Many diners, food stands, and ice cream shops got their start alongside the highways and byways of Northern New Jersey. Today, there’s an allure to the long-lost art of vintage signs, neon design, and these ever-disappearing roadside stops. Most are already long gone, but there are a few, precious ones left. Read on for more about where to find these classic North Jersey roadside stops.
Applegate Farm | 616 Grove St, Montclair
Applegate has a long history here in Montclair. Starting in 1848, this farm produced countless dairy products for North Jersey residents. The original farmhouse and silo are unique and this ground has survived the Civil War, The Great Depression, and two World Wars. Now it is a favored ice cream shop with a quaint country feel rarely seen in our area.
Arlington Diner | 1 River Rd, North Arlington
This iconic diner sits across the Passaic River in North Arlington, sandwiched between Belleville, Kearny, and Lyndhurst. Boasting their “World Famous Cheesecake,” The Arlington Diner is an homage to the beloved, vintage chrome tastes of the 1950s and 1960s. Complete with glowing neon signs, frosted glass windows, and classic tastes, a visit here will send guests back in time.
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Carvel | 240 S Summit Ave, Hackensack
This Carvel ice cream shop opened in Hackensack in 1969. All these years later, it still boasts an amazing sign which beckons hungry drivers to have a tasty treat. Be sure to swing by on a summer evening and order ice cream to snack on while the neon really shines.
Colonial Diner | 27 Orient Way, Lyndhurst
This Lyndhurst gem is all silver, neon, and 1950s glam. Open 24/7, the Colonial is a classic diner full of beloved Americana. It’s got to be on your list for a summer treat.
Dairy Queen | 1123 Stuyvesant Ave, Irvington
This has got to be the most adorable teeny Dairy Queen in all of New Jersey. With bold, vintage lights, this epically cute pit stop is a must-visit if you love vintage flair. VisitorsYou can almost imagine the classic cars parked out front, with chrome details, pastel charm, and massive winged trunks.
Holsten’s | 1063 Broad St, Bloomfield
Founded in 1939, this beloved ice cream, candy, and restaurant is all that we love about vintage New Jersey. Whether or not you’re a fan of The Sopranos, you will enjoy its old-fashioned charm. Try the mint chip ice cream — it’s one of a kind.
Little Falls Trophy and Award Makers | 555 US-46, Little Falls
Here’s another Route 46 stop that has probably not caught your eye, though it may be responsible for the trophy in your childhood bedroom. Founded in 1963, this totally retro building is an absolute treasure. It is particularly beautiful at night when the neon windows showcase a massive collection of trophies.
Pizza Town USA | 89 US-46, Elmwood Park
This amazing vintage spot is hard to miss with all the winding highways nearby. Uncle Sam holds a giant pizza pie and their lit sign boasts their age, having been founded in 1958. Their retro-patriotic theme is delightfully fun. Stop by the post-pool for a delicious bite.
Robbie’s Music City | 514 US-46, Wayne
Drivers have probably may have passed this store countless times cruising down Route 46. It’s easy to miss, given all the strip malls and restaurants in newly developed buildings. But Robbie’s Music boasts old-school cool with their vintage signage. There are, their used instruments glistening in the windows, and the vibe that they’ve been in this spot for quite some time. Founded in 1926, this family-owned business is worth pulling over for.
Summit Diner | 1 Union Pl, Summit
This family-owned and operated diner In the heart of downtown Summit has been serving loyal customers since 1939. An original railroad car is a spectacular example of classic diners – many of which have become lost to time. Enjoy a memorable visit that will have you nostalgic for another era.
Taqueria Los Gueros | 176 Bloomfield Ave, Bloomfield
Once a diner, always a diner — at least, on the outside. This gorgeous chrome beauty is now a taco spot but it still has its 1954 charm.
Tick Tock Diner | 281 Allwood Rd, Clifton
New Jersey is known for its diners, and what’s a better road stop than the Tick Tock on Route 3 in Clifton? Founded by a Greek-American in 1948, the Tick Tock has stood the test of time, continuing to grow as its customer base exploded off Route 3. Today, it will forever be loved for the classic vintage exterior that makes it an iconic roadside spot.
White Manna Hamburgers | 358 River St, Hackensack
This famous roadside stop has been well documented on the Food Network and Travel Channel and is a destination for burger fans. Founded in 1939 during the World’s Fair, Manna opened in Hackensack in 1946. Thrillist believes it’s “New Jersey’s Best Burger.” Its vintage sign, classic diner feel, and delicious burgers make it a must-stop for summer nights.