Best places to grab a bite to eat

The road warrior knows that best places to eat are greasy spoons, hot dog and chili joints and the best places to drink are old man bars. Here’s a list of my favorite places to eat and drink. Feel free to post your own favorites in response.

One of my favorite places to grab chili at 3am was Harry’s Corner aka Harry’s chili on Route 46 in Teterboro/Little Ferry. Too bad it closed down several years ago. Same with Callahan’s and oh crap… the place in Fort Lee that was there for decades. I’m embarrassed that i can’t remember it’s name.

Places that are still around worthy of a mention are Hank’s Franks in Lodi on Route 46, Hot Dog Johnny’s in Butzville, Davey Dogs out Route 80. The Hot Grill is legendary in Clifton, and I love Rutt’s Hut because it’s one of the few hot dog places you can go to and get beer with it.

As far as Diner’s go, I actually am not enamored of the Bendix in Teterboro. it’s ok and it’s open 24×7, but it’s just ok. It does have a blind waiter, so it has that going for it. (is he still even there?) I like the Ridgefield Park diner, their breakfast skillets are to die for.

Of course White Mana in Hackensack is the best place for sliders. They make White Castle look like shit. The White Manna in Jersey City is ok, and they are open 24×7, but they use full size burger buns which ruins it.

44 responses to this post.

  1. Remember the Red Chimney on 3 West? Was a must visit coming back or going to the Meds Racetrack.


  2. Posted by Georgia CBD on September 2, 2020 at 3:02 PM

    Very interesting.


  3. Posted by jim on June 16, 2016 at 7:42 AM

    I guess there’s no use lamenting all the places that have closed. When I lived in Clifton I was always torn between the Hot Grill or the Corral for hotdogs. However the best chocolate shakes are at the Goffle Grill in Hawthorne.


  4. Posted by Nick on March 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    The hot dog joint across the street from callahans in fort lee was Hyrams. It was a poor second place to the hot dogs at Callahans.


  5. I used to love Rascal’s hot dog joint on 46 in Totowa, but they’re gone too. Moving down to the Jersey shore from North Jersey, the Windmill hot dog joints are pretty good, but still in my book, Hot Grill beats them all!! We must not forget the famous Tick Tock Diner in Clifton either. 🙂


  6. Posted by dave on August 3, 2013 at 2:52 PM



    • Posted by JC Lester on December 9, 2015 at 8:37 PM

      Can’t really say I agree. Didn’t try the buttermilk , but their hotdogs were obviously done rapidly in a microwave and served up by a alienated teenager who hardly had the time to get paid.

      My wife, stepdaughter and I ate in the restaurant under the picture of “Johnny” and I could not help but thinking that wherever he is he is looking down and frowning about the mediocre food and service. We were all disappointed.



  7. Hello, yup this post is truly fastidious and
    I have learned lot of things from it about blogging.


  8. Posted by jimi Wright on February 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Lot of hot dog joints in Jersey feature Cincinnati Chili, if you ever had it you know what I am talking about, one of the ingredients is cocoa. Lot of Greek owned places feature it. Hot Grill has it and you can even buy it by the quart to take out. There was a place in W.Paterson (now Woodside Pk.) on McBride called “Olympic” but they are no more, however “Libbys” is caddy corner to where it was and they have some decent Chili there too. While you are there you can check out the Paterson falls right around the corner.


  9. Posted by Beth on October 5, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    Enjoy your blog, interesting reading for a former original Jersey Girl. next time you visit Mullica Hill (gloucester county) stop into Village Bagels. Amazing food!!! Bagels are second to NONE!! be sure to let the Bagel King, Curtis, that his sister sent you! 🙂 have one for me too, I miss those bagels and bagelwiches. Thanks, Take care!


  10. Posted by Skeeve on July 16, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Barcelona’s in Garfield, NJ. Place has been around since for years and their prices haven’t changed much since. Also there is urban legends about the phone booth inside the place.


  11. Posted by James on March 25, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Getty Grill and Teddys in Paterson. Let’s not not forget Pappys in Totowa too!
    “One all the way one! One frenchy one!”
    Grill food rules! Only in North Jersey!


  12. Posted by jerseyexpat on September 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Patsy’s Tavern for thin crust pizza and the Egg Platter, both in Paterson


  13. Posted by Tom Antonacchio on June 13, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Mike’s Dog House in Oakland


  14. Posted by WebMan on July 20, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    Harrys Corner had the best Goose Egg Sandwich’s!!!!


  15. Posted by jc on June 28, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    I can’t beleive harrys corner is gone it had the best italin sausage and egg sandwich for breakfst with chili ever it’s was also where the ice man the convicted hitman for the mob kept a guy in a 55 gallon drum around for a while as i foud out watching a H.B.O documentary yum lol


    • Posted by ceez on April 24, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      Jimmy Buffs Newark style Italian dogs on Springfield Ave in Irvington was my goto place. Double dog with onions, peppers,potatoes mustard ketchup and salt


  16. Posted by Tony on March 2, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    1. Not a diner or hot dogs but Charlie Blood’s on Frederick St. in Garfield off of Market is a classic bar and restaurant (great calamari, sausage and peppers and steak). You can walk through the kitchen into the early John Wayne motif dining room.

    The place is run by Sal Benanti, son of “Charlie Blood” a boxer from the 20s and the weights and measures guy in Garfield.

    2. Another destination in the Lyndhurst Meadowlands off of Polito road is the ruins of the Canadian Car and Foundry works blown up by German sabotage during World War I. The plant was manufacturing and shipping artillary shells and bombs to Europe for the war. You can see a plaque by the road and remains of the factory in the meadows.

    3. Kearny Federal Shipyards in Kearny at the mouth of the Hackensack River is another spot with a plaque noting the many ships built during WWII on that site. When I was a kid, my Dad took me there on one of his US Army Reserve visits. It was amazing watching the crane, workers and torches taking apart aircraft carriers and liberty ships after the war.


  17. I would suggest Alexander’s Inn and Restaurant in Cape May if you love fine food and an elegant atmosphere. They feature French American Cuisine to die for!!! They are right next to Cape May City Hall in the historic district, right up the street from the Washington Street Mall. Go and try it.


  18. Posted by Bigdogdaddy1 on September 20, 2009 at 6:32 PM

    Here is a list of our favorite places here in South jersey, from Gloucester county to the Shore:
    Pizza- Antica Tratoria on route 322 in Glassboro. Joe used to own Giuseppes in Township, but sold it & opened this joint after a few years off. We live & die on their pizza (traditional & Chigago style) and his cannolis can’t be beat.
    Burgers, sandwiches & all manner of BIG food- Mr. Bills Coney Island on route 73 & Wislow Rd in Winslow. By big food, I mean everything is big, 3 pancakes take my 10 year old 2 days to eat. The sliders are the smallest meal on the menu & they are fantastic.

    Diner- on the way to the shore (or on the way back) we love the Tuckahoe Family Diner in Corbin City on route 50. This is an old trailer type diner circa 1940. It has undergone a couple of owner changes in the last few years but the food is good & service is friendly.

    Down the Shore- in and around Avalon- Stone Harbor are 3 of our favorite places: Nemos Pizza on Dune in Avalon is our favorite pizza parlor, the pies are good & the service is friendly, I believe it is open year round.
    Right next door id Tortilla FLats, a mexican resatuarant that has been open for 25 years, in that time we usually eat there 2-3 times a year and have NEVER had a bad experience or meal. Cal ahead for hours in the off season and go early in the summer. My in laws learned that hard way not to dawdle, we waited 2.5 hours their 1st time but the food didn’t disappoint.
    NOTE: next to Tortilla FLats is the Paper Peddler a good small bookstore!

    Stone Harbor- on the main road into town from exit 10 on the Parkway is Pat’s sandwich & soup. The building looks like hell inside & out but the soup is the best in the state. He has a choice of 3; Lobster Bisque, NE Clam Chowder, & She crab soup. Pat makes you try his soup before he will sell it to you.
    Pat is 90 years old and a WWII vet of Patton’s 3rd Aromored division, I believe he was in North Africa and Italy, and he is a vetran of the D-Day invasion. He’s friendly and will show you his new clippings and you may get a story out of him about his military service (I have tried to get him to participate in a living history project with a historian @ Kean University), he doesn’t really like to glorify himslef. his words.

    Stone Harbor also ha the best ice cream on the east coast, Springers on 95th & 3rd Ave. Springers makes homemade icecream and it is sold only in Stone Harbor & recently Bayside Pizza in Wildwood Crest. They have somewhere around 40 flavors including Wonka’s Golden Ticket which has chocolate, caramel & something else that i can’t remember.
    There are other places we like around here & Phila but my time has run out for today!


  19. I frequently travel a lot and have to eat on the run. Most times pizza, hot dog stands, and burger places are my pit stops. Since most times I have to return to these places I catalog the best places to eat. Tops Diner in East Newark is the best diner I have been to in years. Cousin Vinny’s italian burger and bacon turkey avocado burger, open 24×7.


  20. Posted by Wally Smith on August 4, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    You forgot Johnny and Hanges in fair Lawn. Hot dogs, deep fried with the best sauce in the state.


  21. Posted by John Mackay on July 28, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    You have to try the Galloping Hill Inn. Ask for two complete and a soda. Good dogs


  22. Posted by Cindy on July 4, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    What about Rutt’s Hutt? Love the hot dogs – they’re the best I’ve ever had


  23. Posted by Bruggo PHS '66 on May 26, 2009 at 7:30 AM

    Don’t miss “TEXAS WEINER” (AKA Texas Lunch)at Watchung & Front St. in Plainfield. Ol Mike (RIP) used to serve em “ten up” or ten on his arm. Two “wit the works” on a ceramic plate witha metal fork, and cuppacawfee in a ceramic mug with a metal spoon even included a nickle change from a dollar. I still stop there for a coupla dogs whenever I’m anywhere’s nearby.
    -Bruggo in Gloucester, Ma.
    PS: Yes on Hot Dog Johnny’s too!


  24. Posted by Cynthia on April 29, 2009 at 10:04 AM

    Ahhh, I remember Callahan’s of Fort Lee, that place was amazing. Great family memories. About a year ago we took a round down to FL expecting a real treat…and found a bank there instead. Cruel, cruel world!


  25. Posted by Adrienne on April 15, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    How could you forget the Circus Drive-In? Wall Twp. Cooome onnnnnn byyyyy.


    • Posted by lostinjersey on April 15, 2009 at 6:15 PM

      the circus drivein will be getting its own page once I add new material. I didn’t forget about it, believe me!


  26. Posted by Komarovsky on March 2, 2009 at 12:43 AM

    Great place to eat just ask the mob out back


  27. Posted by Komarovsky on March 2, 2009 at 12:43 AM

    Everyone needs to eat, even explorers. Sometimes you get good food, and sometimes you get a tip on where to go(our waiter told us how to get to Oakland Castle once). For me I divide everything by area.

    If I’m out in Sussex I go to this place called sunset grill on route 206 in Layton. The prices aren’t bad, but its not the cheapest place in the world. The menu is normal diner fare, but they do charge for refils. Thier chili is damn good too.

    Up in Bergan county there is the Hillside Diner off Route 202 in Oakland NJ. Its located a short drive from skyline drive, so its a great place to eat before or after exploring ramapo reservation. The food is pretty good, fairly well priced and the service is great. Its also empty during the day so if you want a quiet lunch its a good place for that too. Word of warning, occasionally cops come arond unexpectedly, so don’t be an idiot and talk about exploring in front of them. My friends did that and the cop followed us all the way out of the town.

    Down in Essex County there are just a ton of diners so I’ll name the ones by me. The Mapleleaf is located on mainstreet in Maplewood. Its rediculously cheap for the food you get. Its almost the perfect diner for me. Millburn Diner is a bit more expensive and specializes in greek dishes, the service is ok, sometimes you get the food quick and sometimes you wait half an hour for your food. The Blue moon Diner in South Orange is in between the millburn diner and the mapleleaf in just about every aspect . They do make a pretty damn good chili, so I’d suggest checking that out.

    Of course if you want to experiance the runs during an expedition, eat at white castle. Theres one in Orange NJ.


    • Posted by lostinjersey on April 11, 2009 at 11:13 AM

      is it me or are many diners getting stupid expensive?



      • Posted by gypsywanderin on September 26, 2010 at 6:06 PM

        not only did the prices go way up so did the too many items on the menu…. you are eatting frozen and canned food…might as well stay home….
        at one time there was a little dinner by the railroad tracks by bergen turnpike in ridgefield park
        a chalk board was the only menu… simple just one or two meals each day… the next day you would find the leftovers as a sandwich or still a meal but lower in price and then the next day it would be gone.
        don’t look for it either… it is long gone


  28. Posted by Attila on March 2, 2009 at 12:39 AM

    CBD Cones BY Design Stanhope,NJ

    From route 80 take 206 north soon as double lane turns to one , it is on the right hand side the exit is first then entrance, drive thru, plenty of out side table and chairs good prices and good service .The workers are ‘special’
    part of a work disability program … good products


  29. Posted by Bubblesgood on March 2, 2009 at 12:38 AM

    for those of you who like authentic tijuana/mexican instead of tex mex this place is awesome. its a tiny lil place on main street in boonton. Willies wife sings while shes working. the staff are really nice people and the food omg to die for and definitely be hungry when you go, the servings are quite large and the food is made to order and served pretty fast. I like the cowboy burrito with chicken. they even have bbq ribs, pork, etc.and things along that line. definitely a great place to eat. if you like hot hot hot ask her for the hottest salsa she has just make sure you have plenty of water close by, lmao


    • Posted by Bob Galli, Edison, NJ on April 11, 2009 at 9:47 AM

      What’s the name of the Mexican place in Boonton?? Any website?? Just went to Hiram’s Hot Dogs (Fort Lee) again yesterday – great dogs better than Rutt’s hut but I like Rutt’s sauerkrauty-mustardy special sauce. Also in Boonton is a place called Soup Herb – good food, small, chat with owners, etc.


  30. Posted by John on March 2, 2009 at 12:37 AM

    I came across this website, it gives listings of hot dog places and other places to eat.


  31. Posted by Atilla on March 2, 2009 at 12:36 AM

    The Sugar Shack. 23 bay ave. (the old smuggler’s) not a lot on the menu but the food is great.good burgers,good chile served in a bowl made of bread place gets packed in the summer and the winter.(which is strange down there) if your down there and need breakfast try the Parrot


    • Posted by gypsywanderin on September 26, 2010 at 6:12 PM

      the parrot is no more(last seen was the waterwitch)… the sugar shack no longer does the bread bowl of gormet chilli in a bread bowl (sigh) they give you a bowl …might be canned


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