Robyn Austin has been a New Jersey resident for her whole life, 57 years to be exact. Growing up, Jersey diners have been a huge part of her childhood and adult life, from family diners, outings with friends, to spending time with her own kids and. Some would even consider her an expert when it comes to diners. Tonight I had the opportunity to pick Austin’s brain about South Jersey’s best diners and just what you need to know about them.
How old are you and how long have you been a New Jersey resident?
I’m 57 years old and I’ve been a resident of New Jersey ever since I was born. I’ve moved around a bit from Burlington to Edgewater, to Florence but I’ve always been a Jersey Girl.
How old were you when you went to your first diner?
I was probably around 10. My family would go to the Prince diner in Burlington a lot, well, the Dolphin Diner took over but that’s not around anymore either. My dad would round up the family and we’d go treat our selves to diner and sometimes breakfast.
My dad used to go mainly for prime rib, so we’d always go on certain nights. I’m more of a breakfast girl and that’s why I like diners because you can order breakfast whenever you want.
When did spending breakfast at diners become a part of your life?
I started going to diners for breakfast when I learned how to drive. That was a big deal for me, it was exciting! I would round up all of my girlfriend’s and we would go to Amy’s, the Burlington Diner back then, or Golden Dawn and order all our favorites like pancakes and french toast and just enjoy each other.
It became a part of my youth, some of my fondest memories with my close friends from growing up happened at diners.
What are some of your favorite memories that you have of going to diners?
I remember when me and Paul, my youngest son, he’s 22 now, would go to the Crystal Palace in Edgewater because our power had gone out and we needed to charge our phones. Even something like that brought us closer, we went to the diner and got something to drink, grabbed something to eat, and just enjoyed each other’s company.
I started taking Paul to diners when he was around 10 too, we would go to the Crystal Palace a lot because it’s one of my favorites. We go out at least once a week to hang out and get food and it helps us stay close since we’re both working all the time.
Why are diners better than restaurants?
That’s easy: they have better deals. And a lot of the time the food is better because it’s home made.
Which are the best diners in the area?
I love Broadstreet Diner in Hamilton, they have the best deals and really good food. Plus, they’re open 24 hours which is always better.
Amy’s Omelette House is another good one just because of the huge selection of omelettes that they have, I think they have like 200 omelettes or something. My family we go there for breakfast sometimes too, I love it there. Plus, they’re omelette’s are so big that you can take the rest home and have it for breakfast the next day.
Golden Dawn was probably the first diner that I ever went to with my family and I still go there with my girlfriends, nothing’s changed about that place and the food is so good.
The Crystal Diner in Edgewater is good for breakfast too, but if you’re looking for a deal you need to go to Broadstreet.
If you were to recommend a breakfast spot for someone right now, where would it be and what should they get?
Oh, Broadstreet diner for sure. I’m so glad I found that place. For $4.95 you can get coffee, orange juice, toast, eggs, and potatoes, and who can beat that? The orange juice is really the deal breaker.
My go-to is fried eggs with homefries, you can never go wrong there.
And if you’re not big on breakfast they’re great for every meal, also if you order off the lunch or dinner menu you get a soup for free.