Pork Roll is New Jersey’s favorite regional breakfast meat. The thing is, we can’t come to a consensus. We’re split in two over terminology, with much of Central and South Jersey using “pork roll” and most of North Jersey using “taylor ham.” Which is it? Technically, Taylor Ham is a brand, but so is Band-Aid and we commonly use the term to refer to all bandages. In the end, it’s a matter of personal preference, but people have some pretty strong opinions on the subject.
Map Created By Author
According to a 2014 poll with over 14,000 responses, this map highlights the pork roll/taylor ham divide. Counties in blue (Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Warren, Morris, Essex, Hudson + Union) overwhelmingly use the term taylor ham, while counties in red typically use the term pork roll. Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Monmouth counties were fairly divided, though pork roll was still the more popular term. These counties, and all counties south are considered South Jersey for the purposes of this article, though I do realize that they are not geographically in the southern half of the state.
1. Slater's Deli, Middletown
Located in the Leonardo section of Middletown, this deli really packs on the pork roll. Come hungry!
2. Rock Deli, Bridgewater
Though Bridgewater is a "border town," Rock Deli's menu clearly lists pork roll as a breakfast option. They also serve lunch and offer catering.
3. Johnny's Pork Roll Truck, Various Locations
The classic pork roll, egg and cheese is simply referred to as "The Sandwich" here. You'll also find some unique variations on a pork roll sandwich and great coffee at this traveling truck. Follow @PorkRollTruck on Twitter for location updates.
4. Beckman's Deli, Belmar
Their pork roll sandwich scores rave reviews on Yelp. Customers say that it is crispy and delicious on the best roll around.
5. Allenwood General Store, Allenwood
While the classic PREC sandwich is always a hit, you'll find some unique twists on a pork roll sandwich here. The Dirty Herbert is pork roll, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese and grilled onions on a wrap, and it's amazing.
6. Bing's Deli, Avon-By-The-Sea
A great PREC, and if the rumors are true - they deliver to the beach in the summer.
7. Colts Neck General Store & Deli, Colts Neck
There are several pork roll sandwiches to choose from here. Try "The Gator," with pork roll, eggs, cheese, and a hash brown.
8. Hoagitos, Asbury Park
Open seasonally, Hoagitos serves up the best bite-size sandwiches around. Pork roll, egg and cheese is a fan favorite, but definitely try the Nutella sandwich if you're feeling adventurous.
9. The Committed Pig, Manasquan
This isn't so much of a restaurant as a culinary experience. Sure, you can get a great classic PREC here, but be sure to try one of the specialty dishes, as well. There are so many innovative options, and they even serve a spectacular pork roll sandwich on French toast.
10. Pat's Diner, Trenton
Trenton is the original home of pork roll, so it's only fitting that Pat's made the list. They serve up a great PREC, and are open 24 hours.
11. Hoagie Haven, Princeton
While you CAN get a great classic PREC here, I'd highly recommend trying one of the "fat sandwiches." The Wake Up Call (pictured, left) features cheesesteak, bacon, eggs, hash brown and pork roll.
12. Corner Cafe & Grill, Somerset
Besides a delicious pork roll, egg and cheese, you'll find a very varied menu with unique options at great prices.
13. Shut Up And Eat!, Toms River
While people don't generally like being told to shut up and eat, you might not mind it here. There's no time for talking when you're enjoying the eclectic decor, friendly service and innovative menu. Take a chance and try pork roll on a waffle.
14. Shore Fire Grille, Barnegat/Surf City
This isn't your classic pork roll, egg and cheese. The casual eatery serves up an incredible atmosphere alongside the Jersey Shore Burger with angus beef, pork roll, a fried egg, velveeta cheese and chipotle ketchup on an English muffin.
15. Victoria's Bagel Bistro, Mount Laurel
In addition to an excellent PREC, you'll find an extensive, innovative menu. Breakfast is served all day and free wifi is available to customers.
16. Angelo's Diner, Glassboro
The pork roll won't disappoint and the service is friendly. Another perk? Huge portions!
17. Marvis Diner, Wildwood
Marvis Diner not only offers great pork roll, they have some of the best breakfast food around. The staff is friendly, the atmosphere is fun, and the quality is fantastic.
18. Captain Paul's Firehouse Dogs, Lawrenceville
Why would a hot dog spot make this list? The military-themed menu has several options featuring pork roll including the "Volunteer" sandwich with pork roll, cheese, onion rings, and cole slaw.
Please note that this list is not a ranking, and is based on reader recommendations and reviews. Each location offers something truly unique, so check them ALL out if you’re a big fan of New Jersey’s favorite meat! Are you more into the classic PREC, or are you willing to try pork roll served up a new way? What’s your favorite place to enjoy a pork roll sandwich, or a taylor ham, egg and cheese? Don’t worry, North Jersey, your list is coming soon.