Adventures in North Jersey | White Mana Diner | A Continuous Lean.

Adventures in North Jersey | White Mana Diner

Aug 27th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Food | by Michael Williams

The scene: Monday at midday on Tonnele Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey; it’s lunchtime and sustenance is essential to my survival. Where could this possibly be going you ask? The answer, my friends, is the old school diner White Mana. New Jersey is famous for its diners with their extravagant architecture and their all encompassing menus, but this particular place is special. Originally opened for the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens — or so the owners claim — White Mana has been serving up super flat hamburgers to generations of hungry customers. If you are out in North Jersey or just a hamburger lover it is worth the trip. I’m one to seek out old school spots like this and when my friend took me for the first time I was as happy as could be. Now when I head out to my ACL bag factory in Jersey (coming soon I promise), I always try to make a point to stop at White Mana.

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The special at White Mana is three cheeseburgers, an order of fries and a medium coke for $6.50. Three cheeseburgers you say? Well, the burgers are made to be super flat and thin, so three isn’t as belt busting as one would think. The optimum seating is at the round counter in full view of the action. If you are really feeling adventurous, order the 10 burger special for $10.

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White Mana // 470 Tonnele Ave Jersey City, NJ 07307-4447 // (201) 963-1441

Further reading:

The New York Times | Burger, Burger, Burger: How a Fast Food Landmark Almost Vanished

A Hamburger Today |  White Man(n)a: A New Jersey Pilgrimage

Comments: 16

16 Comments to “Adventures in North Jersey | White Mana Diner”

  1. Jack
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 7:25 PM

    I’m officially hungry, thanks ACL

  2. leo
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 7:48 PM

    the 1 in hackensack is worth a visit also. tiny place with tiny burgers but oh so tasty.

  3. Terrence
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 8:59 PM

    +1 for the Hackensack location. It’s smaller, greasier, and ooooo so delicious.

  4. HolThaDo
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 9:32 PM

    If you ever get a little further south in Jersey, hit The White Rose System in Highland Park. As far as Jersey burgers go it’s the best I’ve had.

    http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2007/12/eat-my-pix-white-rose-system.html

    I’ve lived in LA for 10 years now — but I head there every time I go back east even though it’s 45 minutes from the city.

  5. Calabreezy
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 11:00 PM

    White Rose is totally the best. Good call.

  6. Ryan Walker
    on Aug 27th, 2009
    @ 11:27 PM

    ahh the white mana, did you pick up a t-shirt for $8 (i believe)? what an institution. the white rose is also quality, we used to go there after high school soccer practice, a horribly awesome idea actually.

  7. Peteski
    on Aug 28th, 2009
    @ 12:29 AM

    When I worked midnights in a printing plant in Secaucus, I’d stop in here every night before my shift. That was a hundred years ago.

  8. Patrick
    on Aug 28th, 2009
    @ 1:45 AM

    Michael:

    You’ve got to check out Hobby’s Delicatessen on Halsey St. in Newark. It’s a hole in the wall, but it’s got the ACL aesthetic down, and it’s been there forever. This morning I had a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll and it was a revelation.

    Patrick
    Seton Hall Law School, Newark, NJ

  9. Dennis Cahlo
    on Aug 28th, 2009
    @ 11:41 AM

    I want to hang out here BADLY.

  10. JB
    on Aug 28th, 2009
    @ 12:17 PM

    For 15 years I’ve passed that place, wondering what the inside looked like. Thanks for the shots.

  11. Man from Pawtucket
    on Aug 28th, 2009
    @ 4:49 PM

    share links?

  12. PAN
    on Aug 29th, 2009
    @ 1:51 PM

    This is crazy Michael! As an avid boxing enthusiast/coach/judge, and a native of Newark, NJ, for years I’ve been going to the Ringside Lounge (it’s pretty much a hangout for local NJ/NY boxers where u can catch all of the televised fights and grub on some pretty delicious Portuguese food), and it’s located directly across Tonnele Ave. from White Mana in Jersey City! All of these years passing by White Mana, wondering how their food was and thinking it looked like an interesting old-school diner, and I’ve still never actually been inside. My ex-girlfriend is from Jersey City, and every time we’d ride by I’d suggest going in, but she would always decline. I’ll definitely be paying them a visit soon. If you ever get a chance to check out Ringside on a weekend fight night, it’s surely a uniquely Jersey experience (beware, it’s a pretty rough atmosphere, with lots of macho hotheads, and fights break out frequently)…the safest bet is to stop by during the week for a hot Portuguese lunch, hahaha! I love many things about your blog, but it’s these types of personal accounts, where you connect with readers, that make it special. Keep it up…

  13. PAN
    on Aug 29th, 2009
    @ 1:53 PM

    p.s.- u can actually see Ringside across the street in the first and last pictures of this post.

  14. PAN
    on Aug 31st, 2009
    @ 4:37 PM

    p.p.s.- just learned that Ringside and White Mana are owned by the same guy…

  15. angela
    on Sep 2nd, 2009
    @ 5:22 PM

    try all american hamburger in massapequa, long island.. the name itself is worth the visit. it’s been there for years.. has an old school vibe and i’m pretty sure the menu has not changed since it opened.. which is a great thing!!

    http://allamericanhamburger.us/

  16. Peteski
    on Sep 3rd, 2009
    @ 9:50 PM

    2 points for anyone who can name the biker-ish bar that was across the street in the early 80s. I can’t remember for the life of me. I almost bled to death there one night.