The Diners Who Define New Jersey | travel expert

By on May 12, 2022 0

Neon signage, cake stands, and always open late—you can’t discuss American dining history without mentioning the restaurant.

Although NJ didn’t invent the restaurant, it certainly popularized it. With more than 600 spread across the state, New Jersey has more diners than any other place in the country.

In this article, we’ll discuss the most important and iconic restaurants that have helped make New Jersey what it is today: the restaurant capital of the world.

Dinner at the top | Summit, New Jersey

Starting this list with the oldest restaurant still open today, Summit was built by Jerry O’Mahony, the man credited with designing some of the world’s first restaurants. His wagon engineering model helped spark the golden age of restaurant manufacturing in New Jersey and is the reason it is called the Restaurant Capital of the World today.

Dinner at the topJennifer Healey/Unsplash

Mustache Bill’s Diner | Barnegat Light, New Jersey

An ode to the American dream of hard work, owner Bill Smith went from teenage dishwasher to restaurant owner in 1972. This place epitomizes everything the restaurant is famous for. From its flashy exterior to the community friendliness once you enter.

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Bill’s MustacheDana Pilz/Unsplash

The roadside restaurant | Wall, New Jersey

Used as the cover location for one of Bon Jovi’s albums, The Roadside Diner definitely holds the title of one of Jersey’s most iconic restaurants. But that’s not the only thing about this restaurant that makes it authentic. Filled with Yankees memorabilia and quirky 1940s stands, Roadside celebrates all things old-school.

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Classic dinnerEmma Heart / Unsplash

Broad street dinner | Keyport, New Jersey

This authentic restaurant has been around since 1953. You’ll remember that 1950s nostalgia at every turn. From red and black booths to metal chairs and memorabilia hanging from the walls, Broad Street is one of the few classic restaurants still in operation in the Garden State.

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wide streetMichael Bowman/Unsplash

Angelo’s Glassboro Dinner | Glassboro, New Jersey

Not much has changed since the Glassboro Diner opened its doors in 1946. Step inside and experience the thrill of old-school Americana as you indulge in regional favorites like Philly scrapple.

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at AngeloFred Burner/Unsplash

White Mana Dinner | Jersey City, New Jersey

A relic of the iconic 1939 World’s Fair, White Mana was once dubbed “the restaurant of the future.” It now serves as a distant memory of the past. Known for its burgers, White Mana has contributed significantly to the reputation of Jersey restaurants over the years. Today, White Mana serves over 3,000 burgers a week.

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white manaUrsala Prinz/Unsplash

American dinner | Shrewsbury, New Jersey

Instantly recognizable for its giant glass block exterior and neon signs, the Americana Diner epitomizes everything an NJ restaurant should be. From the Greek-Italian fusion menu to the giant breakfast proportions.

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American dinnerLea Johnson/Unsplash

Dinner Tops | Harrison, New Jersey

By far one of New Jersey’s most popular, Tops keeps things fresh while retaining a healthy dose of 1940s nostalgia, from their neon signage to the art deco exterior. Tops is a restaurant that every New Jersey resident should try at least once.

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TopsFernando Robinson/Unsplash

Dinner chat | West Orange, New Jersey

A great example of the 21st century spin on an American classic, you won’t find 50s memorabilia and red metal chairs here. Chit Chat represents another chapter in the ongoing saga of restaurant evolution, an honest description of what a restaurant can be like in 2022.

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Dinner chatSarah Williams/Unsplash