Best Restaurants in Central New Jersey

If you are looking for some of the best restaurants in Central New Jersey, you are in luck. Central NJ is home to a diverse and delicious culinary scene, with options ranging from authentic Mexican and Peruvian cuisine to elegant French and Italian fare. Whether you are in the mood for a casual bite or a romantic dinner, you will find something to satisfy your taste buds in this region. Here are some of the top-rated restaurants in Central NJ that you should check out.

El Tule
49 N Main St, Lambertville, NJ 08530
(609) 773-0007

El Tule is a cozy and colorful restaurant that specializes in authentic Mexican and Peruvian cuisine. You can enjoy dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, ceviche, vegetarian options, and more, all made with fresh ingredients and flavorful spices. El Tule also offers a dozen dog-friendly tables on their outdoor patio, so you can bring your furry friend along. Don’t forget to bring your own beer or wine to pair with your meal and save room for dessert. El Tule is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

The Portuguese Fisherman
11 Jackson St, South River, NJ 08882
(732) 238-5188

The Portuguese Fisherman is one of the oldest Portuguese and Spanish restaurants on the east coast, established in 1976. The restaurant offers attentive service, generous portions, and refreshing sangria. You can choose from a variety of fresh seafood and fish, as well as organic meats, all prepared with the finest ingredients available. Some of the signature dishes include paella, bacalhau, churrasco, and frango no churrasco. The Portuguese Fisherman is open Monday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Stage House Tavern
1719 Amwell Rd, Somerset, NJ 08873
(732) 873-3990

Stage House Tavern is a casual American restaurant that serves rustic American cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with an inside bar area, a main dining area, and an outside patio. The bar features multiple big screen TVs where you can catch live sporting events, and the restaurant can accommodate large groups of up to 75 people for special occasions. The menu at Stage House Tavern includes appetizers like tuna tartare, onion rings, and sweet potato fries, as well as entrees like parmesan crusted chicken breast, meatloaf, burgers, salads, pizzas, and more. Stage House Tavern is open Monday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

El Familiar
1246 Rte 166, Toms River, NJ 08753
(732) 240-6613

El Familiar is a family restaurant that brings the fusion of Colombian and Mexican cuisine into one place. The restaurant is proud to serve dishes with an authentic and traditional flavor from the Latin American countries. You can try dishes like arepas, empanadas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, soups, salads, and more. El Familiar also offers catering services for any occasion. El Familiar is open Monday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Rat’s Restaurant
16 Fairgrounds Rd., Hamilton Township NJ 08619
(609) 584-7800

Rat’s Restaurant is a unique and elegant restaurant that provides a relaxing and exotic escape that delights the senses from start to finish. The restaurant is nestled on the sprawling 42-acre Grounds for Sculpture campus, which features stunning sculptures and gardens inspired by the impressionist painter Claude Monet. You can enjoy a scenic view of the lily pond and bridge while dining on exquisite French cuisine prepared by executive chef Ed Crochet. Some of the dishes include foie gras torchon, escargot bourguignon, duck confit cassoulet, bouillabaisse, steak frites, and more. Rat’s Restaurant also offers brunch on Sundays and happy hour on weekdays. Rat’s Restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

These are just some of the best restaurants in Central NJ that you should try. There are many more options to explore in this region, so don’t hesitate to venture out and discover new flavors and experiences.