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Aug 16, 2009 12:59 PM

Searching for family-friendly restaurant stop near Woodbridge, NJ

Hi all,

I am searching for a lunch stop near Woodbridge, NJ that will have appropriate food and hopefully a little green space for the 2-year-old twins to run around a bit before resuming the 500 mile journey. It doesn't have to be exactly in Woodbridge. We are primarily looking for something that is about 3 hours from this stop:

435 Hartford Tpke # A
Vernon Rockville, CT 06066-4834

We would then also potentially be looking for another stop about 2-3 hours after that. The final destination is Ocean City, MD.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. Go past Woodbridge and get off the NJ Turnpike at exit 9 for New Brunswick. Get on Rt 18 North for a few exits/miles and go to Old Man Rafferty's - they will seat you in the family section so the kids can even run around a little there. After the food, head up the hill a few blocks and the kids can do some serious scampering on the Rutgers campus.

    1. yes rafferty's is good - go down rt 18 to find several more family Diners - A unique NJ experience !

      NJ diners have pages upon pages of selection from italian to greek tro american bergers and all in between .. usually very reasonably prices and many open 18 -20 hours daily . m -sunday!

      1. The Edison Family Restaurant fits your needs perfectly. Despite the annoying website Edison Family Restaurant is a bustling diner with good food and lots of kid friendly options on the menu. I've never been in there without there being tons of kids inside. Been in business for 30 years


        1900 Oak Tree Rd
        Edison, NJ 08820-2128
        (732) 906-2272

        There's a giant park 5 minutes away where the kids can run safely.


        The Turnpike and Garden State Parkway are both within 10 minutes of the Park or the Restaurant.

        1. I live in Woodbridge -- New Brunswick is a nightmare during the day, and very difficult to park. It is urban and not really convenient to just pullover and stop - its w/o traffic 10 minutes from the Turnpike. Edison Diner is friendly but EASILY 15 min and not convenient to the NJT or GSP. suggestions easy on/off the NJT: Millineum Diner, exit 10, on 514 EAST in Edison/Woodbridge border, 2 min off turnpike (there really isnt too much greenery here), but fast and decent diner food. Cracker barrel, maybe exit 2 down by the DMB, about 1.5 hrs depending on traffic from maryland.

          3 Replies
          1. re: nyebaby37

            I believe that you are referring to Pantagis Diner at Exit 10. I would certainly make that stop.

            1. re: nyebaby37

              I respectfully disagree. From Exit131 Parkway South it's only five minutes and that's with Google's conservative estimates. I'm in that area on a daily basis and there's no traffic during lunch time. From the Turnpike it's only eleven minutes:

              To Roosevelt Park from the Edison Family Restaurant ten minutes:

              Back to the Parkway/Turnpike is only another ten:

              If you decide to go to Pantagis you can go to Fords Park:

              1. re: nyebaby37

                I agree with nyebaby37 that parking in downtown New Brunswick for Old Man Rafferty is a pain in the butt. And Route 18 from the NJT to downtown New Brunswick is still under construction. Overall not a good choice.

              2. Maybe downtown Metuchen would be a good place for you to check out. There's a nice downtown area to walk around a bit before you head back onto the road. Main Street Trattoria is a nice place to grab some lunch, with an ice cream shop right across the street. There's also some specialty stores and book shops. There are several restaurants on the main drag if you don't feel like Italian including Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese, a cafe, and more.