South Orange Wins Hot Town Showdown

After four weeks of voting, the Essex County Community came out on top of our Hot Town Showdown, presented by Kings Food Market.

Downtown South Orange boasts shops, restaurants and entertainment.
Downtown South Orange boasts shops, restaurants and entertainment.
Photo courtesy of Seton Hall University.

After four weeks of voting, South Orange is the winner of New Jersey Monthly’s Hot Town Showdown, presented by Kings Food Markets.

From the outset, South Orange blew the doors off the competition, consistently coming in first overall in every round. That trend continued into the Championship Round, when it defeated runner-up New Providence.

A historic village boasting diverse architecture, myriad shops and restaurants, a commuter train and a top notch performing arts center, South Orange is a magnet for young buyers who want the culture of places like Brooklyn, Jersey City and Hoboken without the cost. The Essex County town is also home to Seton Hall University, one of the oldest diocesan universities in the country. With a lively downtown and affordable homes, South Orange can truly boast of being the hottest town in New Jersey.

The bracket-style competition started with 16 contenders on August 29. New Jersey Monthly picked the 16 towns in the competition based on factors like rising home prices, and time spent on the market when homes are up for sale. We also sought input from real-estate professionals—and we listened to the “buzz” in the marketplace. Each week throughout September, we cut the field in half, based on your votes.

Thank you for participating in the Hot Town Showdown!

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Comments (6)

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  1. Mark J. L. Mattheiss

    It’s changed a lot in the 51 years I’ve lived here…(with a few other less HOT towns sprinkled in here and there) and I still Love This Town. 😀 Congratulations, South Orange!

  2. Gennaro Ferro

    Grew up in South Orange in the 1970’s and 80’s. So many great memories! Congratulations South Orange! Wish you all could celebrate with Grunings Ice Cream!!

  3. Bryan Baskerville

    Grew up in South Orange in the 70s. LOVED it. Still do. Congratulations S.O.

  4. Dippity Dude

    This particular pic is quite nice but has this town become a ghetto?

  5. Hanna Zagal

    Grew up in South Orange and am left with wonderful memories.

  6. Patti

    I grew up in an area called Newstead in South Orange In the 50’s and 60’s and a better place you could not find for so many reasons- I miss the area so much but cherish my memories!