Before we spoke to several listeners this week, I had no idea that a “food tour" was even a thing. But apparently, it’s all the rage. And in New Jersey, it’s no wonder.

We are, after all, jampacked with some of the greatest restaurants in the country. And if you don’t count New York City, (and, please, wo wants to cross those bridges and tunnels?) you could say that we are the dining capital of the country.

We’ve got everything from Thai to Indian, Mexican to Ethiopian, Italian to Puerto Rican, and everything in between. Since, in an entire lifetime you could never sample every great New Jersey eatery, a food tour is a great way to get just a little taste of what several really special New Jersey eateries have to offer, all on the same day.

So we asked our listeners: if you or to take it out-of-towner on a New Jersey food tour, what restaurant would you absolutely have to include? Here’s what we got.

It has been described as the crown jewel of authentic Italian food in New Jersey. Located in Medford, it’s a place where visitors from Italy have remarked that it’s the most authentic they’ve tried on this side of the world. Don’t forget to try their seafood risotto

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    Nunzio's, Long Branch

    Ask any Long Branch resident about Nunzio's and they will tell you it’s an institution. But believe me, people come from all over for the experience. Nunzio’s in Long Branch is renowned. It’s one of the most popular heritage restaurants in New Jersey for the finest in pizza and pasta and a great down-to-earth family vibe. This is where real Italians eat.

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    Girasole, Bound Brook

    Girasol, which means sunflower in Italian, is a Somerset County eatery that is sure to impress. The most distinguishing diners. We are talking white linen napkins and tablecloths, a beautiful ambience, a spectacular menu, the works. Oh, and FYI: It’s BYOB.

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    Femmina Italian Grill, Medford

    It has been described as the crown jewel of authentic Italian food in New Jersey. Located in Medford, it’s a place where visitors from Italy have remarked that it’s the most authentic they’ve tried on this side of the world. Don’t forget to try their seafood risotto

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    Jimmy Buff's, West Orange

    Jimmy Buff’s hot dogs are the Italian hot dogs that people rave about after visiting New Jersey. It’s located in West Orange and is a must see (and taste) on your food tour. And if you miss those unparalleled dogs after you leave, don’t worry. Jimmy Buff’s ships them all over the country.

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    Rutt’s Hut, Clifton

    And while we’re on the subject of hot dogs, Rutt’s Hut in Clifton serves their famous “ripper,” and you can only get it there. Others have tried but none have accomplished making this fried dog the way they do it here. It’s so named because of the spontaneous ripping of the hot dog skin as it fries. Top with their relish and mustard for the authentic experience.

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    Millburn Deli, Millburn & Morristown

    Of all of the traditional deli food that visitors from the Midwest (or from anywhere else in the country) can’t get, you need to visit Millburn Deli just for the gobbler sandwich. It’s turkey with all the trimmings including cranberry sauce and stuffing, all on thin sliced rye. Yum.

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    Noches de Colombia, Elizabeth

    Of course, we have all manner of foreign foods in New Jersey, being as diverse as we are here. But if you really want to taste amazing Colombian food, don’t miss Noches de Colombia. Your guests will be writing home about the deliciously spiced Colombian food including their Churrasco—flank steak with fried plantains and chimichurri sauce.

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    Kitchen 87, Mount Holly

    “Good simple food” is Kitchen 87’s motto and you better believe it. With a down-home, rustic atmosphere, Kitchen 87 serves breakfast and lunch only, but with this menu, who needs anything else? Everything from veggie wraps to build your own burgers and the best breakfasts ever, you’ll want to include this stop on any New Jersey food tour.

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    Federici's, Freehold

    It’s Situated right on Main Street in the quaint downtown a Freehold, and, yep, it’s another Italian restaurant on the tour. But have you ever heard of too much Italian? There’s no such thing. This long time Freehold favorite is known for their family friendly, casual atmosphere and quintessential menu.