The 15 best under-the-radar food towns

The 15 best under-the-radar food towns

21 Mart 2018 - 02:00

Look, we all know the heavy hitters when it comes to N.J. dining destinations: Montclair, Newark, Red Bank, Jersey City, Morristown, Cape May, Ridgewood, Asbury Park, Hoboken, Princeton, Atlantic City, Collingswood, New Brunswick. Did we miss anyone?

But what about the cities and towns that never get mentioned in restaurant destination roundups? That's what this list is for: The 15 best under-the-radar dining destinations in New Jersey — places that deserve to be on the N.J. culinary map, where you can eat as well as, and often cheaper than, the big-name cities.

Our under-the-radar towns are scattered across the state and include recommended restaurants in each. What's your favorite dining town? Tell us in the comments.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for
West New York

Hudson County was my selection as best county for food in New Jersey, and diversity was a big key in that decision. West New York boasts a United Nations of food choices - Cuban, Colombian, Argentinian, Mexican, Italian and more in one compact package. A personal favorite, Louie's BBQ Pit, recently closed its storefront, although they will still do catering. Dulce de Leche Bakery is one of the state's 10 best bakeries (the double mousse cake, shown in the photo, is to die for). Noches de Colombia, with two locations in West New York, serves up tasty empanadas. Lusso is a classy casual restaurant along the Riverwalk. Food Network personality Carl Ruiz says the Cuban sandwich at La Pola is the best he's had anywhere. 

Alex Remnick I NJ Advance Media for

Keyport calls itself the "Pearl of the Bayshore.'' You can now call it the Dining Capital of the Bayshore. The Broad Street Diner, winner of our N.J.'s best diner showdown, is here. Across the street is Old Glory Kitchen & Spirits, a former church converted into a restaurant/bar (it formerly housed a restaurant called Trinity). Drew's Bayshore Bistro is renowned for its Cajun-influenced American fare; Keyport Fishery is a town landmark, and Mike's Giant Sized Submarine Subs lives up to its name.   



Everyone knows Hammonton as the Blueberry Capital of the World, but there are plenty of good eats in this Atlantic County town. Start with Annata Wine Bar, housed in a former car repair garage, with its excellent wine selection and food. Check out such Mexican favorites as Las Lomas and El Mariachi Loco.  Bruni's and Ricca Brothers are the best-known pizzerias in town, but my favorite is Brother's Pizza, with its standout Old Fashioned Tomato Pie. There's Marcello's for Italian. Penza's for pies. And Mary's Cafe for creative breakfast and lunch dishes.  

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

The neon lights are bright and the food choices many on Broadway, Denville's main drag. Sergio & Co. (owner Sergio Scianalepore is in the photo) is a great Italian deli/food store. Denville Dairy is one of the state's classic ice cream shops. All the delicious-looking treats at Mo'Pweeze Bakery avoid the right major food allergens. Visit Beignets for donuts and you-know-what. Hunan Taste (not on Broadway) is one of the state's highest regarded Chinese restaurants. Throw in Denville Seafood, Tuscan Table, Veggie Heaven, Anthony & Sons Bakery and Mara's Cafe, among others, and you have a food lover's paradise.


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