December 2021: Cover Search Winners

The smallest moments often give us the greatest pleasure—including those so beautifully captured by the photographers in this year’s Cover Search Contest. New Jersey Monthly and Unique Photo were blown away by this year’s pool of 1,204 submissions from professional, amateur and student photographers, which we narrowed down to just 18 pictures that exemplify some of the best photography in New Jersey. 

As stunning as the photos are on their own, what makes them even more intriguing are the stories behind the lens. New Jersey Monthly’s resident photo buff, Eric Levin, interviewed each of our winners and runners-up and provides fascinating commentary alongside the images.

View more back issues


Inside NJ’s Community of Professional Santas

Real-bearded St. Nicks take their jobs seriously—and can earn quite a bit of Christmas cash doing so.

Read more

NJ Brewers Hope New Trails Law Is Just a Start

While brewers appreciate the legislation passed this fall, many are anxious for more extensive industry reform.

Read more

What Lane Chris Christie Will Claim If He Runs for President in 2024

The former New Jersey governor is critical of the claims by Donald Trump—and many in the Republican Party—of a stolen election.

Read more

‘Sopranos’ Stars Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa Tackle NJ’s Relationship with Show

Hot off the film release of “The Many Saints of Newark” comes Imperioli and Schirripa’s new book about the iconic show.

Read more

Trenton-Based Circus Spurs Social Change

Young performers are dedicated to creating a brighter future—one hop, aerial and flip at a time.

Read more

Shop Holiday Gifts Made in New Jersey

Celebrate local artists and indie boutiques this holiday season.

Read more

12 Great Holiday Gifts We Love

Surprise someone special (or yourself!) with editors’ top picks. 

Read more

How to Donate Warm Coats to New Jerseyans in Need This Season

The Jersey Cares Coat Drive, running from November through January, relies heavily on volunteers to distribute warm winter wear to thousands.

Read more

NJ’s Fight Against Food Insecurity Is Far From Over

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is providing more necessities than ever as residents rebound from financial crisis.

Read more


New Jersey Monk, a Revered War Hero, Is Candidate for Sainthood

Before joining St. Paul’s Abbey in Newton, the late Brother Marinus La Rue rescued thousands of refugees. Now, he’s being considered for canonization.

Read more

How the Entire Home-Baking Business Has Changed in the Garden State

This fall, Jersey bakers were relieved to win the right to work out of their own homes instead of commercial kitchens. Here’s what the shakeup entails.

Read more

The Winners of New Jersey Monthly and Unique Photo’s 2021 Cover Search Contest

Announcing the highly anticipated results of our annual search for Jersey photographers’ best work.

Read more

The Staying Power of New Jersey’s Family-Owned Department Stores

Still flourishing, family-owned department stores offer an old-fashioned shopping experience.

Read more

Some of America’s Favorite Toy Brands Originated in New Jersey

Playtime classics like Play-Doh and Lionel trains began right here.

Read more


In Princeton, a Homestead for the Holidays—and Beyond

After decorating their home, this couple bloomed their love for one-of-a-kind finds into a brick-and-mortar business.

Read more


Boro Restaurant Bar Reviewed: An Urban-Chic Spot in the Suburbs

At this Pennington eatery, white tablecloths and candles set the mood for food that rolls up its sleeves and says, “Dig in!”

Read more

Meet the Forager Behind One of NJ’s Best Restaurants

Sarah Berman traipses through the fields and forests of Sussex County, bringing back berries, mushrooms and more to Hamburg’s Restaurant Latour.

Read more

The Salad House Provides Healthy Prepared Options

The fast-casual local chain—serving up chopped salads, hot entrées and pub sides with a healthy twist—originated in Millburn in 2011.

Read more

MJ’s Pizza Bar & Grill: A Beloved Sports Bar with Specials Aplenty

MJ’s in Matawan, one of eight Jersey locations, has a diner-esque variety that covers all cravings.

Read more

Lucille’s Country Cooking: Where Locals Come for Down-Home Cooking

This Barnegat watering hole features unassuming, affordable breakfast and lunch staples.

Read more

New Book Spotlights Jersey Women in Craft-Beer Industry

In America, women have been brewing since Colonial times. Author Tara Nurin set out to fill gaps in their stories.

Read more