New Jersey may be known as the Garden State. However, one of its famed dishes is more of the meatier variety. New Jerseyans from the north call it Taylor ham, but South Jerseyans call it pork roll. No matter what locals call it, the deli meat has been a staple in NJ diets since the mid-1800s.
And the best way to have it? Grilled to a crisp with eggs, cheese, salt, pepper, and ketchup on a roll or bagel. The Taylor ham sandwich might be easy to make at home, but there’s something comforting about getting it at a local spot. Find out where to get these porky dishes in northern New Jersey below.
Located right by the Boonton train station, the Old Towne Deli has been serving the North Jersey town for more than 45 years. Although it might look like your average local deli, it’s known for having one of the best Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches in the state of New Jersey. Unlike others who use Taylor Provisions (where the name “Taylor ham” originated), owner John Leone uses Thumann’s Jersey Made pork roll because it’s far less greasy than the others. If you stop by, make sure to add some home fries to round out the meal.
Bill’s Luncheonette is not just a great spot to grab a meal, but it’s also overflowing with history. While it was originally a general store and the Ironia Post Office in the late 1800s, the Crowley family has been serving breakfast and lunch here since 1949. Whether it’s the coffee roll or Nutella® French toast, anyone with a sweet tooth will be satisfied. Those wanting something more savory can indulge in one of the restaurant’s Taylor ham sandwiches, such as The “Mr. D” or the Heart-Attack, with all the meats between two pieces of bread.
The Committed Pig shows their commitment to no-frills comfort food with a menu filled with hearty dishes that, of course, pay homage to the pig. With burgers, grilled cheese, and pancakes (for the early risers) on the menu, you will not walk out hungry. But if you want to feel like a local, you can try out one of the restaurant’s pork roll sandwiches. Unlike the others, The Committed Pig tries to really remix the idea of the dish. The Brunchwich has American cheese, eggs, and extra pork with bacon between two thick pieces of French toast!
New York City may be known for making great bagels. But just across the Hudson River, Wonder Bagels has been serving Jersey City with some of the best bagels in the area. If you stop by one of their six locations in the morning, there is likely to be a line. But don’t worry as Wonder Bagels has the system down to a science and will have your toasted everything bagel with cream cheese or Taylor ham, egg, and ketchup on a roll ready for you in no time.
Get ready to step back in time when visiting the Summit Diner. The restaurant is housed inside an old railroad car that was made in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It also still has many of the original furnishings as well as the menus from 1939. Grab a plate of Taylor ham and eggs for breakfast. If that’s too early, Summit Diner also has you covered for dinner. Try one of the American diner standards or one of Jim Greberis’ family recipes from Greece, such as the spinach pie or moussaka.
White Rose Diner has been giving visitors and locals the classic diner experience for more than 25 years. Located in Linden, owner and chef Rich Belfer primarily serves breakfast and lunch, especially the award-winning Taylor ham, egg, cheese, and potato sandwich. There are other pork roll dishes including the Porky’s omelet (Taylor ham, bacon, and sausage gravy) and the Jersey Burger, which has a grilled slice of pork roll on top of the beef patty. No matter what the dish, anyone who grabs a meal at the White Rose Diner will leave with happy bellies.
The Bagel Chateau has been serving Westfield, New Jersey, for the past 30 years. Hailing from Brooklyn, the owners bring New York-style bagels and homemade spreads, which they make fresh every morning. While they offer a great toasted cream cheese bagel, they’re also well known for their Taylor ham sandwich and go through 100 pounds of deli meat a week. You can have the pork roll with eggs, cheese or both. They also offer other breakfast and lunch options if you’re craving something else.