The American Diner (and Drive-in, and Deli)

White Manna Hamburgers -  Hackensack, NJCoincidence? Maybe. Serendipity? I like to think so.

As an active member of the Twitter community, I have a wide ranging group of people I follow on a regular basis. One such Tweeter is Bexmith, who in many ways seems to be a kindred spirit. Recently, her love of travel and food somehow conjoined our fates and brought to my attention the website The site is essentially a directory of, and community for, the best roadside eateries in the United States.

One of my favorite topics is food, and specifically unique eateries. And as I began writing this post, I wondered what exactly I’d write about them. I tend to be a jack of all trades, master of none, so I know a little bit about a lot of things. Diners, however, I know well. It’s hard to argue against New Jersey being one of the diner capitals of America (if not the world), and having lived there for more than five years, I was privy to some amazing home-cooked fast food. From the Tom Sawyer Diner in Paramus (which sadly burned down a few years ago. *edit: they’ve rebuilt it! see the link below), to the Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory in Jersey City, I’ve tasted some of the best — and worst — diner food in America. I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur, but more of an enthusiastic fan. Either way, I love diner food.

What follows is a list of some of the best diners, drive-ins, delis, and small eateries where I can recall having a meal. It’s by no means exhaustive (and mostly centers around the east coast), but man, that food is good.

Keep an eye out for future posts profiling some of these amazing eateries. And if you’re in the neighborhood, make sure you stop by. You won’t regret it.

Chris Cavallari

About Chris Cavallari

Chris is a longtime digital content producer based in Maine. Since 1999, he has been an early adopter and active participant in blogging, podcasting, and social media, and has been guiding small and mid-sized businesses in leveraging video, social media, and digital publishing to the fullest. With an avid love of travel and the outdoors, Chris started in 2009 to give him a platform to showcase his outdoors and travel adventures, and to help educate others in doing the same.