Tops Diner

According to many different lists and reviews,  Tops diner is ranked the best in New Jersey. It’s even known as one of the best in the country. When I first moved to NJ, it was placed at the top of my list.  Several people have told me to go but it’s 90 minutes away from my house!  When Tim got back, we decided to take a road trip up to East Newark, NJ. After getting off on exit 15, we made a few turns and finally got there.

Atmosphere: A
The outside decor is a very typical and fun diner. In fact, the diner itself stands out like a sore thumb in he area. A good stand out though, it’s a beautiful picture perfect diner. From the outdoor atmosphere alone I knew it would be good.

Image found here

Image found here


The inside was just as nice. They sat us at a spacious red booth. It was a combination of the normal diner bars, tables and booths. We sat facing the bakery but honestly we had already decided we were ordering something.

Coffee: A
The coffee was delicious and the whipped cream was overflowing from the top. The waitress refilled it several times so I have no complaints.  The coffee was in the top five diner coffees I have had.

Tops Diner Coffee

Food: A
Tops Diner was the most diverse menu I have been to so far.  They had everything from breakfast to lunch to dinner. From seafood to steak to salad to even burritos.  Seeing burritos was a diner first for me!

I ordered the “Greek tomato salad” with salmon and pita. It was the most unusual salad I’ve ever had.  I did’t realize that the salad did not come with any mixed greens and the cheese came in a 6 inch block. The cheese block was huge and I had never seen anything like that. The cheese was bigger than the salmon portion. The salad was good.  It reminded me more of a cole slaw than a traditional salad. It was different but it good.

Tops Diner Salad

Tops Diner Salad 1

Dessert: A
Tim and I ordered the Red Velvet Cheesecake with vanilla ice cream. Honestly I’m only a fan of cheesecake if it doesn’t taste like cheesecake. I’m a straight up cake girl at heart but they had red velvet cheesecake. Tim and I decided to try it.

Tops Diner Red Velvet Cheesecake

The red velvet cheesecake was great and honestly rivaled any cake I’ve had. It was really good. The frosting was perfect. I ate a lot of the cake or “red section” while he ate more of the cheesecake part. It was great and honestly one of the few cheesecakes I would order again.

Cost: $$$
For two dinners, two drinks and dessert it was 60 dollars. This diner is more of an upscale restaurant but the price was worth it.

Overall thoughts: A
Would I come back?
For being ranked the number one diner in New Jersey it was good. I will be back. The service, the menu and the coffee are deliscious. My favorite was the dessert of course. I highly recommend stopping by if you get a chance.  It isn’t my favorite diner in the state but it is a very great option and one I recommend.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Price: $15-30
Overall thoughts: One of my favorites and in the top five diners.

Questions for you:
Do you like cheesecake?
What’s the most expensive restaurant you’ve been too?


4 responses

  1. That salad looks delicious. The diner in my town has the greek salad that gives you 4 huge triangles of feta. When I got it the first time I was shocked!
    I am pretty simple when it comes to food so don’t like spending a lot to be honest but of course being in NYC it is something unavoidable at times. Went to a cuban place last weekend (that was amazing) but dinner ran us each $100 which isn’t totally unusually.

  2. YES to cheesecake which doesn’t taste like cheesecake. The tangy taste grosses me out. I’m the same way with cheesecake frosting. I like it when it’s more of a buttercream especially on carrot cake. If you want to make the road trip one day while you’re recovering let me know!!! I’ll be going under the knife Monday so sitting around is my specialty for the next few weeks!!!

  3. Wow that is my kind of salad! Mostly mix-ins with no lettuce 🙂 I actually do not like cheesecake that much. I think I will like it everytime I have it because people rave over it…but each time I am disappointed. I like cream cheese. I like cake. They should taste good together…but they don’t to me.
    The most expensive restaurant I’ve been to is called Madeline’s. It has very high quality food and AMAZING dessert. I’ve only been twice and they were dates so I did not have to pay. THANK GOD!
    This diner looks great and is probably worth the price tag. It kills me when things that look like they should be cheaper (like a diner or a café) turn out to be gourmet and pricey. I guess you get what you pay for.

  4. Your salad looks good! I hate when there are not enough toppings for the lettuce or when the piece of salmon is too small or too few shrimp. Does not look like that was the case for you. That dessert looks absolutely decadent; we don’t usually get desserts out but our favorite place is Kaminsky’s in Downtown Charleston.

    I’m not sure about the most expensive place I’ve been to. We’ve been to a few of the fancier places here in town but not many. I think the most expensive was Al Di La which is Italian food.

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