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Top Best Restaurants In New Jersey

1. The Saddle River Inn (Saddle River), 2. Hunan Taste (Danville/Montclair), 3. La Isla (Hoboken), 4. Mesob (Montclair), 5. Felina (Ridgewood), 6. Forno’s of Spain (Newark), 7. Mehndi (Morristown), 8. Serenade (Chatham), 9. Jockey Hollow (Morristown), 10. Razza (Jersey City). New Jersey is as diverse geographically as it is demographically, with rolling farms, small beach towns, and congested suburbs. The state's eating culture is sometimes overshadowed by the cities that bookend it — New York City and Philadelphia — but those who pay attention are rewarded handsomely. Chefs in the "Garden State" have much to work with, acquiring fresh fish from the state's 130 miles of coastline and immaculate veggies from adjacent farms. It all adds up to a diverse dining culture that rivals those of its neighbors, whether it's through traditional NJ stereotypes — yep, classic red sauce Italian is still alive and well — or the more unusual - Aghan food in a casino town, anyone? NJ dining is as startling to the uninitiated as the idea that it's not all about the gym, tan, and laundry, and locals are simply eating well. These are the restaurants that are now defining what it means to eat in New Jersey.

  1. The Saddle River Inn (Saddle River)
  2. Hunan Taste (Danville/Montclair)
  3. La Isla (Hoboken)
  4. Mesob (Montclair)
  5. Felina (Ridgewood)
  6. Forno’s of Spain (Newark)
  7. Mehndi (Morristown)
  8. Serenade (Chatham)
  9. Jockey Hollow (Morristown)
  10. Razza (Jersey City)

The Saddle River Inn (Saddle River)

The Saddle River Inn, which opened in 1981, is part of the William Packard Estate, which is now known as Barnstable Court. The Inn began working as a sawmill and basket weaving facility in 1840. In 1981, Hans and Imelda Egg founded the Saddle River Inn, which quickly became a benchmark for fine dining French. Jamie Knott and Peter Liloia purchased the company in January 2013 and plan to carry on the heritage. The “new” Saddle River Inn is a fine dining, contemporary French restaurant on the Saddle River’s banks. When possible, Chef Jamie Knott uses only Prime dry-aged beef, the freshest line caught seafood, sustainable seafood, and locally grown organic produce. The menu rotates twice a year and features seasonal foods at their height of freshness.

Chef and owner Jamie Knott ensures that the meal nods to the classic, pastoral surroundings while still seeming fresh, despite being housed in a refurbished 18th century barn. International influences can be found in American cuisine, such as the maple-chipotle glaze on the perfectly roasted chicken or the mint chimichurri over a plate of Colorado lamb chops. Choose a particular bottle to bring with you to complete out the meal, as the restaurant is BYOB.

Restaurant dining: The Saddle River Inn offers limited indoor dining as well as covered, heated riverside seating in the restaurant’s covered, heated tent. While waiting to be served in either location, there is also a fire pit outside the restaurant.

Takeout: The restaurant does not offer takeout at this time.

Address: 2 Barnstable Ct, Saddle River, NJ 07458, United States

Phone: +1 201-825-4016

Website: https://www.saddleriverinn.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey

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top best restaurants in new jersey

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Hunan Taste (Danville/Montclair)

Hunan Taste began in Denville, NJ in 1986. Their restaurant was precisely designed to replicate the architecture of an antique Chinese-style pagoda and was made out of an old roller-skating rink. Hunan Taste is currently a well-known landmark in Denville. Their restaurant has earned a reputation for fine dining Chinese cuisine, elaborate décor, and an unforgettable dining experience over the years. A number of awards have been received, including being named one of Northern New Jersey’s top award-winning restaurants. To name a few accolades, they have gotten top rankings from Zagat’s Survey and have been crowned “Best Chinese Food” by Reader’s Choice for nine years in a row.

Their second site, in Upper Montclair, NJ, opened in 2016. This venue aims to provide a unique dining experience. The mood is juxtaposed with an old-world European setting, where guests may relax and luxuriate in an opulent setting, while the menu is from the same painstakingly made recipes passed down from generations.

Hunan Taste, the restaurant rated the best Chinese by New Jersey Monthly readers for multiple years in a row, is where those in the know go for superb Hunan, Sichuan, and Mandarin meals. The first facility in Danville opened in 1986, when it took over a suburban roller skating rink and transformed it into an antique Chinese pagoda. Everyone comes for the cuisine, not the architecture: melt-in-your-mouth soup dumplings, mapo tofu, and spicy twice-cooked Sichuan pork are just a few of the items on the restaurant’s extensive menu, which combines harder-to-find regional delicacies with Chinese-American favorites.

Dining at the restaurant: Both the Denville and the Montclair locations are open for limited indoor dining. The restaurant does not take reservations.

Takeout: Takeout is available from the Denville location via third-party apps.

Address: 4 Alvin Pl, Montclair, NJ 07043, United States

Phone:+ 173-783-6800

Website: https://www.hunantaste.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey

Photo: roadsideamerica.com

top best restaurants in new jersey

Photo: .hunantaste.com

La Isla (Hoboken)

Since 1970, the original La Isla Restaurant at 104 Washington Street has been a downtown Hoboken tradition. It was taken over by the Luis and Giner families in 1996 and has since grown into a local cult, providing “excellent Cuban food morning, noon, and night,” with Sunday brunch “being a divine cause to skip church,” according to Zagat. They are committed to delivering traditional Cuban food cooked from the freshest and most genuine ingredients in ample amounts at cheap pricing in a friendly and unpretentious neighborhood ambiance, with Chef Omar Giner at the helm.

La Isla’s original Washington Street site served a taste of Havana to downtown Hoboken for more than two decades, and the restaurant became so popular that chef and owner Omar Giner added a newer, sleeker uptown location. The growth came with a broader menu, but Giner made sure that the Cuban classics he ate as a kid, including croqueta de jamon (ham croquettes), empanadas, and, of course, the Cubano sandwich, stayed. Always inquire about the daily specials, which include everything from bacalao (a codfish and potato stew) to ropa vieja (shredded, stewed beef), one of Cuba’s national meals.

Dining at the restaurant: La Isla is accepting reservations for limited indoor dining at the uptown location, and walk-in indoor dining at the downtown location.

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are available from both locations and can be ordered via the restaurant’s website.

Address: 104 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ 07030

Phone: (201) 659-8197

Website: https://laislarestaurant.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey

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top best restaurants in new jersey

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Mesob (Montclair)

With its authentic Ethiopian cuisine, Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant in Montclair, NJ is a favorite among both vegans and meat eaters. All of their dishes are made with freshly blended Ethiopian spices imported from Ethiopia. Our sauces are created to order, and their produce is always fresh. Mesob is the ideal spot to unwind with family and friends because of its helpful service and welcoming decor. Mesob is popular with youngsters because of its Injera, a delicious sourdough Ethiopian flat bread with which you wrap your food. It’s a joy to “dine with your hands.” Zagat has given it an award for excellence.

The Taste of Mesob, which comes with the diner’s choice of two starters, two beef meals, one lamb dish, two seafood dishes, and four vegetable sides, is the best bet for first-timers. The kitfo, a beef tartare seasoned with clarified butter and a blend of spices, is a must-try. The restaurant allows guests to bring their own alcohol and has a huge assortment of teas, including kemem shai, a black East African tea flavored with dried ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

Dining at the restaurant: Mesob is currently open for limited indoor dining, by reservation only.

Takeout: The restaurant offers takeout and delivery, which can be ordered through Mesob’s website. Meal kits are also available for pick-up by calling the restaurant.

Address: 515 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042, United States

Phone: +1 973-655-9000

Website: https://www.mesobrestaurant.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey

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top best restaurants in new jersey

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Felina (Ridgewood)

Felina’s setting, which is housed in a former bank, is as ornate as the Italian cuisine on the menu. The owners opted to use the bank’s lofty lobby as an event venue, putting the restaurant in a pleasant back section warmed with clusters of globe lights and reclaimed wood where the offices used to be. The menu changes with the seasons, but there are a few standouts, like as the rotating “pizzette,” a tiny pie topped with Brussels sprouts, provolone, crème fraîche, and Meyer lemon recently. Combine it with one of the five negroni varieties offered by the restaurant, such as the cold brew negroni, which adds a splash of coffee liqueur to the traditional trinity of Italian liqueur, vermouth, and gin.

Felina is a restaurant with a hospitality focus that serves locally grown and foraged cuisine with authentic and lively Italian characteristics. The Felina brand was created by Frank Cretella and Chef Anthony Bucco to provide a delightfully unique Italian restaurant experience. They take pleasure in their approach to community and sustainability as true advocates of the family farmer, artisans, and craftsmen. To highlight each distinct and perfectly in-season product, their food and beverage programming will rely significantly on the seasonal harvest. The appropriate backdrop for any occasion is an award-winning restaurant and event space design that plays on the architectural aspects of the spaces and materials.

Dining at the restaurant: Felina is open for limited indoor dining.

Takeout: The restaurant offers takeout Thursday through Sunday; orders can be placed via Felina’s website.

Address: 18 Prospect St, Ridgewood, NJ 07450, United States

Phone: +1 551-276-5454

Website: https://www.felinarestaurant.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey

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top best restaurants in new jersey

Forno’s of Spain (Newark)

Spanish and Portuguese immigrants began pouring to Newark’s Ironbound area in the 1960s in search of work in the region’s many factories. After several decades, the neighborhood has evolved into a doorway through which diners may sample the cuisines of different countries without ever having to leave Newark Airport. Locals go to Fornos of Spain for fine dining, despite the neighborhood’s abundance of bakeries, cafes, butchers, and barbecue joints serving Iberian Peninsula specialties. This long-running restaurant specializes in seafood delicacies like paellas and Spanish staples like simply grilled octopus drizzled in olive oil and paprika, all served in an old-school dining room with white tablecloths.

Fornos Restaurant has received multiple awards and has been hailed as a “must” when dining out in New Jersey by numerous national publications. Their award-winning cuisine is made using Spain’s freshest seafood. Their vast wine vaults include approximately 450 vintage and aged wines, as well as one of the most unusual collections of Spanish wines in the United States.

Dining at the restaurant: Forno’s of Spain offers limited indoor dining. Expect family celebrations, from birthdays to anniversaries, at many of the tables.

Takeout: Takeout is available by calling the restaurant directly.

Address: 47 Ferry St, Newark, NJ 07105, United States

Phone: +1 973-589-4767

Website: https://www.fornosrestaurant.com/home.php

top best restaurants in new jersey

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top best restaurants in new jersey

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Mehndi (Morristown)

Mehndi in Morristown is part of the Mehtani family’s restaurant dynasty, which is generally acknowledged with elevating the prominence of Indian cuisine in New Jersey and establishing Edison as a dining destination with the launch of their first restaurant there in 1990. Since then, they’ve grown to operate six restaurants, including this critically praised Morristown eatery.

Twenty-three Fortuny chandeliers adorn the restaurant, each with a concave surface that deceivingly radiates and diffuses light. The contour of the chandeliers is reminiscent of the twists of Indian turbines, with an attractive spiral shape design. Each land is formed of a hand-painted ivory glass shade that is strung by silk cording embellished with amber Moruno glass beads and is mounted on top of a brass frame.

Brian Schmierer, a San Francisco-based artist, reinterprets classical and then Mehndi motifs, giving them a sharp, modern spin. The rich hues of the artwork contribute to the restaurant’s beauty. As a celebration of family and friends, the Mehndi ritual is carried to the canvas. The antiques are a collection of artifacts gathered by Shaun Mehtani from across India, ranging from rural communities in Rajasthan to major cosmopolitan cities like New Delhi.

At Mehndi, diners can choose from well-done standards like an assortment of clay-oven baked dishes and a variety of biryanis, but keep an eye out for the restaurant’s signature dishes, such as khattal masala, a jackfruit and ginger curry, or beetroot tikki, an appetizer of beets, potato, and homemade cheese fritters.

Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant is open for limited indoor dining for both lunch and dinner.

Takeout: Takeout is available by calling the restaurant, and delivery is available via third-party apps.

Address: 3 Speedwell Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960, United States

Phone: +1 973-871-2323

Website: http://mehtanirestaurantgroup.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey
top best restaurants in new jersey

Serenade (Chatham)

Serenade, a gourmet dining establishment in Chatham, has consistently topped best-of lists in New Jersey for the past 20 years. The restaurant’s blend of classic cuisine and new techniques, run by husband-and-wife pair Nancy and James Laird, is the key to its survival, presenting modernized American cooking in a lovely gray dining room with vibrant yellow seats. Traditional favorites like clams casino coexist with innovative meals like braised short ribs with an Asian-inspired sauce, roasted apples, and sticky rice.

Reservations are available in the dining room and at the high-top bar tables. First come, first served at the bar counter. On Saturday nights, they provide a three-course fixed-price menu with numerous options for each course. On Saturday nights, that is the only meal served. You can order a la carte at the bar and high tops.

Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant is open for limited indoor dining and outdoor seating in the restaurant’s parking lot, where heaters are provided and the space is tented when weather permits.

Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant is open for limited indoor dining and outdoor seating in the restaurant’s parking lot, where heaters are provided and the space is tented when weather permits.
Takeout: Serenade offers takeout and delivery, available for order via the restaurant’s website. Beyond a la carte dishes, the restaurant also creates a “steak night” package with four courses of steakhouse classics such as shrimp cocktail, prime bone-in sirloin, truffle twice-baked potato, and chocolate mousse.

Address: 6 Roosevelt Ave, Chatham, NJ 07928, United States

Phone: +1 973-701-0303

Website: https://www.restaurantserenade.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey
top best restaurants in new jersey

Jockey Hollow (Morristown)

The Jockey Hollow compound, which is housed in the Vail Mansion, which was originally home to an early AT&T president, combines numerous culinary ideas into one. The Oyster Bar is a casual brasserie; The Washington Room is a more premium dining choice with a tasting menu; The Vail Bar is a cocktail bar; and The Rathskeller is a beer hall and event venue all in one. The long reflecting pool, gorgeous marble building, and meticulously kept grounds will transport you in a way few restaurants can, whether you’re stopping by for a plate of oysters, an exceptional burger, or a five-course tasting menu.

They are so trained as a nation to buy the same items all of the time, to frequent stores and restaurants that all look the same. A dining room at a New York mall may just as well be in Dubai. Across the country, restaurateurs are attempting to establish businesses that can be copied 400 times. A lot of what they do at Jockey Hollow is a statement against homogeneity and mass culture.

They have witnessed more erosion of artisanal culture in my 58 years on this planet than at any previous moment in history. When done well, the restaurant industry is one of the few remaining authentic outlets for artisanal production. They not only prepare your cuisine to your requirements, but they also select only the cleanest and most sustainable materials for their menu and wine list. Their dedication also aids in the support and sustainability of the small farmers, winemakers, cheesemakers, craft brewers, and distillers who make their world unique.

Dining at the restaurant: The restaurant is currently in hibernation for the winter.

Takeout: Jockey Hollow is not doing takeout at the moment.

Address: 110 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960, United States

Phone: +1 973-644-3180

Website: https://www.jockeyhollowbarandkitchen.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey
top best restaurants in new jersey

Photo: tapinto.net

Razza (Jersey City)

When The New York Times declared that New York’s best pizza was actually in New Jersey, Razza was put on the map. While this sparked a regional food controversy that, like all food controversies, will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, critics and customers who queue to wait at the restaurant can all agree that owner Dan Richer serves excellent pizza. His secret is in the organically leavened, delicious dough, as well as a menu of toppings that highlight New Jersey’s farms. The Jersey margherita, for example, is made with New Jersey’s famous tomatoes and mozzarella from Sussex County’s water buffalo.

At Razza, they strive for the Italian manner of cooking and eating, where ingredients are dictated by geography and seasonality. You consume the vegetables that grow close to you and avoid the ones that don’t. Which ingredients to cook will be dictated by the seasons and your location. Because the ingredients they employ assist them create the greatest possible meals, that process is carried out in every decision they make. Clifton mills the flour that we use. They prepare their own bread and butter. Every single component, right down to the salt on the pizza, is hand-picked. They’ve developed their own yeast culture, which they claim produces a superior pie. Their beer and wine choice has been carefully curated to complement their cuisine, even if it means a brand or label that is nearly unknown.

They don’t claim to have invented the perfect pizza, but it is their goal, and it guides all they do. Everything revolves around the product and how to improve it every day. They will learn a new cooking technique if that is required. They will try a new farm for vegetables if it means it. Every day, they strive to produce the greatest product and method possible in order to serve you with the best food and, eventually, the best pizza.

Dining at the restaurant: Razza is currently closed for indoor dining.

Takeout: Takeout is available to order through the restaurant’s website.

Address: 275 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ 07302, United States

Phone: +1 201-356-9348

Website: https://razzanj.com/

top best restaurants in new jersey

Photo: nytimes.com

top best restaurants in new jersey

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