NJ Diner Breakfasts

One of the things I miss about living in New Jersey are the diners. You can go to a diner in another state, but I guarantee it will rarely be as good or as cheap as a New Jersey diner. We had our favorite local growing up, the Blue Fountain, or Fontaine Bleu as it is now known, a place where you could get breakfast, lunch, or dinner at 1:00 am, where you would eat pancakes with ice cream after the prom, and where families congregated on Sunday mornings for heaping plates of food for around $5.00.

I miss real diners.

Our friends’ NJ wedding happened to be about 20 minutes from the nursing home where my nana lives (97 years old in November, holla!), and so we opted to miss the wedding brunch to spend some time with her. Along the way, we spied signs for the Jefferson Diner, noting that it had been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (triple D to you), and since we did need to eat something, we turned sharply off of the freeway to find diner bliss.

Jefferson Diner

The Jefferson Diner is large which is perfect for a diner because the good ones are always buzzing with lines. It was spotlessly clean and shiny inside and out.

We only had a few minutes’ wait, and while we waited I checked out the deserts.

There were cookies the size of my head plus some.

Jefferson Diner

And every type of cake imaginable, including a cheesecake with baklava on top. Diners in NJ, generally owned by Greek families, make serious baklava.

Jefferson Diner

Real diner menus are books. And with some restaurants you would worry, “How on earth could they make this many things and make them good?”

Well, the NJ diner somehow manages to do it. Whether you are getting a Reuben sandwich, a baked fish dish, a steak, or a pile of desserts, everything is always good. Especially the fries and grilled cheese.

Jefferson Diner menu

My breakfast was simple, one delightfully runny egg, hash browns, and buttered wheat toast. The other thing I love about diners? You can have anything you want. Want a scrambled egg and a runny egg with a piece of French toast and a sausage link? You got it. In the mood for one pancake? It’s yours. Diners aim to make their patrons happy and can cook up anything in a jiffy.

diner breakfast

The Jefferson Diner was a great place to stop, and since it is so close to my nana, I will likely be back to try some dessert.

While Massachusetts has diners, I have yet to find one that stacks up to my NJ favorites. And it will probably stay that way.

Do you like diners? What is your favorite diner food?

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Tags: breakfast, diner, Food, New Jersey

  1. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Baklava on cheesecake? I need to get me some of that


  2. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    Woah, those cookies are insane! Massachusetts could definitely use some more diners but I love Old Town in Watertown!


  3. Michelle’s avatar

    My first diner experience was in New Jersey! While it wasn’t at a diner, I had a similar type of breakfast this weekend at a diner-like breakfast spot in downtown Andover and it hit the spot!


  4. Daisy’s avatar

    i love diners. but I don’t know to much about ones in Boston. (The extent is south street diner – and I always get late night breakfast!)


  5. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    There’s a good diner in Middleboro called Dave’s Diner that’s pretty good. They don’t have baklava cheesecake though. I will send them a strongly worded email telling them to get on that.


  6. Megan’s avatar

    I love diners! We definitely don’t have enough around here. In college, we would all pile into my friend’s van and go to the nearby diner to study. We’d load up on gravy cheese fries and endless cups of coffee.


  7. Charlene’s avatar

    Diners are great! When I was living in NJ, in the Princeton area, I’d go to Americana (which used to be great but has been subpar lately) and Skylark and Mount Kisco diner in NY (which my husband and I usually hit up on our drive up to Boston to visit famiily). I typically roll with an omelette or an open-faced turkey sandwich or I’ll go Greek with some souvlaki or just add feta to my omelette!


  8. Alaina’s avatar

    I love diners! There’s one in my hometown (the Miss Mendon diner) but I haven’t been there because I’ve heard it’s a bit expensive. When my husband was going to UMass Amherst we would go to the Route 9 diner, open 24 hours! It wasn’t bad. We went to the Owl Diner in Lowell and I had a REALLY good club sandwich. Probably not the best place to go at night, but definitely good for lunch. :-)


  9. Susan’s avatar

    I got to enjoy a lot of diners while living in Philly and I miss them too! My favorite thing is so simple, but at a good diner it’s always good. Two eggs over easy with ham and a nice slice of bread.


  10. Kim K’s avatar

    besides my family, i miss diners the second most growing up in NJ – i wish you had gotten disco fries (fries with cheese and gravy). YUM!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      JUST discovered the pizza place at the end of our street actually has something called NJ Disco Fries on the menu! Dangerous!


    2. Mark’s avatar

      Some diners are terrific! Love to end a great diner meal with a slice of ‘mile-high’ coconut cream pie with fresh strawberries on the side.


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