Chimney Rock Inn
800 North Thompson Ave., Bound Brook
This place is known for its thin crust pizza and juicy burgers served in the shadow of legendary Chimney Rock (read all about the tragic namesake love story while you wait for your food). Check out their huge kids’ selection including things like tacos and turkey burgers, and their gluten-free food options for customers with sensitivities.
2. Jose Tejas (Multiple locations)
3. Joe’s Crab Shack (Multiple locations)
4. Jack Baker’s American Bar & Grille (Monroe)
5. Old Man Rafferty’s (Hillsborough)
359 Route 130, East Windsor
With classic ’70s decor, this spot prides itself on the locally sourced produce and fish it uses—something they’ve been doing for the last 25 years. Can’t-miss dishes include anything seafood like the open Greek salmon taco (pictured right), pan seared halibut and NJ harvested oysters.
2. Time to Eat Diner (Bridgewater)
3. Skylark Diner (Edison)
4. Spinning Wheel Diner (Lebanon)
5. Clinton Station Diner (Clinton)
Alfonso’s Trattoria & Gourmet Pizzeria
99-101 West Main St., Somerville
This old-school Italian trattoria is known for its delicious pies, sure, but also for mouth-watering chicken parm sandwiches and cold subs. Don’t miss their half-priced entrée nights Monday and Tuesday featuring $6 large pies. The lines are often out the door, but trust us, this place—and its kid-friendly build-your-own pizza options—are totally worth the wait.
2. DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies (Robinsville)
3. Federici’s Family Restaurant (Freehold)
4. Nunzio’s (Sayreville)
5. Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza (Red Bank)
Choose from a menu of 25 unique burgers like the Reuben (hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing), or the Maui (grilled pineapple, smoked ham, cheddar cheese, tomato and Teriyaki glaze), which all come with thick-cut, seasoned fries. The portions are generous and they can have your meal ready in just 10 minutes if you call in advance, making this a great weeknight to-go option.
2. Rossi's (Hamilton Township)
3. Hansel 'n Griddle (Somerville)
4. Stage Left (New Brunswick)
5. Jack Baker's American Grille (Monroe)
Best Ice Cream
120 Manalapan Ave., Freehold
Sure, they’ve got delicious versions of your standard chocolate and vanilla twist, but this 60-year old soft-serve specialist also offers up inventive flavors like Chocolate Covered Banana, Blueberry Pancakes and Muddy Boots (vanilla with caramel swirl and brownie bites). Make sure to bring cash if you’re grabbing a scoop! And if you want more than just sweet treats, there’s a restaurant in the back serving up classics like hot dogs and hamburgers.
2. Polar Cub (Whitehouse Station)
3. Bent Spoon (Princeton)
4. Thomas Sweet (New Brunswick)
5. Halo Pub (Princeton)
The Dessert Plate
34 East Main St., Somerville
Dessert Plate won the top slot by a landslide—we’re guessing that’s because of this sweet spot’s no-corners-cut baking philosophy and hometown vibe (staffers usually greet customers by name). Check out the variety of cupcake flavors, tarts, cookies and personalized cakes, and make sure you leave with a steaming hot cup of organic coffee. Can’t decide what to order? Try the brown sugar cupcake.
2. Blue Sheep (Somerville)
3. Tan’s Tasty Cakes (Trenton)
4. Sugarush (Red Bank)
5. Sugar + Sunshine Bakery (Plainsboro Township)
More Golden Popsicle Winners:
Morris County Winners
North Jersey Winners
South Jersey Winners
Union County Winners