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New Jersey Monthly Magazine
Best Of Jersey
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Best of Jersey

At New Jersey Monthly, our job every month is to bring you the best the state has to offer.

Posted March 20, 2009

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Brownies and Dessert Bars at Chris's Cookies
Brownies and Dessert Bars at Chris's Cookies in Teterboro.
Courtesy of Chris's Cookies.

Kristie Ahn
At 16, Kristie Ahn is poised to be a tennis power.
Photo by Chris Crisman.

Ken Lockwood Gorge
Ken Lockwood Gorge offers rustic trout fishing not too far off the beaten path.
Photo by Peter Murphy.

Cullen Jones-NJ Olympic Winner
Irvington’s Cullen jones swims the freestyle at the U.S. national championships in Irvine, California.
Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis.

Still, conferring "Best of Jersey" status on our favorite people, places, and things is a daunting process. To that end, we asked our editorial team and our most discerning contributors to nominate their "Best Of Jersey" candidates. Then we researched and visited and tasted and debated until we reached our final decisions. We hope you enjoy the results—and we welcome your comments at

Click on the following links to read about the best places in the state for each category:

Best of NJ: Food and Drink

Best of NJ: Retail

Best of NJ: People

Best of NJ: Places

Best of NJ: Recreation

Click on the links below to read more detailed profiles of fellow Jerseyans who have exceeded expectations, acted heroically, realized their ambitions and accomplished feats worthy of our reverence and esteem; as well as some hidden treasure destination spots more than worth a day trip to visit:

The Phenom: 16-year-old tennis phenom Kristie Ahn, from Upper Saddle River, is poised to take the world of professional tennis by storm.

Heroes of the Hudson: When Flight 1549 hit the water, New Jersey's well-trained ferryboat captains prevented tragedy.

These Buds Are For You: Cherry Blossoms aboun in Branch Brook Park in Essex County.

Sister of Invention: Georgetown University sophomore Catherine Cook created a yearbook for the digital generation.

Heavy Medalists: NJ's Olympic and Paralymic stars are winners in every way.

On the Fly: Ken Lockwood Gorge offers rustic trout fishing not too far off the beaten path.

Related Articles:

Weston Gallery
Village Green
Dream On: Exotic Cars, Pedestrian Speeds
Pesce Out of Water: Rustic Italian Food in Spring Lake
The Top Golf Holes In New Jersey

If you like this article please share it.

best mozarella

I think the best mozzarella is from Fiore’s deli in Hoboken. The line is out the door on Saturdays!

Posted by: Claudia Volk, None | Mar 26, 2009 02:06:49 AM |

Wine Boutique/Central

Once a wine maker has worked their magic there are two variables which can change what comes out of the bottle into your glass--heat and light. There is only one wine shop in Central New Jersey that actively controls those elements, the Princeton Corkscrew, maintaining a year-round store temperature of 56 degrees. The Corkscrew offers a true boutique wine shopping experience. The wines are almost entirely from small producers most of whom the shop’s owner, Laurent Chapuis, has personally visited. Laurent and his knowledgeable staff are more than happy to guide a buyer through their wonderful collection, without the need to resort to gimmicks like tags. While CoolVines has some fine wines, I’m surprised you fell for the gimmick rather than the real experience offered by the Corkscrew.

Posted by: Patrick Mooney, None | Apr 03, 2009 13:07:49 PM |

the new jersey decorating exchange

Thanks for the heads up. More quality furniture and accessories, more rugs and carpet,the largest selection of fabrics anywhere,plus their own drapery and upholstry shops. All under one roof. A true one stop shop. Judy, Bob, David are very helpful. A candy store for the home. overwhelming

Posted by: sarah beth, None | Apr 05, 2009 22:41:00 PM |

Wanderlust of Cape May is indeed a treasure of the region - a brilliantly talented design team!

Posted by: Carrie Mehl, None | Apr 18, 2009 00:38:46 AM |

there is another wine boutique in Central NJ. And they have the ONLY Master of Wine with his own retail shop.

56 Degrees in Bernardsville.

Posted by: wb, None | Apr 27, 2009 20:08:14 PM |

Corkscrewed again?

Snobish is the only thing I have to say for the CorkScrew. It’s sad that someone has to stoop so low to chagrin in a public forum a fine small business in Princeton such as CoolVines. Thank you. Patrick Mooney you can attract more customers with honey, rather than Habanaro Chili paste coated words.

Posted by: w, None | Apr 27, 2009 20:12:38 PM |

Best Crumb Cake

I am originally from Palisades Park New Jersey and have had many crumb cakes from B&W. When I moved to Middletown I used to have friends from Bogota bring down crumb cakes with them 10 at a time and we would freeze them for future consumption. When I moved to Ocean County I discovered Matina’s in Brick New Jersey. Their crumb cakes are every bit as good if not better tan B&W’s.

Posted by: Ralph G. Waclawicz, Manchester | Jun 21, 2009 23:01:30 PM |

Hometown Heroes

Michael Starr was not another captain in the area. He was the NY Waterway Port Captain that trained Vincent Lucante as Security officer.
Your article made it sound like Lucante was in the pilot house and pulling people out of the water. Well, he wasn’t. He was captaining the boat but it was Mike Starr that was pulling the woman with the baby onto the boat.

Posted by: Jennifer Starr, Jersey City | Jun 29, 2009 14:31:54 PM |

Beer Selection

Sadly, it seems that those making the selection relied more on the past than the present. Andy’s Corner Bar was a destination stop for craft beer drinkers but is now surpassed by many other establishments. Perhaps you should ask serious craft beer lovers to help with the next poll. On quatity and quality of offerings the Cloverleaf in Caldwell, the Tap Room in Warren, the Copper Mine in North Arlington,the Gaslight in South Orange, and the Stirling Hotel in Stirling, just to name a few, are superior. Hats off to Andy’s for leading the way but let’s give credit to the newcomers who have surpassed their inspiration.

Posted by: Matt, Chatham | Aug 29, 2009 15:27:07 PM |

Best Places in NJ, Nominee for Best Neighborhood in Jersey

Something noticeably missing from your list of best places is the best neighborhood in New Jersey. I’d like to nominate my neighborhood, the Mill Hill Historic District, located in Trenton. I’ve lived in the the neighborhood for over 10 years and it is far and away the best community I’ve ever had the pleasure to live in.

It’s everything neighborhoods used to be: a community of caring people that know each other, speak to each other on the street, lend each other a cup of sugar or a power saw, share the work of cleaning up trash on the streets, watching out for each others homes and--I could just go on and on.

What’s truly amazing about this neighborhood is the level of civic responsibility that everyone seems to feel. The beautifully restored Victorian and late Federal row homes are just an outward expression of the deep commitment that my neighbors have to this community. But don’t take my word for it--check it out for yourself.

Posted by: Cynthia Vandenberg, Trenton, NJ | Oct 15, 2009 15:29:47 PM |

Best Sushi in NJ

IKKO in Bricktown, NJ shines above all the rest. They do it right..

Posted by: Alan N, Spring Lake | Jan 08, 2010 20:34:05 PM |

Cherry Blossoms - A two-mile drive through cherry blossoms.


A scenic drive through a two-mile avenue of blossoming cherry trees on Chapel Avenue, Cherry Hill, NJ.

This version driving West on Chapel Avenue toward Haddonfield Road in Cherry Hill, NJ

This version driving East on Chapel Avenue toward Kings Highway in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Posted by: Joseph Zanghi, Cherry Hill, NJ | May 09, 2013 19:47:27 PM |

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