The top 6 best restaurants in Northern NJ

It’s no secret that North Jersey has some of the best dining options around. After all, celebrity kitchen masters Martha Stewart, Tom Colicchio and Anthony Bourdain all got their start in this area of the Garden State! Tantalize your taste buds with a visit to some (or all) of these outstanding restaurants from a list compiled by New Jersey Monthly:

Café Panache, Ramsey

cafe-panacheCourtesy Cafe Panache

For the past 30 years this elegant BYOB eatery has been a fixture in the heart of downtown and chef-owner Kevin Kohler continues to create seasonably inspired dishes based on freshness and simplicity. Café Panache prides itself on using homegrown produce and free-range livestock for their signature dishes. Start your meal light with the Tuscan kale salad finished with a lemon and reggiano Parmesan and indulge in the delightfully filling braised filet mignon topped with sautéed mushrooms in burgundy wine bordelaise. Is your mouth watering yet?

Saddle River Inn, Saddle River

saddle-river-innCourtesy Saddle River Inn

Set in a 19th century former sawmill and basket-weaving factory, this contemporary French restaurant is nestled on the banks of the Saddle River. Chef Jamie Knott uses local organic produce, Prime dry-aged beef and the freshest line caught, sustainable seafood whenever possible for a menu that changes twice seasonally. The romantic setting is perfect for a special occasion or a memorable night out and the Inn offers a “culinary journey” with their 4-course ($80) 5-course ($90) or 6-course ($100) tasting menu, which can be paired with your favorite bottle of wine from home — this one is also BYOB!

Cucharamama, Hoboken


Focusing on artisanal South American cooking, the dining room of this Hoboken staple focuses on a beautiful wood burning oven, from which come dishes like the Argentinean sausage with roasted peppers and onions and shrimp in panca pepper sauce. Chef Maricel Presilla was named the Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region in 2012 so there’s no doubt each meal — from the Chilean beef and chicken potpie to the roasted salmon with Catalan sauce — will leave you saying “¡Ay, caramba!”

Maritime Parc, Jersey City

maritime-parcCourtesy Maritime Parc

A sleek, modern outpost on the perimeter of the Liberty Landing Marina, Maritime Parc boasts itself as a “classic coastal fish house where a friendly vibe, fine food and fond memories are always on tap.” The restaurant’s raw bar is always brimming with the freshest local shellfish and each table offers stunning views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. A 6-course Chef’s tasting menu ($85) offers mouthwatering options like butternut squash risotto and line caught swordfish.

Lorena’s, Maplewood

lorenasCourtesy Lorena's

Named by OpenTable diners as one of the 100 best restaurants in America for 2015, Lorena’s offers some of the finest French cuisine outside of Paris. Chef Campos sources his seasonal offerings from many of the local organic farms throughout the state including heirloom tomato, watermelon and burrata salad.

The Frog and The Peach, New Brunswick

frog-and-peachCourtesy The Frog and Peach

This multilevel downtown eatery occupies an 1870s industrial building that once housed the printing presses for the local newspaper. Executive Chef Bruce Lefebvre is known for his take on modern American cuisine and draws from The Garden State’s world class agriculture and fisheries when developing his menu. Highlights include the butter poached local lobster, striped marlin a la Plancha and the prosciutto wrapped Griggstown chicken.

Check out NJ Monthly’s complete list for even more outstanding dining options throughout the state!