Taverna Ouzo Monroe Township NJ 609-426-9700 Offering authentic Greek cuisine and a warm atmosphere, Taverna Ouzo is our top pick for best restaurants in NJ! From the minute you walk in the door, you will be immersed in a festive Greek atmosphere, and you will feel right at home with their friendly staff. We strongly suggest that you try their delicious Greek salad, and we can guarantee that you will fall in love with their Greek olive oil and cheeses. Stop in at Taverna Ouzo today and taste for yourself! Highly Recommended!
Just Restaurant Old Bridge NJ 732-707-4800 Just Restaurant is a Zagat-rated New American dining destination hidden in the heart of New Jersey. Well-received by both diners and critics such as the New York Times, Just presents a selection of artfully prepared culinary creations, an extensive and diverse wine list and a unique specialty cocktail menu. Just offers value with its medley of dishes comprised of only top-quality ingredients. Highly Recommended!
The Frog & The Peach New Brunswick NJ 732-846-3216 The Frog and the Peach recently celebrated it's 25th anniversary and it still stands the test of time as one of NJ's best overall restaurants year in and year out. A beautiful antique bar and an awesome menu that changes with the times. One of Central NJ's best!
Bistro Ole Asbury Park NJ 732-897-0048 Best Spanish The Spanish cuisine in all of Central NJ. A little busy with hustle and bustle and somewhat loud at times, but well worth a visit! Great friendly staff. The Ole Ole Chicken was to die for! Highly Recommended!
Gennaro's Princeton NJ 609-497-2774 Two words: Pappardelle Bolognese! Made with veal, beef and pork the Old World way. Great Italian dishes all over the menu. Great sauces! A must visit.
Front Street Trattoria Red Bank NJ 732-780-2337 Front Street Trattoria gets added to this list because they have the most original pizza in all of Central NJ. The crust on their pizzas are absolutely amazing. A long time contender in Red Bank that delivers each and everytime. BYOB. Highly Recommended!
Restaurants Central NJ
Brioso Marlboro NJ 732-617-1700 This top notch storefront italian is second to none in Central NJ. If you are looking for a truly memorable dining experience then you must make it a point to visit Brioso. They offer many daily specials and an amazing consistent regular menu that never fails to please. Very family oriented and very romantic at the same time. Bravo! Highly Recommended!
Solo Bella Jackson NJ 732-961-0951 Best Italian! Very down to earth simple homemade Italian dishes. Huge portions! Nothing fancy (very casual) but very, very good. The BYOB helps keep the check under control. Highly Recommended!
Whispers Spring Lake NJ 732-974-9755 Whispers is one of best unknown romantic restaurants in all of Monmouth County NJ. Imaginative and delicious American cuisine. One of Central Jersey's best restaurants in the North Shore region.
Joe's Crab Shack Lawrenceville NJ 973-989-1550 Best Family - (For kids) Complete with Singing waitstaff, balloon twisters, outdoor playground and fun Nautical stuff hanging all around. Not to mention the best Dungeness crabs this side of San Francisco!
The National Hotel Frenchtown, NJ 908-996-3200 Offering a menu that is inspired by the area’s local flavors and produce, to create traditional American favorites, as well as unique international and exotic dishes, always supporting local and sustainable farmers. Distinct wine choices and exceptional signature drinks, service, entertainment and familiar faces in this comfortable and elegant establishment, will make you come back time and again.
Ristorante Venezia Woodbridge NJ 732-855-8995 Our pick for one of the best Italian spots in Central NJ. Superb food & ambience. Staff is exceptional and portions are overwhelming. Chef accommodates special requests. Well worth a visit if you can venture into the Woodbridge area. Highly Recommended!
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The following restaurants are, in our opinion, the best that Central New Jersey has to offer. It is the definitive dining guide to the garden state. It is perhaps the only guide you will ever need to refer to if you are looking for the best restaurants in Central NJ.
Best Restaurants in Central Jersey
FunNewJersey.com Editorial Picks
Editorial Pick for the Best Unknown Italian Gem in Central NJ!
Casa Nova 68 68 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 732-246-1888 Casa Nova 68 is a hidden gem that we just recently discovered on Ryders Lane in East Brunswick New Jersey. The interior is magnificently decorated, the service was superior and the food was nothing short of amazing. There are two dining areas that are lavishly lit with perfect lighting and wonderful color. The crooning sounds of Frank Sinatra filled the air and set a romantic ambience that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in New Jersey. A gorgeous little bar is also tucked inside of this little gem boasting over 80 bottles of premium wines with daily happy hour specials. The Bolognese was one of the best original authentic sauces we ever had. Casa Nova 68 is highly recommended if you're looking for authentic homemade italian cuisine in a very romantic atmosphere.
Editorial Pick for the Best Unknown "New American" Gem in Central NJ!
The Blue Bottle Cafe 101 E. Broad St. Hopewell, NJ 609-333-1710 The Blue Bottle Cafe is truly a on-of-a-kind restaurant. They move the menu with the seasons and always come up with imaginative variations of the Contemporary American fare that they offer. They have a flair for mixing the freshest ingredients and turning out a spectacular product. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this restaurant. BYOB
Editorial Pick for the "Best Off-the-beaten-path Italian restaurant" in Central NJ!
Albivi Brick Oven 866 Perrineville Rd. Millstone Twp. NJ 732-446-8211 Albivi's is off the beaten path a little bit in beautiful Millstone Township but you'll love quiet scenery on your ride there! We love that it is tucked away a little bit on a quiet country road. Albivi's served us the best chicken francaise we've ever had, and if your lucky enough in season to catch their stuffed artichokes make sure to order one to go! Magnificent! They have a very nice Italian dinner menu and are famous for their brick oven pizza. Lovely outdoor patio is the place to be in the warmer months. They have live entertainment outside in the summer months on Sunday evenings. BYOB Highly Recommended!
Editorial Pick for the "Best Japanese" in Central NJ!
Shumi Restaurant 30 South Doughty Ave, Somerville, NJ 908-526-8596 The food is excellent, fresh and extremely tasteful. We loved the presentations of all of the dishes. Shumi restaurant is one of the rare Japanese restaurants that try to add a romantic touch and style to all their dishes! Very quiet, peaceful atmosphere. First rate Shushi.
Editorial Pick for the Best Unknown "Italian Gem" in Central NJ!
Nonna's Italian Feast 190 Route 9 North, Marlboro NJ 732-536-9050 Dim lights, big bar, BIG portions...family style! We just love this place. Their bolognese sauce is thinner and with less meat that the traditional bolognese, but it is one of the best that we have ever had. One of the best salads we have ever had too. Great for families with kids too.
Editorial Pick for the Best Unknown "Romantic Gem" in Central NJ!
La Taverna 375 Georges Rd, Dayton, NJ 732-274-2200 La Taverna (formally Whitlock Tavern) was originally built by James Whitlock in the 1730's. The five separate dining areas offers really great food in a very cozy atmosphere. Quiet, romantic settings with fireplaces. Very romantic bar is a great place to bring a date to try something new. The chicken parmesan with angel hair was wonderful. Great simple salad too!
Editorial Pick for the Best "Breakfast/Brunch" in Central NJ!
Le Peep 345 Route 9, Manalapan NJ 732-303-1400 Le Peep boasts some of the most unique breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes in all of NJ! They have a wide range of breakfast and lunch choices but are well known for their creative skillet and omelet dishes. Le Peep offers great salads, sandwiches and a few unique twists on some old time classics like eggs Benedict, heuvos rancheros, omelets, crepes and more. Kids will also love Le Peep as they make some of the best French toast and chocolate chip pancakes that we have ever tasted! If you want to try something a little out of the ordinary for breakfast or brunch, then give Le Peep's unique menu a try. All food is prepared fresh to order!
Also visit their other 2 great locations Shrewsbury - 431 Broad Street - 732-933-3555 Edison - 561 Route 1 & Plainfield Ave - 732-819-7666
Best Seafood Restaurants in Central Jersey
Blue Point Grill 258 Nassau St. (Pine St.) Princeton, NJ 609-921-1211 Blue Point Grill sets the standard in providing impeccably fresh seafood and shellfish from around the world. A little pricey but the freshest seafood we've ever tasted!
Pluckeman Inn 359 Route 202 South, Bedminster NJ, 908-658-9292 Although not geared just to seafood, this contemporary American restaurant surely brings a top level of seafood, wine and service to the table. Sophisticated yet warm. We have also listed the Pluckeman Inn as one of the best restaurants in Northern NJ as it is on the border of being very close to both Northern and Central NJ.
Best American Cusine in Central New Jersey
Nicholas 160 State Route 35, Red Bank, NJ 732-345-9977 Outstanding combination of presentation, detail oriented service, and exceptional cuisine. Truly one of the best American restaurants in Central NJ
Best Unknown Seafood/Steak in Central New Jersey
KC Prime 4160 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville,NJ 609-275-5418 By far one of the best unknown Steakhouses in all of NJ. Don't miss the awesome seafood appetizer. Their menu features the finest in USDA Choice and Prime beef, as well as the freshest seafood, chicken, pasta around. Well worth a try!
Jakeabob's Bay (No website) 525 Front St. Union Beach, NJ 732-264-3730 The food and service is great and the summer atmosphere is wonderful. Very reasonable prices and a cool bar.
Best Italian Restaurants in Central NJ
Deanna's Restaurant 54 North Franklin Street, Lambertville, NJ 609-397-8957 Very cozy with a small wine list specializing in homemade pasta. Simple Italian comfort food. Cool bar too! Tuesdays & Wednesday: Locals Night Prix Fixe $20/3 courses. Second Saturday of every month: Live music with Michelle Wiley 6-10pm . Sunday: Live Piano Music 5-8pm.
Pino's (No website) 448 Us Hwy No 9 Marlboro, NJ 732-972-6663 If your looking for a New York Flair without going through the tunnel then Pino's is fine choice. The service is very good. The waiters always make you feel special. They will carry your drinks for you from the bar to your table! Very good food although some selections are a little but pricey. Good loyal crowd is always willing to greet you at the bar. Reservations are necessary on weekends. Very nice romantically lit atmosphere.
Michael's Cusina Italia Alexander Plaza - Route 9 South, Manalapan NJ 07726 - 732-409-4777 We have chosen Michael's here for their large "Family Style" Portions and their consistency of down home Italian dishes. Their house salad is terrific and most of the dishes that we have tried were way better than average. BYOB
Best Casual Bar Atmosphere in Central New Jersey
Ria-Mar Restaurant 25 Whitehead Avenue, South River, NJ 732-257-1100 The best Portuguese food you can get without going to Portugal. All recipes were brought over from Portugal over 30 years ago and are made exactly as they should be, from scratch. Great casual atmosphere, extensive wine collection and amazing food!
Crabs Claw Inn 601 Grand Central Avenue, Lavallette NJ, 732-793-4447 Amazing selection of the freshest seafood and BBQ on the Jersey Shore! Local bands and singers play 5 days a week! Card games every Monday and karaoke every Wednesday! Restaurant and Bar open 7 days a week! Great atmosphere and amazing food!
Best Unknown restaurant in Central New Jersey
Spargo's Grill 130 Route 33 West, Manalapan, NJ,732-294-9921 Spargo's Grille, an upscale, casual restaurant in Manalapan, New Jersey. Spargo's has quickly become a gem in Monmouth County (for those who know about it) . Chef/owner Tim Murphy refreshes bored palates with his fresh Californian-Caribbean flair. You must try their Bolognese Rigatoni (Rigatoni pasta tossed with a classic meat sauce and finished with fresh ricotta).
Carrabba's- East Brunswick - CHas a few real winners on the menu Macaroni Grill- Edison - Cool large warehouse with very good Italian
A little bit about the FunNewJersey.com Restaurant Guide in Central NJ
Remember that a "Best of list" is just an editorial opinion. You should use them for what they should be used for..... A reference of opinion. Of course they are not the "gospel" that is set in stone and does not define every restaurants' reputation and standard. There are always great restaurants that will get bad reviews as there are restaurants that aren't considered as good that will get good reviews. Please enjoy this reference for what it is. A guide of opinion. It is more important to remember that you should simply have fun going out and trying new restaurants in New Jersey. You will surely come up with your own favorites.
We hope you enjoyed...
Best places to eat in Central NJ
We want to give you a list of good restaurants which you can explore and choose your favorites. If you're looking for a place to take a date and need NJ restaurants that have a romantic atmosphere, see our picks for the top 10 most romantic restaurants in NJ.