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.)

Runners Up:
2. Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar (Summit) 
3. Cranford Hotel (Cranford) 
4. The Ikea Restaurant (Elizabeth) 
5. The Stage House (Scotch Plains)

Best Diner

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.

Runners Up:
2. Prestige Diner (New Providence)
3. Vicki’s Diner (Westfield)
4. Summit Diner (Summit)
5. Broadway Diner (Summit)

Best Pizza

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.

Runners Up:
2. Dimaio’s (Berkeley Heights)
3. Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza (Elizabeth)
4. Roma Pizza (Garwood)
5. Pizza Vita (Summit)

Best Burger

Loaded Burgers-N-BBQ
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.

Runners Up: 
2. Mooyah Burgers Shakes Fries (Garwood) 
3. Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar (Summit)
4. Oh’ Brian’s on the Green (Clark)
5. Joe’s Place (Union)

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.

Runners Up:
2. Scoops the Ice Creamery (Scotch Plains)
3. Double Dipper Cafe (Fanwood)
4. Cranford Vanilla Bean Creamery (Cranford)
5. Frosty Freeze (Garwood)

Best Cupcake

Natale’s Bakery
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.

 Runners Up:
2. Swiss Pastry Shoppe (Scotch Plains)
3. Cake Artist Cafe (Cranford)
4. Sugar House Bakery (Garwood)
5. Vaccaro’s Bakery (Clark)

More Golden Popsicle Awards:
Central Jersey Winners
Essex County Winners
Morris County Winners
North Jersey Winners
South Jersey Winners