September 2019: Best Places to Live

Every two years, New Jersey Monthly endeavors to rate New Jersey towns based on tangible factors including (but not limited to) the quality of our schools, the value of our homes, the burden of our taxes. Inevitably, the results are pleasing to some, a disappointment to others.

Our goal in creating the Top Towns chart is to reflect the dynamics of the marketplace and the desirability of each town, based on objective data. What we can’t take into account are all those subjective factors—like the beauty of our neighborhoods, or the friendliness of our neighbors.

If your town is among those in our Top 100, congratulations! It’s time to puff out your chest and take stock of all the factors that make your town one of our “Best Places to Live.”

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Best Places to Live in NJ

Best Places to Live in New Jersey 2019

Our September issue features the biennial Top Towns chart, a guided tour of 16 small towns and more.

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Madison Tops Our 2019 List of Best Places to Live

With a strong school system and desirable homes, the historic Morris County borough reaches the pinnacle of our Top Towns chart.

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Inside NJ’s Top Town Rankings

A closer look at notable evolutions in our biennial survey.

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How We Rank Our Top Towns

Here’s the methodology behind this year’s list, compiled by an independent research firm.

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16 Small Towns We Love

A guided tour of some of our favorite spots to live around the Garden State.

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The Stunning Debut of New Brunswick Performing Arts Center

The city’s $172-million arts complex has finally been unveiled.

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Can the Jersey Shore Be Saved?

Journalist Gilbert M. Gaul ponders the future of our imperiled coastline.

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How Supermarkets Are Satisfying Changing Tastes

Around the state, supermarkets are working to keep up with modern consumers in a rapidly changing grocery landscape.

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Eat & Drink

Pickett’s Village Bar Offers Comfort-Food Favorites

The Maplewood pub, formerly O’Reilly’s, is a welcoming spot to unwind.

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Il Nido Reviewed: A Nest of Italian Virtues

Determined to avoid red-sauce redux, two idealists revel in the regional cooking of modern Italy.

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Why Gin Sales Are Soaring

Modern craft versions, featuring flavors like Earl Grey tea, are taking center stage.

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Oceancrat Reviewed: A Jersey Spotlight on Seafood Boils

The Mount Laurel restaurant’s specialty? Fresh shellfish served with sauces and sides.

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The Daily Grind of a Master Knife Sharpener

Warren Glazer revives dull blades with passionate precision.

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Lucco Reviewed: Generously Portioned Pasta, Pizza and More

The Florham Park restaurant serves up a wide range of contemporary Italian-American cuisine.

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Moth Coffeehouse Boasts Cozy Ambiance, Expansive Menu

Vegetarian and vegan options abound at the Allentown café.

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Family-Friendly Dining at Cherry Hill’s Mr Sushi

Affordable all-you-can-eat options, lunch specials and more.

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Garden Variety

Celebrating Springsteen at 70

A new museum exhibition and book about the Boss coincide with his big birthday later this month.

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Singer Danielia Cotton on Embracing Her Roots

Cotton will perform in her hometown at the Hopewell Theater on September 7.

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A Businessman Who Fell in Love with Beekeeping

Joe Lelinho’s Hilltop Honey helps corporations, hospitals and hotels become better environmental citizens—and tasty places to work or visit.

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Infamous Camden Murders, 70 Years Ago, Have Chilling Tie to Parkland Shooting

Howard Unruh’s killing spree marked America’s first modern mass murder. Decades later, it’s as relevant as ever.

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In Montclair Orchestra, Students Play Among Masters

The nonprofit promotes reciprocal learning about the nuances of music and performance. 

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Giving Back

Nonprofit Gives Families a Safe Space to Grieve

At centers in Mountainside and Newark, Imagine helps children, teens and adults cope with loss.

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6 Lavish Home Furnishings for Fall

A new season invites reimagined décor with clean lines and a fresh palette.

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8 Products to Help You Go Green

Proof that eco-friendly living can be both practical and stylish.

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6 Fun Ways to Embrace Fall Fashion

Mix things up with combat boots, leather, animal prints and pleats.

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Home & Garden

Inside the Historic Village of Mount Tabor

The neighborhood is as unique as its close-knit residents.

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Steve Adubato: Only in NJ

The Push to Nurture New Businesses in Trenton

The NJEDA Innovation Challenge Grant aims to boost citywide growth.

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Exit Ramp

Emptying the Nest: How We Decluttered Our Home of 30 Years

Turns out there’s no magic shortcut to cleaning out a longtime living space.

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