New Jersey is known for its vibrant culinary scene, so it comes as no surprise that when USA Today compiled their list of the best restaurants that New Jersey landed three on the list.

USA Today accessed their extensive network of local news sites (and papers) to whittle down 150 entrants.

The three blue ribbon NJ restaurants will be familiar to foodies; their names have popped up on several “best of” lists.

Toasting glasses

Here they are:

Al-Basha in Paterson…

Al-Basha, a quarter-century-old Palestinian restaurant, which arguably offers the best hummus in the region, if not, well, the planet. Scoop it up with torn pieces of warm, fluffy pitas. They are reason enough to trek to Al-Basha. But then again, nearly every mezze item is a standout: the crisp falafel, the flavor-packed muhammara, the creamy labneh, the refreshing tabbouleh. Fans know to leave room for the generous array of grilled meats that arrive on big wooden boards.


Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge…

this high-end fare is served in an approachable, airy space with an open kitchen, chef’s table, mismatched chairs, pops of greenery and a book nook packed with beloved cookbooks, making Heirloom Kitchen a true hidden gem that remains in the unassuming strip mall, even on the heels of astronomical success and two additional restaurants.

Sushi by Sea in Ridgefield…you know it’s exclusive when they don’t even give you the address until you make a reservation! You need an invite or referral to get in; it’s “omakase” meaning the chef (who goes by only the name “Cris”) selects the dishes. It also only has 12 seats.


USA Today could have probably come up with at least a dozen other New Jersey joints for their list, but we’ll have to settle for three (some states didn’t get any restaurants on the list).

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