Where to Celebrate Galentine’s Day in New Jersey

NJ restaurants are hosting special events to celebrate your best girlfriends.

Blu on the Hudson
Blu on the Hudson, one of New Jersey Monthly's Best New Restaurants, offers Galentine's Day fun. Photo: Courtesy of HillarySchafer

What are you and your best girlfriends doing on February 13? Make a date! The day before Valentine’s Day is now known as Galentine’s Day in recognition of female friendship and girls’-night-out rituals.

Galentine’s Day first popped up in a 2010 episode of the TV show Parks and Recreation, created by Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie. Galentine’s Day quickly became a fixture on America’s pop calendar.

Numerous New Jersey restaurants have gotten into the Galentine’s spirit, honoring their female guests on the 13th, or all of February, with special dishes, cocktails and events.

[RELATED: Indulge in NJ Wine and Chocolate This Valentine’s Day]

Blu on the Hudson, Weehawken 

For Galentine’s Day, Blu on the Hudson—which was recently named one of NJM’s Best New Restaurants—has devised heady new cocktails, plus wine pairings that focus on women winemakers.

On other days of the year, the women-owned Hudson County restaurant is a girlfriends’ go-to. Blu is glamorous and festive, “with a definite going-out feeling and food and service to match the deluxe mood,”  notes general manager Andrew Christianson.

Says Blu regular Hillary Schafer, “Ever since it opened, Blu has been incredibly supportive of its women customers. I started coming with my two best girlfriends, and we felt so comfortable and cared for that our table just grew and grew,” she says. “We live in Weehawken and for us it was always ‘Thursdays at Blu.’ We now have a whole women’s dining network. We hold charitable private dining events here that give back to local causes,” she says. “And it all started because Blu just feels so good to be here.”

Harvest Restaurants

Thursday is ladies’ night at Harvest Restaurants, which owns Roots, Agricola, Huntley Taverne, 3 West, Tabor Road Tavern and other Garden State darlings. “We’re very community-focused, and our women diners appreciate having a good neighborhood place to enjoy with their friends or officemates,” says director of operations Peter Panza. Harvest’s Agricola Princeton “hosts a huge range of women guests,” he says, “in pairs of best friends or groups of office colleagues from Princeton companies or from the university.”

Agricola Princeton and Agricola Morristown are saluting Galentine’s Day with a fresh strawberry vodka martini, a salmon with New Orleans remoulade sauce and a “red velvet butter cake that’s a must-try,” says Panza.

1776 by David Burke, Morristown 

In New Jersey, Galentine’s Day celebrates not only girlfriends, but “women’s incredible support of our state’s hospitality industry,” says Sue Vorcheimer, who has shepherded “woman-centric programs since day one” at Morristown’s 1776 by David Burke.

“Jersey women have hot careers, and we have taste. We’re a big reason why our restaurants are so good,“ she says. 1776 enjoys “an extremely loyal clientele of women, who love our social atmosphere, menu variety and bar,” she says. “They’ve made us their place.”

February 13 was chosen for 1776’s Wine Expo, a gala food-and-wine feast and party, “because it’s a chance to dress up and celebrate, which is very Galentine’s,” Vorcheimer says. The Wine Expo’s Galentine’s ticket level is “a super value for two,” she notes.

More Galentine’s Day Events 

Galentine’s Crafts & Cocktail Party
📅: Thursday, February 8 (6 pm-8 pm)
: Used To Be’s • Mantoloking
ℹ️: Get creative alongside your pals, choosing from a range of wood designs to paint at your leisure.
💸: $38

Sweet Art in Disguise
📅: Saturday, February 10 (10 am-Noon)
: John F. Peto Studio Museum • Island Heights
ℹ️: A hands-on pastry class, perfect for a romantic date or a good time with friends.
💸: $25

Galentine’s Day Party
📅: Saturday, February 10 (11 am-3 pm)
: Moda Boutique Lounge • Haddonfield
ℹ️: Enjoy a swag bag and get some permanent jewelry with your gal pals.
💸: $25

Galentine’s Paint and Sip
📅: Thursday, February 15 (6 pm)
: Museum of Early Trades & Crafts • Madison
ℹ️: Grab your pals for a BYO evening of wood-sign painting, bonding and fun.
💸: $40-$50

Galentine’s Day may be once a year. But any day is a good day for you and your best friend to catch up in a favorite New Jersey restaurant that loves you back.

Additional reporting by Connor Carlin and Emily Melvin 

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