New Jersey is quite the mecca for foodies. While we’ve long known our state to be home to some of the best restaurants in the country, Saveur, the nation’s premier dining magazine, recently lauded The Garden State as the “unsung hero of American eating.” We’re blushing! And we couldn’t agree more. New Jersey has some serious dining diversity and a solid mix of truly unique restaurants. Here are some of the absolute best restaurants in New Jersey that you need have to check out. While the restaurants listed are in no particular order, they’re definitely *all* worth visiting sometime soon!
The Frog and The Peach is at the top of our list of best restaurants in New Jersey. A favorite among restaurant critics and casual reviewers alike, this modern American restaurant serves up spectacular seafood. A bit more upscale, the ambiance is amazing and the wine list is extensive. In business for over 30 years, they’re definitely doing something right.
This romantic restaurant is housed in a rustic farmhouse and serves up New American cuisine. The crispy calamari appetizer is a favorite, along with the seafood sampler platter for $25. Learn more about Scarborough Fair by visiting the official website.
This popular steakhouse offers a fantastic salad bar and charming, dimly lit atmosphere. The walls are entirely covered in books and you’ll feel as if you’re in some secret, magical place. Check it out and discover why Library II was named the “best classic restaurant” in the Philly area by Philadelphia Magazine. Learn more about this award-winning steak and seafood restaurant in New Jersey.
You’ll find seasonal fare and fine French/American cuisine at this local favorite. Housed in a historic barn on the waterfront, the Saddle River Inn was rated “excellent” by the New York Times and offers fantastic 4, 5 and 6 course tasting menus. Curious to learn more? Check out the Saddle River Inn website.
This family-friendly restaurant is all about fun. The Pop Shop serves up comfort food favorites with some truly unique twists and offers breakfast all day. The desserts are delectable, and the grilled cheese selection can’t be beat. Enjoy specialty grilled cheeses (like the French Onion Grilled Cheese, pictured) all month long for National Grilled Cheese Month. Learn more about why so many folks in New Jersey love the Pop Shop.
The food is art at this chic, modern restaurant, and the tasting menus are truly a culinary experience. The focus is on fresh, flavorful food and the service and attention to detail are phenomenal. Without a doubt, Elements is one of the best restaurants in New Jersey.
This casual Mediterranean spot stands out in a city known for quality dining; the atmosphere is inviting and the menu is inventive. This should come as no surprise as owner/executive chef Meny Vaknin is one of Food Network’s “Chopped Champions.” Learn more about Mishmish by visiting the official website.
You won’t find a better ‘boli this side of the Mississippi. Known for their sizable strombolis this relaxed eatery can’t be missed. Learn more when you visit the official Stuff Yer Face website.
The decor is modern and sophisticated at this inventive French restaurant. The food and service are superb, but be prepared for the hefty price tag. It’s worth it. Check out the menu and learn more when you visit the Restaurant Serenade website.
This fun seafood spot is open seasonally and offers an eccentric menu served either indoors or on the patio. Try unique favorites including shrimp taquitos, tuna watermelon ceviche and grilled octopus skewers. Quahog’s Seafood Shack was featured on the “Funky Finds” episode of Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives. To stay up-to-date, you can visit the official Quahog’s Seafood Shack website.
Heading here is like getting two restaurants in one. An amazing breakfast and brunch spot, George’s Place also serves up spectacular Greek food for lunch and dinner. The tiramisu waffles and spanakopita are fan favorites. This authentic spot can get crowded and has been in business since 1968. Learn more when you visit the George’s Place website.
In a land where diners are king, Jefferson Diner reigns supreme. Voted “Best Diner” by New Jersey Herald Readers, this local favorite has brought in many other awards and accolades.
This trendy Middle Eastern spot brings in belly dancers on Friday nights and offers fantastic food all week long. Enjoy friendly service and affordable appetizers. Fore more information, you can visit the Marhaba website.
This boardwalk favorite is famous for its flavorful tomato pies. A Jersey Shore staple for over 65 years, they also serve a selection of seafood, sandwiches, entrees and appetizers. Maruca’s is a must-try New Jersey restaurant.
This charming restaurant is located in a historic building in the heart of beautiful Clinton. Definitely a more upscale spot, the seafood is a hit. Locals love this place and with the welcoming atmosphere and delicious dishes, it’s easy to see why. Learn more by visiting the Clinton House website.
This classic spot offers a mix of American, Italian, Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, this spot is known for its amazing thin crust pizza and epic egThis classic spot offers a mix of American, Italian, Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, this spot is known for its amazing thin crust pizzas and mouthwatering Italian-style sandwiches. Reviewers rave about the sizable portions and friendly staff. Curious to learn more? Be sure to check out the Black Olive website. parmesan (pictured). Reviewers rave about the sizable portions and friendly staff. Curious to learn more? Be sure to check out the Black Olive website.
Located in a lovely brownstone, this is one of the best spots for brunch. It scored high marks for food, service and decor in Zagat’s dining guide and the monthly five-course wine dinners can’t be missed. I could go for some of their croissant French toast with berry-infused maple syrup right now. For more information, you can check out Amanda’s Restaurant online.
Head to this Red Bank hotspot as soon as possible. Birravino has won awards for its wine list and Italian cuisine and is one of Zagat’s top beach area picks. Check out the menu and more information by visiting Birravino online.
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