfield to Germany was called "Excellent Diner". It was a classic small metal diner and served good food.
            There is another diner in Westfield called "Westfield Diner". It is the more conventional modern diner. I haven't tried the food.

            1. re: val ann c

              "EXCELLENT"! Ah, yes. Thanks for that info (altho' it's a very sad outcome), Val Ann C. Now I can attempt to put my "office" area back together, maybe even try to sort all those articles by diner name or date.

              Did a quite Google, and find that the Excellent Diner was moved FROM Germany to Paris by....Disney (how sad is that?).

              http://www.goleader.com/06jan12/ (Page down about half way, to see a photo & brief paragraph.


              I DO find it real annoying, tho', that so many "Diner" books (I count about 20 on diners or roadside restaurants on my shelf) don't have indexes, or might list diners only alphabetically by diner name (so looking for a diner in a particular town is a problem).

              1. re: val ann c

                Westfield Diner - nothing special. Not bad but not great. Just your typical diner food although it is always mobbed. Nice management tho.

                I live close by. Not my first choice for diner food in the area - I'd go to the Scotchwood on Route 22 first, which is in Scotch Plains. Love the free mini chocolate chips at the front desk! They used to be even better - new chef, alas but they still are pretty good.

              2. re: JessKidden

                The Clarksville Diner moved to Decorah, Iowa (not Nebraska) -- you could have knocked me down with a feather when I found it when I went to school. Unfortunately the food wasn't really diner food anymore, and it's long since closed.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Nebraska-Iowa- all I remember is that it was too far to drive for breakfast and was no longer there when drove Route One to Pennsylvania to buy beer I couldn't find in NJ.

                  The Clarksville was partially destroyed by a drunk driver right after finally opening in Iowa and was eventually sold to owners in France (again!). I notice that it was on the National Register of Historic Places in *both* New Jersey and Iowa (and France, for all I know), so I guess that designation doesn't really mean much.

            2. re: Jess Kidden

              Man, I grew up about 2 mi. from Bosco& Turback's Diner in South River and do I miss it. I wanted to take my quintessential New England wife there for some good Polish food and found it closed. Where can one get good cheap Polish food in Middlesex County besides the bar in Perth Amboy?

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                There is a polish restaurant on Main Street in South River, it's pretty good & cheap. It's called something like Krakowiak(sp?). it's been there a few years.

              2. re: Jess Kidden

                Where in Maine did you enjoy your lobster? Try the A1 Diner in Gardiner, Me or take a look at the wood and brass diner at Maidee's in Ellsworth.

              3. Bill's Diner in Barnegat Light!

                My grandfather built it... great food.

                1. summit diner, in summit nj, used to be our favorite for bfast. huge slices of ham with their eggs.

                  1. Tick Tock Diner -- Rt. 3, Clifton (oh, the late nights and hamburger deluxes of my youth)...

                    Nevada Diner -- Bloomfield (ditto)

                    1. I don't visit diners often, but the Tick Tock is a good one. Good pancakes. My mother likes to go there when she visits from Maryland -- not too many Jersey-style diners in Maryland. Of course, we have to bring a bit of real maple syrup in there with us, because one of us is from Vermont. Most Jersey diners don't understand that pancakes require real maple syrup, not that fake crap.

                      Tried the Summit Diner once for dinner. The burgers were nothing special. The real appeal was the diner itself, the most ancient-looking diner I've ever been in.

                      Been to the Nevada Diner a couple of times. Didn't like the food that much, but it's an impressive-looking diner from the outside.

                      Students at Drew University in my day always hit the Broadway Diner (55 River Road in Summit near the Chatham border) for late-night food runs. I never liked it much myself though. Hated the damn showtunes and the Broadway theme. Really annoying.

                      There was a diner on North Ave. in Cranford with good food. The Rustic Mill, I think. Haven't been down that way in a while. Is it still there?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ike

                        I graduated from Drew in '82, and I don't recall the Broadway even landing on the student radar map. We only went as far as the Nautilus Diner (which was not bad, but referred to as the Nauseous Diner by tradition)

                        1. re: rruben1

                          Hi there. I went to Drew from '93 to '97, so, a different era. Although we still referred to the Nautilus as the Nauseous. I'm not sure why we didn't just go to the Nautilus instead of the Broadway Diner since the Nautilus was closer and the food there was just as good, as I recall. Well, except for the nasty watery overpriced orange juice. Maybe the people who took me the Broadway were theater majors, now that I think of it. Most of them were cool, but everybody has a weakness or a failing. In their case, it was showtunes. Ack! Heh. (YMMV.)

                      2. The Rustic Mill!! Oh my!!! I used to live in Westfield and we always went there after church on Sundays!! Now that we have all moved out of the area, I do not know if it is still there! I also liked the cute little tiny diner across from the train station in Cranford. I cannot remember the name of it, but it was soooo good! We also went to the Reo in Woodbridge whenever we were in Woodbridge Mall. I heard new owners took over and the place went down the tubes. Prices too high, smaller portions, and (as always was) unfriendly wait staff.

                        With all these delicious chains, Panera Bread, the Turning Point, Applebees, etc., I do not know how these diners make it! I wish them luck!

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Angelina

                          I miss the Reo Diner (grew up not six blocks from it) and I hope to God your informants are wrong. We used to go to the "New" Woodbridge Diner on St George's Avenue for breakfast; they had the best breakfast anywhere. They closed and now it's one of those God-awful "roadhouse" type restaurants.

                          The Galaxy II (R.I.P.) in Old Bridge was like my second home as a teenager, and the Peter Pank in Freehold on Route 9 had the best disco fries in the world.

                          I've never been to the Turning Point, but if the choice is between a diner and Panera or Applebees, you'll find me in the diner... every time. I can't stand Panera; Applebee's is so expensive and the food is so warmed-over that the last time I went there WAS the last time.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            The Reo Diner has apparently "changed" (see the thread entitled "Poor service and POOR portions at Reo Diner Woodbridge, NJ" from March 31, 2006).

                            Isn't (wasn't?) The Peter Pank Diner in the Sayreville area (or maybe Old Bridge?) of Route 9, rather than in Freehold? Or was there more than one of them?

                            1. re: JessKidden

                              Duh, of course -- I think it was technically in South Amboy. Now I'm wondering what the diner I'm thinking of was... it was on 9, on the east side of the road, north of Throckmorton St.

                              It's gonna drive me nuts. It wasn't the Golden Bell for sure.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                Hmmm... I know the diner you're talking about. I *think* it used to be "La Mirage" but might have undergone a recent name/ownership change. They've been doing a lot of construction on 9 and that diner's suffered from poor access from the highway lately. (They even have their own strange entrance on the new jug handle/entrance ramp.)
                                I had a friend who lived in the Middletown area and raved about their pancakes (or was in French toast?) but it seemed pretty "typical Greek-style diner" to me AND I suffered from HORRIBLE service one Monday that's a "sorta holiday" (Columbus Day, etc) and I've never gone back.

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                  You're probably thinking of the Empire Diner (fka Le Mirage), which is located on 9 North, just north of Jersey Freeze.

                                  1. re: RGR

                                    The Empire diner has recently changed ownership and changed it's "iconic" Name. I can't remember what it's now called Suburban....something, I think.

                                    The staff are mostly the same but I think the good ole fashion quality of service has gone down slightly.

                                    1. re: bogsidebunny

                                      It is now the All Seasons II Diner and the quality of service has dropped significantly.

                                      1. re: Bossa_Nova

                                        Hey Bossa_Nova,

                                        Speaking of the Empire diner do you remember the man and woman who use to "live" in a Chevy Camero on the South end of the parking lot before the new Rte-9 overpass was built? I think is was a Camaro or maybe a Pontiac Firebird.

                                  2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                    Depending on your age, and successive name changes, I remember the "Glenwood Diner", famous for Madison High School students cutting first period.

                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                      Maybe you are thinking of the Manalapan Diner? Or Empire Diner? I think that the Manalapan is now called All Seasons II Diner and it is pretty good. I had an excellent buffalo burger there not roo long ago.

                                  3. re: Das Ubergeek

                                    Did the Galaxy II have a different name before it was galaxy ii- friends of mine say it did, but they can't remember.

                                  4. re: Angelina

                                    The Rustic Mill is still there and has just completed an exterior renovation. We ate there a couple of years ago and I must say they give you a tremendous amount of food. We couldn't finish it all but decided not to take it home w/us.

                                  5. summit diner in summit (25 mins outside nyc) is amazingly good. i'm biased b/c i grew up eating there.

                                    awesome breakfasts. great taylor ham. breakfast sandwiches. large bacon rations.

                                    under-rated/mentioned are the burgers, because most people only go there for breakfast. bacon cheeseburger w/ grilled onions is heaven!!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mr_henry

                                      We were in Summit Diner yesterday. I have mixed feelings about it. While the breakfast was for the most part good, they are using margerine, not butter which to me is a big flaw. Also, service is awful. I realize in such a small, authentic diner it is difficult to serve all those people at once and in fact, is kind of part of the "charm", however, having to wait 15 minutes for coffee to be put onto our table was rather unacceptable, and then having to chase her down for the half and half, which she had not brought with the coffee. Also, being served our toast 10 minutes before our meal, rendering it cold by the time the entree came was a problem as well. And the aforementioned margerine issue too.

                                      Having said all that, I will say the meal itself was very good. My sunny side up eggs were perfect. The bacon was of really good quality and the hashbrowns were the real deal. My husband's pancakes were great. An enormous quantity of everything - more than anyone should eat for breakfast in fact - 3 eggs, way too much bacon (we took nearly all of it home to make BLT's). The coffee was good and if the toast hadn't been cold, it too would have been fine - but butter again would have been highly appreciated. I know, I'm harping on the margerine, but really, it tastes so horrible to me - greasy, no flavor.

                                      And of course, the atmosphere alone is worth the price of admission. This diner is the real thing as far as diners go. One of those railroad car types, with hardly any seating, loud, packed, greek owners, 2 waitressess, one of the the prerequiste cranky type who is really a doll apparently underneath it, but is too busy to show how nice she really is (she was a bit cranky to us unknowns, but we overheard her talking to regulars, so we got a better sense of her personality). The diner has not been renovated probably since it went into business - the ceiling looks like it's crusted over with years of cooking grease, the tiled floor is vintage, wood paneled walls. It's such a throwback.

                                      It's the kind of diner you love to hate. Annoyed with service, some minor issues with the food, but overall - the kind of experience you actually do want with a diner. The kind of place you will find yourself coming back to because you get the sense the people that run this place do actually care about their business. And, apparently it is very well loved - as shown by the crowd of people waiting out in the cold for a seat!

                                    2. I used to love the 5 Star Diner on 202 around Sussex County. Only open early. Not the "Greek" diner that most of you are referring to. Passed it the other day and it is still in business...

                                      1. Fontainbleau in Piscatway.....

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: gudeatz

                                          ah, the Fontainbleu! Taking me back to my Rutgers days! They actually had free cookies that tasted good. I slightly preferred the Edison Diner, however. The Somerset diner on Easton Ave was horrible..

                                          1. re: tamerlanenj

                                            they still have a LARGE bowl of free cookies

                                            1. re: tamerlanenj

                                              Just went to the Fountainblue (that's how they spell it on the sign) for the first time last night, even though I've driven by there a zillion times. Just got a slice of chocolate layer cake to go. The waitress cut me a slice big enough for 2--I saved half for tonight. And it was awesome--a world-class chocolate layer cake, not easy to find in a country where almost every bakery has closed and been replaced by a bank.

                                              And, the bowl of free cookies are still by the register, and are really good.

                                              Haven't had any meals there. If the quality of the baking is any indication, it should be good.


                                          2. No love for the Pilgrim Diner in Cedar Grove/Verona? AWESOME AWESOME Burgers....the perfect spot after a late night at Tierney's!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: tamerlanenj

                                              Why in the world would you go anywhere for a burger if you were already at the best burger place around. Tierney's has the best burgers in the area.

                                              1. I'd like to mention the Versailles Diner in Fairfield. Not particularly good for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner, but they had THE BEST mozzarella cheese fries with gravy in the whole entire world. I used to get mine with honey mustard for dipping (sounds gross, I know). mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...god, it's amazing I made it through high school without suffering a crippling heart attack.

                                                1. I would definitely recommend the Tic Toc in Clifton along with the Pilgrim in Verona. But the best was the Clairmont diner in Verona - now that was a diner!!!!

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: nizza

                                                    anyone old enough to remember the Weequahic Diner in Newark??...best there ever was..ahhh i can smell the pickles now...nothing can compare..after that closed they opened the Clairemont Diner on Bloomfield Ave....run by the Bauman family forever..so many memories...not just the food..though that was

                                                    1. re: jazzpjr

                                                      The Weequahic Diner was where I asked my parents to take me for my special "Birthday Dinner" until in burned down in the riots. Clairmont Diner not only had great food, but the absolute best bakers in the world. Don's Diner in Short Hills scarfed the bakers when the Bauman's sold. The chocolate cake follwed and it was a Jfood et. al. tradition until they closed.

                                                      FYI - We still make the recipe for the Clairmont Salad every year for the Holidays. MIL grabbed the recipe 30 years ago.

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        If you are referring to the Clairmont Diner Health Salad, I also have what is purported to be the authentic recipe. And it also came years ago via my mother-in-law who got it from one of her sisters who lived near the diner. It is delicious! I only make it during the summer.

                                                        1. re: RGR

                                                          I was shopping in the Woodbridge Wegmans. Bot 1/2 lb of what was marked 'Clairmont Salad'...Not bad BUT nowhere near as good as the Clairmont Health Salad... Wonder if Harold knows about this faux salad?

                                                      2. re: jazzpjr

                                                        My parents (and grandfahter, when he was alive) used to talk all the time about how great the Weequahaic Diner was - my mom grew up in Newark, and when she and my dad were dating they apparently spent quite a bit of time there together.

                                                        1. re: nizza

                                                          Oh my gosh! I haven't thought about the Clairmont Diner in a gazillion years. That was THE diner back when I was a "Jersey Girl." It was about 45 minutes from where I lived in the 60's, and well worth the trip.

                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                            I think every body is spelling Claremont wrong. I think it should be this way. Used to go every Thanksgiving as a boy with my family, and there were unlimited refills on the Turkey. On the way out we would stop at their bakery for some toasted coconut cream pie. Boy was that good. And I remember the Bauman brothers with their thick German accents yelling out for example Braunstein party of 4, party of 4 Braunstein. There was always a wait. They also ran the Weequahic Diner in Newark, which was near the Tavern another great restaurant, with their famous Pantry next door, which remarkably used the same recipe for their toasted coconut cream pie. Also in nearby Hillside was the most remarkable bakery called Mittleman's

                                                        2. Does any one remember the FOURSOME DINER on St. George's Avenue in Rahway? We are going back years and years...I would say abou 25 years ago.. It was moved to another state I think. Now it is a Bank. (It was in the Drug Fair plaza)

                                                          I can't believe I even thought of this place!!

                                                          1. Six Brother's Diner in Montclair (Little Falls?)! HOT WAITRESSES!

                                                            1. Stirling House Diner in Stirling - Good grilled chicken salads

                                                              Sunset Diner on 22 in Green Brook - Weekday breakfast specials

                                                              Mastoris in Bordentown - Diner on steroids

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: fpatrick

                                                                YES! The Stirling Diner! My friends and I used to drive there late at night from Bernardsville during high school when we were bored and looking for something to do. This is where I discovered the joyous wonder of real grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese fries with a side of gravy...aka Disco Fries.

                                                                My mother and I used to go here for breakfast sometimes as well. Good solid diner food. Just what you'd expect.

                                                              2. Check out Skylark in Edison on Route 1 South. It's either newly built or completely remodeled. It's owned by the people that run the Pines Manor. It's not your typical diner; It's more upscale. Still, you can get just about anything there, untill late at nite, including breakfast.

                                                                The food is excellent, particularly the daily specials. The French Toast, Penne Vodka, and Fidsh & Chips are all very good. There's also a lounge area with drink specials and a happy hour.


                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: lioya

                                                                  But check your bill when you are finished. I had to call the waitress over to get me a menu to straighten out an error. Even when I showed it to her, she didn't appologize...and neither did the woman manager who gave me a corrected bill. Just a pet peeve.

                                                                  1. re: lioya

                                                                    We had dinner at the Skylark in Edison last night--I was hoping the quality of the food would be similar to the the similarly wacky-formatted and upscale (different owners) City Limits Diner in White Plains and Stamford, where I've always eaten well. Meal immediately started off with service issues--waiter seemed to have serious problems communicating beyond grunts. Then he disappeared after giving us menus--we had to ask another waiter to find him for us.

                                                                    Long after we ordered, he brought a platter of bruschetta, served on slices of bread that were not given enough time to get crisp. Salad that came with my main course was very good.

                                                                    I ordered the special of grilled hanger steak, and it was good, came rare as ordered, meat and sauce were flavorful and satisfying. Roast potatoes were terrible--thick slices of Idahos (the iceberg lettuce of the potato world), dry and flavorless. Wife ordered flank steak rare. We both agreed that what came out was not flank steak, taste and texture was more like shoulder london broil. Plus, it came out medium and dried out, like it sat under the lights too long. She was too tired to send it back and endure a wait, so she suffered in silence. They have an interesting sounding wine by the glass list. I ordered a glass of Zig Zag Zin. It tasted like it had been sitting in a bottle that had been opened weeks ago. By that point I was getting disgusted, so I didn't send it back.

                                                                    After main course, waiter came over and tidied up the table by scooping up the crumbs in his hand. Utensils obviously optional with this guy.

                                                                    Ordered a slice of tres leche cake for dessert. Waiter brought the cake--I had to ask for forks (see above). Cake was OK, but nothing special.

                                                                    Because it was a weeknight, we got a table right away. But there was a pile of beepers on the counter--I guess they do a huge business on weekends.

                                                                    Overall, I'd say you can probably get lucky and have a good meal at the Skylark. Our service problems, which became comic after awhile, seemed to be isolated to this one guy, because the rest of the waitstaff seemed friendly and competent. The ingredient substitution was inexcusable--in fact, it's outright fraud--, but a customer can never win a dispute over that. We will settle that one by not going back.


                                                                    1. re: albinoni

                                                                      I ate at the Skylark on Rt 1 near New Brunswick on its opening night... (same one?) I dont remember anything spectacular about service or the food... I came down with a wonderful bout of gastrointestinal discomfort (to put it mildly) shortly after arriving home, as did all of my fellow diners, which we took to be odd as we all had ordered different things. Needless to say, we never went back. Thinking back, I also remember a problem with the check that needed straightening out.

                                                                  2. One word Mastoris


                                                                    HUGE Place, Awesome Food, Great Complimentary Homemade Breads


                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: shauben2007

                                                                      But somehow, I just don't think the food quality is up to highest standards. And I ordered something with a seafood side dish...and it was tiny. I expected more.

                                                                      1. re: shauben2007

                                                                        I have been going to Mastoris sense i was a little kid. Love it
                                                                        I really have to say if you haven't tried this dinner/restaurant.
                                                                        You really have to go you will love it. Every type of food menu is
                                                                        unbelievable, never saw so much to choose from.
                                                                        The prime rib, you could beat someone up with it and knock them out. Great place

                                                                        1. re: shauben2007

                                                                          I totally concur 1000%. In fact, I think Mastoris is my favorite place to eat in ALL of NJ!!! They will cater my wedding (whenever I decide to pin down a date)!!!!!

                                                                          1. re: shauben2007

                                                                            Always surprised by the crowds, and positive food reviews, at Mastoris. The complimentary cinnamon and cheese danish everyone gets upon sitting down is this single best part of Mastoris. We've eaten here dozens of times since I live 10 min away. The food has never been good, always mediocre. They have one of those HUGE menus with everything under the sun. I'd rather have just a few great dishes, but I haven't found them at Mastoris yet. If it weren't for the easy location I would never go.

                                                                            1. re: shauben2007

                                                                              Wow, their prices have gone way up since I was last there. 9.50 for a burger? Maybe that bread basket isn't complimentary after all. High prices at a diner kind of defeats the purpose. Golden Dawn in Hamilton is good but their prices have gone way up too.

                                                                              1. re: shauben2007

                                                                                Sorry, but I've been to Mastoris over the years and have found the quality on the decline and the prices on the rise. If I'm going to pay upwards of $40 for beef, I'll go to a steakhouse. If I go for any reason, it's the bread baskets. Second to none.

                                                                              2. Not exactly a diner, but the Boardwalk Grill on Rt. 9 is fabulous for breakfast...their corn muffin pancakes with homemade strawberry syrup are to die for. This is a tiny place...about 6 stools and 6 tables...but definitely worth checking out.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: MartiniQueen

                                                                                  what town is this place in - sounds like something to try!
                                                                                  mmmm...corn cakes

                                                                                2. Alas, the Wildwood Diner is gone. I drove by this summer and saw a pile of rubble. We used to have a family business in Wildwood, and a post 12 AM dinner there after our store closed was a real treat.

                                                                                  The Shore Diner (Exit 36 of the GSP) serves really good diner food. Athena's, on Route 9 in Northfield is also good when diner food cravings run rampant.

                                                                                  1. Around here in South Jersey I like the Club Diner in Bellmawr (breakfast - scrapple, pork roll egg n cheese), and the Five Points Diner in Deptford

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: misterj

                                                                                      Stratford diner is decent too.. Vincentown diner is worth the drive for the sweet potato pancakes... those things are HEAVENLY.

                                                                                    2. Kind of surprised I didn't see the Elgin Diner listed. Spotless, bakery on premises, excellent food. Introduced me to fried whiting and eggs for breakfast and a grilled sticky bun. Probably my all time favorite diner. South side of Camden on Mt. Ephraim Pike (Rt. 168.)

                                                                                      1. I love the Meadows Diner on the Black Horse Pike in Blackwood. It used to be the Blackwood Diner (I think). The chicken ceasar salad and lunch specials are awesome! best of luck on the book...

                                                                                        1. Diner Writer, Food Network.com has several articles on diners, diner history if you are looking for resources.

                                                                                          Before the county came in and built a parking lot in Westfield, my parents business was one of a few retail stores sharing that space. I have fond memories of spending breakfast lunch and even dinner at the Excellent diner. When the diner moved it was an event! I have several photographs of the move if you are interested.

                                                                                          Good luck with your research.

                                                                                          1. Does anyone remember the Foursome Diner on St. George's Avenue (Rt.27) in Rahway??? Now in it's place is a bank, but I recall that diner was picked up on a truck and moved somewhere. It was so retro. Sky and baby blue all over. Ahhhh memories..:)

                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Angelina

                                                                                              I don't remember Foursome but there is a fab diner on St. George Ave/Iselin today. Have you been there?

                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                I hope you are not talking about the Reo on Rt. 35 in Woodbridge? That place went downhill 100% since new owners took over about 2 years ago. Is that what you were thinking?

                                                                                                1. re: Angelina

                                                                                                  Nope Angelina, the name is escaping me at the moment but its borderline Rahway/Iselin at St. George Ave. I've never been to the Reo

                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                    The Galaxy Diner. Recently renovated, pretty pricy for a diner.

                                                                                                    1. re: jrd303

                                                                                                      That's it! I don't recall price but I had a great meal there.

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                        I can't beleive I went blank on that! Thanks jrd303!! I have not been to the Galaxy since the renovations. I used to also go to the othe Galaxy then owned on Rt. 9 South, next to KFC. (They sold the property to Wal-mart :(

                                                                                              2. An unusual version of a diner, to be sure, but the White Rose System in Highland Park has great hamburgers, Pork RollEggCheese sandwiches and DoubleCaliCheeseBurgers (although a bit pricey for those). The Burgers are just like White Castle Belly Bombers on Steroids. Great onions.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: MoxieBoy

                                                                                                  UPDATE>>>Just at White Rose a few days ago. They just replaced their drink machines (typical punch, orange and grape) with a refrigerator with CANNED soda. Lost lots of its diner 'feel' now. Can't even get a free cup of water (they tried to sell me two bottles of water for about a buck twenty each). Sorry.

                                                                                                  The burgers were still terrif, but a bit of diner character was lost.

                                                                                                  1. re: MoxieBoy

                                                                                                    Man... that was our destination after going out. I miss the White Rose System like nobody's business.

                                                                                                  2. Ponzio's diner in Cherry Hill, Nj on Route 70. The cheese rools are delicious!

                                                                                                    1. I like Pat's Diner in Trenton (hoping it's still there). At my last check it was one of the dwindling few of the 24-hour diners besides Mastori's in my area. I love Mastori's with its psycho-huge menu, but Pat's was closer, which can make a difference at 3 am. Good food too--very tasty french fries. As long as I can get a decent grilled cheese and fries, I am generally happy at a diner.

                                                                                                      Anybody know of any 24-hour places in the Trenton/Princeton area other than Mastori's and Pat's?

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                        Mastori's is VERY good but I don't think that it is a 24-hour place anymore. We stopped by on a recent Sunday night around 11:30 and they were closed up tight.

                                                                                                        1. re: medford

                                                                                                          Oh crud! Hopefully it's only sunday nights that they close early? Otherwise my late-night options are more narrow than I thought

                                                                                                      2. Did anyone catch the recent food channel travel/food show that had a diner episode? The Bayway Diner in Elizabeth was one of the diners spotlighted. Tiny and recently remodeled, they do a few special things like roasting their own beef for cheesesteaks,etc. I plan to cross the Goethals soon to try it. Refinery cusine, hmmm lol

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: jpeee

                                                                                                          The Alexis Diner in Denville is the best and most consistent diner I've visited in a decade. The service is excellent, and the food is fresh and terrific. The fish dishes are exceptional, and the soulaki, burgers, and egg dishes are standouts.

                                                                                                        2. We were at the Columbus Farmers Market today and asked a vendor where to have lunch. She sent us to Mastori's. We were very pleased!

                                                                                                          1. I just thought of this one...The Freehold Grill on Main St. I only have been there once for cheeseburgers. The place is so cute! Little box car, and the food was super fresh. I am never in the mood to eat in a diner, but I just remembered this little gem.

                                                                                                            1. I'm so sorry to hear about the decline of the Reo. Politics aside it was a good diner in it's day. The new management won't last long with their attitude.

                                                                                                              1. How about Top's Diner in Newark??? Or, (if memory serves me) the Coach House Diner in North Bergen, NJ? Top's is one of those old fashioned NJ diners - large portions - home made desserts - frequently a wait to get in. NOT in a glamorous area - but, good diner fun! I have not been to the Coach House in years, but it used to be good I believe...

                                                                                                                1. OB Diner Point Pleasant great fries and shakes

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                                                                                                                  1. re: timmy

                                                                                                                    Seconded. I go to the OB diner a little *too* much. Their menu is gigantic, the portions are hearty, and the food quality has always been outstanding. Couple that with good prices, and you have a diner that ranks among my favorites. It's not glitzy or fancy.. just a classic diner with a very 1980's / 1990's feel to it, which is probably the last time they updated the decor. :)

                                                                                                                  2. Hibernia diner in Rockaway Township

                                                                                                                    1. I'm fairly new to the Hightstown area. The Americana and Claremont (formerly USA) are good - but I can't find a decent french fry in this state to save my life. Everywhere has those pre-shellacked "double-fried" tasting fries (I think the point of those is that they stay crispy no matter how long they sit under the lights). Does anyone know of any diners in the area that make their fries out of potatoes?

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                                                                                                                      1. re: Paul N

                                                                                                                        Wasn't that the Queen's Diner? My father used to take me there every sunday morning when I was growing up.

                                                                                                                        1. re: IPlayWithMud

                                                                                                                          The current Claremont (which was called USA when it first re-opened after a "retro" renovation) was formerly called The Golden Coach, IIRC. Apparently, the "USA" owners also ran the Country Diner for a short time, which is on Rt. 130 a few miles south, since it was called the USA Country Diner before it closed a year or so ago with a "Closed for Revolutions (sic)" sign in the window.

                                                                                                                      2. Does anyone remember the Deuville(?)Diner on Rt 18 S in East Brunswick( where ithe jug handle is next to Loemann's Mall? It had a spaceship-like building as the office for the motel.
                                                                                                                        Strom's ()Greek Rest. on Albany St. in New Brunswick?
                                                                                                                        Finnaly, a long shot, a hot dog joint on Ferry St. in South River called The Greeks. This place has given me a 50 year addiction to chile dogs.

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                          I too loved the Wildwood Diner as a kid--but then again, like I said I was a kid, so I wonder how good it really was. I remember though loving the deviled crab more than life itself.

                                                                                                                          Circa 1970s, Olga's *was* the standard. Relax if you've been the last decade or so--it's not close to being the same. I said "was".

                                                                                                                          I rememeber my grandparents loved the Country Diner on the White Horse Pike, though my grandmother insisted on calling it the "Country Squire". And the diner at the Berlin Circle (Pallas?) back in the day was pretty good.

                                                                                                                          Now, no question: Mastoris.

                                                                                                                          1. re: FatAndOld

                                                                                                                            I think I actually laughed out loud when I read Olgas..I live around Marlton and pass by it all the time, but I've never really heard a good review of the place. Although I've heard some rumblings around that the food quality has increased... so maybe its worth a revisit? I'll let someone else chance it first.

                                                                                                                            1. re: tokyosweetheart

                                                                                                                              Olgas closed a few months ago. It was gross, so you didn't miss anything by not stopping in. I also heard it was very good in the past, but went downhill in the 90's.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mschow

                                                                                                                                Olga's was my favorite stop on rte 73 in the 80"s best creamed chip beef ever, and the toasted cinnamon buns were out of this world. I'm glad I didn't stop in during its decline.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                                                                                  I was in that area in the late 80's/early 90's and while I agree the diner part wasn't that good, I found the bakery to be pretty solid.

                                                                                                                        2. I have had some good meals at the Pegasus in Malaga.

                                                                                                                          1. My favorites are the Summit Diner, The Echo Queen (on rte 22 in Springfield/Mountainside), The North Arlington Diner, and Tops in Harrison, NJ.

                                                                                                                            I end up eating at the Summit Diner a lot but only because I live about a block from it. The food is always what I expect it to be, the building/dishes/waiters/cook are all authentic from the 1940's and it is one of the few places in Summit that I can say has a "community" atmosphere.

                                                                                                                            The Echo Queen on Rte 22 is very Greek and very covered in chrome. They have a nice selection of pies and a pretty extensive menu.

                                                                                                                            Tops in Harrison (East Newark) was recently redone a few years ago and has a very nice interior/exterior now. The food is good and it has a lot of parking (which isn't common in Harrison).

                                                                                                                            The North Arlington diner is also good. I like the food there a lot and they usually have a lot of good specials. Also, it is open very late so it is a good place to meet if you feel like having dinner at 1:00 AM.

                                                                                                                            1. A couple people mentioned the Foursome in Rahway. In the mid-1970's (I was about 10-11 yrs old), I would ride my bike there and get a grilled cheese with a Coke for $1.10, and felt very grown-up/independent doing so. Some very fond memories then/there.

                                                                                                                              1. There is a great diner in Williamstown, NJ, on Route 322 called Peter's Diner. I've been there several times and had a great meal each time. When it first opened, there was a waiting list a mile long to get in on weekend evenings, even a month after the grand opening. Luckily there was an attractive waiting area, complete with bench seating and televisions!

                                                                                                                                1. Peter's Diner by far the BEST in South Jersey. Love the entire menu, especially the creamed chip beef on toast. The saute dishes are always great. Usually have enough food left over for 1 to 2 additional meals!! Soups are fresh. Sandwiches and salads are fab. You cannot go wrong.

                                                                                                                                  1. I used to enjoy the Vincentown Diner when I lived in that neck of the woods...now I'm more likely to hit the Woodstown Diner.

                                                                                                                                    Check this out http://www.njdiners.com/

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                                                                                                                                    1. re: BigSteve

                                                                                                                                      Did you ever try their sweet potato pancakes?? : D

                                                                                                                                    2. Definitely either The Horizon (Ramsey) or Stateline (Mahwah)!

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                        Whitman Diner(Blackhorse Pike)Turnersville,NJ

                                                                                                                                      2. The Forked River diner on Route 9 near the intersection of Lacey Road is a good example of an old fashioned diner. It looks like one of those old silver air stream trailers. I don’t think they’re even open for dinner. They mainly serve breakfast for fishermen going to one of the marinas off of Route 9. They consequently make excellent breakfasts. Their corned beef hash is the best I’ve ever had, especially at 5 in the morning.

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                                                                                                                                        1. re: TomDel

                                                                                                                                          Suburban Diner, Route 17 Paramus

                                                                                                                                          Mastoris, Rt 206 Bordentown

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Babs16

                                                                                                                                            I can't believe no one (at least that I saw) mentioned The Peter Pan diner in Sayerville (pretty sure it falls in thier town limits). They have this cinnamon swirl bread that they make in-house and then use it to make French Toast, it's good stuff...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Spiritchaser

                                                                                                                                              It was mentioned very early in this thread...And it's name is Peter Pank Diner.

                                                                                                                                              Peter Pank Diner
                                                                                                                                              967 US Highway 9 N, Sayreville, NJ 08872

                                                                                                                                        2. Mastoris in Bordentown New Jersey, but lots of others as well some here and some gone....DEB

                                                                                                                                          1. Alexis Diners is awesome. They were voted #1 in Morris County for a few years in a row. I love their breakfast platters. It's an institution!

                                                                                                                                            1. I always been a fan of "way better than average diners" both in "quality of food and price."

                                                                                                                                              here's a couple of my favorites:

                                                                                                                                              South Plainfield NJ...at the "end of Oaktree Road heading West" ...little place...BIGGEST PORTIONS, GREAT BURGERS AND PRICES...little place...

                                                                                                                                              Red Lion Diner...on the circle...Rt 206 and Rt 70...south Jersey...lower than average prices and very good food...

                                                                                                                                              ...these are two I'll stop at anytime I am in vicinity.

                                                                                                                                              I was sorry to hear the Claremont Diner on Bloomfield Ave in Verona is gone...

                                                                                                                                              that was about the Best...but I rarely was in that area anymore...I live by Atlantic City and most diners are average fare and Pricey...so I been going to Carrabbas, and Outback Steakhouse...if I'm gonna have to pay that much...I'll pay a little more and get great stuff....


                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: flashrob

                                                                                                                                                Towne & Country Diner on rt37 Toms River is my favorite for sure....try it!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: flashrob

                                                                                                                                                    Is Sherman's the place you're thinking of in South Plainfield?

                                                                                                                                                  2. I love diners but there are few true diners left. Anyone remember the Colonial Diner on Rte 1 in Princeton? They had the best pickles and charbroiled burgers! The Princetonian has a mean burger and Golden Dawn in Hamilton is good but prices have soared.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Geetz's Diner and Peter's Diner both on the Black Horse Pike in Williamstown. Both have good food and PLENTY of it.

                                                                                                                                                      1. i would say americana on rt 130 is #1 with mastoris being #2
                                                                                                                                                        and i dont even live that close to them!!

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                                                                                                                                                        1. re: boodie1821

                                                                                                                                                          Does anyone have diner suggestions in Cherry Hill, NJ?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lotus7

                                                                                                                                                            Seasons Diner rt36 in Eatontown great pastrami sandwich today for lunch place was packed at 12:30 pm......was going to try Bobby Flays Burger Place across the street but after reading the posts here decided to avoid it.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Lotus7

                                                                                                                                                              Ponzios on Route 70 in CH is an institution in the Philadelphia area. I don't know that it's as good as some of the other diners mentioned, but they do have a huge menu and plenty of seating. Stay away from the Cherry Hill Diner on Route 38. In another thread you asked for a nice place for lunch near the CH mall. Are none of the suggestions that were given suitable?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lotus7

                                                                                                                                                                Marlton Diner on rt 70 has decent food/service.
                                                                                                                                                                Vincentown diner (worth the drive) rt 206
                                                                                                                                                                Medford diner rt 70
                                                                                                                                                                Stratford diner rt30 .
                                                                                                                                                                diamond diner (dont recall location) decent food, if i recall correctly
                                                                                                                                                                all somewhat close to cherry hill.

                                                                                                                                                            2. The Point Diner is Somers Point is pretty good. I recently had a good old fashioned diner meal. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and pickeled beets. The leftovers made a great sandwich the next day! Photo attached (I hope)

                                                                                                                                                              1. Mastori's in Bordentown, and Ponzio's in Cherry Hill are the two best diners in NJ

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jimmybinns

                                                                                                                                                                  To call Mastori's one of NJ's best diners is an insult to NJ diners. See the Mastori's thread from a could of days ago, most are unanimous. The food is just OK, but wouldn't even make my top 20 NJ diners. Good danish.


                                                                                                                                                                2. I had dinner at Mastori's last night with friends...and it reinforced every negative opinion I had about the place - over-sized portions of below-average good at very high prices. I picked up a loaf of their cinnamon bread on the way out, by far the best thing they make...price for a single loaf..$9.00. $9 for a simple loaf of bread from a diner. I'm sure I'll be back, if only because of the location...it sure won't be for the food or value.

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: frackit

                                                                                                                                                                    I admit to driving 45 minutes out of my way to try the cinnamon bread. I thought it was ok. Not bad by any means but not great either. I've never gone 45 minutes out of my way again to for it.

                                                                                                                                                                    It seems like they do just enough to create chatter and a good enough location to be worth trying.
                                                                                                                                                                    Is it just big portions? Is part of it also not much competition? .

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrd303

                                                                                                                                                                      There is some competition, but really it's that they've been around the longest, they offer the biggest portions, they are open all the time (getting more and more rare) and they have a huge space. People have banquets there, bus trips go there, etc. I think some people just forget there are other diners in the area.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: frackit

                                                                                                                                                                      Dude, they charged you $9? Seriously?! That's insane. I love the cinnamon bread (like you say, the best thing there) but I always feel like I'm gonna go into a diabetic coma after a couple slices.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                                                        I think people just like the ch and cin bread because it's free. Frankly I really don't think it's good at all.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: frackit

                                                                                                                                                                        did they MAKE you buy it for $9? that's outrageous and I probably would have told them to keep it instead...

                                                                                                                                                                      3. The Colosseum Diner Linden NJ - AMAZING French Dip and French Fries
                                                                                                                                                                        Also Nestle Crunch Pancakes YUMMY :)
                                                                                                                                                                        (They have Oreo and Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes too)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. How is Peter Pank Diner on Rt 9 in Sayreville? Haven't been there in years.

                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                            I've always wondered why they named it Peter Pank. Did they get into a licensing dispute with Disney? :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bgut1

                                                                                                                                                                              If I remember correctly, it was the combination of the 2 partners names. We often go to the Vietnamese place on the opposite side of rt 9 behind Burger King instead.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                              Only good when you go with friends that you used to go with every single night in highschool, to reminisce.

                                                                                                                                                                              although the juke boxes on the tables in the counter area are nice, and i THINK they have a wine license? maybe?

                                                                                                                                                                              cole slaw and bread - eat it or destroy it. words to live by.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RPMcMurphy

                                                                                                                                                                                the places I used to go to w/ my buddies are gone, Swanee's Tavern on Pulaski Ave, the Sayreville Bar and Spezzi's. Sometimes the Crestwood in SR too.
                                                                                                                                                                                Blow Bombers Blow!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                Trust me...a total hangover place....BLAH!!! I went there once on a Sunday to meet my parents for breakfast...G-R-O-S-S.........I am not a diner fan, but when an omlette comes out with oil all over it...disgusting!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, I hated the place...just give me a cheesburger deluxe and I am happy !! (Until I get on the scale the next day.......)

                                                                                                                                                                              3. Is anyone familiar with the Park West Diner on Rte. 46, Little Falls?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Recently eat at Gus' Diner in Manalapan. Went a few years back when John (the tall Irish guy) was the manager. (What a funny guy!!! Oh my..the jokes he told!!! I thought I was at a Comedy show!!!) Anyway, I thought the food was pretty good for a diner. I know the people on the NJ restaurant forums are all "diner people" so I should probably post this there. The salmon I had over a bed of mixed greens, very good for my lunch...not over sauced either!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The Red Oak Dinner (Hazlet, NJ) redux has upped its game and should be added to this growing list of NJ Diners. https://www.redoakdiner.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The New Ewing Diner in Ewing, NJ is our favorite diner. We have 2 kinds under 2 years old and they are so very accommodating, and it's always clean. Service is quick, food is fresh and good. They've done a GREAT job with the renovation (2008 I think it was re-done). Sometimes there's a wait, but there's a waiting room out front...how appropriate! We love the New Ewing Diner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MidAtlFoodDude

                                                                                                                                                                                        We enjoy the smaller Town & Country Diner on RT 37 Toms River....it's consistently good for Breakfast , Lunch or Dinner, & the price is right compared to most overpriced Bright lit Chandelier & Mirror laden expensive Diners out there! Service is very friendly also.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Some of my Favorite Diners are:

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tick Tock (Great Diner Food) - Route 3 in Clifton
                                                                                                                                                                                        Saddle Brook DIner (Good food but can be pricey) - Market Street in Saddle Brook
                                                                                                                                                                                        Buter Family Diner (Has really good dinner specials with large portions)on Main Street in Butler

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Hi. So, I love food. I'm from a serious Italian family and we don't mess around. As far as diners I could honestly say that the little diner in Freehold, (Think its called Tonys) right in town as Rts 537 and 79 is always very good and cheap. Great burgers, sandwiches, soups etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, the Broadway Diner in Red bank is good. Sometimes they have odd days but I could tell you that the Lentil soup, any salad especially the Southwest Chicken and best of all, the homemade belgium waffle, served best as a Sundae with your choice of several ice creams is the bomb! Also, if you live in the Bayonne area the same people have a diner there. Enjoy! P.S. They are both 24 hrs!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The other day I stopped in a small Linden diner, called The Grill. I remember when it used to be called the GM Diner. The diner has surprisingly been around for a long time, you can tell by it's exterior. Interior is cozy and home-y.

                                                                                                                                                                                            My waitress suggested their home-made burgers and french fries. I can't say I was anything less than satisfied. Fresh tastes so good, you can tell it's not frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                            706 W Elizabeth Ave, Linden, NJ 07036

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kobi13

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Summit Diner, in Summit. Not retro, it hasn't changed in decades. MIchael Colameco loves their corned beef hash.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: johnlockedema

                                                                                                                                                                                                Still open? WOW!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                The ham and eggs was the best that jfood can remember...big hunks of ham, great eggs and if you went early on a Saturday morning you could watch the loving care as the cook cleaned the flat-top.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Lyndhurst is having a diner renaissance, of a sorts. The Colonial Diner (my favorite local diner) is expanding, and renovating, as is the Schulyer Diner. The Schulyer has sat vacant for a few years, so this renovation (into a diner/restaurant, blech), should be interesting.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: phDuh

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm surprised you are the first one to mention The Colonial! I remember your letting me know that it had expanded when I posted elsewhere about the wonderful tiny old-style throwback it used to be. I was in the area recently and drove by the expanded place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't remember noticing activity at the Schulyer Diner, though. What's the status?

                                                                                                                                                                                                What about the Lyndhurst Diner? That was one I went to not infrequently also, especially when staggering back after a late, late night in NYC. It was decent place, and seemed to be doing just fine when I swung past it also on this last trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Colonial Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                27 Orient Way, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

                                                                                                                                                                                                Lyndhurst Diner & Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                540 Riverside Ave, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The Boonton Diner is very good for breakfast (the only meal that I've had there). The pancakes with apples, raisans and nuts are superb! Eggs are fluffy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NJTom

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you eaten there since they remodeled/reopened (maybe under new ownership, can't remember)? We never eat there because it always seems to be closed, but maybe we'll make more of an effort if it's good. We usually go to Hibernia Diner (because it's 2 minutes from the house) or Alexis Diner (consistently good, but boring breakfasts).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alexis Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3130 State Route 10 Ste 20, Denville, NJ 07834

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hibernia Diner Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                  9 Green Pond Rd, Rockaway, NJ 07866

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Don't forget about the Alexis Diner in Denville. It's phenomenal. Just got rated #3 in the state of NJ just under Ticktock and Mastoris. It's got a great sautee and fresh seafood menu on top of all the diner staples. One of my favorites is the Italian BLT they have at lunchtime. It's also clean, I mean really clean, not a greasy spoon joint. The waitstaff is always really friendly too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alexis Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3130 State Route 10 Ste 20, Denville, NJ 07834

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: milupa

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The above poster is absolutely right on. The Alexis serves the freshest fish, the most perfectly grilled diner burgers, and never lets us down. The owner runs a tight ship: His waitstaff is always attentive, the food never leaves the kitchen without being attractively plated, with good portions of well-prepared food. I have never had a bad dish there, and the more complicated the dish, generally, the better the preparation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rruben1

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In Westwood N.J., is the Red Coach still there, affectionately known as the "RED ROACH"? In Florida, There is a good diner, "Dutch Valley".....AKA "Death Valley"

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'll add The Blue fountain Diner to the list in Toms River Rt 37 next to Aldi's....always packed with people and consistently great food.....Chef brothers Nicki & Jimmy do it right.....super daily menu specials also........and a great bang for the buck also....they have been there over 30 years .
                                                                                                                                                                                                    We go there a few times a week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The Jackson diner on Hope Chapel Road.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great burgers and cheese steak.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Retro look inside even though it is in a strip mall.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Only opened a couple of years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Service is exceptional

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. On a recent visit to my old state I sampled Alexis in Denville, Mastoris in Bordentown, and Brookside in Whippany/Hanover. All 3 were great, butmy favorite was Brookside for "diner feel", food quality, selection, and cost. Mastoris was top notch in quality (the free cheese danish at breakfast were unreal) and selection, but fell short in feel and cost (is it really a diner anymore?). Alexis has the feel, the quality and selection, but was a little pricy compared to my favorite, Brookside. Brookside's quality for our dishes beat Alexis slightly, has the best feel of the 3, equal selection (variety), and tied with Mastoris for quality. The cost was significantly the best of the 3. Wanted to hit Tick-Tock and Summit but never made them this trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm weirded out by the Skylark. It's so obviously a diner, but the menu doesn't match what I grew up with, so I have cognitive dissonance issues. The food is quite good, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't found a substitute for the Reo Diner, which used to be excellent and a real slice of New Jersey and now is dirty, expensive and poor food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's what I like about it. I think the menu is more restaurant than diner. They have a very inventive menu with lots of choices but if you have people in your group who like the old standys they got those also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is the Red Coach Diner, Westwood, still in business? Was not one of my favorites; it was known as "The Red Roach" by locals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's still there as far as I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yup I use to go there after "party nights" back in the 1960's. It was known as "The Red Roach" then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My buddy married a waitress who worked there way back when (Suzie). I've moved away from Bergen country since retirement but i go back once in a while and last year I went past it and the lot was full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just tried the Skylark yesterday - had the Cuban roast pork with rice and beens and a Sam Adams . The pork was excellent with a tangy spicy touch to it ! The service was good - I've read some negative accounts mentioning that but I'd call it good .

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. The Boonton diner used to be the best diner I ever had the pleasure of eating at, and actually was waaaay better than many "fine dining" restaurants in the area. That was a couple years ago though, and sadly, the succession of new owners can't seem to make it work. The food is just awful and the place is NEVER OPEN. Maybe the two are related, haha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My "go to" diner is the Alexis diner on Route 10. It is consistently awesome. They know how to get all the basic diner staples such as meatloaf right, yet they always have a great rotating selection of specials. I especially enjoy the greek specials - they often have pastichio on the specials which is sort of like a greek lasagne - you don't find that outside of a greek restaurant too often. The greek "meze sampler" is also good - it comes with a couple greek "meatballs", a small greek salad, some feta, toasted pita, and a piece of spanakopita. Their moussaka is tasty too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              They also have a good selection of awesome salads and they make (and bottle!) their own greek dressing which is fantastic. The only bad thing I can say is they are insane with some of the salad prices. I mean, the salads are like a work of art, but they have salads that cost 16 or 17 dollars which is hilariously expensive. Some of the other things are maybe a bit overpriced, but only by a buck or two. I don't mind paying for quality though. Owner is ALWAYS there, gives out free giant cookies to the kiddies, and watches everything like a hawk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ezsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ezsmitty - when was the last time you were at the Boonton Diner? I used to feel the same way as you (bad service, never open), but we went there in desperation a few weeks ago, and it about knocked my socks off. So much so, we went back the following week. Breakfast both times (they are only open for breakfast and lunch). Pancakes, wraps, breakfast burritos, and a killer Nova Benedict (eggs benedict with Nova salmon instead of Canadian bacon). YUM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree with you on the Alexis. Always good, always reliable. Sometimes a bit chilly in there (not that it would stop me from going).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: njkori

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I think they've been through at least 2 new owners since "Eddie" owned it and it used to be great. When I see a "grand reopening" sign I go in and try it out and see if the new people have a clue. It's been 6 months or more since I've been there. My wife has been there more recently for lunch and said it was just blah, neither good nor bad. I just put the kibosh to it because getting such mediocre food there after it used to be so so good is painful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  However, I'll give breakfast a try again. They got a tough hill to climb though because Doc's Kitchen in Denville (breakfast) knocks my socks off every time. Seems like you're from the area, you should try Doc's out and report back how it compares to the Boonton Diner breakfast.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ezsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will definitely try Doc's for breakfast (I live in Denville, actually). My husband went there once for lunch, and said it was just okay. BTW, we went back to Boonton Diner again last week (I told you we were addicted), and my husband had the kielbasa & eggs with homemade pierogies. Those pierogies are worth the trip if you're into that sort of thing. My breakfast (corned beef hash and eggs) was okay, but really paled in comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ezsmitty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Boonton Diner is closed now. Replaced by a Cafe y Canela (I think they have another in Morristown).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Doc's is better than ever. Their corned beef hash is simply awesome. But it can be a looong wait, especially on a Sunday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The Ritz Diner on Rt 10 in Livingston

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ritz Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  72 E Mount Pleasant Ave, Livingston, NJ 07039

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Top 5 fav diners- (no order)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tick Tock
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Budd Lake Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Broadway Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Northvale Diner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RIP- Tom's Diner in Ledgewood- My grandfather ate there everyday at 10:15- not 10:00 (to early) not 10:30 (to late)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Northvale Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    247 Livingston St, Northvale, NJ 07647

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Budd Lake Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    100 US Highway 46, Budd Lake, NJ 07828

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Pompton Queen on Rt. 23 North in Pompton Lakes, NJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I really like the food at the Northvale Diner but it is kind of pricey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For a great cheap eats diner with good food I love the Butler Family Restaurant & Diner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Northvale Diner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        247 Livingston St, Northvale, NJ 07647

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. This seems to be one of the longest running threads anywhere on CH. Recent activity reminded me to post about the Fountainbleu Diner on Stelton Road in Piscataway. They make a killer chocolate layer cake, but I am happy to report, after having dinner there about 2 weeks ago, that their bluefish--a main course that used to be ubiquitous in New Jersey diners but seems to be becoming harder to find-- is excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: albinoni

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do they still have the really delicious free cookies?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The Candlewick Diner in East Rutherford had a facelift and is actually quite nice. They also got a real chef, Barry Bonser, the former executive chef of The Pasta Factory in Teaneck and Church Street in Montclair and a veteran of city kitchens such as the 21 Club and Osteria del Circo (from a review). The menu is more upscale than the average diner, but the few things we have tried have been really good. I had a roasted veggie/goat cheese sandwich, whole grain pancakes, and a chicken sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Been to many many diners in NJ for the last 50 years and my favorite now is the Stirling Diner & seafood pavilion in Stirling on Valley road....am their at least once a week and always for Sunday breakfast, the kitchen takes particular care on how the customer wants their food prepared,....not many diners do.......well prepared fresh and tasty.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LEOFONT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also I must include the Bridgwater Diner on Rt. 22 middle island in Bridgewater,....caring management, making sure everything is to your taste,.....I heard from an employee recently that the Stirling Diner has been sold to a Korean........

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I gotta say there are some annoying things about this interface, like not being able to quote or post in different fonts, or preview my post. The below are the relevant statements in this thread about the Tick Tock:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Barbara: Tick Tock Diner -- Rt. 3, Clifton (oh, the late nights and hamburger deluxes of my youth)... 6/06

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ike: I don't visit diners often, but the Tick Tock is a good one. Good pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NJfoodLover: Tick Tock (Great Diner Food) - Route 3 in Clifton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                milupa: Just got rated #3 in the state of NJ just under Ticktock and Mastoris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                adameats: Top 5 fav diners- (no order) Tick Tock...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Can someone please explain to me what the attraction is? I just do not get it. Is it just that the location is very visible, or maybe it's nostalgia. After the external refurb a few years ago it looks good outside and the EAT HEAVY clock is memorable, but my visit for breakfast was anything but. The decor is pretty shabby and nothing I had was at all memorable. "Great pancakes" - how badly can you mess up pancakes. I really would like to know. I just don't get it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: WarmBeer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I may end up there tonight after a movie. I'll let you know what I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ebchower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't bother....it has really gone downhill as of late...they re vamped the menu (second time in a few months) lowered the quality and selection while raising the prices dramatically. Service was not up to par either. Better off going to the Ihop just east of the tick tock on rte 3...seriously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PuniceaRana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...or try the refurbished Colonial Diner on Orient Way *just* off Rte 3 in Lyndhurst. I would be curious to know how it is now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Colonial Diner is pretty good...loved the lentil soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: PuniceaRana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I went to Tick Tock and had a $16 fork and knife steak sandwich. It was excellent (as it should be for that price.) I would order it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ebchower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They charge you extra to get a fork and knife? Sounds like TT alright. ;-}

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned The Clinton Station Diner, Exit 13 off Rt. 78. Everything there is made and baked in house. Great sandwiches on some of the best freshly baked rye bread. Salad bar, real freshly squeezed orange juice, and quite possibly the BEST cheesecake you will ever have! Oh, and it's home to the biggest hamburger in the world...256 lbs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobrod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, and it's home to the biggest hamburger in the world...256 lbs!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not even close.......


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Was Meadowlands diner in carlstadt ,No more .......After going there for years,dining there cost about 100+ monthly,Seemed rude treatment from diners employees,with owner present,is acceptable,That was it for me,chose to dine elsewhere,give my money to a diner who treat customers with respect,and thankful for your buisness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Town & Country Diner rt 37 Toms River is now closed for good .......heard it went bankrupt..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Can anyone give me the scoop on the Morristown Diner? I have a feeling it will be a lousy overpriced downtown diner like the Millburn Diner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Morristown Diner does a decent breakfast, but for anything else look elsewhere. Three are many other good dining options in Morristown, many open quite late to serve the post bar crowd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. AFTER SEEING OVER 200 POSTS ON THE BEST NEW JERSEY DINERS.......IS THERE A "BEST" ...NEW JERSEY DINER ???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LEOFONT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If I had to pick, I'd go with Mastori's in Bordentown and the Skylark in Edison...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Curlz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not good with diner names, but the one in Hackensack, near the hospital, has always been satisfactory. Nothing extraordinary, but then we're talking about diners! I've ordered decent food at the Pompton Queen (I remember that name, for whatever reason) in Wayne, but the last time I was there, I had a dish that was pretty much inedible. I recognize that everyone can have a bad day, or an off dish, but I usually have a high tolerance for diner food, even decidedly mediocre diner food. Same thing happened at the Lyndhurst Diner in Lyndhurst. I've had decent food there in the past, and they seem to be generally pretty good with Italian dishes, but recently I ordered a pasta dish with shrimp and veal, that was tasteless mush. I had trouble telling the shrimp from the veal, and the pasta was a mess. Not sure if that was just a bad day, or a bad dish, but they seem to have been going downhill recently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also should mention that I particularly like the diner in Oakland. Decent food, abundant amounts of it, for not much money-- the definition of what a diner should be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: legsdiamond12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The diner near Hackensack Hospital is the Arena Diner...haven't been there recently, and used to go only for breakfast. Lunch once. Breakfast was "good" -- like many other diners. Stereotypical in my opinion. Nothing memorable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know some people who rave about the Pompton Queen. Mostly they are from PL and Wayne. I get that. I've been there and it's "good" -- I've had a few good salads there, a "good" breakfast, etc. I wouldn't rave about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now, I recently went to the diner in Oakland -- that was a very good breakfast. Very, very good. Just my personal tastes, but the potatoes/home fries were the "chopped" version. They were good, but I don't like that type. But I enjoyed the breakfast very much. It was very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ELA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Since I last posted regarding this, I've eaten at the Oakland Diner numerous times, and its become my "go to" Diner when I feel like partaking of diner food (which is sometimes determined by how much money I have...or don't have...in my pocket). Clean environment, reasonable prices, and very good food. I'll partake of a cheeseburger and fries when I'm here, and I also like the Greek style yogurt plate (with honey and nuts), which I don't generally eat, but it's so exceptionally made here that I can't resist. I've always felt about diners like I feel about pizza places--- there are thousands of them, but you remember the very good ones, and the very bad ones. This is a very good diner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ELA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If I'm not mistaken, the Arena was once known, many years ago, as Charcoal Corners...if any of the older CH'ers remember that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LEOFONT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Weequahic Diner in Newark. Long gone, but a classic. Opened in the 1930's and lasted through the 1960's. Basically a great Jewish delicatessen in a diner. Their cheesecake was legendary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My mom grew up in Newark and the Weequahic Diner looms very largely in her memories. My mom and dad also went there a lot when they were dating and for the first few years of their marriage, before it closed, and they talked about it all the time and how great it was. Always made me a little sad that I never experienced it myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Weequahic Diner was once owned by the Bauman family, who eventually opened the Claremont, up in Verona on Bloomfield Ave. It went through a lot of changes (including 2 fires,) but was always true to its roots. In later years Morrie Bauman sold it to Mel Schmel (Famous Deli in South Orange) and Harold (Harold's) before it finally moved to route 3 and evenutally went under.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Saddle brook diner is pretty good these days

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Baconlover124

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Old Story....at Old Saddle Brook Diner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My father and his friends used to meet up there for breakfast before heading off for their golf excursions. One in the group was a knowledgeable fellow on food and wine but he was not so much above,he could not enjoy more simple things....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Waitress: Good morning, what would you like for breakfast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Doc: The corned beef hash, is it made fresh or from a can?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Waitress: Never from a can....we only make it fresh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Doc: That's too bad...I only like it from the can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Double S in Vernon. A winna for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The famous Summit diner, had great food at one time, beef stew goulash ham everything, but the quality isn't there anymore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. It seems as tho EVERY diner in the entire state has a favorite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. There are some pretty good diners. In the last year I have have dined at a few. The ones that stand out and make me go back are Saddle Brook Diner, Northvale Diner and my favorite is the Butler Family Diner. Butler Family is more than just burgers and fries and casual food. They have some great dinner specials. The soups are always really good too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Just came across this page.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fun to read about everyone's favorite...or not so favorite...choices for Jersey diners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One that was a favorite was the Town and Surf on 35N in Middletown. It was the hangout after games and dances back in the '70's. George and his brother loved having all the kids. Service was always great and food was good, typical diner fare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also good diners in the area....Town and Country on 35N in Keyport and Red Oak on 35N in Hazlet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then there was the typical greasy spoon in Keansburg, the King 1 diner, closed for many years now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And Stanley's in Keyport....old stainless steel....they used to serve the best burgers (like White Castle). I heard they recently re opened and are serving great burgers again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm getting quite fond of the Colonial Diner in Lyndhurst, just off Rt 3. Food is fresh, staff is nice, and I never leave there wondering why I spent $X for *that*--which IS how I feel about the Tick Tock these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. A general fave of mine since working at Ft. Monmouth is the Rise & Shine Luncheonette, Eatontown, on Rt. 35 S. just a 5 minute walk from the West Gate...