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Oct 26, 2009 07:17 AM

Need diner on I 80 in NJ

We're travelling from central PA to JFK and would like to stop for lunch somewhere along route 80 in Jersey, closer to NY than PA. Any good diner suggestions that are not too far off the road. We won't have time to travel too far and then get to the airport.

Thanks for any suggestions, folks!

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  1. Hibernia Diner, Rockaway, NJ (I-80, Exit 37)
    easy on/off - VERY close to the highway.

    That's at about the halfway point between the Delaware Water Gap and the George Washington Bridge.

    1. A couple ofquestions on your route to JFK......are you planning to take I-80 straight to the George Washington Bridge, or do you plan a more southern route through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels? Also, whath time of day will you be traveling?

      On the Northern route to the GWB, you can get off in Maywood/Lodi/Saddle Brook (Exit 63). There you can go to The Saddle Brook Diner or The Chit Chat Diner. You can also take a detour to Route 17 North to Route 4 East and go to The Coach House Diner in take Route 4 East straight to The GWB......either taking Route 4 East or I-80 East Straight to Fort Lee will give you the options of The Red Oak Diner or The Original Pancake House.

      If you plan to take the Southern route, you would get off I-80 in Wayne and take Route 46 East a couple of miles just before Route 3 East, and there you will find Six Brothers on top of the hill in Little Falls. If you go a little further onto Route 3 into Clifton, you can go to The Tick Tock Diner, probably the most famous of all I have mentioned.....but you would need to make a U-Turn on Route 3......if you choose to do so, it a very easy turnaround both ways to get to the diner and back on your way to JFK. If you would like a classic diner car style place, The Colonial on Ridge Road, Lyndhurst is the local favorite......I just saw it featured in a stupid comedy movie (Beer League) on Cable TV if you want to see what it looks like.....I recommend the diner, not the movie, but it's very basic fare....prices are cheap for the menu and specials.

      BTW.....there are some serious contruction delays, depending on what time of day you are traveling, on I-80 East once you reach the Saddle Brook area. I believe ony the local lanes will be open during the next phase of repaving. Check traffic sites for more info relating to your needs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        Thank you both for the suggestions. And also thanks for the tip about the traffic. We will be stopping around 11:30 or 12 for lunch and hope to be at the airport by 3pm. We've never driven to JFK, so I'm not sure which is the best route to take. What would you suggest given the time of day we'll be travelling.

        1. re: CasaM


          The construction delays on I-80 are usually only during morning rush hour traffic, during the work week only, so I do not think it would be a problem for you on your day of travel. Two notes I will caution you on. If presented with the decision to take the Express Lanes or the Local Lanes….ALWAYS choose the local lanes. One quirk of all major highways in New Jersey, including the Garden State parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 95….is when you approach the toll, all the express lanes back up. The local lanes give you an option to take an alternative route. In your case, you could take the local roads through Fort Lee or NJ State Highways 4 or 46 to get to the GWB.

          I live 10 minutes from the GWB, so I may be a little biased in my recommendation for a route, but I would never recommend driving through Manhattan, midtown or lower, to get to JFK during the day. If you were traveling early, that would be different. Answering your query on the best route is not quite so easy, as it is heavily dependent on the actual day you will be in traveling. Once over the GWB, you have three options. You must take either the Cross Bronx Expressway, the FDR Parkway or the Major Deegan Expressway….then either the Whitestone or Triborough Bridges to get to JFK. If I were to type in directions on MapQuest , or similar site, it would tell me to take the Cross Bronx, to the Hutchinson Parkway and over the Whitestone Bridge to get to JFK….however, 9 out of 10 times, I will take the FDR, over the Triborough, to the Grand Central Parkway and to the Van Wyke to get to JFK. Taking the Major Deegan will also put you on this route as well. The reason for my decision to take the TB over the WS bridge has to do with the facts the Cross Bronx and construction schedules on either the WB or TB bridges.

          Although you may reach the GWB in a reasonable time, your biggest problem will be actually getting over the Hudson River crossing. This can take anywhere from 5-45 minutes. If there is a significant delay, it is usually due to the Cross Bronx Expressway, as it is the major artery to get to New England for trucks. In the past, I have made it to JFK in 30 minutes from my home, but that was during off hours. I would generally expect to take an hour, but no more than 90 minutes. Even if traffic is only moving slightly, you should be able to get to JFK before 3PM after your lunch. I do not mean to scare you with any of this information, but just prepare you to allow for ample time to reach the airport. I would also suggest you allow a minimum of 30 minutes if parking your car in a lot for the driver to get to the appropriate terminal and gate on a shuttle bus. The overall distance is not great, just the obstacles to get there.

          Once you reach the Parsippany area on I-80 where you will pass I-287, I would suggest you get on your laptop or tune in to AM Radio stations for traffic reports and alerts. There is a blue sign to direct you to local conditions, but at the moment, I cannot recall the station (maybe 560). The local stations to check are:

          1010 Wins……reports on the ones, 11, 21, 31, 41, and 51 minutes on the hour.
          CBS 880……..reports on the eights, 18, 28, 38, 48 and 58 minutes on the hour
          Bloomberg 1130….reports on the fives, 15, 25, 35, 45 and 55 minutes on the hour.

          I forgot to mention Jackson Hole in Englewood as a possible spot for you as a diner. It’s easily accessible from either I-80 or NJ State Highway 4, just minutes off either roadway and easily back onto the highway and less than 5 minutes to get to the

          I would further suggest you familiarize yourself with these sites for information.

      2. Just a couple of miles before the GWB is exit 71, Broad Ave, Englewood. A quiet area, very little traffic. Bear right off the ramp, go 1/2 mile to a T. Make left on Palisades Ave, in 2 blocks you will be in town, loads of choices for lunch.
        Bennies, very good pita sandwiches and salads, 54 E Palisade Ave.
        It's Greek to Me, great salads and shish kebab, 36 E Palisade Ave.
        Saigon, wonderful Vietnamese sandwiches (Banh Mi) 58 W Palisade Ave.

        Easy back to bridge, go right on Dean St, 3/4 mile to Rte 4 east toward NY.

        Diners are really past their prime, IMHO. Many better choices out there for the same money.

        1 Reply
        1. re: menton1

          Thanks everyone for your help. We decided to go more upscale than a diner this time and went to Nisi Estatoria in Englewood. I'm posting a review of it on a new thread but this diner info will surely be helpful to me in the future.