1. The Frog and The Peach, New Brunswick
A favorite among restaurant critics and casual reviewers alike, this modern American restaurant serves up spectacular seafood. A bit more upscale, the ambiance is amazing and the wine list is extensive. In business for over 30 years, they're definitely doing something right.
2. Scarborough Fair, Sea Girt
This romantic restaurant is housed in a rustic farmhouse and serves up New American cuisine. The crispy calamari appetizer is a favorite, along with the seafood sampler platter for $25.
3. Library II, Voorhees
This popular steakhouse offers a fantastic salad bar and charming, dimly lit atmosphere. The walls are entirely covered in books and you'll feel as if you're in some secret, magical place. Check it out and discover why Library II was named the "best classic restaurant" in the Philly area by Philadelphia Magazine.
4. Saddle River Inn, Saddle River
You'll find seasonal fare and fine French/American cuisine at this local favorite. Housed in a historic barn on the waterfront, the Saddle River Inn was rated "excellent" by the New York Times and offers fantastic 4, 5 and 6 course tasting menus.
5. The Pop Shop, Collingswood/Medford
This family-friendly restaurant is all about fun. The Pop Shop serves up comfort food favorites with some truly unique twists and offers breakfast all day. The desserts are delectable, and the grilled cheese selection can't be beat. Enjoy specialty grilled cheeses (like the French Onion Grilled Cheese, pictured) all month long for National Grilled Cheese Month.
6. Elements, Princeton
The food is art at this chic, modern restaurant, and the tasting menus are truly a culinary experience. The focus is on fresh, flavorful food and the service and attention to detail are phenomenal.
7. Mishmish, Montclair
This casual Mediterranean spot stands out in a city known for quality dining; the atmosphere is inviting and the menu is inventive. This should come as no surprise as owner/executive chef Meny Vaknin is one of Food Network's "Chopped Champions."
8. The Chatterbox Drive-In, Augusta
This classic Jersey drive-in is loaded with charm. The burgers are award-winning and the huge hot dogs are a fan favorite. Head here for comfort food classics, authentic malts and fun auto-themed events.
9. Stuff Yer Face, New Brunswick
You won't find a better 'boli this side of the Mississippi. Known for their sizable strombolis this relaxed eatery can't be missed.
10. Restaurant Serenade, Chatham
The decor is modern and sophisticated at this inventive French restaurant. The food and service are superb, but be prepared for the hefty price tag. It's worth it.
11. Quahogs Seafood Shack, Stone Harbor
This fun seafood spot is open seasonally and offers an eccentric menu served either indoors or on the patio. Try unique favorites including shrimp taquitos, tuna watermelon ceviche and grilled octopus skewers. Quahog's Seafood Shack was featured on the "Funky Finds" episode of Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives.
12. George's Place, Cape May
Heading here is like getting two restaurants in one. An amazing breakfast and brunch spot, George's Place also serves up spectacular Greek food for lunch and dinner. The tiramisu waffles and spanakopita are fan favorites. This authentic spot can get crowded and has been in business since 1968.
13. Yellow Submarine, Maple Shade
Famous for its cheesesteaks and subs, head to the attached ice cream parlor for dessert.
14. Jefferson Diner, Lake Hopatcong
In a land where diners are king, Jefferson Diner reigns supreme. Voted "Best Diner" by New Jersey Herald Readers, this local favorite has brought in many other awards and accolades.
15. Marhaba, Lambertville
This trendy Middle Eastern spot brings in belly dancers on Friday nights and offers fantastic food all week long. Enjoy friendly service and affordable appetizers.
16. Maruca's Tomato Pies, Seaside Park
This boardwalk favorite is famous for its flavorful tomato pies. A Jersey Shore staple for over 65 years, they also serve a selection of seafood, sandwiches, entrees and appetizers.
17. Clinton House, Clinton
This charming restaurant is located in a historic building in the heart of beautiful Clinton. Definitely a more upscale spot, the seafood is a hit. Locals love this place and with the welcoming atmosphere and delicious dishes, it's easy to see why.
18. Black Olive, Vineland
This classic spot offers a mix of American, Italian, Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, this spot is known for its amazing thin crust pizza. Reviewers rave about the sizable portions and friendly staff.
19. Amanda's, Hoboken
Located in a lovely brownstone, this is one of the best spots for brunch. It scored high marks for food, service and decor in Zagat's dining guide and the monthly five-course wine dinners can't be missed. I could go for some of their croissant French toast with berry-infused maple syrup right now.
20. Birravino, Red Bank
Head to this Red Bank hotspot as soon as possible. We're in the midst of Jersey Shore Restaurant week (ending April 24th) and Birravino is offering some spectacular specials - a 3-course prix-fixe dinner is just $32.16. Birravino has won awards for its wine list and Italian cuisine and is one of Zagat's top beach area picks.
From casual fare to upscale dining this list offers quite the selection, and it’s just the start. We’re the best state to grab a great meal, after all. For more incredible options, check out my delectable
Jersey dining bucket list. What’s your favorite New Jersey restaurant?