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27th Annual Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll

Click to participate in New Jersey Monthly's 27th Annual Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll.

Posted January 19, 2010

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2010 Restaurant Poll slideshow

It’s your turn to rate the restaurants!

The Readers’ Choice Restaurant Poll is your chance to tell us which are the Garden State’s best dining spots. To take part in the survey, just complete the online ballot. THE ENTRY DEADLINE IS March 15. You can name restaurants that are anywhere in New Jersey.

We’ll tabulate the winners by three regions:

North: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties
Central: Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset counties
South: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem counties.

By submitting a ballot, you become eligible for a prize, to be awarded by random drawing—dinner for two at the restaurant named Best of the Best in your region. Your choices will help us identify New Jersey’s favorite restaurants for our August issue. So tell us where you love to eat—and be part of one of New Jersey Monthly’s most popular and successful features.

All responses are confidential. Your name, address, phone number, and email address are required for your ballot to be counted; this information will only be used to notify you if you win the drawing. Restaurants assisting in the submission of ballots or distributing ballots or magazines containing them will be disqualified.

Limit one submission per email address

If you do not see the form below please click here or if you have trouble submitting please contact us

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Monthly Restaurant Poll

I enjoy this website and the variuos polls offering top restaurants, doctors, etc in NJ

Posted by: Jo Anne Green, Hawthorne, NJ | Jan 21, 2010 21:27:11 PM |

Uproot Restuarant

Uproot is a fabulous new restaurant located in Warren Township. The decor is unlike any other NJ Restaurant, it is something you would expect to find in the city. It wow’s you when you walk in. The food is phenominal. The atmosphere is very desirable. The communion table is a terrific idea and is great for a ladies’ night out! The sound level is extremely pleasant. Loved everything from the appetizers through the desserts. The filtered water is amazing. Would recommend this restaurant to everyone!

Posted by: Christine Bucco, Tinton Falls | Jan 22, 2010 17:56:36 PM |

up root the best in the area...

Posted by: joanne barbolini, morganville, nj | Jan 22, 2010 18:09:01 PM |

Uproot Restaurant

Its a warm, cozy atmosphere! Its unlike any other Jersey Style type restaurant. Its like a breath of fresh air!
The food is phenominal....loved it! The service was very attentive, not over powering. Also love the way the every plate was a presented like a masterpiece! Would recommend it to everyone! We enjoyed ourselves very much! Will go back again.
Good luck to the Chef and staff!

Posted by: Terese Cate, howell NJ | Jan 22, 2010 19:08:04 PM |

Doris & Eds

I have been a patron of D & E’s coming up on 28 years ...... It keeps getting better..... The rest is just conversation !!

Posted by: John Flood, Freehold NJ | Jan 26, 2010 18:31:26 PM |

Restaurant votes

Doris and Eds is a long time seafood restaurant favorite for good reason. It is a classic!

Posted by: Dale Calvert, Montclair | Jan 26, 2010 18:41:17 PM |

Doris & Eds

I have lived in NJ for 15 years and have enjoyed Doris and Eds for 15 years. The atmosphere is casual shore, the staff are trained professionals and the seafood is the best around. I can’t wait until March when it opens for the season.

Posted by: Chuck Lero, Atlantic Highlands | Jan 26, 2010 18:52:53 PM |


I don’t even have words for how spectacular Nicholas is, or how obvious it should be that it is the best of Monmouth County. Both my husband and I work in New York and have been very much exposed to the gourmet dining scene that exists here. Nicholas is still the best meal the two of us have had, and the one place we turn to for every special occasion dinner. The menu is incredible, as is the wine. We have never been disappointed by the service, food, or dining experience. The New York TImes and Zagat both agree with me, I know. It a gem on the Jersey Shore, and worth every penny that we have paid for it. We LOVE LOVE LOVE Nicholas.

Posted by: Pamela Lacey, Little Silver | Jan 26, 2010 18:53:20 PM |

A far better restaurant than its name might suggest.

Posted by: Stanley Schmidt, Lake Peekskill, NY | Jan 29, 2010 17:44:06 PM |

Panini Bay Tuckerton Delicious!

My family and I eat at Panini Bay every time we visit the shore. It is worth a little ride from LBI by car, BOAT, or Jet ski to have the best lunch or dinner. We love the the pasta, grilled pizza and the best Zuppa di Clams anywhere as well as daily specials. The enclosed deck offers beautiful, relaxing views of the bay and the decor is chic, and relaxing, a bit of NYC at the shore. Don’t forget a nice bottle of wine to compliment your meal, BYOB. The staff is friendly and attentive and the Owner/ Chef is always there to keep things perfect. Don’t miss this wonderful restaurant. We never do!

Posted by: Carol Wyatt, Basking Ridge | Feb 01, 2010 17:22:30 PM |

The Best

I would have to say that Lorena’s restaurant in maplewood is by far the best restaurant in the state.Time after time it impresses my guest and I.

Posted by: thomas, Lodi | Feb 06, 2010 17:33:47 PM |

The Best Of The Best

Restaurant Lorena at Maplewood makes our best times; excellent service, best French Cuisine in the State of N.J. Romantic atmosphere and always the best prices for our budget, including BYOW (not available in many fancy competitors).

Posted by: ana maria prada, Scotch Plains | Feb 06, 2010 20:05:57 PM |

Chez Catherine

Chez Catherine is my first choice for a consistently wonderful dining experience. The owner, Didier, provides personalized service to his customers, remembering their individual preferences. The chef, CJ, creates consistently delicious dishes from appetizer to dessert. His muscle appetizer is fantastic, duck confit is excellent,his citron tarte and souffles are superb. There is no bad choice on the menu ever. I know every time I go to Chez Catherine, I will be very pleased with my dining experience.

Posted by: A. Maldonado, Chatham, NJ | Feb 08, 2010 14:17:22 PM |

Chez Catherine, Westfield NJ

EXCELLENT cuisine, personalized service, never disappointed.Personal preferences always addressed. Every course is beautifully prepared and presented. My number 1 restaurant in NJ. Also good for quiet lunches.

Posted by: R. Blanche, Chatham | Feb 08, 2010 14:22:14 PM |

Stage Left

In my opinion, this is the best restaurant in Central NJ, if not the entire state. I spend a fair amount of my time in NYC, so I am often hit with over-the-top food, service, and price :). I always use Stage Left as my barometer for truly great restaurants and others consistently disappoint. Their wine list is second to none (I like their wine classes too) and I have really fallen for their chocolates with sea salt and pumpkin seed oil. Plus, their burgers aren’t too bad either (topped this list last year).

Posted by: Casey Y, North Brunswick | Feb 12, 2010 19:03:32 PM |

The Frog and Peach

We love the Frog and Peach. Great food, great staff, always a very enjoyable meal.

Posted by: William Dowling, Woodbridge | Feb 17, 2010 20:47:16 PM |


For the best all around experience, the Frog and the Peach is easily the top restaurant. The service is outstanding. The wine list is fantastic for those on a budget or those that want to spend some money. The location is easily accessible. The overall vibe of the place is fun, but not loud. Oh yeah, and the food is out of this world no matter what season, what their tasting menu has to offer or what special deals they’re running! My wife and I have found this to be the best place to celebrate our milestone moments (anniversaries, birthdays, important dates). They know how to treat their guests and know how to make you want to go back again and again!

Posted by: Jeremy Gault, Bridgewater | Feb 17, 2010 22:17:24 PM |

Chez Catherine

Excellent, consistent great food and superb service. Didier, the owner, and teh staff make dinning at his restaurant a wonderfull experience by personalizing the service, adding another layer of pleasure.

Posted by: Mabel Woloj , Mountainside | Feb 21, 2010 16:27:49 PM |


I love to read the choices each year, but many of the smaller really excellent restaurants are not included. I’m not sure if it’s because most people go to the larger better know ones, or if there’s another reason. I received this because I am on Chakra’s email list. Maybe this should be more widely publicized. Thanks.

Posted by: Marie Papaleo, River Edge, NJ | Feb 24, 2010 19:48:08 PM |

Submission for Best Restaurants

My submissions for best spots . . .

North: Black River Barn in Morris county

Central: Frankie Feds in Monmouth county

South: Lobster House in Cape May county

Posted by: Melissa, Wharton NJ | Mar 01, 2010 16:51:01 PM |

Best Burger in NJ

Stony’s in South Orange is my favorite place to have a burger. Great staff, great atmosphere, and of course great burgers.

Posted by: Mike Paradis, Maplewood | Mar 01, 2010 18:16:41 PM |

Uproot is where its at.

Anthony Bucco and Mark Farro manage to outdo themselves with every meal I have eaten at Uproot in an area of New Jersey where contemporary American cuisine is near impossible to come by. The menu is seasonal and constantly evolving with the freshest of fare, even the ice cream and sorbet are made in house. The decor is modern and sleek, something one would expect to find in Manhattan. The bartenders are true mixologists, always concocting delicious drinks and doing their own takes on classics while the managers are fabulous sommeliers, perfecting pairings with meals. Also, next to the bar is a very cool yet comfortable lounge to socialize at or wait on your table. Service is solid and the atmosphere, staff and menu are not stuffy or intimidating at all. Uproot is a true culinary experience and keeps getting better and better. I’m only 22 years old and thanks to Chef Bucco and Farro I have fallen in love with food like venison, hamachi, oysters, duck etc. (cuisine a 22 year old would not ordinarily eat). Uproot is an establishment in which the diner can explore true American cuisine. It is a real breath of fresh air for the Jersey restaurant scene.

Posted by: Mike Maolucci, Warren, NJ | Mar 01, 2010 19:26:51 PM |

Best Restaurant

Elegant service and very fine dining!!!

Posted by: Arthur Peckerar, Manchester, NJ | Mar 01, 2010 21:17:06 PM |

Best Restaurant - Nicholas

If I was to use one word to describe Nicholas it would be "Unforgettable". I would compare it to the French Laundry in Napa Valley. The service is always excellent and it will be a meal that you will reminisce about until you can’t take it anymore and have to dine there again.

Posted by: Kristen Schroder, Spring Lake | Mar 01, 2010 22:12:53 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

Their coffee is so good I order it online to be shipped to Maryland! They roast their own, and are very socially conscious -- they are huge supporters of basset hound rescue. Just the best!

Posted by: Laura Salmon, Kensington, MD | Mar 08, 2010 15:22:39 PM |

New Diner

I would like to post about a new Diner that has opened in Toms River Four Seasons Diner right on the corner of Fishcer and Bay Ave. For all those people that think why would i go to a diner for really good food when i can go to a nice restaurant you are right why would you. Well there is a uniquiness to this diner like no other. Quality and Atmoshphere are two major components played at this Diner to make it the best and affordable place to go in these times. It is a place with themed nights and pleasurable staff to be around to make you feel like your at home. The food is a amazing. For a place where its hard to find something great this was a place Toms River needed. I would highly recommend for anyone to try it out at least once and can make there own choice. The dinners are amazing with specials that change every night and The Best Pancakes if your in the mood for Breakfast. The manager of the Diner is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America so there is a good backing for great food to be coming out of that kitchen. Hope everyone gives it a try.

Posted by: Tom, Seaside Park | Mar 03, 2010 15:32:58 PM |

In Love With Nicholas

Restaurant Nicholas - Always excellent...great for a formal dinner or small plates in the lounge...I am thrilled to live so close to this top restaurant. My absolute favorite!

Posted by: Danielle, Morganville | Mar 02, 2010 03:40:53 AM |


My wife and I have been regulars at Nicholas for many years.
It is, by far, the best restaurant in New Jersey. It is equal to or exceeds any restaurant in New York City.
The food is fantastic. The wine list extensive. The service is as good as it can get.
Nicholas and Melissa have treated us as if we are family. Any special request on our behalf has never been denied.

Posted by: Alvin D. Mintz, Freehold Township, NJ | Mar 02, 2010 15:26:38 PM |


Bob and Donna Funk are great people and run a great establishment! Their coffee is great and since tasting it I have not been able to brew store bought coffee at home. Even better than their coffee is their love and devotion to Basset Hounds and rescue groups that help them. I can not only drink great coffee, but I help basset hounds and experience New Jersey’s finest at the same time by drinking their coffee. Did you know they roast their own beans and have wonderful flavors you can only find at Moon Doggie! You don’t have to live in NJ, they ship their coffee anywhere.

Posted by: Kathy Ireland, Lewisburg, PA | Mar 08, 2010 13:48:43 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

I love Moon Doggie Coffee in Maywood, NJ! I have their coffee shipped all the way to California and have started sharing "my little secret" by giving their coffee to friends and family as gifts. It really is THAT good. Plus they roast they own, donate to basset hound rescue, and are overall good people. Mmm-mmm, I think I will go brew a cup right now.

Posted by: Kacy, San Diego, CA | Mar 08, 2010 16:06:12 PM |

Best coffee

I have ordered from Moondoggie coffee many times and have found it to be wonderful quality is well worth the shipping and handing to order

Posted by: Maryann Kearns, Atlanta GA | Mar 08, 2010 18:02:59 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

Though I live in Ft. Worth, Texas I order coffee from Moon Doggie. Why, you might ask?
Simply, because it is the best coffee I have ever had the pleasure of drinking.
Not only does Moon Doggie roast their own beans they also donate monies to several Basset Hound Rescues and that says quite a bit about the people behind Moon Doggie.
They go above and beyond in caring and customer service.
Cathi J. Cox
Ft. Worth, Texas

Posted by: Cathi J. Cox, Ft. Worth, Texas | Mar 08, 2010 18:41:50 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

I have ordered Moon Doggie coffee for a couple of years now, and have enjoyed many a cup of it. I’ve shared it with family and friends and have posted the web address to my coffee-loving internet friends. It is the best coffee by far, and Donna and her crew are just great to work with. In addition to providing a great product at a reasonable price and outstanding service, Moon Doggie Coffee helps homeless Basset Hounds and Basset Hound rescue groups by donating a portion of their profits to those organizations.

In our house, Moon Doggie coffee is the *only* coffee.

Posted by: Lisa Metzler, San Marcos, TX | Mar 08, 2010 19:18:53 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

Love, Love LOVE Moon Doggie Coffee! If you are a coffee lover,be it plain ol’ unflavored or have a hankering for something exotic, Moon Doggie is the absolutely BEST place to get it! Bob and Donna Funk, the owners and operators - and of course, Zephyr "Mr. Moon Doggie" himself, exemplify what being a small business owner is all about. Not only do they do all their own roasting, part of the proceeds from each sale is donated to support Basset Hound Rescue which finds homes for homeless hounds. Don’t live nearby? They ship anywhere! Need a gift basket? They’ve got that covered as well. And, lest you think tea lovers have been forgotten, they also stock some nice teas! Do yourself a favor and head on over to Moon Doggie, say hi to Bob and Donna and give Zephyr a belly rub...your tastebuds will thank you!

Posted by: Sandi Scranton, Morris Plains, NJ | Mar 08, 2010 20:48:43 PM |

Barts is The Best

I have to say that the favorites are always close to home. Barts in Matawan has a great menu and the staff is extremely friendly and accommodating. NEVER had a bad meal there. Plenty of parking too. Hope you get the chance to try it out.

Posted by: vince, matawan | Mar 08, 2010 23:46:47 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

Moon Doggie is the best whole bean coffee I’ve ever ordered! They help with Basset Hound rescue which is a double bonus. As a Pacific NW relocated New Jersey native, I can say they definately say they beat everybodies that I’ve tried!

Posted by: Pat Faibian, Bend, OR | Mar 09, 2010 05:19:17 AM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

Moon Doggie simply has the best coffee anywhere! They roast their own beans and the coffee is always so fresh. I can’t drink anyone else’s coffee now, since I’m hopelessly spoiled by Moon Doggie’s vast selection of flavors as well. Their non-flavored coffees taste exactly as described and again, freshness matters! The amount of flavored coffees is amazing, and I can attest that the Strawberry Shortcake and Cinnamon Bun flavors are to die for! I have to get up at 4AM to go to work, and Moon Doggie’s coffee is a treat that makes it worthwhile.

Posted by: Anne, Sinking Spring | Mar 09, 2010 13:08:06 PM |

A Mano is a wonderful find.

Posted by: Margaret Nepola, Emerson | Mar 09, 2010 16:22:49 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

Moon Doggie Coffee is absolutely wonderful, plus they help support basset rescue, a cause very close to my heart.

Posted by: Jackie Chazey, Massapequa | Mar 09, 2010 23:28:01 PM |

The Fine Grind

I say this every year and I’m so glad to see that they finally won last year. The Fine Grind is the best for a variety of reasons. Not only is the coffee terrific, the service, the atmosphere, the overall experience is one that cannot be found anywhere else. I can say this because I have been everywhere else, including many of the so-called best of the best coffee houses in Seattle. Keep doing what you are doing Fine Grind, it is obvious you have many loyal followers and from I can see, that list is growing daily.

Posted by: Doug, Wayne | Mar 11, 2010 12:14:31 PM |

Moon Doggie Coffee

Moon Doggie is the best. Their friendship with Basset Hound Rescue makes them the BEST.
Not only do they roast their own coffee, BUT they also really care about people . When my Basset hound was sick last year, even though they have never met us, they took the time to pray for my baby, and give Basett-ie advice. my basset is email pals with their most excellent Zephyr.
We feel like a part of their family. Belly rubs to all in Jersey, Drink Moon Doggie .Help a Bassett.

Posted by: Elisa, Birmingham | Mar 11, 2010 17:24:41 PM |

Bna Vita Osteria, Summit

Warm, pleasant atmosphere, the owners are delightful, making you feel welcome. The food is excellent, on a par with NY finest. The wait staff is the best, attentive but not annoying,and always helpful on helping you select as dish you will really enjoy.And in this economy the prices aren’t crazy.

Posted by: Beverlee Kanengiser, Springfield | Mar 11, 2010 23:22:56 PM |

Restaurant Nicholas

We absolutely love Restaurant Nicholas. It is comparable to a great meal in NYC only you don’t have to drive into the city.

Posted by: Alan and Dolly Wasielewski, Toms River | Mar 13, 2010 01:29:12 AM |

Moon Doggie Coffee Roasters & Cafe - Maywood, NJ

This place is cool, fun, & hip! Definitely not your boring, standard coffeehouse as can be seen from their website. Retro decor, funky music, an eclectic boutique and free wifi access makes Moon Doggie THE place to go for coffee and dessert. They also have acoustic open jams and game (Scrabble, Uno, etc) nights. And they have fantastic coffee unlike any other place because they roast and flavor their own beans right in the cafe! Lots of organic, fair trade, rainforest certified and swiss water process (not chemioal process) decaf which is also available in over 50 flavors.

And remember to take home some homemade treats for your doggie. Yes, they have them in their boutique and donate all the proceeds basset hound rescue.

Posted by: Donna Matushak, Garfield, NJ | Mar 13, 2010 08:05:34 AM |

Moon Doggie Coffee Roasters

What great coffee! I had forgotten what really good coffee was like... I ordered the coffee when I found that they donated a portion of sales to Golden Gate Basset Rescue (which I also just discovered from an article about the Great Basset Rescue of 2009) The coffee was received so quickly, and was just so wonderful! So many flavors to choose from, and so fresh!

Posted by: Fran Golder, Ben Lomond Calif. | Mar 13, 2010 18:26:24 PM |

Fine Dining

Hands down, Fascino in Montclair is as fine a dining experience as can be offered in our Garden State. There is obvious care in every dish. Most importantly, it is family owned, and all members of the wonderful DePerscio family are on the scene. The segue from appetizer to entre to dessert is silk. The fact there are no wine licenses available in Montlcair is a plus for the patron, but Fascino caters to a very high-caliber wine clientele. Never being paid for wine service, they offer lovely glasses and even decant. I’ve been a regular at Fascino for five years. It doesn’t get much better than Chef Ryan DePerscio for all dishes except dessert; then Mother Cynthia takes over. God bless this wonderful family.

Posted by: Woody Waga, Montclair | Mar 14, 2010 03:08:15 AM |

Restaurant Nicholas

Fine Dining and excellent service is what you find at this wonderful restaurant.

Posted by: Bonnie Mandracchia, Freehold NJ | Mar 14, 2010 03:58:48 AM |

Uproot Blows My Mind

It’s brand new, and it’s the best! The space is gorgeous, modern while inviting. And that’s exactly the theme throughout the entire restaurant. The food is so refined and interesting while delicious to everyone. The staff is welcoming and personal. The manager/sommerlier offers wine pairings with your al a carte meal for the price of about two glasses of wine. You just can’t get that anywhere in the state. They know what they are doing there. They are my pick for best of the best and best new restaurant.

Posted by: Kathleen Owen, Monroe Twp. | Mar 14, 2010 04:16:13 AM |

Toast is the best

Posted by: john, rutherford | Mar 14, 2010 21:24:04 PM |


The restaurants in Essex County are delicious and are rarely listed in magazines.I enjoy eating out and hope that some of my favorites are chosen as the best.

Posted by: Cindy, Livingston | Mar 14, 2010 23:37:48 PM |

New Restaurant

Wisdom diner in Monmouth Junction carries on the tradition of Theo’s Diner with an attractively priced menu with most of the old favorites.

Posted by: Dave Steckel, Monmouth Juncton | Mar 15, 2010 20:52:31 PM |


Some Favorites here in Central Jersey :)!-
Nicholas in Red Bank is my favorite in Central Jersey, if not in the entire state. I would put them against some of my favorite restaurants in NY. Mahzu in Freehold is the best of it’s 3 sites (Matawan/Freehold/East Windsor) for Central Jersey’s Sushi & Japanese Food. Since there is no middleman since they are also are their own seafood importer supplier, it’s direct from the ships to their chefs! When I’m in NY, it’s the Nobu restaurants, when I’m in Central NJ, it’s one of the Mahzu locations (at HALF the price of Nobu :). Last but not least, while there are hits & misses @ The Buttonwood Manor, if you are looking for THE BEST Caesar Salad in Central Jersey, it is them! To get the equivalent, I have to go to the best steakhouses in NY. They have a great early dinner menu, a nice brunch, and I have had several catered events here (big & small), in this very picturesque setting, & the prices per head could not be beat!

Posted by: Hopeis, Matawan, NJ | Mar 16, 2010 01:47:53 AM |

Readers Choice

Why is it that every year the same restaurants win this?? Doesn’t seem accurate. Makes me (and others) think that there are other agendas happening, well this is NJ right!

Posted by: Joseph, Jersey City | Apr 09, 2010 22:50:21 PM |

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