The Covid-19 Pandemic and resulting lockdown imposed on drinking and dining establishments has created disruption of the operations of restaurants throughout the state. Readers should contact sources below to determine their current status on serving customers.
Once considered a backwater for fine dining, in recent decades New Jersey has developed a reputation for hosting restaurants winning acclaim from both professional critics and the public at large. In some cases, noted chefs from prominent restaurants in New York City and Philadelphia have relocated to the state; in others younger chefs have chosen to pursue their careers closer to their homes and families. A few Atlantic City casino-hotels also have recruited such well-known chefs as Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay to establish restaurants in their buildings. Consistent with the global culinary movement toward expanded use of fresh food, upscale restaurants also have emphasized the use of local suppliers for meat, poultry, seafood and produce, along with support by the state government through its "Jersey Fresh" marketing campaign promoting New Jersey food products.
New Jersey's evolving ethnic diversity also has led to the expansion of dining choices, with the traditional base in Italian, Irish, German and Chinese establishments joined by a number of Spanish, Portuguese, Indian, Japanese, Korean and other options.
Some produce, foods and dishes have a special New Jersey identity. The "Jersey Tomato," the base of Campbell Soup's tomato soup which aided its growth from its founding in 1869 in Camden to become one of the world's leading food companies. "Jersey Peaches" and "Jersey Corn" also have names linked to the Garden State. New Jersey is also is the nation's third leading producer of bell peppers, cranberries, and spinach and the fifth largest of blueberries. Salt-water taffy, allegedly an accidental discovery of an Atlantic City molasses maker whose boardwalk shop was flooded by an ocean wave in the 1880s, also is widely known. Other foods like candied apples, first produced in 1908 by a Newark candy maker, rapidly spread to become a staple at the Jersey Shore and beyond. While not unique in their lineage to New Jersey, the state is also identified with what many claim are superior hot dogs, pizza, pork rolls and the long sandwiches variously called in different regions as hoagies, heroes and submarines.
* What is New Jersey Cuisine? Epicurious.com, 7/15/2016
-- Reviews and rankings
New Jersey-focused web sites and print publications regularly review dining choices and compile rankings based on critics or consumer surveys. A selection of these include:
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In addition to sources within the state, national webs and print publications posting reviews of New Jersey restaurants include:
-- Best restaurants
A selection of restaurants recently highly rated by national and state publications include:
-- Spanish/Portuguese/Mexican/Latin American
* 30 Best NJ Restaurants 2020, New Jersey Monthly
* The 25 new N.J. restaurants you need to try in 2020, NJ.com
* The Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in New Jersey 2020, bestofNJ.com
* The 12 Restaurants You’ll Want To Eat At In New Jersey In 2020, onlyinyourstate.com
* Best Restaurants in North Jersey 2021, Yelp.com
* 10 Hottest Restaurants on the Jersey Shore, Zagat
* Best Restaurants in Jersey Shore 2021, TripAdvisor.com
* Food Lovers' Guide to New Jersey: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings by Peter Genovese (2012)
-- Hot Dogs
* Your Guide to the Best Pizza in New Jersey, 2/19/2021, NJMonthly.com
* Where is the Best Pizza in New Jersey?, PBS.org
* A Slice of Jersey: Your Ultimate Guide to Pizza in the Garden State by Peter Genovese (2010)
* New Jersey's version of the Sloppy Joe exists nowhere else, 11/27/2018, TheTakeout.com
* We wished for more knish: Munchmobile visits five Kosher delis, picks a winner, 8/16/2013, NJ.com
-- Food Trucks
Food trucks, which long have been common sites along highways, college campuses and construction sites, have evolved in recent years to expand their locations and to offer a diverse selection of foods and beverages. In a March 2014 article, Peter Genovese of Advance Media estimated that there were some 70 trucks throughout the state and also stated that he found their quality generally superior to that of most diners. The New Jersey Food Truck Association has been established to represent the trucks on such issues as municipal zoning, permits and fees. While food trucks have been common sites at special events, their growing popularity has led to some events where the trucks themselves are the featured attraction at their own festivals and competitions. In some cases, established restaurants have launched food trucks to expand their reach to consumers and to promote their food selections.
* N.J.'s amazing food trucks: 40 great ones worth visiting, 8/13/2016, NJ.,com
* New Jersey Food Truck Association
* New Jersey Food Truck Events
* Food Lovers Guide to New Jersey: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings
* Dishing Up New Jersey: 150 Recipes from the Garden State
* Farms and Foods of the Garden State: A New Jersey Cookbook
* Jersey Shore Food History: Victorian Feasts to Boardwalk Treats
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