Want to get the best stack of pancakes with New Jersey blueberries? Or enjoy a Taylor ham, egg, and cheese with a cup of coffee? These diners are all about authenticity—not the hippest diners or the ones with the most avant-garde food. These are the truest diner experiences in North Jersey that draw locals and tourists alike.
Diner, American, $$$
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The Summit Diner is as classic as a New Jersey diner gets. As one of the oldest diners in the state, the establishment is just what you would imagine from a place that was built in 1929—and really hasn’t changed much. If you’re headed to the Summit Diner, make sure you try the Slider, a Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwich that is supposedly so good that it slides into your stomach. And because you’re in North Jersey, it’s Taylor ham (which might be confused for South Jersey’s name for the salty breakfast meat, pork roll).
Right off the Morristown Green and center of town, the Morristown Diner has welcomed guests with its red sign and classic diner fare for the past 22 years. Locals stop by for any of the classics on the menu, which ranges from a cup of coffee to a stack of pancakes to die for to a plate of disco fries piled high with gravy and cheese.
Known in New Jersey as more than just your typical diner, Tops has a full bar, two full-time bakers who create to-die-for cheesecake, plus a menu that features everything from fresh seafood to the popular meatloaf. All of this makes it a perfect, authentically over-the-top New Jersey experience.
If you’re in need of a pancake, this is the diner for you. Started by a Greek immigrant family in the ’70s, this diner is truly family owned and brings good food and familial comfort to those who dine in it in Jersey City. With breakfast served all day, you can come to the Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory and experience what it means to eat in a Jersey diner.
Starting out as a World’s Fair building in 1939, the White Mana Diner was moved across the river to Jersey City and opened in 1946. Sitting on the corner, “the diner of the future” looks a bit like a flying saucer. Its history coupled with its famous burger—of which they allegedly serve 3,000 per week—makes this diner a must-see.
The Park Wood Diner is a go-to in Maplewood, New Jersey. Its extensive menu features American classics like pumpkin pecan pancakes and hamburgers. A handful of their specials also include Greek specialties and Mexican fare.
Located in a train car from 1927, the Clinton Station Diner offers a dining experience that is as nostalgic as the vintage décor. On the menu are old-school recipes, including hand-cut fries and freshly squeezed juice. Also, as an added surprise, the Clinton Station Diner bakes its own bread twice a day.