Tops Diner (East Newark)

Tops Diner (East Newark)

According to many different lists and reviews,  Tops diner is ranked one of the best diners in New Jersey. It’s even known as one of the best diners in the country. When I first moved to NJ, Tops Diner was placed at the top of my diner list.  Several people have told me to go, but it’s 90 minutes away from my house!  When my husband got back, we decided to take a road trip up to Tops Diner (East Newark, NJ). After getting off on the Turnpike exit 15, we made a few turns and finally got there. Tops Diner Address is 500 Passaic Ave, East Newark, NJ 07029.

Tops Diner Atmosphere: A
The outside decor of Tops Diner is a very typical and fun diner. In fact, the diner itself stands out like a sore thumb in the 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 of Tops Diner was just as lovely. They sat us at a spacious red booth. It was a combination of the typical diner bars, tables, and booths. We sat facing the bakery but honestly we had already decided we were ordering something.

Coffee: A
The coffee at the Tops Diner 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

Tops Diner Food: A
The Tops Diner menu was the most diverse menu I have been to so far.  They had everything from breakfast to lunch to dinner. There were fun stereotypical options from chicken salad and cobb salad to omelets and pancakes. From seafood to steak to salad to even burritos.  Seeing burritos was a diner first for me!  The Tops Diner Breakfast menu looks delicious and I want to make it back up sometime.

At Tops Diner, I ordered the “Greek tomato salad” with salmon and pita. It was the most unusual salad I’ve ever had.  I didn’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 more significant than the salmon portion. The salad was good.  It reminded me more of a coleslaw than a traditional salad. It was different but it good.

Tops Diner Salad

Tops Diner Salad 1

Dessert: A
My husband 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.

Tops Diner Red Velvet Cheesecake

The red velvet cheesecake at Tops Diner was tremendous and honestly rivaled any cake I’ve had. It was perfect. 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 at Tops Diner it was 60 dollars. Tops Diner is more of an upscale restaurant, but the price was worth it.

Overall thoughts: A
Would I come back to Tops Diner (East Newark)?
For being ranked the best diner in New Jersey, it was good and I will be back. In my opinion, was Tops Diner the best diner? Not for me but it was good. The service, the menu, and the coffee are delicious. My favorite was the dessert, of course. I highly recommend stopping by if you get a chance.  Tops Diner 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
Tops Diner Price: $15-30

You can see all the diner reviews here.

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

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  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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