New Jersey may be on the smaller side, but our dining options are endless. Anything you want, you can find it here. Being as diverse as we are, finding amazing ethnic food is not a problem. World famous for our diners, we’ve got late night eats covered as well. With so many palatable possibilities, it can be difficult to decide where to start. If you’re looking for incredible food and truly unique dining experiences, this New Jersey foodie bucket list is a great place to begin. Please note that this isn’t a ranking, each spot is so different and offers something spectacular.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. The Shrimp Box, Point Pleasant Beach
Two more weeks! This spectacular seafood spot opens again for the season on March 2nd. The restaurant's motto is, "We overlook nothing... but the harbor." That couldn't be more true - the service, food, and views are amazing. One Only In New Jersey reader says he travels 1000 miles at least 2-3 times a year to eat here.
2. White Mana, Jersey City
This burger joint is far from fancy, but the sliders are fantastic. Featured in the 1939 World's Fair, this "diner of the future" is still going strong. Open 24-hours, stop by when you have your next late night burger craving.
3. White Manna, Hackensack
Ahhh, the greasy goodness. If you try one of these spots, you have to try the other to compare - they're only about 30 minutes apart.
4. Slater's Deli, Leonardo
No New Jersey dining bucket list would be complete without the best Taylor Ham/Pork Roll sandwich. There are so many great places to grab one in our state, but Slater's Deli is a reader favorite. The Slater Slider (pictured) will leave you satisfied!
5. Olde Towne Deli, Boonton
Of course, we can't mention the best Taylor Ham/Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese without mentioning Olde Towne. Another reader favorite, they were chosen as best in New Jersey by nj.com.
6. The Chicken Or The Egg, Beach Haven
You may be familiar with CHEGG from some of my previous lists, but they just can't be missed! The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is amazing, and everyone should eat here at least once. You've got to try the breakfast menu, and the wings are world-famous. Their Ludicrous Wings Challenge was featured on Man v. Food!
7. Alice's, Lake Hopatcong
This waterfront restaurant has a great outdoor deck, which you'll often find full in warmer months. You can also eat in the main dining room or the Big Fish Lounge, which offers live music, sporting events, drink specials, happy hour, and the full menu.
8. Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank
The seasonal Sunday brunch at Molly Pitcher Inn is something everyone should experience. The selection of mouthwatering options is sizable and an alcoholic beverage comes complimentary - mimosa's anyone?
9. Clinton Station Diner, Clinton
A New Jersey restaurant bucket list wouldn't be complete without at least one diner. This diner is a must-visit for two reasons - you have the opportunity to dine in an authentic restored train car AND the burgers are epic. There are 3 different burger challenges to choose from, the biggest of which involves a 50lb burger!
10. The Mad Batter, Cape May
Located in the Carroll Villa Hotel, guests can enjoy happy hour, live music, and even art exhibits. A favorite breakfast spot, dinner is just as delectable.
11. White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City
Classic Atlantic City at its finest, this sub shop has been in business since 1946. The Arctic Avenue location is home to unique memorabilia including Frank Sinatra's towel, but the subs are just as amazing at the second location in the Trump Taj Mahal.
12. Battello, Jersey City
The views alone are enough to put this restaurant on your bucket list, but it offers so much more! This Italian-inspired, seafood-focused spot has an exquisite dinner menu and a fabulous brunch.
13. Chickie's & Pete's, Multiple Locations
Though this chain is based out of Philly, there are 4 New Jersey locations - Bordentown, Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic City, and Ocean City. There is also a Glassboro location opening this summer. The award-winning sports bar/crab house is well-known for its spectacular crab fries. If you're looking for game night fun and flavorful food, this is the place to be.
14. Rutt's Hut, Clifton
You haven't really lived until you've tried a Rutt's Ripper. Rutt's Hut is famous for its deep-fried hot dogs and has garnered acclaim from the Food Network, Travel Channel, and PBS. It was also featured in the book 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die.
15. Amy's Omelette House, Cherry Hill/Long Branch/Burlington
This place is paradise for breakfast lovers! Enjoy pancakes, waffles, French toast and 222 different types of omelettes. They also serve lunch and dinner, but their morning menu can't be beat.
16. Benny Tudino's, Hoboken
New Jerseyans love our pizza and Benny Tudino's offers some of the BIGGEST and the best. You've gotta love a slice that takes up two plates!
17. Hot Rods BBQ, Wharton *Permanently Closed*
Our readers love the real pit BBQ here. A great spot to spend some time, visit on Wednesdays for trivia night.
18. Restaurant Latour, Hamburg
Everything is excellent about this elegant spot, but it is best known for its award-winning wine list.
19. Harold's New York Deli, Edison
Besides the novelty of having the "World's Largest Pickle Bar," this spectacular deli is known for its epic portions. I'm talking pancakes the size of pizza pies, triple-decker sandwiches and cakes up to 2-feet high! You have to experience this spot at least once in your life, just to say you did.
20. Kitchen Consigliere, Collingswood
Would it be a Jersey bucket list without a mafia-themed restaurant? This highly authentic spot is owned by a former mobster, but that's not just a hook. While it may bring diners in, the incredible food keeps them coming back.
Have you been to any of these restaurants before? Will you be adding some new spots to your bucket list? With so many amazing restaurants in our state, these 20 picks are just the start. What New Jersey restaurants would you recommend that everyone give a try? Let me know where and why in the comments – I definitely want to do a part two.