Recently noted in the New York Times for synthesizing classic American diner ambience with a contemporary focus on local, fresh fare, Vincentown Diner presents a wide-ranging menu full of edible Americana. Jersey burgers such as Da Big Dipper, topped with frizzled onions, swiss cheese, and horseradish ($11.99), and the Tex-Mex, crowned with spicy jack cheese, chipotle sauce, guacamole, and more ($11.99), make for lastingly meaty meals or the perfect one-bite dinner for unhingeable sets of jaws. The Italian Stallion burger arrives covered in roasted red peppers and sautéed spinach ($11.99), just like its namesake, Rocky Balboa. Nonbunned classics such as shrimp scampi ($15.99) sate seafare-favoring eaters, and an extensive wine list features New Jersey–vinted vinos, such as a glass of 2009 vidal blanc ($5).
A set of French glass doors marks the entrance to Cross Mill Diner, though, when it comes to European culinary traditions, the diner’s cooks bypass France for Italy and Greece. The diner’s extensive eight-page menu includes housemade Greek-style spinach pies and shrimp parmesan, as well as an Eastern-influenced Thai cashew wrap with grilled chicken and ginger sesame dressing. American staples round out the menu, from char-grilled burgers topped with pork rolls to from-scratch buttermilk pancakes served as part of an all-day breakfast. Feasts unfold inside the BYOB eatery’s cozy dining area, where guests are surrounded by posters of waterwheels from around the world.
Striving to highlight the diversity of India’s regional cuisine, the cooks at Mehek Restaurant have mastered vegetarian, seafood, lamb, chicken, and rice dishes from across the subcontinent. The eatery’s name, which means “aroma,” serves as a playful tribute to the way each creation from the expansive menu sates several senses at once. Kebabs, vindaloos, masalas, and biryanis can all be ordered with various proteins, and glasses of mango lassi cool off spicy bites. Mehek also offers a buffet rich with options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and those on strict naan diets.
At any hour of the day or night, patrons can slide into Darling’s Diner’s modern, orange booths and order breakfast specialties or homestyle lunches and dinners—many with low-cal and vegan options. The cooks whip up favorites such as club sandwiches and three-egg omelets 24 hours a day as an homage to the classic diners that tirelessly fed humanity’s ancestors. On the more modern side of the spectrum, they man a full bar that’s open until 2 a.m., mixing vintage-themed cocktails and doling out beers. The indoor seating’s cozy glow of warm pendant lights is juxtaposed by the patio, where diners can nibble on cheesecake-stuffed french toast or grilled corned beef reubens—with slow-cooked kraut on Kaplan’s Rye bread—in open air. In addition to its diner dishes, the kitchen is known for its Philadelphia-style cheesecakes, which range from classic to berry cuvee with guava.
Sam's Morning Glory Diner marries the aura of a small '50s eatery with the relatively modern trend of sourcing food from local purveyors. Chefs troll the Italian Market and Reading Terminal for the fruits, meats, and cheeses that go into gargantuan frittatas and berry biscuits. The time-tested breakfast sandwich is revamped on fresh focaccia bread, and seitan, a tender wheat-based protein, sneaks its way into faux-chicken cheesesteaks without anyone being the wiser. Flowers overflow from outside windowsills, and stainless-steel mugs keep coffee warm alongside sandwiches packed with prosciutto, roasted peppers, and pesto, like an incompetent lawyer’s briefcase.
Featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and celebrated by both ravenous residents and voracious visitors, The Dining Car & Market has earned its place in the annals of enthusiastic eats. Within its art-deco interior, the venerable neighborhood eatery sates early-morning munchers and late-night noshers alike with its 24-hour welcoming mat and its gargantuan menu. Belly up to a hearty breakfast with the special farmer's omelette, cultivated from plowed fields of peppers, onions, home fries, and your choice of meat ($6.95). Or, quell midday hungerings with a hot roast-beef-sandwich platter ($8.45) or french onion soup, which places its dapper, cheesy tam over a cluster of croutons ($5.20).