Good things take time. Anything worth having is worth the wait. We hear these phrases thrown around all the time, but in the case of food at these restaurants, they’re absolutely accurate. You may need to make a reservation, or wait a while to get a table, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did.
1. Dock's Oyster House, Atlantic City
This Atlantic City staple has been in business since 1897. Guests rave about the innovative appetizers and reservations are a must. It can be difficult to get in at times but it is currently impossible - due to demand, the restaurant is closed for expansion. Set to reopen in May, the food is worth the wait.
2. White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City
Another classic AC restaurant, White House Sub Shop has hosted famous guests including Frank Sinatra, Oprah, Rocky Marciano, Joe DiMaggio, and The Beatles. You may need to wait in line, but you'll become part of this local landmark's history. The walls are filled with unique memorabilia and the White House Special Sub (pictured) is not to be missed.
3. Cafe Archetypus, Edgewater
Getting a table here can be difficult, getting a private "cave" in the back can be almost impossible - but it's worth it. The atmosphere is amazing, the desserts are delightful, and the intimate experience is unforgettable. Archetypus is an ideal spot for a romantic night out.
4. The Frog and The Peach, New Brunswick
This whimsical eatery welcomes walk-ins, but reservations are recommended, especially on Saturday nights. They now offer affordably priced prix fixe and tasting menus that allow you to sample some of the restaurant's finest fare.
5. Restaurant Nicholas, Red Bank
The number one restaurant in New Jersey, according to Zagat, you'd expect that dining here might require a wait. Enjoy exquisitely prepared modern American cuisine and an extensive wine list.
6. Zeppoli, Collingswood
This Sicilian spot is all about the seasoning. You'll find a mix of flavors including wild fennel and saffron. Guests love the antipasto and shrimp. Parking can be difficult as the place is always packed, but the service is exceptional.
7. Restaurant Latour, Hamburg
Located on the grounds of Crystal Springs Golf Resort, this lovely spot offers some seriously stunning views. A Zagat-rated restaurant, this pricey eatery is best known for its award-winning wine list.
8. Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern, Ho-Ho-Kus
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern was constructed in 1796 as a private home. It first became a tavern in 1890. A favorite of President Nixon, his regular table (#20) is still located in the library area, but cannot be reserved. Any table here, however, should suffice. Don't miss Sunday brunch - a bottomless buffet offering unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Marys for a reasonable $34.95. Reservations are essential.
9. The Red Store, Cape May Point
The Red Store is a coffee shop, general store, and restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner service is by reservation only. The menu is constantly changing, but always incredible. Consider joining the "Supper Club" for a truly unique dining experience.
10. The Bernards Inn, Bernardsville
This historic hotel offers some of the finest dining in the area. Elegant, but expensive, the food is worth every penny. Be sure to make a reservation in advance to secure your preferred dining time. Guests can enjoy exquisite dishes including Smoked Quail Gumbo and Niman Ranch Pork Osso Bucco.
11. The Farm And Fisherman Tavern + Market, Cherry Hill
This casual spot can get crowded, but the wait is worth it. The restaurant was a 2012 James Beard semifinalist for "Best New Restaurant" in America, and the menu is inventive.
12. Cafe Matisse, Rutherford
Now is the time to start making Valentine's Day reservations at this romantic restaurant. The ambiance is incredible and the food is fantastic. The award-winning eatery is truly magical, offering a creative menu with dishes including Panko Crusted Crab Cake with Cheddar Glazed Shrimp and Coffee Peppered Cocoa Rubbed Venison Loin. All meals are prix fixe.
13. Battello, Jersey City
You only need to look at these photos to see why this restaurant is worth the wait. Located on the Hudson River, this trendy spot offers spectacular New York City views. It is a very popular place for brunch and private events.
14. Jon & Patty's Coffee Bar and Bistro, Ocean City
If you want to avoid a wait at this restaurant, visit during the off-season. You'll often find it packed in the summer months. Guests love the fresh, flavorful food and unique menu. Be sure to try the PB&J French Toast.
Have you been to any of these restaurants? Was it worth the wait? What other popular places would you add to this list?