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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Around Town-The White Manna Diner from The 1939 Worlds Fair

Fun fact about my state of residence: New Jersey has the most diners of any state in the union.

Being a vintage lover I naturally adore diners and delight in this factoid.  While my favorite local diner, continues to be Tops in Newark (I went there for my 38th birthday) I am also quite fond of a genuine relic the White Manna Diner in Jersey City.   This Diner made its debut at the 1939 World's Fair where it was billed as the "diner of the future."

In 1946 the Diner of the future, with its distinctive saucer shaped exterior, moved across the river where it remains to this day.  It's easily recognizable as a mid century relic  on a ugly stretch of high way.

And the 1939 World's Fair logo is still prominently displayed:

(If you are an X-Files fan you might recognize the logo from the season 2 episode Aubrey, I did and its how I first noticed the Diner).

Inside, the Diner does not dissapoint.  Its simple and I image much the same as it was in 1939.  It's very small, no frillos, with a circular seating area around the grill and a few tables.

The menu also hasn't changed much.  

Burgers, cheese burgers, fries, onion rings, the New Jersey classic Taylor Ham and the like.  The prices are also low, low, low and the food is tasty.   I like the small cheese burgers, which come with plenty of pickles, and the cheese fries. 

The portions are small, as they would have been in the 1940s.  

If you are in the area I definitely recommend the White Manna Diner for a casual vintage dining experience.

Here is a video from Serious Eats of the White Manna Burgers getting cooked up on the grill:



  1. So cool. Mom loves seeing those pictures since she is from NJ
    Lily & Edward

  2. That looks such a cool diner. I love the circular seating area around the grill. There must be many regular customers who sit and dine there. And their dish looks yummy!

  3. Yum!!! What a delicious looking meal at a truly awesome slice of the past. Those prices, even for smaller sized portions, are staggeringly reasonable these days. Wow!

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

  4. Seems like New Jersey has lots of these cool old diners. Maybe I am making that up, but I seem to remember passing several. This one looks particularly fun

  5. The inside reminds me a little bit of the diner in Back to The Future. It had a curved section when Marty first walked in and then a straight part with tables. I guess this was the blueprint for many diners over the next couple of decades. xx

    1. That's exactly what I was reminded of!

      What a cool place :-)

  6. It looks great inside, I would love to visit a place like that.

  7. I'd love to go to a diner, but doubt I could eat anything being very near vegan! They're popping up more and more over here but I've yet to try one out. This one you showed looks really cute x

  8. That looks like an awesome place! My mama was born in 1939 ... she'd love it!

    Love, Ellen

  9. Wow! It looks like the prices haven't changed either! :O So awesome that this place is still around.

  10. What an amazing diner. So cool I want to go eat there!

  11. I'm loving a vintage diner, although I've never been to the States and we don't have them here in Belgium. Lovely post. xxx

  12. Neat place. And those prices seem much closer to 1939 than today's prices (esp. near NYC). Funny to think a diner could have been considered "futuristic". :)


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