Tastiest Burger: Arthur’s Tavern
The famous no-frills hamburger is a NJ eats staple at this local watering hole. Arthur’s is also frequented for its steaks, especially the 24-ounce Delmonico ribeye.
Favorite Diner: Tops Diner
As far as NJ eats go, this one is a classic. Tops’ old-school booths and metallic accents have been an institution in NJ since 1942. Fan faves include the three cheese meatloaf, crab cake benedict and pasta dishes. First-timers should indulge in one of eight house cheesecakes (Yelpers can’t stop raving about them!).
Most Delish Deli: Town Hall Delicatessen
Opened in 1927, this deli is the birthplace of the Jersey Sloppy Joe: meat, cheese, cole slaw and Russian dressing on double-decker rye. The deli also makes its own desserts, including crumb cake, rice pudding and brownies.
EDITOR’S PICK: Most Delicious Tacos, Surf Taco
Multiple locations (Jersey Shore, Hoboken, Jackson, New Brunswick, Princeton)
While we’ve never met a taco we didn’t like, the ones at Surf Taco are always a must have down the shore. We love the Garlic Shrimp or Baja Mahi, but we’ll also happily dig into their Hawaiian Salad. For a challenge, you can try your hand at finishing their Tsunami burrito. If you do it in 15 minutes, you’ll get your photo on their Instagram.
EDITOR’S PICK: Best Hot Dog, Rutt’s Hut
This no-frills joint is all about the Ripper, a dog that’s deep-fried until the casing cracks and splits down the middle. Opt for one doused in the famous house relish, or splurge on gooey cheese and homemade chili.
Chimney Rock Inn, Bound Brook, Flemington, Gillette
Ah’ Pizz, Harrison, Montclair, Wayne
Talula’s, Asbury Park
Kinchley’s Tavern, Ramsey
Star Tavern, Orange
EDITOR’S PICK: Best Brunch, Raymond’s
Montclair and Ridgewood
Personalize an omelette, sip an old-school egg cream, order your picky eater next-level mac and cheese or French toast or dig into a house specialty like buttermilk fried chicken and waffles with Sriracha maple syrup. Get there early: It’s always busy in the morning and reservations aren’t accepted.
EDITOR’S PICK: Fave Al Fresco Dining Spot, Rat’s Restaurant
OpenTable just ranked this NJ eatery, just one highlight of the gorgeous Grounds for Sculpture, as one of the best al fresco spots in the country. Come for impressionist art, serene views and French fare like escargot or steak frites.
EDITOR’S PICK: Best Farm to Table Restaurant, Agricola
Know your meal is as seasonal and sustainable as can be, thanks to the restaurant-owned Great Road Farm in Skillman. Savor dishes like braised short rib in a red wine jus, Skuna Bay salmon in almond brown butter or spring pea ravioli in a romesco sauce.
EDITOR’S PICK: Favorite NJ Brewer, Czig Meister Brewing Company
Hackettstown is known for being home to M&M’s (its where Mars, Inc is HQ’d), but this Warren County town has a solid brew scene including Jersey Girl and ManSkirt brewing, and our NJ fave Czig Meister. This laidback spot, has a big outdoor patio and a huge tasting room, where you can sample some of their super uniquely flavored brews.
EDITOR’S PICK: Tastiest Cookies, Bang Cookies
These oversized cookies are worth driving to Hudson County for, but you don’t have to since the store ships! Try the stuffed caramel sea salt ones, or the classic triple chocolate. Make sure you order yourself one of their boozy cookies (the Bourbon Kitchen Sink is not to be missed). Save 10 percent on your first order with the code NJFAMMAG10.
Sweetest Ice Cream
Hoffman’s Ice Cream, Little Silver, Long Branch, Point Pleasant Beach, Spring Lake Heights
Curly’s Ice Cream, Riverdale
Denville Dairy, Denville
The Bent Spoon, Princeton
Van Dyk’s Ice Cream, Ridgewood
Pick a category below to see more winners:
Head here to see the NJ Eats winners from our 2018 Ultimate NJ Bucket List.