When it comes to outdoor dining, New Jersey has got you covered. There are incredible eateries all over the state that allow you to enjoy your meal al fresco. From charming accents to incredible views, the following restaurants are some of our favorites. A few have been featured before but many are new additions to my list of must-trys. I’ve included a mix of popular picks and hidden gems…do you spot your outdoor dining go-to? Keep in mind that the eateries below are not ranked, each is special.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Erini - 1140 River Road, Ewing
One of the best restaurants in Mercer County, this eatery also happens to have a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor. The picture perfect patio offers lush landscaping and a laid back tiki bar that's absolutely amazing on a summer night. When it comes to cuisine, you'll find a mix of mouthwatering Mediterranean and American dishes, including steak and seafood. Try the bacon wrapped scallops and be sure to visit on Wednesdays for deals on oysters and clams.
2. Sunset Pub & Grill - 425 Beaverbrook Road, Lincoln Park
This casual spot serves up comfort food classics including wings, burgers, tacos, pizza, and more. There's something for everyone on the menu, including craft beer lovers. Visitors will enjoy frequent live music and a very unique view - it's right off the runway at Lincoln Park airport. Watch planes take off and land while you dine.
3. Mohawk House - 3 Sparta Avenue N, Sparta Township
Enjoy scenic outdoor dining at this romantic restaurant, located on a 3-acre estate surrounded by rolling hills and charming countryside. Fresh, local food is the focus, so the menu varies by season. A fine dining destination, they're currently serving up unique dishes including filet mignon tacos, a roaming acres ostrich burger, truffle fries, and wild mushroom toast.
4. treno pizza bar - 233 Haddon Avenue, Westmont
treno pizza bar is a wonderful spot to unwind on a spring or summer day. Diners love the enclosed, open air patio, perfect for enjoying a nice, cool breeze. Patrons can choose between both wood-fired and brick oven pizza, along with pasta, scallops, short rib, and more. Being a bar, you can also indulge in a little beer, wine, or whiskey.
5. Liberty House Restaurant - 76 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City
There are so many incredible restaurants on the Jersey side of the Hudson River but this has to be one of my favorites. Located in Liberty State Park, patrons will enjoy spectacular views of the New York City skyline. This upscale spot offers a seasonal menu and bountiful brunch unlike any other. Served a la carte, there are plenty of options to choose from including Guinness Stout Glazed Chicken Lollipops and Jumbo Lump Crab & Avocado Parfait.
6. Saltwater Cafe - 1231 Route 109, Cape May
Located right on the water, this casual cafe is open for breakfast and lunch beginning April 28th. The menu is mainly made up of standard cafe fare including sandwiches, salads, benedicts, pancakes, and waffles, but you'll find a few fun specials. Try the Cape May croissant (scrambled eggs, swiss, bacon and tomato, tomato aioli, home fries and fruit) or All That & A Bag Of Chips (cast iron skillet layered with home fries, boursin cheese, sweet sausage, peppers & onions and poached eggs with a side of kettle chips and fresh fruit).
7. Millie's Old World - 60 South Street, Morristown
This family-friendly dining spot is also great for date night. It offers a sleek, modern interior and an indoor/outdoor patio, separated from the world by a working garage door. The perfect place to stop after strolling around downtown Morristown, this spot is all about pizza and meatballs. They do both better than most! You'll want your meatballs served in their signature vodka sauce and you absolutely have to try their white truffle and prosciutto pie.
8. Sunset Pier Restaurant - 86th Street & Bay, Sea Isle City
The aptly named Sunset Pier Restaurant is where you want to be at sunset. With views like this, you can't go wrong. Diners can drive, boat, or bike here to enjoy delicious dishes including homemade clam chowder, hot dogs, and hoagies. You can also build your own burger - beef, turkey, or veggie. This shoreside spot also offers amenities including a juice bar, boat rentals, and yoga classes.
9. Andrea Trattoria Italiana - 16 High Street N, Millville
Their charming little patio fills up quickly in the summer months but it's definitely worth a wait. This authentic Italian restaurant, located in the heart of Millville’s Art District, features delicious entrees, fresh baked bread, homemade pasta and hand-crafted desserts using the freshest ingredients available. Try one of their many pasta dishes and feel free to BYOB. After your meal, check out a show at the nearby Levoy Theatre.
10. Riley & Jake's - 1831 Route 31, Clinton
This lunch and dinner spot has a lovely patio and is located right near the Spruce Run Reservoir. While there are trees in between, you're still secluded enough to feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, like you're getting away from it all. Enjoy occasional live music, a diverse menu of comfort food favorites, and fantastic specials like pizza & beer Tuesdays for just $8! This is a great spot to stop after a kayak run at the reservoir.
11. Wonder Bar - 1213 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park
Wonder Bar is a Jersey Shore icon, offering live music and their famous pup-friendly "Yappy Hour" on the patio. Though it's more of a bar than a restaurant, you can still enjoy bar food favorites like chicken fingers, fried pickles, mac & cheese bites, and mozzarella sticks. You won't leave hungry, but you will leave happy.
12. Cuban Pete's - 428 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
The vibrant patio will have you feeling like you're in the tropics, and so will the tapas. This Cuban eatery serves up everything from ropa vieja to empanadas and each dish is full of flavor. Don't miss delicious desserts like dulce de leche and a spectacular sangria bar with 8 different options.
13. Mexican Food Factory - 601 W Route 70, Marlton
The picturesque patio here is a perfect place to relax, offering water features, ceiling fans, and more. A casual Tex/Mex spot, the focus is on traditional Mexican cuisine. From tamales to tortillas, they've got a sizable selection of authentic Mexican fare. They've also got some great deals - visit on Mondays and Tuesdays for all-you-can-eat tacos or on Friday during happy hour for a free taco bar.
Which of these restaurants do you most want to dine at? Let me know in the comments! Surprised that your favorite outdoor dining spot in New Jersey wasn’t featured? It’s probably been on another list – I love sharing new spots with you. For a few riverfront eateries offering outdoor dining,
click here. For some of the best views, click here. Prefer a rooftop to a patio? Check out this article.