Readers Pick Their Dining Favorites (and So Do We!) in Restaurant Poll

The results of our 35th Annual Jersey Choice Restaurant Poll are in! Did your favorites make the cut?

A plate of plump weisswurst, sauerkraut and frankfurters.
A plate of plump weisswurst, sauerkraut and frankfurters from Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten.
Photo by Felicia Peretti

The results of our 35th Annual Jersey Choice Restaurant Poll are in. Balloting took place online throughout the month of February. The winning restaurant in each region—North (N), Central (C) and South (S)—received the most votes in its category. Ballots from duplicate e-mail or IP addresses were disqualified. Editorial discretion was used when votes were cast for restaurants that, in our judgment, belonged in another category. We have also added our critics’ picks (★).

Best of the Best
N: Fascino, Montclair
C: Nicholas, Red Bank
S: Ohana Grill, Lavallette
See our Top 30 Best Restaurants of 2018

Best New Restaurant
N: Summit House, Summit
C: Reyla, Asbury Park
S: Angeline, Atlantic City
See out 25 Best New Restaurants of 2018

American | New American
N: Summit House, Summit
C: Nicholas, Red Bank
S: Chef Mike’s ABG, Seaside Park
★ 17 Summer, Lodi
★ A Toute Heure, Cranford
★ Brick Farm Tavern, Hopewell
★ James on Main, Hackettstown
★ Juniper Hill, Clinton
★ The Kitchen Step, Jersey City
★ South and Pine, Morristown

Asian Fusion
N: Ani Ramen, Montclair
C: Teak, Red Bank
S: Buddakan, Atlantic City
★ Wabi Sabi, Bloomfield

Bagels
N: Goldberg’s Famous Deli, Millburn
C: Bagel Masters, Shrewsbury
S: Baron’s Bagels, Point Pleasant
★ Hot Bagels Abroad, Montclair

Bakery
N: Calandra’s, Multiple locations
C: Flaky Tart, Atlantic Highlands
S: Mueller’s Bakery, Bay Head
★ Able Baker, Maplewood
★ Balthazar, Englewood
★ Gina’s, Montclair
★ Hainesville General Store, Hainesville
★ McMillan’s, Westmont
★ Palazzone 1960, Wayne

The classic Surf Taco.

The classic Surf Taco. Photo by Maryrose Mullen

Bang for the Buck
N: Cucina Calandra, Fairfield
C: Old Man Rafferty’s, New Brunswick, Hillsborough
C/S: Surf Taco, Multiple locations
★ The Duke and Elephant, Martinsville
★ Kitchen 519, Glendora
★ Red Store, Cape May Point

Bar Scene
N: Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell
C: Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park
S: Brown Room, Cape May
★ Charlie’s of Bay Head, Bay Head
★ The Crosby, Montclair
★ SM23, Morristown

Barbecue
N: Red White & Que Smokehouse, Kearny
C/S: Local Smoke BBQ, Multiple locations
S: Hickory Hog, Point Pleasant
★ Bluff City BBQ, Montclair
★ Finks BBQ Smokehouse, Dumont
★ Henri’s Hotts, Hammonton
★ Minuteman Smokehouse, Morristown
★ Pulled Fork, Stockton
★ Surfing Pig, North Wildwood

Beer Selection
N: Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell
C: Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park
S: The Arlington, Ship Bottom
★ Amendment 21, Point Pleasant Beach
★ Firewaters (Tropicana), Atlantic City
★ Mohawk House, Sparta
★ Social 37, Toms River
★ Taphouse 15, Jefferson

Breakfast
N/C/S: Turning Point, Multiple locations
N/C: Toast, Asbury Park, Montclair, Red Bank
S: Chicken Or the Egg, Beach Haven
★ The Corner, Montclair
★ George’s Place, Cape May
★ Klotz’s Kitchen, Point Pleasant
★ Lovin’ Oven, Frenchtown
★ Plum on Park, Montclair
★ Sabrina’s Café, Collingswood
★ Sam a.m., Jersey City
★ Zoe’s Vintage Kitchen, Atlantic Highlands

Brew Pub
N: Trap Rock, Berkeley Heights
C: Triumph, Princeton
S: Artisan’s, Toms River
★ Iron Hill, Maple Shade, Voorhees
★ JJ Bitting, Woodbridge
★ Krogh’s, Sparta
★ Long Valley, Long Valley

Brunch
N/C/S: Turning Point, Multiple locations
C: Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank
S: Mad Batter, Cape May
★ Amanda’s, Hoboken
★ Avenue, Long Branch
★ The Corner, Montclair
★ Sabrina’s Café, Collingswood

Burger
N: Committed Pig, Morristown, Summit
C: Stage Left Steak, New Brunswick
S: Frankie’s, Point Pleasant Beach
★ The Duke and Elephant, Martinsville
★ Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Morristown
★ Pour House, Westmont
★ South and Pine, Morristown
★ Windward Tavern, Brick

Voodoo shrimp at Drew's Bayshore Bistro in Keyport.

Voodoo shrimp at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport. Photo by Stuart Goldenberg

Caribbean | Southern
N: Cuban Pete’s, Montclair
C: Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, Keyport
S: 410 Bank Street, Cape May
★ Corinne’s Place, Camden
★ Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, Keyport
★ Mathews, Jersey City
★ Son Cubano, West New York
★ Vital, Montclair

Caterer
N: Calandra’s, Caldwell
C: Brennan’s Delicatessen, Rumson
S: Joe Leone’s, Point Pleasant Beach, Sea Girt

Chain Restaurant
Cheesecake Factory
Bonefish Grill
Jersey Mike’s Subs

Cheese Steak
N: Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell
C: Philly’s Famous Cheesesteaks, Atlantic Highlands
S: White House Subs, Atlantic City
★ Barry’s Do Me a Flavor, Beach Haven
★ Donkey’s Place, Camden

Chinese
N: Hunan Taste, Denville
C: Temple Gourmet Chinese, Red Bank
S: Xina, Toms River
★ Cheng Du 23, Wayne
★ Han Dynasty, Cherry Hill
★ Joyce Chinese, River Edge

Coffee | Tea Bar
N: Fine Grind Coffee Bar, Little Falls
C: Rook Coffee Roasters, Multiple locations
S: Lava Java, Lavallette
★ Booskerdoo, Multiple locations
★ Local, Montclair
★ Modcup, Jersey City

Deli (Italian-Style)
N: Calandra’s, Caldwell
C: Dolce & Clemente’s, Robbinsville
C/S: Joe Leone’s Point Pleasant Beach, Sea Girt
★ Nicolo’s, Montclair
★ Piccolo’s Gastronomia, Ridgefield
★ Severino Pasta, Westmont
★ Vito’s, Hoboken

Deli (Kosher Style)
N: Deli King, Clark
C: Harold’s, Edison
S: Wolfie’s, Toms River
★ Hobby’s, Newark

Desserts
N: Calandra’s Bakery, Caldwell
C: The Bent Spoon, Princeton
S: La Scala Italian Pastry, Toms River
★ Curiosity Doughnuts, Stockton
★ Schnackenberg’s, Hoboken
★ Vanillamore, Montclair

French
N: Chez Catherine, Westfield
C: Pascal & Sabine, Asbury Park
S: 410 Bank Street, Cape May
★ Avenue, Long Branch
★ Cargot Brasserie, Princeton
★ Manon, Lambertville
★ Tablespoon Café, Cranford

Greek
N: It’s Greek To Me, Multiple locations
C: Kyma Greek Cuisine, Somerville
S: George’s Place, Cape May
★ Black Olive, Voorhees
★ Elia, East Rutherford
★ Molos, Weehawken
★ Stamna, Bloomfield, Little Falls, Lincroft

A meal from Maui's Dog House.

A meal from Maui’s Dog House. Photo by Maryrose Mullen


Hot Dog

N: Rutt’s Hut, Clifton
C: WindMill, Multiple locations
S: Maui’s Dog House, North Wildwood
★ Destination Dogs, New Brunswick
★ Würstbar, Jersey City

Ice Cream
N: Applegate Farm, Montclair
C/S: Hoffman’s, Multiple locations
S: Kohr’s Frozen Custard, Seaside Heights
★ Bent Spoon, Princeton
★ Bucket & Bay, Jersey City
★ Halo Pub, Princeton
★ Holsten’s, Bloomfield
★ Jefferson Dairy, Lake Hopatcong
★ Springer’s, Stone Harbor
★ Taylor’s, Chester
★ Torico, Jersey City

Indian
N: Brick Lane, Montclair
C: Neelam Exotic, Middletown
S: Aamantran, Toms River
★ Indeblue, Collingswood
★ Kinara, Edgewater
★ Mehndi, Morristown

Italian
N: Calandra’s Mediterranean, Fairfield
C: Catherine Lombardi, New Brunswick
S: Spano’s, Point Pleasant
★ Il Capriccio, Whippany
★ Girasole, Atlantic City
★ Guerriero’s, Morristown
★ Martorano’s, Atlantic City
★ Osteria Morini, Bernardsville
★ Park Place, Merchantville
★ Ristorante Giorgia, Rumson
★ Undici, Rumson

Japanese
N: Ani Ramen House, Montclair
C: Taka, Asbury Park
S: Xina, Toms River
★ Fuji, Haddonfield
★ Hontei, Palisades Park
★ Sagami, Collingswood
★ Shumi, Somerville, Ridgewood
★ Umeya, Cresskill

Latin American
N: Cuban Pete’s, Montclair
C: Cubacan, Asbury Park
S: Cuba Libre, Atlantic City
★ Costanera, Montclair
★ Samba Montclair, Montclair
★ Two Sevens, Princeton
★ Zafra, Hoboken

Lunch
N: Committed Pig, Morristown, Summit
C: Old Man Rafferty’s, New Brunswick
S: Blue Pig Tavern, Cape May
★ Café Giotto, Montclair
★ Pierogies House, Morristown
★ Raymond’s, Montclair, Ridgewood
★ Slamwich Scratch Kitchen, Madison
★ South and Pine, Morristown

Barrio Costero: Ocean Trout Chilaquiles.

Ocean Trout Chilaquiles from Barrio Costero. Photo by James J. Connolly


Mexican

N: Taqueria Downtown, Jersey City
C: Barrio Costero, Asbury Park
S: Azteca Mexican, Toms River
★ Abril Cocina, Maplewood
★ El Guacamole, Millville
★ Folklore Artisanal Taco, West Orange
★ Mi Pueblito, Kearny
★ Pancho’s Grill, South Bound Brook
★ Pancho’s Taqueria, Atlantic City
★ Taco Shop, Rio Grande
★ Villalobos, Montclair

Middle Eastern | Turkish
N: Ali Baba, Hoboken
C: Lemon, Freehold
S: Royal Grill 37, Toms River
★ Mishmish, Montclair
★ Zeugma, Montclair

Romantic
N: Highlawn Pavilion, West Orange
C: Restaurant Nicholas, Red Bank
S: Ebbitt Room, Cape May
★ Anton’s at the Swan, Lambertville
★ Café Matisse, Rutherford
★ Peter Shields Inn, Cape May
★ Rat’s, Hamilton
★ Red Store, Cape May Point

Seafood
N: 100 Steps Supper Club, Cranford
C: Blue Point Grill, Princeton
S: Lobster House, Cape May
★ The Bonney Read, Asbury Park
★ H2Ocean, Cedar Knolls
★ Hooked-Up Seafood, Wildwood
★ Parker’s Garage, Beach Haven
★ Quahog’s Seafood Shack, Stone Harbor

Soup | Salad | Sandwich
N: II Vecchio Café, Caldwell
C: The Speakeatery, Asbury Park
S: Barry’s Do Me a Flavor, Beach Haven
★ Marcel, Montclair
★ Squirrel & the Bee, Short Hills

Southeast Asian | Thai
N: Avenue East, Cranford
C: Siam Garden, Red Bank
S: Buddakan, Atlantic City
★ Binh Duong, Bloomfield
★ Gayeon, Fort Lee
★ Pandan Room, Hackettstown
★ Ricky’s Thai, Skillman
★ SLA Thai, Montclair

Spanish | Portuguese
N: Don Pepe, Newark
C: Tapastre, Somerville
S: Europa South, Point Pleasant Beach
★ Malaga, Hamilton
★ Seabra’s Marisqueira, Newark
★ Spain Rincon, Wharton
★ Xunta, Caldwell

Steak
N: Arthur’s Tavern, Morris Plains
C: Stage Left Steak, New Brunswick
S: Prime 13, Point Pleasant Beach
★ ChopHouse, Gibbsboro
★ Edward’s, Jersey City

Vegetarian
N: Veggie Heaven, Multiple Locations
C: Good Karma Vegan Café, Red Bank
S: Green Cuisine, Stone Harbor
★ Greens & Grains, Multiple locations
★ Veganized, New Brunswick

Wine List
N: Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas, Clifton
C: Restaurant Nicholas, Red Bank
S: Washington Inn, Cape May
★ Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Morristown
★ Restaurant Latour, Hamburg
★ The Manor, West Orange
★ Pluckemin Inn, Bedminster

Click here to leave a comment
Read more Eat & Drink articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.