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Jul 9, 2011 09:04 AM

Your top CNJ restaurants by cuisine

Hey 'hounds, I thought it might be fun to find out what everyone's favorite restaurants in the area are, by type of cuisine...

For me...


Wonder Seafood in Edison for dim sum and dinner
Noodle Gourmet in New Brunswick for their spicy beef noodle soup and various noodle dishes
Crown Palace in Marlboro


Steakhouse 85 in New Brunswick

Noveau American Fine Dining:

Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell


Due Mari in New Brunswick
Teresa's Cafe in Princeton


Istanbul Restaurant in North Brunswick (their doner is delicious)


I guess Rhong Tiam is it. Still looking for that great Thai place in the area
Tom Yum Goong in East Windsor maybe


Cross Culture in Princeton


DeLorenzo's on Hamilton Ave, Trenton
DeLorenzo's in Robbinsville


Ajihei in Princeton

Various Others:

Stuff Yer Face in NB for boli's
Efe's in NB for doner sandwiches
Grease trucks in NB for...grease? mmmm. Fat Moon.

I have yet to try, but planning on trying Delta's and Makeda in NB.

Any other suggestions for a guy on a semi-limited budget?

11 Chambers St, Princeton, NJ 08542

Blue Bottle Cafe
101 E Broad St, Hopewell, NJ 08525

Stuff Yer Face
49 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Crown Palace
8 N Main St, Marlboro, NJ 07746

Noodle Gourmet
43 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Due Mari
78 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Rhong Tiam
660 Plainsboro Rd, Plainsboro, NJ 08536

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  1. Wow. All those NB joints and you haven't crossed the bridge into Highland Park and gone to Pad Thai? They are not only my favorite Thai place in NJ, but possibly my favorite meal out as well.

    Delta's is not bad, but it is both more expensive and less good than both Jameson's and At The Table although both are further south. Makeda is a better choice for an expensive ethnic meal in town, but be careful is you are spicy averse. Neither place is good for those on a budget.

    There are some good tacos and burritos to be had in NB that fit the bill. The $5 burrito at Costa Chica is huge and filling and one of the best cheap meals in town after the grease trucks. But none of the many mexican joints are as good as North of the Border in Red Bank.

    Do you count Monmouth county as CNJ? If so, there are a whole host of other places to mention.

    North of the Border
    176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

    637 Wyckoff Ave Ste 24, Wyckoff, NJ 07481

    2 Replies
    1. re: seal

      Seal, I suggest you try Four Seasons - same owners as Pad Thai, but so much better. Completely different menu - . It's on Stelton Rd in Piscataway.

      1. re: JustJake

        FYI they're cash only according to a recent sign on the door!

    2. Like Seal said, cross the bridge from New Brunswick to Highland Park for some White Rose burgers. Keep going down 27 to Edison where you'll find tasty Korean Fried Chicken at H Mart. Noodle Gourmet is good, but Shanghai Noodle House (also in Edison) is better. Right next to Shanghai Noodle House is Keum Ho Jung which is probably the best overall Korean restaurant in CNJ. If you're in the mood for a different type of Korean, hit up Edison Noodle House or China Star for Korean Chinese cuisine, both right off Rt 1. Nearby on Rt. 1 is Pho Anh Dao, one of many Vietnamese joints that serves up a good bowl of Pho. There's a place on Rt 27 which does it better, but last time I was there it appeared closed.

      I'm not sure who's got the best Indian food in CNJ, but I'm going to guess it's some place in Iselin, not Princeton.

      Makeda is overpriced and not worth the money IMO. But Harvest Moon in NB is probably the best brew pub in the state. If not them it would have to be JJ Bittings in Woodbridge.

      Also in New Brunswick is Cool Runnings (?) - I don't know a lot of Jamaican/Caribbean joints in CNJ but they're worth checking out if you like this type of food.

      That's all I can think of for now, but in Edison alone there is no shortage of cheap, great eats.

      Noodle House
      2313 US Highway 1 Ste 4, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

      Pho Anh Dao
      691 US Highway 1, Edison, NJ 08817

      Keum Ho Jung Restaurant
      518 Old Post Rd Ste 12, Edison, NJ 08817

      Noodle Gourmet
      43 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

      Shanghai Noodle House
      518 Old Post Rd #11, Edison, NJ 08817

      1. Steakhouse 85 is awesome!!

        Agree with Wonder Seafood but definitely disagree with Crown Palace - my last two meal there were disasters.
        Second joon's Shanghai Noodle House / Shanghai Bun.

        Ibby's at Freehold

        Jo-Sho - Cedar Grove lane in Franklin Township (?)

        Anyone has Vietnamese suggestion?

        Shanghai Bun Restaurant
        952 State Route 34 Ste 6, Matawan, NJ 07747

        Crown Palace
        8 N Main St, Marlboro, NJ 07746

        Shanghai Noodle House
        518 Old Post Rd #11, Edison, NJ 08817

        13 Replies
        1. re: yCf

          All of the options in Edison are good, but this is probably the best overall one in CNJ IMO:

          Not spectacular but they have a huge menu that will satisfy pretty much everyone.

          1. re: yCf

            yCf, i haven't been to crown palace in a while, but from what i remember, it was really good. not quite wonder level good, but it was as good as the avg restaurant in chinatown, which is to say, better than most chinese restaurants in NJ.

            and joonjoon, for all the times i've been to harvest moon, I've never eaten there! is the food that good? also, i like divey places, but man, cool runnnings sketches me out when i see it. i've always wanted to give it a try tho.

            1. re: azkaevolution

              I've never eaten at Harvest Moon either! Ok, maybe once. I was talking about their beer, not the food. :) Give Cool Runnings a try...checking out places that skeeve you out is a part of the Chow spirit!

              1. re: joonjoon

                Joonjoon, which viet place was closed? Bien Hoa?

                Also, for Jamaican, Jerk An'ting in New Brunswick/Somerset is pretty good. Really hot jerk.

                Harvest Moon has pretty decent food. Better than bar food, maybe like a Rafferty's.

                Bien Hoa Restaurant
                2090 State Route 27 Ste 1, Edison, NJ 08817

                1. re: chuck98

                  I will have to check out Jerk An'ting! I'm always looking for good jerk.

                  I'm pretty sure it was Bien Hoa that closed. There're two Viet joints right by each other on 27 and I can never remember their names. The place that used to be my favorite was really divey looking but served up some serious pho...But checking yelp it appears they are now open under new management...the mosBt recent Yelp review reads "Yep, new management unfortunately killed this place". Bummer.

                  Bien Hoa Restaurant
                  2090 State Route 27 Ste 1, Edison, NJ 08817

                  1. re: joonjoon

                    There's the one near the new HMart and the one across from Revlon - I think Revlon is Bien Hoa. They seemed kind of the same to me. Have you tried Saigon on the other side of Piscataway? I hear that's pretty good.

                    Bien Hoa Restaurant
                    2090 State Route 27 Ste 1, Edison, NJ 08817

                    1. re: chuck98

                      I'll have to make a run through to make sure I'm getting the places right - but I remember thinking one of the joints on 27 was clearly the best in Edison while the other one was easily the weakest. Not that I've actually ever had a bad bowl of pho - it seems like even the worst still damned good.

                      I will have to check out Saigon...looks great!

                    2. re: joonjoon

                      My find is a little off the beaten path but has been making some seriously good Pho for years.Pho da Nang on route 9 in Parlin which was the sister restaurant to Miss Sigon in Jersey City before being sold.
                      Excellent pho stock brimming with flavor, little fat globules shimmering with goodness. good Bu lu lac,cha gio,and their wok fried flounder in a sweet/hot sauce when in season.
                      Also remember Sunny Palace for HK style Dim Sum, still the best in C NJ.

                      1. re: Duppie

                        You're talking about the viet place on Rt 9 just south of the parkway right Duppie? If so that's my favorite vietnamese place in CNJ also.

                        Still haven't tried Sunny Palace but I want to try their dim sum and banquet. Mmm..

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          That's the one,I've been eating there for 6 years now and it's never disappointing, I also like their noodle soup with blood cake.
                          You have to visit Sunny Palace for Dim Sum, we just got back from a eating tour of Hong Kong a couple weeks ago and was fortunate to visit some of the so called best Dim Sum palaces like Maxsims,Fu Sing,Tim Ho Wan,Din Tai Fung for Soup Dumplings and SP is still comparable overall to most of them, also the service is friendly and accommodating.

                          1. re: Duppie

                            Agree with Sunny Palace. One thing is that their service is head and shoulder above any other Chinese restaurant in the area.

                            Went to West Lake in Matawan for Dim Sum for the first time in a long time. It's decent. I think Sunny Palace and Wonder Seafood are better but for some reason West Lake's decor (or there of :-) ) just remind me of the old dim sum restaurant in NY Chinatown - it just got that run-down but charming feel to it. By run down i don't mean dirty; just want to make it clear that West Lake is nice and clean.
                            Again the dim sum is decent. It might not wow you but I recommend a try.

                            1. re: Duppie

                              Does Sunny Palace make Xio Long Bao (soup dumplings)?

                              1. re: sockster

                                Unfortunately not,SP is more Cantonese cuisine.besides they more that make up for it with their chicken feet.

              2. I'll play (lunch only)

                Wonder Seafood, Edison
                King's Village, Highland Park
                Szechuan Ace, Somerset

                Stage Left, NB

                Crazy Burrito - chiles rellenos en salsa verde

                Chand Palace - veg
                Arusvai - chettinad

                Shumi, Somerville
                Jo-Sho, Somerset

                Hot Dogs:
                Tido N His Junkyard Dogs, NB

                Jerk An'ting, NB

                Little Spain Restaurant, Fords

                Coco, Edison

                Sri Lankan:
                Sigiri, Edison

                Local Smoke, Cookstown


                52 Lincoln Hwy, Edison, NJ 08818

                Stage Left
                5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

                Crazy Burrito
                238 Plainfield Ave, Edison, NJ 08817

                Shumi Restaurant
                30 S. Doughty Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876

                Chand Palace
                1296 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854

                Little Spain Restaurant
                582 New Brunswick Ave, Fords, NJ 08863

                3 Replies
                1. re: chuck98

                  Regarding Shumi or Jo Sho on Cedar Grove Lane:

                  I had not heard of these places before. Are they new? What makes them better than other sushi restaurants in the area? How do they rank when compared to Ajihei in Princeton? I am looking for traditional Japanese, with exotic fish options: e.g.- Uni, various cuts of toro, etc.

                  Shumi Restaurant
                  30 S. Doughty Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876

                  1. re: Rich D.

                    No, they've been around a while, I think. Sushi's not my strong point, so I can't put my finger on exactly why one place is better than another, other than to say I just enjoyed the meal a lot more. Good sushi and great sushi sort of taste the same to me, but one of them leaves me happier after I eat it. I would guess freshness, superior flavor and the skill of the chef with balance and seasoning? Beats me. I just know I'm going back to the two of them. Try the chef's choice at Shumi if you get a chance.

                    Shumi Restaurant
                    30 S. Doughty Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876

                    1. re: Rich D.

                      Night & Day. Shumi is best and most traditional in NJ by long shot

                      Otherwise, a trip to 15 East in NYC will do the trick

                      Shumi Restaurant
                      30 S. Doughty Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876

                  2. Chinese:
                    AK Seafood Restaurant (formerly 19 Seafood Restaurant) - Avenel, NJ (on Rt 1 by Woodbridge .. if you like Wonder Seafood this place is bigger and IMO has a slight edge over Wonder .. they are also much bigger for dim sum, Wonder crams everyone in)
                    Dragon Palace - Edison, NJ
                    Grand Shanghai - Edison, NJ (they also have pretty decent half price sushi 7 days a week, I think it's much better than Uyee)

                    Sushi Suzuki - Metuchen, NJ
                    Midori Sushi - Piscataway, NJ (also has a branch in Highland Park but haven't tried that one)
                    Mr. Pi's - Metuchen, NJ
                    Sushi Palace - Edison, NJ (sushi is average to above average but probably one of the better AYCE options in the area as everything is made to order, about $20-25 per person)

                    Thai Thai - Edison, NJ
                    Thai Basil - Piscataway, NJ
                    Mie Thai - Woodbridge, NJ
                    Pad Thai - Highland Park, NJ
                    Thai Noodle - New Brunswick, NJ
                    Four Seasons - Piscataway, NJ (cash only!!)
                    Heard good things about Radhana in Metuchen but haven't tried. Put a few of my local favorites since you haven't found one you liked in the area.

                    Kimchi Hana - South Plainfield, NJ

                    Personally I tried Makeda a while back and didn't like it at all. This list is of course is in addition to the many great restaurants that have already been named.

                    Kimchi Hana
                    6101 Middlesex Mall, South Plainfield, NJ 07080

                    Thai Thai Restaurant
                    3843 Highway 516, Old Bridge, NJ 08857

                    Sushi Suzuki
                    15 New St, Metuchen, NJ 08840

                    Thai Basil Restaurant
                    1316 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854

                    Mie Thai
                    34 Main St, Woodbridge, NJ 07095

                    Dragon Palace
                    1635 Oak Tree Rd, Edison, NJ 08820

                    Midori Sushi
                    237 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cling0017

                      Thai house rock on Rt 35 in Colonia. The BEST, fresh food, great prices & the owners are so friendly. My favorites, Spicy Noodles & Basil Chicken. Voted one of the best in Central Jersey

                      1. re: GraceD

                        Have to Agree on Thai house Rocks. The "More Garlic Chicken" is amazing!