It’s no surprise that New Jersey has some of the best local restaurants in the tri-state area. Our state is so diverse that you can be in the mood for any type of meal and you’ll be able to find it here.

But because it’s New Jersey, EVERYONE has an opinion and everyone has their go-to local spot. Some of these spots are well known to either all residents or at least to the locals in the town.

But I’m all about discovering new places to get a bite to eat so let’s talk about the “hidden gems” of New Jersey restaurants.

I’m in a Facebook group called “Jersey Roots” and one of the members wrote a very simple post:

Top ‘hidden gem’ Jersey favorite restaurants….GO

564 comments later, we have a solid list of new places to try.

Now as I went through the comments, there were a lot of repeats which in my opinion, wouldn’t make it a hidden gem, but they are worth the mention because they are great places:

Tops Diner in Harrison

Pete N Elda’s in Neptune City

Belmont Tavern in Belleville

Brownstone Pancake Factory in Freehold and Brick

Don Pepe in Newark

Harold's New York Deli in Edison

Laico’s in Jersey City

DeLucia’s Pizza in Raritan

I’m looking for one-offs that no one else mentioned. Maybe you’ve never heard of it either.

Some comments mentioned that this type of post wouldn’t make these restaurants "hidden gems" anymore. That’s not true! Our goal here is to bring even more business and praise to these local restaurants.

So based on a post on the “Jersey Roots” Facebook group, here are the best "hidden gem restaurants" in New Jersey.

If you have any to add, please feel free to send me an email.


Libretti’s in Orange

Sammy’s Steakhouse in Mendham

Me & Tommy’s in Belleville

Nonno's Italian Restaurant in Sandyston

Café L'Amore in Oakland


Sunny Side Up in Sayreville

Tortuga’s in Princeton

Matt's Red Rooster Grill in Flemington

Uncle Vinnie's Clam Bar in Raritan

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Somerville

Pauline’s Italian Cuisine in Matawan

Ponte Vecchio in Old Bridge

Zinna’s Bistro in Cranbury


My Kitchen Witch in Monmouth Beach

Del Ponte’s Pizza in Bradley Beach

Irish Pub in Atlantic City

Barnacle Bill's in Rumson

Chef Vola’s in Atlantic City

Ragin Cajun in Belmar

Anjelica’s in Sea Bright

Squan Tavern in Manasquan


Hunan East in Turnersville

Geets Diner in Williamstown

Graziano's Ristoranti in Chesilhurst

Christine’s House of Kingfish BBQ in Shamong

Chubby’s Steakhouse in Gloucester City

Restaurants that closed in New Jersey During 2023

Here are some of the restaurants that closed their doors around New Jersey in 2023 listed alphabetically. Did your favorite restaurant close in 2023? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Morning Show Producer Kristen. Any opinions expressed are her own.

Questions, corrections, or comments? Send Producer Kristen an email at or follow her on Instagram.

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