New Jersey knows how to do breakfast. From a perfect taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwich in all of its melted glory, to crispy, golden french toast at 2 a.m. in your favorite neighborhood diner, Jersey’s got it covered. If I had to list every fabulous breakfast joint in Jersey, we’d be here all day. So here are just a few of my favorites from the Garden State.
There’s nothing like a Jersey diner (go ahead, just try to argue with me about it, you won’t win). Most diners in Jersey are famous for their breakfasts. Specifically the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton, which has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network. And don’t forget the Pompton Queen in Pompton Plains (try their eggs benedict, you won’t be sorry). The Coach House Diner in North Bergen is another great stop on the way back from New York, and the Double S Diner in Wantage if you happen to have kids in tow, I’ve heard their Mother’s Day breakfast is to die for. The great thing about diners is that they serve breakfast all day, so you can get your taylor ham any old time you want.
Small Places, Big Taste
Some of the best breakfast spots in Jersey are tiny little joints, with not much room to sit down, or they’re not much to look at from the outside. But that’s the beauty of them! For some hefty portions, check out It’s NUTTS in Titusville or The Country Pancake House in Ridgewood (think HUGE pancakes here!).
If you’re looking for that country breakfast feel, Jersey can set you up nicely. What could be as warm and fuzzy as The Lovin’ Oven in Frenchtown? Although it’s small and you might have to share counter space with a truck driver, Genie’s Weenies in Branchburg will serve up silver dollar pancakes with a smile (then come back later for some of their yummy hot dogs). The Shore Good Pancake House in Brick ‘knows how to make you feel special,’ as a friend once told me. With a great family atmosphere and great food to match, swing by on your way down the shore. Lastly, don’t forget The Red Barn in Towaco. Yes, that’s where some of the New Jersey Housewives are from. Well, at least one in particular. But this place was here long before the housewives, and they serve some fab food with a country flair. And no, it’s not in an actual barn, although the outside does kind of look like it.
All someone needed to say to me was, ‘french toast with bourbon caramel over poached pears’ and I was sold. They had me at caramel. This is one of the best dishes served up at Hapgood’s in Mountain Lakes. The Fine Diner in Clinton doesn’t look much like a diner, but they can cook up one heck of a Greek omelet (don’t forget the homefries).
If you’re from New Jersey and you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, ‘Hey, what about (add your favorite Jersey joint here)?’ Yeah, I hear ya, but I don’t have room for them all. Have a Jersey breakfast favorite? Add it to the comments below!
Related articles by Deborah Zelasny:
Valentine’s Day in New Jersey
New Jersey’s Best Romantic Getaways
Helping Our Jersey Neighbors Long After Hurricane Sandy Left