Diners in Toms River

Select Local Merchants

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.

1200 River Ave
Lakewood,
NJ
US

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).

2357 Route 206
Southampton,
NJ
US

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.

164 Nassau St
Princeton,
NJ
US

The Comfort Diner, which moved to Staten Island after 14 years in Manhattan, dresses up the traditional diner experience with classic comfort eats and modern-day hearty fare. Keep your growling stomach from frightening friendly ghosts by stuffing it with wild mushroom potato pancakes ($6.95), or start your chew cruise with mozzarella wedges ($6.95), which combine the food world’s most delicious cheese with the geometry world’s most delicious shape. The taco salad ($10.95) gives Mexico’s best-known culinary contribution a fork-friendly format, and oven-crisped fish and chips ($14.95) provide all of the flavor of the British classic without the sizzle of the deep fryer or the voyeuristic glare of Big Ben. Bread-heads can wrap their food-gripping phalanges around an array of sandwiches, such as a grilled chicken club ($8.95) or a Maine crab burger ($13.95), while proteiny-boppers can swoon over double-thick pork chops with homemade applesauce ($14.95). For herbivores, Comfort Diner slings savory angel-hair pasta with white-wine sauce ($10.95) and big bowls of veggie chili ($9.95). Breakfast and brunch options also satisfy early risers or late-to-bedders.

1281 Arthur Kill Rd
Staten Island,
NY
US