Best Kid-Friendly Places
Emma’s Brick Oven Pizza and Café
101 Union Ave. North, Cranford
Upscale pizza fresh from the brick oven is on heavy rotation here, plus kids can get their own personal pies made exactly how they like them (no green stuff, light on the sauce, etc). This place only opened in 2004, but its giant portions and often locally sourced ingredients have already made it a fan fave. (PS: don’t miss their amazing rice balls.)
The Westfield Diner
309 North Ave., Westfield
The Westfield Diner is just as famous for its fat sandwiches as it is for its Tuesday night Greek Nights. Make sure to try one of the many seafood entrées such as the sole of Florentine or the delicious lobster bisque and don’t forget to snag a piece of chocolate layer cake or Greek rice pudding (made with milk and a hint of lemon) before leaving.
Gennaro’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
1100 South Ave. West, Westfield
A Westfield favorite for 28 years, Gennaro’s is known for achieving pizza nirvana—a pie that’s doughy in the middle and crispy around the edges. Spring for a can’t-go-wrong cheese pie or be daring with something like Hawaiian or Buffalo Chicken. If you’re not in the mood for a slice, Gennaro’s comes through with its traditional baked entrées like ziti, gnocchi and lasagna.
101 Center St., Garwood
This Union county gem brings southern, slow-cooked food to the mild-mannered burger (courtesy of a brand new smoker) and the results are mouth-watering. Start with a plain beef patty and add toppings like maple-cured bacon, herbed goat cheese and crispy fried shallots to make your own masterpiece. Make like a local and start with the brisket or pulled pork on a cornbread waffle bun.
Best Ice Cream
Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream & Italian Ice
1790 Springfield Ave., New Providence
Focused on soft-serve yogurt, hard ice cream and Italian ices, this shop has received top honors at the NJ Ice Cream Festival for its s’mores flavor. The staff is constantly inventing new combinations, like Mint Lightning (a white mint ice cream with brownie chunks, fudge and mint cookie balls) or their signature 91716—vanilla ice cream stuffed with chocolate chips, chocolate-covered pretzels, peanut butter and caramel (see if you can get them to tell you what the name means). They also have sugar-free ice cream and yogurt options, and all the delicious treats can be enjoyed al fresco out on the patio.
185 Broad St., Summit
Open since 1938, this old-school Italian bakery is known far and wide for its delicious and beautiful confections—especially its cupcakes. Choose from classic vanilla cake/vanilla frosting combos or take home something themed, like an Elmo cupcake for your Sesame Street fan. Make sure to try the signature Philly Fluff poundcake.