Miss America Diner in Dressed in Peach Formica and Silver Chrome, Reigns in Jersey City

Beauty Queen Deluxe

  By Sally Deering

 If you live or work in Hudson, chances are you know your diners and have your favorites.

It’s not just a Jersey thing. People from all walks of life love the classic diners of the 1940s with their Formica tabletops and leatherette booths; strong java and juicy burgers, and creamy rice pudding dusted with cinnamon. If you’re a fan of any of these things and you like a waitress who can clear a table like a magician making a rabbit disappear, then stop by the Miss America Diner on West Side Avenue in Jersey City, right down the street from New Jersey City University.

There’s no place like the Miss America Diner and nobody knows that better than its newest owner Tony Margetis who bought the silver-chromed beauty in March of this year.

“The Miss America Diner is a landmark,” Margetis says. “I bought it because I knew it was famous. Every day, somebody is out in the parking lot taking pictures.”

The former owner of the Colonette on Rt. 440 in Jersey City, Margetis has been in the restaurant business since he was a teenager working as a dishwasher. He’d been going to the Miss America Diner for years and after work, would walk over, grab a coffee and talk with the owner. When the owner mentioned he was moving to Pennsylvania and would be opening a restaurant there, Margetis made an offer, and the diner became his.

“I have done seven or eight restaurants in this area, one in Florida, too, and nothing happened as smoothly as this,” Margetis says. “I love Jersey City, I went to high school here. When he said yes, it was the greatest thing that happened to me.”

The menu is everything you would expect from a diner, breakfasts of Pancakes, French toast, Belgian Waffles, Eggs, Omelets, Bagels, Muffins, Wraps – and in all sorts of combinations, too, ($3.75-$8.75).

“We sell a lot of breakfasts,” Margetis says. “You can order our pancakes, our eggs, all day long. That’s the purpose of a diner, and everything is cooked to order.”

The menu is huge; here are some highlights: There are Triple-Decker Clubs like the Turkey, Roast Beef & Swiss, Grilled Chicken Breast & Melted Swiss, Chicken Salad & Bacon, Tuna Salad & Hard Boiled Egg and the Miss America Club with Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Swiss & Russian Dressing ($6.95-$8.50).

Super Sandwiches include London Broil, French Dip, Fried Flounder and the Virginia Beach, which is Virginia Ham and Turkey with Melted Swiss on a Hard Roll ($7.25-$8.75). Grilled Chicken Sandwiches include Grilled Chicken BBQ, Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu and Grilled Chicken Philly Style with Mushrooms, and Grilled Onions & Peppers topped with Melted Mozzarella ($6.50-$6.75).

Steaks and Chops are also on the menu and include Boneless Rib Eye, Broiled Pork Chops, and Sautéed Liver with Onions ($8.95-$16.95). Roasts feature Roast Turkey, Sirloin of Beef, Virginia Ham, and Meatloaf ($8.95-$10.50). There are Italian Specialties, too, like the Shrimp Parmigiana, Baked Stuffed Shells Parmigiana, and Cheese Ravioli Parmigiana ($8.95-$13.95).

Lunch specials include different daily choices and on a recent Tuesday, the menu featured Meatloaf, Loin of Pork, and Roast beef sandwiches, Stuffed Shells and a Meatball Parmigiana sandwich ($6.95-$8.95).

 Augie R. posted this positive review on Yelp.com: “The reason to go here is the ambiance–a classic 1940’s style diner kept in very good condition.  Formica floor, vintage swivel seats, old-style classic luncheon counter, and old-school booths–what’s not to like?”

Another post on Yelp, this time by Sherein B: “…The food was great. Happy customer. The place is retro with its old school true 1940’s diner feel…. really old school. I think it adds to the atmosphere (I like). This is my new go to place (my little secret for now). Some things are freshly made on the premises….including potato salad and slaw….and the most amazing cheese cake ever!!!! Yes ever! And they make it there. That is big coming from a huge cheesecake fan. Can’t wait to go back….maybe tonight!!!”

Margetis likes knowing there are good reviews on the Internet, but he’s not surprised. Margetis feels confident about the food he serves at the Miss America Diner because he has very high standards. He says: “If you want to have a successful restaurant, buy quality ingredients. I’m very particular. I’m going to buy the best with my money. My family eats here and I value my family. They’re going to eat the best and that’s what I give my customers.”

If you go:

Miss America Diner

322 West Side Ave

Jersey City, NJ 07305
(201) 333-5468

Hours:  Mon-Fri, 6:30 am to 8:30 pm;

Sat and Sun, 6:30 am-3:30 pm



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