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Jun 6, 2009 08:20 AM

Help!Breakfast options along I-287 between Outerbridge and I-78 Exit

Planning first trip to Sands Casino in Bethlehem PA but am totally clueless on options for breakfast near I-287 between Outerbridge Crossing and I-78 Exit(21-b).Diners and fast food are fine since the real need is for a rest stop that is convenient for getting on and off the highway quickly.Please help New Jersey chowhounds.

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  1. That's a long stretch of highway but if I had to pick one place that is both convenient and offers terrific food it would be The Fine Diner in Clinton, NJ. It is 2-3 minutes from I-78 and is one of my favorite places for breakfast.

    1. Lots of fast food and diner choices at Exit 5 (Stelton Rd.) in Piscataway and or take, I guess it's 14 (a left lane exit) onto Rt. 22 West. The advantage of the latter is one can then proceed down 22, catch Rt. 202/206 North and jump back on I-287 without the dreaded "back-tracking". There used to be an "OK" diner (forgot the name but I think it's been changed since I frequented it ) right at the bottom of the merge lane onto 22, in the "middle" of the east and west lanes.

      (Aside to Ambrose- Better check your Esso road map- it's only about 25 miles from the Outerbridge and I-78, and nowhere near Clifton. <g> Or you may have misread the request. )

      5 Replies
      1. re: JessKidden

        ROFLMAO!! Actually, I do have some Esso road maps but they're all from Canada, where the name Esso still exists.

        As for The Fine Diner, it's right on the route mentioned by the OP. That's because it's in CliNton, not CliFton.

        Your suggestion to take Route 22 West is a good one because the diner you remember is still there. It's now called the Bridgewater Diner and is very good. I'd still pick The Fine Diner in Clinton though.

        OP: If you do take Route 22 West, don't bother trying to get back on I-287 via Routes 202/206. Just stay on Route 22 West which merges into I-78 at CliNton.

        1. re: ambrose

          Clinton - Clifton - 43rd President vs. King of Zydeco- whatever. (Donja just love when someone makes an error or typo like that when correcting someone else <g>).

          Still, I *thought* the OP was looking to stop *between* the Outerbridge and the I-78 - I-287 junction (i.e., Exit 21B of 287) - isn't CLINTON another 10-20 miles PAST that? Not that 15 minutes is much of a drive if it's the choice between an "okay" diner and a "Fine" one.

          Bridgewater Diner. Hmm... that rings a bell- was it once the Felix Diner, maybe?

          1. re: JessKidden

            I-78 is at exit 21 (I think) on I-287, which makes it about 23 miles from the bridge. That is also exit 29 on I-78. The Clinton Diner is at exit 16.

            On I-287, Stelton Road or rt. 27 (the Rutgers exit) are about the only places worth considering getting off. On I-78, Clinton and P-burg are the only choices. If you want to wait until Bethlehem, there are plenty of good places on the south side. It is a college town, after all.

            1. re: JessKidden

              ROFL again, this time at myself. Yes, I did not catch the fact that the OP wanted to stop for breakfast BEFORE the I-287 exit to 78 West (perhaps I should have read the subject line!!).

              I still think the OP should hold out until Clinton and The Fine Diner. This place is not a diner in the NJ sense of the word. It's a small restaurant that serves outstanding breakfast and lunch items. The Clinton Diner, which is located farther west, is mediocre at best and should be avoided.

              I don't know the Stelton road area at all so can't recommend anything there.

              >>Bridgewater Diner. Hmm... that rings a bell- was it once the Felix Diner, maybe?<<

              Yes, this is the old Felix #9 diner (number 9, number 9, number 9). Once voted one of the best diners in NJ, it really deteriorated and its age began to show. It was reincarnated as the Bridgewater Diner several years ago by the folks who own the legendary Spinning Wheel Diner on Route 22 East in Hunterdon County. IMO, the Bridgewater is far better than the Spinning Wheel.

            2. re: ambrose

              Is this the diner near the 202/206 circle? If so, I second the recommendation, though it's been several years since I've been there.

          2. Another option is to stop in Phillipsburg. Exit 3 off of I-78. Lots of places there, including a chocolate shop discussed on another thread.. And you can either get back on I-78, or continue on US-22 west to Bethlehem.

              1. re: wizard2

                If ure hungry as soon as you get onto 287, ditto on Patagis Diner. It's easy on, easy off 440S/287 No, exit for Rt 514 EAST bear right off exit about 200 feet. To get back on cross the road onto the 287 N entrance. Great diner.

              2. Fountainbleu Diner on Stelton Road.

                IHOP on Centennial Ave.

                Both off exit 5 on I-287