-- Best New Jersey Food Shops
* Bakeries * Pies * Peanut butter/jams * Poultry * Meat
* Chocolates * Ice cream * Cheese
This highly subjective list of primarily small specialty food shops has been compiled from personal recommendations, user input and reviews and rankings published by other Web and media sources. These other state-focused sources include NJ.com, NorthJersey.com, AsburyParkPress.com, NewJerseyMonthly.com, JerseyBites.com,
BestofNJ.com, as well as national sites such as Eater.com, Epicurious.com, Yelp.com, TripAdvisor.com, The Daily Meal.com and Facebook.com. The list will be periodically updated and supplemented, and we welcome comments and suggestions.
Antoinette Boulangerie (Red Bank)
French pastries, tarts, macarons, croissants, danishes and quiches> Custom cakes on two-day notice> Executive pastry chef Gina Roselle Broschart, Rutgers alum and graduate of Culinary Institute of America> Highest 5-star rating in 30 reviews, TripAdvisor.com> "...coconut macaroons here are pure, simple bite-size coconut bliss" Pete Genovese, NJ.com
Sweet Melissa Patisserie (Clinton)
Operated and owned by Melissa Murphy Rafano and husband Chris Rafano, previously in three Brooklyn locations for 16 years before moving to NJ in 2016, also operates out of Stockton Market Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays> Croissants, tarts, eclairs, donuts, cookies and cakes.
Argentina Bakery (Union City)
Cakes, pastries, and breads, empanadas and sandwiches> Whipped cream and custard made on-site featured in many items, cakes baked daily including popular Dulce de Leche caramel-flavored cake, also custom sheet cakes, layer cakes, and wedding cakes> Pastries decorated with fresh fruit, butter cookies topped with sprinkles and jams, white chocolate-topped caramel cookies, Argentine danishes like facturas de grasa and manteca.
A Little Cake / Le Petit Gateau (Park Ridge, Hillsdale, Montvale, Woodcliff Lake)
Italian, French and American baked goods, custom cakes, pastries, and cupcakes> Established by Leo Sciancalepore and John Chayka in 1999> Highest average 5-star reviews from reviewers on TheKnot.com; 4.8 of 5 stars from 486 reviews on WeddingWire.com
Curiosity Doughnuts (Stockton)
Cited as one of ten best doughnut shops in US, according to book authored by co-owners of Philadelphia-based doughnut and fried chicken shop, Federal Donuts> Founders and co-chefs husband and wife Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa, husband-and-wife chefs also authors of blog and cookbook/memoir Ideas in Food> "...unparalleled doughnuts (shatter-crisp on the outside, like a croissant, with a hint of creaminess in the center" 6/16/2017, Eater.com> Also custard and fried chicken> Open Saturday and Sunday at Stockton Market
McMillan's Bakery (Westmont)
Breads, cakes and other baked goods, cited as one of ten best doughnut shops in US, according to book authored by co-owners of Philadelphia-based doughnut and fried chicken shop, Federal Donuts> 4.5 star average review of 5-star highest rating from 45 reviews on TripAdvisor.com
House of Cupcakes (Princeton, Clifton, East Brunswick)
First place winner in 2011 Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”> Founders and co-owners husband and wife Ron and Ruthie Bzdewka> Features cupcakes and custom cupcake cakes made of multiple arrays of cupcakes in special designs for events, occasions, also variety of cookies> Over 30 varieties of cupcakes including carrot cake, brownie cheesecake, peanut butter, salted caramel, lime> Rated 4 of 5 stars by over 150 reviews on TripAdvisor.com
Bruno's Bakery and Gelateria (Freehold)
Owned by Settepani family since 1973, originally in NY City, then expanded to Staten Island and in 2022 to NJ> Modern-day Italian bakery offering Italian and French desserts with a full breakfast, lunch or dinner menu> Specializes in occasion cakes, wedding cakes, catering and in-house parties with signature Panettone. and “Cake of the Century,” Chocolate Pear Royal chocolate mousse cake with layers of hazelnut crunch and pear mousse.
Mr. Tod's Pie Factory (Englewood)
"Tod Wilson's banana cream pie may be my favorite single pie of the past ten years; it's that good" Peter Genovese, NJ.com> Founded 2002 in Englewood by Tod Wilson, promoted as "The Sweet Potato Pie King," also features fruit pies including apple, blueberry, peach, as well as pecan, pumpkin, coconut, sweet potato and cheesecakes.
Delicious Orchards (Colts Neck)
Known for apple and other fruit pies, origins in 1911 as apple orchard, later roadside fruit stand, now 60,000 square-foot retail market specializes in fresh fruits and vegetables, wide array of baked goods all made on site, as well as poultry, meats and cheeses with deli, prepared foods and grocery sections> Rated 4.6 of highest 5 stars by over 700 Google reviewers.
The Pie Store (Montclair)
Founded by British native Samantha Codling, best-known for savory pies like cheese, potato and onion, steak, Cornish pastries, also fruit such as apple, blackberry, raspberry, with Key Lime "apparently become the stuff of legend" 11/18/2012, NJMonthly> 4.5 of 5 stars from 118 reviews on Yelp.com