New Jerseyans know how to eat well. We’ve got the best thin crust pizza, the most authentic delis and bagels that are to die for. And don’t forget our iconic pork rolls (or Taylor ham if you’re from South Jersey), hoagies and salt water taffy. Our name “the Garden State” means our restaurants have access to the freshest produce, and our dairy and meats are homegrown. New York City and Philadelphia always have buzz surrounding their restaurants but NJ has it all—upscale, authentic dining, farm-to-table goodness and the best diners around.
NYC doesn’t have the market cornered on hot dogs. Rutt’s Hut in Clifton is legendary for its deep-fried dogs. We’re known for our diners—a Saturday night that doesn’t end with disco fries is just not legit. Tops Diner in East Newark is family-owned and has been serving up breakfast at all hours of the day since 1942. Tick Tock in Clifton started as a roadside diner and has become a NJ staple. Summit Diner and Court House Diner in Cape May are loved by locals and those who’ll travel for the perfect grilled cheese or burger.
With all due to respect to our neighboring states, we think our pizza’s the best. Head to Arturo’s in Maplewood for a seasonally inspired wood-fired pie. The owners are committed to using as much locally sourced produce as possible, plus they’re all Jersey born and bred. Razza in Jersey City turns out artisan pizzas that have New Yorkers crossing the Hudson for a pie. Star Tavern in Orange has a loyal following for its amazing thin-crust pies.
And then there’s our hot, doughy, cream-cheese slathered bagels. Whether you want egg and cheese on it or a schmear, Adam’s Bagels in River Vale has you covered. Boxcar Bagels in Bogota are giant and fluffy and the ones at the Bagel Nook in Princeton and Freehold come with creative cream cheeses including Nutella, Oreo and Fruity Pebbles.
Dinner at The Barrow House spells comfort food and craft cocktails served in a cozy farmhouse in Clifton. At The Blue Bottle Café in Hopewell, owners Aaron and Rory Philipson turn out seasonal and creative menus in their blue house. Oakland is home to Harvest and Ale, a new farm-to-table spot with rotating seasonal menus and food sourced from local farms.
For a fancy night out, there’s no need to trek into Manhattan. Celebrity chefs like David Burke take NJ cuisine to the next level with restaurants like Son Cubano, Orchard Park and Ventanas @the Modern. We’ve also got unbeatable NYC skyline views at restaurants like Liberty House and Maritime Parc in Jersey City.
If it’s authentic eats you’re after, grab Middle Eastern in Paterson, pierogies in Garfield or Brazilian in Newark. From Indian food in Edison to some of the best Kosher markets anywhere to pickles in Teaneck, Korean food in Fort Lee and “grease trucks” in New Brunswick, there’s a world of cuisine to explore. Don’t skip the sweets! Van Dyk’s homemade ice cream in Ridgewood or taffy from Shriver’s in Ocean City are a must. Whether you love beer, wine or craft cocktails, NJ is home to breweries, wineries, distilleries and bars led by master mixologists. At Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes, hand-crafted wines showcase the terroir of the Amwell Valley. Cape May Brewing Company serves a variety of brews and Kane in Ocean Township specializes in American and Belgian style beers. Head to Sourland Mountain Spirits in Hopewell for vodka, bourbon, gin and rum. Located on a sustainable farm, they’re committed to building an exceptional farm-to-glass experience.