The Best Food Events in New Jersey This December

Looking for some food-centric fun this December? From block parties to ugly sweater brunches, there's plenty to choose from.

Arnab Maitra, a.k.a. Chef Nab, is the founder of Pizza Crime. A block party will be thrown in Haddonfield after the joint took the top spot on NJ.com's Best Pizza List. Courtesty of Michael Marciante

As we prepare to flip the calendar to 2022, towns and eateries are embracing the season with dinners, ugly-sweater parties, cocktail pop-ups and more.

Number One Block Party, Pizza Crime • Haddonfield

December 1, 6-9 pm

Pizza Crime of Haddonfield was recently named the top spot on NJ.com’s Best Pizza List for its Pepper-Jawni pizza (pepperoni, fresh mozzarella and oregano). To celebrate, the pizzeria’s neighbors are throwing a block party. The fest will include goodies from Downtown Cookies, King’s Road Brewing Company, DiBartolo European Bakery, Sparrow’s Gourmet Snacks and a performance by Craig Whitaker. Pay as you go.
Kings Highway and Mechanic Street, Haddonfield

Italian Wine Dinner, Drifthouse by David Burke • Sea Bright

December 2, 6:30 pm

Host Marcelo Miali, owner of Wine Icons (which highlights small-production vineyards), will lead guests through a special tasting at Drifthouse. The three-course dinner includes meats and cheeses, tomato consommé with roasted garlic ravioli, smoked short rib and dessert, with each course paired with a special Italian wine. $85pp and reservations required.
1485 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright; 732-530-9760

[RELATED: Pop-Up Bars Aim to Recreate the Childhood Magic of Christmas—With Booze!]

Holidays with the Herd, WoodsEdge Farm • Stockton

December 3-4 & 10-11

This South Jersey farm is inviting guests to its grounds. The event kicks off with a wagon ride to the barn and farm store, where you’ll find artisan pizza, warm cocoa and fun activities. Llamas, alpacas and yak will be nearby for feeding and photos. Tickets are $68-$78 and include pizza, cocoa and a bar of feed for the animals.
78 Bowne Station Road, Stockton; 609-397-2212

Seasonal Cookie Baking, The Morristown & Morris Township Library • Zoom

December 7, 7 pm

Professional chef Suzanne Lowery will host a Zoom cooking class surrounding winter bakes. For one hour, Lowery will walk guests through a recipe and teach the essentials for baking. The class is open to new bakers as well as those with experience. Email Mary Lynn Becza at [email protected] for the Zoom code. Free admission.
1 Miller Road, Morristown; 973-538-6161

A Night with Norman Connors, Wilson’s Restaurant & Live Music Lounge • Hi-Nella 

December 11, 8-10:30 pm 

Jazz legend Norman Connors and the Starship Orchestra, featuring Marva King, will play a special show in Hi-Nella, Camden County, later this month. During the show, guests can enjoy small plates, including crabcake egg rolls and oxtail grilled cheese, and larger plates like pepper jelly glazed shrimp, garlic chili fried chicken and lobster gumbo. Tickets are $70pp and can be purchased online.
709 South Warwick Road, Hi-Nella; 856-258-5829

Sparkling Wine Dinner, La Mer Beachfront Resort • Cape May

December 17 at 6 pm 

Enjoy sparkling wine and champagne all night during this dinner in Cape May. One of the resort’s restaurants, The Pier House, will craft a four-course menu that includes charcuterie, arugula salad with apple and candied pecans, crispy skin duck breast with parsnip potatoes, and a 15-layer crepe cake. Each dish will be paired with a crisp sparkling wine or champagne. $75pp.
1317 Beach Avenue, Cape May; 609-898-2244

Ugly Sweater Brunch, The Bradford • Bridgewater

December 19, 11 am-5 pm

This estate is now serving Sunday brunch. On the 19th, guests can embrace the holiday. The ugliest sweater winner will receive an e-gift card to The Bradford. The brunch menu includes dishes such as avocado toast, crispy eggplant benedict, citrus coffee pancakes and mahi-mahi tacos. Reservations are encouraged and can be made online.
The Bradford, 600 Somerset Corporate Boulevard, Bridgewater; 732-384-6831

Christmas Eve Dinner, Salt Creek Grille Rumson

December 24

A special a la carte menu will celebrate Christmas Eve. The menu includes stuffed jumbo shrimp, baked goat cheese, coffee-crusted New York steak, Faroe Island salmon, French vanilla creme brûlée and more. A sushi menu will also be available, featuring classic and specialty rolls. Reservations suggested; can be made online or by phone.
4 Bingham Avenue, Rumson; 732-933-9272

Feast of the Seven Fishes Special, Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas Clifton

Through December 24

Dive into a seven-fishes meal any time through Christmas Eve at Spuntino Wine Bar. The menu includes dishes such as lobster bisque, gamberi all’aglio (shrimp in garlic and white wine sauce), frutti di mare, salmon filet with squid ink pasta, red snapper with a pineapple coulis, and more. Each dish can be paired with wines at an additional cost.
70 Kingsland Road, Clifton; 973-661-2435

Christmas Celebration, Girasole • Atlantic City 

December 24-25 

Restaurateur Gino Iovino is planning an Italian-style Christmas with two special dinner menus. On Christmas Eve, Girasole will host a Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner, including tartare di tonno (yellowfin tuna), calamari, spaghetti with littleneck clams, branzino and more ($75pp). On Christmas Day, a four-course prix fixe menu will include escarole soup, baked eggplant, rigatoni and an assortment of housemade desserts ($65pp). Reservations suggested.
3108 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City; 609-345-5554

Christmas Eve and Day Dinners, Orchard Park by David Burke • East Brunswick 

December 24-25 

Celebrate with special dinner menus at Orchard Park. An a la carte menu will be available on Christmas Eve from 4-10 pm. Christmas Day will offer a special three-course prix fixe of celebratory dishes from 12 pm-3 pm ($5pp-$85pp), including crispy pork belly confit, lobster dumplings, leg of lamb, pan-roasted halibut, surf-and-turf, chocolate hazelnut tart ice cream sliders and more.
670 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick; 732-554-5714

Christmas Day Celebration, 1776 by David Burke Morristown

December 25

Celebrate in the heart of Morristown with a three-course prix fixe by David Burke. Available from 1 pm-8 pm, the menu will include Christmas prime rib, mushroom and short rib cavatelli, olive oil and lemon roasted branzino, spiced pumpkin creme brûlée, apple cobbler and more. $85pp and $32 per child 12 and under.
67 East Park Place, Morristown; 973-829-1776

New Year’s Eve Party, Wave Resort • Long Branch

December 31

This shore resort will ring in the new year on its rooftop, High Crest, complete with an ocean-facing bar and fireworks. The $100pp event includes a DJ, open bar, food stations and a fireworks show at 9 pm. Guests can also enjoy a sit-down dinner at the resort’s restaurant, 100 Ocean: either a three-course or four-course meal from $75-$100. If guests decide to dine at 100 Ocean after 9:30 pm, they can proceed to High Crest for free.
110 N Ocean Avenue, Long Branch; 732-612-9283

Prix Fixe Dinner, Porter • Weehawken

December 31

Chef Chris Lim is preparing a special four-course dinner to end the year. Seatings are from 5:30 pm-9:30 pm and the dinner is $120pp, with wine pairings an additional $70. The menu includes poached farm egg with pommes purée, bluefin tuna with soy-truffle butter, duo of beef (American Wagyu strip loin and braised short ribs), black and white cake, yuzu sorbet and more. Reservations can be made online or by emailing [email protected]
1100 Avenue at Port Imperial, Weehawken; 201-430-8415

NYE Dine-In Prix Fixe, Bistro D’Azur • South Orange

December 31

Indulge in a dinner with complimentary bubbly upon arrival. Dishes include lobster crepes, mushroom risotto, tuna crudo, butternut squash soup, roasted ribeye, duck, chocolate cherry truffles and more. $129pp.
14 Academy Street, South Orange; 973-327-9725

80s New Year’s Eve Party, Ryan’s Pub & Sports Bar • Monroe Township

December 31

Celebrate by going back to the ’80s at Ryan’s Pub, whose party will include a live performance from Relapse Band, which will play strictly ’80s hits all night. The fun includes a free champagne toast at midnight, best costume contest, prizes and an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet for $100pp.
299 Spotswood Englishtown Road, Monroe Township; 732-251-1709

Teacher’s Detention, Ramsey Tap Room & Grill • Ramsey

Thursdays from 3 pm to Close

This local taproom is sending thanks to teachers and school staff. Every Thursday from 3 pm on, faculty can show their school ID for a Teacher’s Detention Special with happy hour options all night. Selections include $3 quesadillas, fries and boneless wings. There are also $3 Bud Light drafts, $5 select cocktails and margaritas, and pitchers of red and white sangria.
1315 Route 17 South, Ramsey; 201-962-3650

Princeton Farmers’ Market Princeton

Thursdays 10 am-2 pm

Running bi-weekly, the Princeton Farmers Market is opening for the winter season beginning December 9. Shoppers can expect organic produce, local meats, bread and gluten/vegan free options. Vendors include Barking Good Bakery (New Brunswick), Chickadee Creek Farm (Pennington) and Picklelicious (Teaneck).
46-80 Franklin Avenue, Princeton

Jingle Bell Bar, Ocean Casino Resort • Atlantic City 

Through January 1

Now through the end of the year, Ocean is opening a holiday-themed bar inside its 1927-themed lounge. The Jingle Bell Bar’s cocktail menu includes drinks such as The Grinch (Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, white crème de cacao, crème de menthe), Pointsettia Punch (Patron Silver, sherry, fresh cranberries, cinnamon), Santa’s Little Helper (Bailey’s red velvet cupcake, Absolut vodka, candy cane) and more.
500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; 609-783-8000  

Mixtapes & Mistletoe, Laylow • Asbury Park

Through January 2

Enjoy this pop-up into the new year. The menu offers more than 10 different cocktails, including Gimme S’More (rye whiskey and cocoa old fashioned with marshmallow foam), Good For The Gander (gin and gooseberry with notes of thyme), Candy Shop II (vodka cream soda). Chocolate truffles, sliders, dip, charcuterie, candied bacon and tostadas are available for snacks.
603 Mattison Avenue, Asbury Park; 732-307-9640

Seasonal Drinks, Gong Cha Multiple Locations

The bubble tea chain, which has more than 15 locations in the state, including Montclair, Ridgewood and Paramus, is debuting new seasonal drinks. The toasted sesame milk foam latte with pearls and the toasted sesame milk foam smoothie debuted on December 15. Customers can enjoy a complimentary sample-size bubble tea every day.

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