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The Golden Popsicle Awards 2016: The Best of Central Jersey

We asked our readers to vote for their favorite restaurants and foods, from burgers and diners to ice cream and cupcakes.



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The Best Family-Friendly Restaurants 

Chimney Rock Inn
Multiple locations
chimneyrockinn.com
Known for its thin-crust pizza and juicy burgers, this NJ mainstay also has a huge kids’ menu, including popular options like chicken tacos and turkey burgers. There are plenty of gluten-free choices for kids with sensitivities, too. And don’t forget to read about the heartbreaking love story that gave this spot its name in the late 1800s.
2. Joe’s Crab Shack (Multiple locations) 
3. Old Man Rafferty’s (Multiple locations) 
4. Jose Tejas (Iselin) 
5. Le Peep (Edison) 

The Best Burgers 

1. Stage Left (New Brunswick) 
2. 25 Burgers (Flemington) 
3. Rossi’s Bar and Grill (Hamilton Township) 
4. Hansel ‘n’ Griddle (Multiple locations) 
5. Baker’s American Bar & Grill (Monroe) 

The Best Diners 

1. Skylark Diner (Edison) 
2. Americana Diner (East Windsor) 
3. Time to Eat Diner (Bridgewater) 
4. Clinton Station Diner (Clinton) 
5. Spinning Wheel (Lebanon) 

The Best Breakfast Spots

1. The Turning Point (Multiple locations) 
2. Full Moon Restaurant (Lambertville) 
3. TIE: The Buttered Biscuit (Bradley Beach)
TIE: Jammin’ Crepes (Princeton) 
5. Lovin’ Oven (Frenchtown) 

The Best Date-Night Restaurants 

Moonstruck
517 Lake Ave., Asbury Park; 732-988-0123
moonstrucknj.com
The name of this downtown Asbury Park staple says it all. With beautiful views, outdoor porch dining, a menu filled with fresh, local seafood, juicy steaks and an incredible pasta selection, this spot is a must. Sip a killer cocktail from the huge drink menu before you head upstairs for dinner. FYI: They don’t take reservations for two, but there’s waitress service and the option to order appetizers, so you won’t even remember you’re waiting for a table. 

2. Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton) 
3. Tenderhill Restaurant (Whitehouse Station) 
4. TIE: Catherine Lombardi’s (New Brunswick)
TIE: The Frog and the Peach (New Brunswick)

The Best Pizza 

Federici’s Family Restaurant 
14 E. Main St., Freehold; 732-462-1312
federicis.com
This family-owned establishment has been serving up classic Italian cuisine since 1921. It originally specialized in cheese lasagna (Ester “Mom” Federici’s recipe is still used today!). To add to to the family history, Federici’s award-winning thin-crust pizza was later perfected by sons Dante and Frank “Spat.” It also was reportedly a favorite of Bruce Springsteen’s growing up. Pro tip: Credit cards are not accepted so hit the ATM before you go.

2. DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies (Robbinsville) 
3.TIE: Alfonso’s Trattoria & Gourmet Pizza (Somerville)
TIE: Nunzios Kitchen (Sayreville) 
5. Denino’s Pizza Place (Aberdeen) 

The Best Cupcakes 

1. House of Cupcakes (Multiple locations) 
2. Blue Sheep Bake Shop (Somerville) 
3. Sugarush (Red Bank) 
4. Cupcake Magician (Red Bank) 
5. The Dessert Plate (Somerville) 

The Best Ice Cream

Polar Cub 
380 Rte. 22, Whitehouse Station; 908-534-4401
facebook.com/polarcub
Don’t think twice about the super long line—the homemade ice cream goodness here is scooped at lightning speed. Try soft serve dipped in a chocolate or peanut butter shell, a crowd favorite and reasonably priced to boot. Hard flavors are in constant rotation, so you never have to get the same thing twice. Pro tip: It’s cash only, so stop at the ATM before you go!
2. Jersey Freeze (Freehold) 
3. The Bent Spoon (Princeton) 
4. Halo Pub (Princeton)
5. Hoffman’s Ice Cream (Multiple locations) 

The Best Donuts

1. Battleview Orchards (Freehold) 
2. Purple Glaze (Asbury Park)
3. Broad Street Donut Co. (Oakhurst) 
4. Duck Donuts (Middletown) 

EDITOR’S NOTE: In our reader survey, we defined the sections of New Jersey as follows:  North (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Union, Sussex, Warren); Central (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset); South (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem).

  

Golden Popsicle Winners

The Best Family-Friendly Restaurants 

The Best Burgers 

The Best Diners 

The Best Breakfast Spots

The Best Date-Night Restaurants 

The Best Pizza 

The Best Cupcakes 

The Best Ice Cream 

The Best Donuts

North Jersey Winners 

South Jersey Winners 

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