While it might not get the recognition for fine dining that places like New York City or Los Angeles might receive, New Jersey is still home to some of America’s finest restaurants.
In the guide below, we’ll introduce you to some of the most popular and well-reviewed restaurants found throughout the state of New Jersey.
Whether you like traditional high-end American fare or cutting-edge fusion dishes, there’s something to love in each of these famous New Jersey restaurants.
Best Restaurants In NJ
The best restaurant in New Jersey is 1776. After reviewing all the restaurants, we came to conclusion evaluating the cooking style, variety in menu, aesthetics and high quality service. Even Aarzu is the best if you prefer Indian cuisine.
Morristown, New Jersey
67 E Park Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960
The name 1776 might lead you to believe that David Burke’s American restaurant in Morristown is a stodgy or historical place, but you’d be mistaken. This modern restaurant is focused on top-tier haute American dining, but not on emulating the past.
Contemporary dishes like 1776’s clothesline bacon appetizer are an eye-catching take on classic ingredients. Other fan favorites include their Angry Butcher pizza elevated with a drizzle of jalapeno-fused honey and lamb chops wrapped with hay, and foie gras dumplings.
The highlight of 1776 is their many dessert offerings. Notables include their carrot cake parfait with raspberry beret, and chocolate chip ice cream sliders with candied pistachios and hot fudge sauce.
Freehold, New Jersey
30 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728
The name Aarzu means “wish”, and you’re sure to get your wish granted at this modern Indian bistro. Aarzu places a strong focus on beautiful plating and aesthetics, but the food is great too.
This pet-friendly bistro features traditional Indian dishes such as garlic naan and chicken tikka alongside fusion favorites like duck tacos and smoked quail eggs. Other notable dishes include lotus root, orange kulfi, and seared scallops with pineapple relish.
If you’re looking for an upscale Indian dining experience in New Jersey, Aarzu is certainly worth the trip.
Jersey City, New Jersey
502 Washington Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Batello is an Italian eatery with a seafood focus and an industrial-chic aesthetic. This New Jersey restaurant features a vibrant bar with a wide variety of cocktails and a scenic view that makes it a popular wedding venue.
Batello’s most popular fish and seafood dishes range from smoked trout and oysters to lobster and octopus. No matter what type of seafood you prefer, you’re sure to find a fishy dish you love here.
For those diners who prefer other proteins, favorite non-seafood options include the chicken lavash wrap and the pork porterhouse. Batello’s also features fifteen appetizers that offer diners plenty of choice to customize their dining experience.
4. Cafe Panache
Ramsey, New Jersey
130 E Main St, Ramsey, NJ 07446
While Cafe Panache might be a restaurant with traditional American decor and a cozy aesthetic, it also manages to execute some very unique takes on traditional American fare.
With an emphasis on fresh-picked local vegetables and a farm-to-table culinary style, Cafe Panache features classic appetizers like lobster bisque and foie gras alongside hearty main dishes like molasses short ribs and wild boar gnocchi.
Another advantage of this New Jersey restaurant is its ever-changing menu. With plenty of seasonal variety, you’re always getting the chance to try something new.
Princeton, New Jersey
66 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542
Elements is an interpretative New American restaurant that features a seasonally-inspired tasting menu and plenty of free add-ons to add value to your dining experience.
Notable dishes on offer at this New Jersey restaurant include high-class favorites like wagyu beef sashimi, seafood and mushroom dumplings, and Madai fish.
If you’re looking for fine dining with an emphasis on stellar presentation of simple, high-quality ingredients, Elements is waiting for your reservation.
Montclair, New Jersey
331 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042
New Jersey is known for its Italian cuisine, and Fascino in Montclair is an example of Italian cooking at its best.
The offerings at Fascino are eclectic, so there’s a dish for all tastes. Whether you favor seafood like smoked oysters and squid ink mafaldine or landlocked fare like Berkshire pork chops and ricotta gnocchi, there’s plenty to love.
Fascino is a good option for New Jersey diners who are looking for generous portions and a BYOB setup.
7. Cellar 335
Jersey City, New Jersey
335 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302
If you’re looking for a restaurant with a cool Hawaiian vibe, the tiki bar at Cellar 335 features a diverse menu of creative craft cocktails alongside tapas-style Korean fusion appetizers.
One of the most iconic dishes on Celler 335’s menu is their Korean style wings. Other popular options include charred edamame, spicy beef noodles, and bao.
Cellar 335 is a good choice for a restaurant to take your most lively friends. This restaurant can get boisterous at times, so be prepared for a somewhat loud dining experience.
8. The Circle
Newton, New Jersey
310 NJ-94, Newton, NJ 07860
The Circle is located in a restored 1720 farmhouse that showcases local, seasonal American cuisine. This restaurant features a six-course chef’s tasting menu as well as nineteen standard menu items, offering diners plenty of choice for their appetizers and entrees.
The focus here is on nose-to-tail cooking on an elevated level. Popular entrees include salmon with kaffir leaves and fenugreek, pan-roasted scallops, and spice-rubbed duck breast.
With a seasonal soup and daily fresh in-house pasta, The Circle is an excellent option for diners that want to see high-quality ingredients wielded by masters.
Montclair, New Jersey
544 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042
The French restaurant at Faubourg in Montclair is a sprawling bi-level brasserie which contains multiple bars, banquette seating, a cocktail lounge, and a two-story wine cellar.
Diners at Faubourg can expect classic French dishes like gougeres as well as more complex offerings like lobster salad with basil aioli or snails and chicken oysters fricassee. The salmon and sorrel course is a particular favorite of regular patrons.
Top off your experience at Faubourg with a tarte flambee to make your meal at this French eatery one of your top ten dining experiences.
10. The Frog and the Peach
New Brunswick, New Jersey
29 Dennis St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
The Frog and the Peach has an excellent fusion menu of French-inspired farm-to-table cuisine that starts with a za’atar bread appetizer and gets more impressive from there.
Other popular dishes at The Frog and the Peach include the eggs benedict, the bacon beignets, and the Long Island duck breast. For the more adventurous, alligator is also featured on the menu.
The garden room and covered patio provide plenty of scenic outdoor seating, and the low noise levels of this restaurant combined with a generous pour from the bar make it a good location for intimate gatherings.
Collingswood, New Jersey
801 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108
Hearthside may sound like a cozy name for a fine dining restaurant, and you’ll be sure to feel cozy if you post up in front of this restaurant’s blazing fireplace or cuddle up on their heated front patio area.
Cozy though it might be, the contemporary American fare on offer at Hearthside is anything but homely. With dishes like whole roasted branzino, venison au poivre, dry-aged porterhouse, and lamb belly all roasted over an oak wood fire, the food is anything but simple and homely.
If you’d rather eat seafood, Hearthside also offers great fish-based entrees like lumache with rock shrimp and red snapper with sweet chili sauce.
12. The Highlawn
West Orange, New Jersey
1 Crest Dr, West Orange, NJ 07052
If you’re looking for beautiful views of West Orange on your visit to this scenic New Jersey city, you can’t do much better than a seat at The Highlawn.
One of the most popular aspects of this New Jersey restaurant is their raw bar, which features oysters and shrimp cocktail to pair with their extensive cocktail list. Other dishes that regularly wow guests include grilled octopus, steak tartare, and a seafood tower.
In the mood for something sweet? Try out one of The Highlawn’s impressive desserts like their key lime cheesecake or blueberry crumble.
13. The Hill
Closter, New Jersey
252 Schraalenburgh Rd, Closter, NJ 07624
The Hill at Closter is run by a Michelin-star chef, so you know you’re getting the cream of the crop when you make your reservations here. Serving contemporary American food with global influences from Italy and Thailand, this restaurant has a focus on exceptional seafood.
Star seafood dishes at The Hill include salmon ceviche and calamari with graham cracker breading, and poisson cru dusted with toasted coconut. For vegetarian dishes, the roasted carrot salad and the fresh chickpea salad are popular options.
If you’re interested in a dining experience that places extra emphasis on the contrast and play between textures in a meal, The Hill is a New Jersey restaurant you can’t afford to miss.
Maplewood, New Jersey
160 Maplewood Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040
Lorena’s is a French haute cuisine that is run by chef Humberto Campos and named for his wife, Lorena.
This New Jersey restaurant offers bread service, a rare treat in modern upscale restaurants. Standout dishes include salmon tartare with wontons, crabmeat crepes with wild mushroom sauce, and venison sirloin.
The most popular dessert at Lorena’s is a traditional one in fine dining spheres – a molten lava chocolate cake. But rather than being contrived, this dessert offering is a perfect execution of a classic.
15. Red Horse
Rumson, New Jersey
26 Ridge Rd, Rumson, NJ 07760
A steakhouse with Asian and American influences, Red Horse features a traditional steakhouse menu where popovers and sushi serve as standout appetizers.
Along with their dry-aged beef, this New Jersey restaurant showcases some unique seafood dishes like a dressed oysters appetizer and a lobster tail with banana cream filling.
It should be noted that Red Horse is not a quiet restaurant, especially around the bar area, so save the reservations for this Rumson icon for your livelier get-togethers.
16. SLA Thai
Montclair, New Jersey
596 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043
Good Thai cuisine can be hard to find, but SLA Thai in Montclair is definitely some of the best Thai cuisine to be found in northern New Jersey. The spacious and contemporary design of the restaurant is an ideal complement to its traditional takes on classic Thai dishes.
Some of the most popular dishes available at SLA Thai are their pad thai and duck curry, but all of the Thai meals available at SLA Thai feature fresh ingredients and a dose of spicy goodness.
SLA Thai isn’t just known for their exquisite meals. This restaurant has a reputation for fast service and attentive wait staff that will make sure everything in your meal is perfect from appetizer to dessert.
Jersey City, New Jersey
3 2nd St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
For Korean cuisine in New Jersey, it’s hard to find a more contemporary take than Ondo. This modern, low-light restaurant has elevated takes on classic Korean cuisine, but it’s still casual enough that there is no pressure to overdress for this fine dining experience.
The highlight of dinner at Ondo is the omakase, a chef’s tasting menu where diners get to interact directly with the chef as the meals are prepared.
If a formal dinner isn’t your style, Ondo is also home to several popular lunch options. Whether your tastes run more to charred bulgogi or spicy pork over rice, you’re sure to find something delicious to tuck into at lunch time. (Source: Yelp)
18. Osteria Crescendo
Westwood, New Jersey
36 Jefferson Ave, Westwood, NJ 07675
Osteria Crescendo might have a homely and cozy interior design, but the menu is an entirely different matter. Osteria Crescendo is chef Robbie Felice’s second restaurant, and his culinary prowess shines through its menu.
Osteria Crescendo features classic Italian dishes such as calamari salad and mussels, but it’s the plating and presentation of these dishes that make Osteria Crescendo a one-of-a-kind fine dining experience.
As impressive as the food is at Osteria Crescendo, the drinks are just as good. Try pairing your meal with a blueberry gin and tonic or the Buona Salute, a cocktail with vodka, grappa, vanilla, citrus, ginger, and apricot. (Source: New Jersey Monthly)