New Jersey is a wonderfully diverse state which means a lot of things, one of those things is a deliciously diverse dining selection. Our state offers a flavorful mix of culinary delights from around the world. You can find nearly any kind of cuisine here, but I’ve focused on 14 of the more popular options in the Garden State. Selecting a top notch restaurant in each category, this is by no means a comprehensive listing of the best ethnic restaurants in New Jersey – simply a place to start your culinary journey.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Chinese - Hunan Taste - Denville
This stunning restaurant is impeccably designed and decorated, offering some of the finest Chinese cuisine in the Garden State. In business for over 10 years, it is an architectural and culinary marvel. Upscale and offering reasonable prices, this authentic spot should not be missed.
2. Japanese - Sagami Japanese - Collingswood
Tokyo-style dining with a sushi bar. This spot offers fantastic service and soft shell crab maki. Locals love it and you will, too!
3. Portuguese - Adega Grill - Newark
Little Portugal, also known as Newark's Ironbound district, is the place to be in New Jersey when it comes to authentic Portuguese cuisine. There are so many amazing spots but Adega stands out for its unique atmosphere and amazing wine bar. There are multiple dining areas, each with a distinct vibe ranging from rambunctious to romantic. Guests will enjoy a diverse menu featuring the freshest ingredients.
4. Ethiopian - Mesob - Montclair
Ethiopian isn't quite popular just yet, but it is something worth trying. There are just a handful of Ethiopian restaurants in New Jersey, but Mesob is a true gem. The menu is varied and flavorful with a mix of spicy and more moderate dishes. Meals are centered around sourdough injera, which acts as both platter and utensil. Vegan dishes and homemade desserts are available.
5. Thai - Spice Thai - Bloomfield
The food and atmosphere here are both fantastic. It may be small in size but it is big on flavor and offers delicious dessert options including fried banana and red bean ice cream.
6. Mexican - La Esperanza - Lindenwold
Enjoy empanadas, fajitas, tacos, burritos, guacamole and more. There is a wine and tequila-focused bar offering delicious margaritas and daily specials. This family-owned business also provides diners with a welcome atmosphere in which to indulge in their favorite dishes.
7. Italian - Augustino's - Hoboken
Is it a surprise that the best Italian restaurant in New Jersey can be found in Frank Sinatra's home town? A celebrity favorite, this dimly lit dining spot has delicious chicken and shrimp parmesan. Customers rave about the sizable portions and energetic atmosphere.
8. Korean - BCD Tofu - Fort Lee
This California-based chain has just 3 East Coast locations, one in New Jersey's own Koreatown. Fort Lee is loaded with quality Korean dining but BCD still manages to stand out with delicious dishes including hot stone bibimbap, spicy raw crab and appetizers like crispy garlic tofu bites.
9. French - Rat's Restaurant - Hamilton
There are several solid picks when it comes to the best French restaurant in New Jersey, but none can match the atmosphere of Rat's. Inspired by Claude Monet's village of Giverny, it is truly one of the most magical places to dine. Enjoy your meal on the patio if possible and be sure to visit soon for the limited time dinner & a stroll prix fixe menu. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until August 2nd, guests can enjoy a 3-course meal (from 5-7 p.m.) and admission to the gorgeous Grounds for Sculpture for just $44 (plus tax and tip). An ideal date, this special is a steal.
10. Cuban - Rumba Cubana - West New York/North Bergen
Union City and the surrounding area is home to one of the largest populations of Cuban Americans in the United States, so it's no surprise that Hudson County does Cuban right. Rumba Cubana just might do it best with incredible ropa vieja, fantastic prices, a relaxed atmosphere, unbelievable lunch specials and flavorful drinks including mango sangria (yum!).
11. Indian - IndeBlue - Collingswood
This BYOB spot serves up a great mix of traditional and modern Indian cuisine. Offering dine-in, delivery and take out, don't miss the Sunday brunch with live music or Wednesday "date night" specials.
12. Greek - Olympia Restaurant - Vineland
Open daily for lunch and dinner, you'll find a sizable menu of authentic Greek dishes. Enjoy gyros, souvlaki, mousaka and more.
13. Vietnamese - Pho Le - Red Bank
Closed on Mondays but open 6 days a week for lunch a dinner. Check out the lunch specials from 11-3 or try the bahn mi (Vietnamese-style sandwiches). The sugarcane shrimp and red snapper are other favorites.
14. German - Black Forest Inn - Stanhope
This charming eatery is an old-world style beer hall serving up traditional dishes and offering fantastic specialty buffets. Visit on the first Friday of the month for an incredible German-style seafood buffet. Reviewers have called the food "divine" and "exceptional," and they are absolutely correct.