These Are the 20 Best Restaurants in New Jersey

From the best pizza and pork roll sandwiches to the upscale hotspots you won’t want to miss, here are the best restaurants in New Jersey.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
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Diners might form the bedrock of
New Jersey
cuisine, but there’s so much more to be found at the Garden State’s best restaurants, from globally-inspired fine dining establishments to family-run pizzerias, a small but mighty burger shack, and the home of the original Italian dog. 
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The best upscale restaurants in New Jersey

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen (Morristown)

Address: 110 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960
Price point: $$$$
Cuisine: American
Located in the historic Vail Mansion,
Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen
is a hotspot for globally-rooted fine dining in the heart of North Jersey. Don’t miss out on Happy Hour Wednesday through Friday, when the raw bar offers $2 oysters, or Sunday brunch, which features cheddar biscuits with ‘nduja butter and rosemary honey.

Viaggio (Wayne)

Address: 1055 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne, NJ 07470
Price point: $$$
Cuisine: Italian
Viaggio Ristorante
is the first restaurant of executive chef Robbie Felice, who started his culinary career being mentored at Mario Batali’s NYC restaurant Babbo. Charred octopus antipasti, crab and potato triangoli, and an eye-rollingly good Tuscan rubbed hanger steak are just a few of the menu’s standouts. 

Gayeon (Fort Lee)

Address: 2020 Hudson St, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Price point: $$$
Cuisine: Korean
The name “
Gayeon
” means “beautiful encounter,” and that’s what this upscale Korean spot aims to create. Traditional Korean barbecue is a highlight of the menu, which lets authentic dishes shine in a new light, and the airy, modern digs elevate your meal and your spirits. 

A Little Bit of Cuba Dos (Freehold)

Address: 2 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728
Price point: $$$
Cuisine: Cuban
The food is as good as the sophisticated, tropical-inspired decor at
A Little Bit of Cuba Dos
, which brings the tastes of the island directly to central Jersey. Pair a fresh tuna and watermelon ceviche starter with slow-cooked ropa vieja—and, of course, finish off your meal with a slice of tres leches cake. 
MORE:The best foodie road trip New Jersey
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The best restaurants in New Jersey on a budget

White Manna Burgers (Hackensack)

Address: 358 River St, Hackensack, NJ 07601
Price point: $
Cuisine: Hamburgers
Found at the 1939 World’s Fair,
White Manna
has been keeping things simple in
Hackensack
since 1946. The menu’s standout is a perfect slider on a Martin’s potato roll with onions and cheese—and according to Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, it might just be the best burger in America for just $2.15

Ada’s Gojjo (Asbury Park)

Address: 1301 Memorial Dr, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Price point: $$
Cuisine: Ethiopian and Dominican
Chef and owner Adanech Asghedom grew up in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, but when she moved to
Long Branch
she learned to cook Dominican cuisine. At
Ada’s
, the two foodways find common ground in a menu that starts with empanadas and pasetlón and features spicy Ethiopian classics like ye siga tibs and buttery doro wat

Cheng Du 23 (Wayne)

Address: 6 Willowbrook Blvd, Wayne, NJ 07470
Price point: $$
Cuisine: Chinese (Sichuan)
Cheng Du 23
serves up some of the most delicious Sichuan food not just in New Jersey, but in the whole New York metro area—and it’s got
the awards to prove it
. If you’re looking for Chinese-American standards like lo mein and kung pao chicken, you’ll find them on Cheng Du’s capacious menu. But you’re much better off opting for authentic Sichuan-style dishes like spicy cumin lamb, ma po tofu, or “ants climbing a tree” (don’t worry, no actual ants). 

Olaide’s Kitchen (Parlin)

Address: 499 Ernston Rd, Parlin, NJ 08859
Price point: $$
Cuisine: West African 
Started as a catering business out of Chef Olaide’s own kitchen, this
homey West African spot
centers on Nigerian cuisine. Choose between starters like puff-puff donuts and peppered snail, and warm your belly with spicy ayamase stew, grilled red snapper, and two kinds of jollof rice (Nigerian and Ghanaian). 

The best diners in New Jersey

Summit Diner (Summit)

Address: 1 Union Pl, Summit, NJ 07901
Price point: $
Cuisine: American
New Jersey has long been proclaimed the
“Diner Capital of the World,
” and the
Summit Diner
in North Jersey is among the greatest. But don’t expect a menu the size of a phone book: the Summit Diner closes at 4 pm, so its menu is short and focuses on omelets, sandwiches, and other AM-leaning diner fare. 

Jefferson Diner (Lake Hopatcong)

Address: 5 Bowling Green Pkwy # 12, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849
Price point: $$
Cuisine: American 
The Jefferson Diner’s no understated hole-in-the-wall. This Morris County landmark is a gleaming retro food palace with a 22-page menu to match. Like every great diner, the Jefferson serves a little of everything: Philly cheesesteaks, po boys, Greek salads, and Polish pierogies. If you’ve ever wanted to drink a Bloody Mary and an egg cream in the same sitting, you’ve come to the right place. 

George’s Place (Cape May)

Address: 301 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204
Price point: $$
Cuisine: Greek and American
George’s Place
has been serving the neighborhood since 1968, but it was a 2010 visit from Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives that put this classic Greek diner on the map. Fresh food, comfortable digs, and affordable prices make George’s Place the perfect breakfast, lunch, or dinner spot—just make sure you bring cash! 

Tick Tock Diner (Clifton)

Address: 281 Allwood Rd, Clifton, NJ 07012
Price point: $$
Cuisine: American
“Old school” and “late-night” are two key words that describe the Tick Tock Diner, opened in 1948 as a roadside spot for a quick bite. You’ll find every diner classic on the menu, from disco fries to a Denver omelet to a roasted turkey club sandwich to a creamy strawberry shake to…you get the picture. Normally open 24/7, the Tick Tock’s currently operating on a limited schedule due to COVID-19.  
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The best pizza in New Jersey

Razza (Jersey City)

Address: 275-277 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Price point: $$
Cuisine: Italian
Declaring anything the “best pizza in New Jersey” is basically asking for a fight—but
Razza
makes a compelling argument that the real thing can be found in
Jersey City
. Artisanal wood-fired pizzas featuring everything from hazelnuts and ricotta to guanciale and pecorino paired with craft beer and Italian cocktails. 

Tony D’s (Caldwell)

Address: 3 Hanford Pl, Caldwell, NJ 07006
Price point: $
Cuisine: Italian 
Some people like their pizza imaginative and elevated. Others just like it hot, fresh, and delicious—and cheap. If you’re in the latter category, head to
Tony D’s
, a tiny, no-frills pizzeria next to a barbershop in downtown Caldwell that happens to serve some of the best slices in the state. 

Brooklyn Square Pizza (Jackson Township)

Address: 265 S New Prospect Rd, Jackson Township, NJ 08527
Price point: $$
Cuisine: Italian
Pizza may be the star player at
Brooklyn Square Pizza
, founded by first-generation Italian and cancer survivor Pietro “Peter” Grippo. But it’s not the only thing on the menu: this homey sit-down spot also has calzones, cold and hot heroes, and some of the best pasta dishes in town
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The best iconic New Jersey restaurants

The Committed Pig: Pork roll sandwich

Address: Multiple locations
Price point: $$
Cuisine: American
Taylor Ham, pork roll—whatever you call New Jersey’s favorite processed meat, it’s a Garden State classic. At
The Committed Pig Burger & Pancake House
, it’s a pork roll sandwich, and you can get it on a brioche bun or a glazed donut. 

R U Hungry?: Fat Sandwiches

Address: 95 Hamilton St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Price point: $
Cuisine: College student
The Fat Sandwich, an ungodly creation that starts with a humble sub roll and piles it high with burger meat, French fries, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, and more, could only be the late-night culinary epiphany of a college student. Students from Rutgers University invented these Jersey icons at the school’s “grease trucks,” and you can eat one today at
two different food trucks
in
New Brunswick
and
Newark
The “Fat Cat” is the original, but refined palates agree that the “Fat Darrell,” which features chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, French fries, and marinara sauce, is the best fat sandwich money can buy

Town Hall Deli: Sloppy joe

Address: 74 1st St, South Orange, NJ 07079
Price point: $$
Cuisine: American 
In most of the country, a “sloppy joe” is a sandwich of ground meat on a bun. In New Jersey, it’s a cold double-decker deli sandwich on thinly sliced rye bread loaded with precarious piles of ham, pastrami, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing. Think of it, if you like, as a cold Rueben—and sample the original at
South Orange’s
Town Hall Deli

Classico Tomato Pies: Trenton tomato pie

Address: 358 Princeton Hightstown Rd, West Windsor Township, NJ 08550
Price point: $$
Cuisine: Italian
In 1910, a pizzeria in the state capital of
Trenton
asked an earth-shaking question: what if, when making Jersey’s classic thin-crust pie, you put the sauce on after the cheese and toppings? 
Thus was born the Trenton tomato pie, a bright-red circle of joy that defines central Jersey pizza-eating. The best place to find one today is
Classico Tomato Pies
, voted the #1 tomato pie in New Jersey by USA Today and one of the nation’s best pizzerias, period, by Food Network. 

Jimmy Buff’s Italian Hot Dogs

Address: 506 Boulevard, Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Price point: $
Cuisine: Italian
There are almost infinite ways to eat a hot dog, but
Jimmy Buff
invented one of the best in 1932: a deep-fried dog on an Italian roll heaped with onions, peppers, and potatoes. Jimmy’s family keeps his restaurant alive today, and although it’s not the only place in Jersey where you’ll find a good Italian hot dog, it’s undeniably the classic. 

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