Every year, we take a minute to highlight the many small businesses that help make South Jersey such a great place to live, work and visit. (It’s one of the most fun things we do all year.) Take a look to see just a few of the restaurants, bakeries & businesses that will fill your life with happy goodness. And then go find your favorite South Jersey spots and show them some love!

  • Best Key West Vibe

    Carlucci’s Waterfront


    Sipping a margarita and watching yet another glorious sunset from Carlucci’s stone patio, you may forget you’re not on vacation somewhere far away (and fabulous). But who needs a reality check. Carlucci’s scene and the amazing views of the Rancocas River are all you need – and they’re available year ’round!

  • Best Fine Dining

    Caffe Aldo Lamberti


    For more than 35 years, Caffe Aldo Lamberti has been the go-to place for celebrating life’s milestone events or to impress a special someone. Even in these more casual times, people dress up and savor the experience, leisurely enjoying delicious Italian fare, drinks, dessert and even an after-dinner drink.

  • Best Cannoli French Toast

    It seems so obvious now: Cannoli and French toast were meant to be together. We can only thank this new Haddonfield 24/7 breakfast & coffee spot for making this combo an instant classic.

  • Best Gnocchi (yet again…)

    Tre Famiglia


    This recipe for airy potato dumplings in a tomato cream sauce has been with the Cipollone family for generations, and they’re simply delizioso and so worthy of being among the few dishes that make this list again and again.

  • Best Mission-Driven Catering

    CK Catering


    Cathedral Kitchen, the largest emergency-food provider in Camden, has always defied expectations. CK Cafe, long known for serving delicious restaurant-style meals to the public, started a pop-up, meal-order business during the pandemic and now offers full-scale event catering.

  • Best Slow-Cooked BBQ

    Henri’s Hotts


    Henri’s Hotts BBQ pit is nearly always in use, which is the reason this BBQ is so mouth-watering good. The pulled pork takes 13 hours. The brisket needs a full 19 hours. All menu items are worth the wait.

  • Best New Ice Cream Shop

    Dá’Villas Crème & Cookies




    The specialty ice cream shop has only been open in Merchantville for a few months, but the crowds are flocking there. Choose from any of the unique & absolutely delicious ice cream or cookie creations, but don’t miss the flavored cones – red velvet, midnight vanilla, matcha or lavender.
    Photo: David Michael Howarth

  • Best Wine & Dine

    The Capital Grille



    Enhance the taste sensation of a dry-aged steak or fresh-caught seafood with the perfect bottle of wine. The Capital Grille’s expert sommelier will help you choose among 350 world-class wines hailing from nearly every growing region on Earth.

  • Best South Jersey Comeback

    When Indeblue returned to South Jersey after a 5-year gap this year, longtime customers rejoiced. For several years, the upscale Indian bistro was on both sides of the bridge – that is until closing its SJ place in 2018. Now its only location is in Cherry Hill, and that works for us.

  • Best Afternoon Tea

    Prince Tea House



    Enjoy a tea-lightful few hours being served flavorful drinks and interesting finger foods at this Asian-run, French-inspired new spot in Marlton. In addition to too-many-to-count hot tea varieties, Prince offers an impressive array of cold milk teas, slush drinks, coffees, mocktails and desserts.

  • Best Cheesecakes

    Classic Cake


    Classic Cake’s traditional cheesecakes come in strawberry, salted caramel swirl, rich chocolate or topped with fresh fruit. For a more modern take, try the award-winning Classico, a chocolate cake layered with cheesecake. So good!

  • Best Hazy-Day Beer

    Flying Fish Brewing Co.


    On a hot, hazy day (or any day really), reach for Hazy Bones IPA. With notes of pineapple, mango and melon, the Somerdale brewery’s best seller with a murky gold appearance is perfectly refreshing.

  • Best Custom-Design Jewelry

    Family & Co. Jewelers



    Known for its vast collection of diamonds, designer watches and jewelry, Family & Co. is also the go-to place for custom-designed jewelry. Third-generation jeweler Angelo Breaux turns ideas into wearable works of art – thanks to his creativity and mastery of computer-assisted design and manufacturing programs.

  • Best Special- Occasion Styling

    Rizzieri Salon & Spa



    When you want to look your personal best, Rizzieri’s stylists and makeup artists are on the job. And don’t just stop with a new cut, color, mani-pedi and make-up application. A massage and facial will help you feel your personal best too.

  • Best Mexican Sandwiches

    Known for always fresh ingredients, bold seasoning and generous portions, Moorestown’s Mi Ranchito is Mexican street food at its finest. The wide selection of tortas, otherwise known as Mexican sandwiches, are standouts. Meaty options include Hawaiian (with pineapples), Cubana, El Chavo and Chorizo Queso.

  • Best Hoagie-Style Pizza

    Pizza Amore



    Can’t decide between pizza or a hoagie? We’ve been there. Good news is you can have both, thanks to Pizza Amore’s hoagie-style pie – pizza crust topped with deli meats, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese.

  • Best Ballroom For Your First Dance

    Collingswood Grand Ballroom


    What could possibly top your dramatic entrance down the Grand Ballroom’s glam staircase? Follow it up with a memorable first dance. The combo of elegance & fun will get the party started.

  • Best Cooking Classes

    ITA 101




    Chef Kevin Maher is on a mission to share his passion for the Italian-style cooking he learned from his grandmother. He regularly teaches small groups the art of making pasta, risotto and other Italian classics in the ITA 101 kitchen.

  • Best Crab Soup

    Pic-A-Lilli Inn



    While everyone raves about the wings (and deservedly so), the Pic’s best kept secret is the crab soup. It’s creamy, packed with fresh crab meat and the perfect blend of seasonings.

  • Best Lobster Cheesesteak

    Chickie’s & Pete’s



    Take a classic cheesesteak and top it with garlicky butter-poached lobster chunks and Chickie’s & Pete’s famous cheese sauce, and there you have it – an amazing awakening for your tastebuds.

  • Best Bundt Flavors

    Nothing Bundt Cakes



    Although they make just one thing – cakes baked in a bundt pan – you have 11 delicious flavors to choose from. Try the ever-popular white chocolate raspberry or the (gluten-free) chocolate chip cookie.

  • Best Tacos

    Tortilla Press Cantina


    Don’t wait for Tuesday – head over to Pennsauken for these tasty tacos that we just can’t get enough of. Don’t miss the Chipotle Shrimp Taco or the 2 vegan options (especially the Buffalo Cauliflower)!

  • Best Parm Dishes

    Joe’s Pizzeria & Bistro



    Served with house salad, pasta and a bread basket, Joe’s parmigiana dishes feature generous portions of chicken, veal or eggplant topped with marinara sauce, melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese. They’re old-school delicious.

  • Best Sweet & Savory Pancakes

    Sabrina’s Cafe


    Satisfy the need for both sweet and savory – any time of day – with a stack of lemon and blueberry ricotta pancakes topped with mixed berry compote and lemon curd.

  • Best Biscuit Sandwiches

    Blair Mountain Biscuit Co.



    Chef Tim Miller elevates biscuit-making to an art form, and a tasty one at that. Blackwood’s Blair Mountain is built around his signature cheddar rosemary drop biscuits. The biscuits, including a vegan version, make every sandwich extra delicious.

  • Best Farm Market

    Locust Hall Farm



    There are so many reasons to take the family to Locust Hall Farm – think strawberry picking, flower arranging classes & wine tasting – but we always stop in the farm market for an apple cider donut and some fresh treats for home.

  • Best River’s-Edge Wedding Venue

    Camden County Boathouse



    The views from the Camden County Boathouse are spectacular. You’ve got the Cooper River, the Philadelphia skyline, and…wait for it…glorious sunsets – all yours to take in on the elegant wraparound porch or the observation tower.

  • Best After-Hours Bites

    Silver Diner



    Open until midnight on weekdays, and until 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights, the Silver Diner is one of the few restaurants serving a full menu after traditional dinner hours. It’s no wonder this family-friendly Cherry Hill diner is always busy at any hour.

  • Best Dance for Fitness Classes

    Katz JCC



    For people who don’t love working out, dance classes are a fun fitness workaround, but often hard to come by. The JCC delivers with regularly-scheduled Zumba, Adult Ballet and the oldies-inspired Let’s Dance. There are also line, belly and Israeli dancing events.

  • Best Candle-Making Classes

    Little White Shed & Co.



    Bring more light into the world by making your own candles. Choose between 6 vessels and 30-plus fragrances to mix your own soy-based wax creations. At the end of the relaxing, 90-minute workshop, you’ll take home your 2 uniquely scented candles.

  • Best Daily Bread

    Cacia’s Bakery



    Cacia’s rolls and pastries are baked in brick ovens using the same fresh ingredients that made them a South Philly institution. Luckily for us, these traditional breads are made daily in Cacia’s Audubon and Cherry Hill locations.

  • Best Fresh-Cut Fries

    Five Guys



    It’s an open secret why these fries are so good. They are deep-fried in peanut oil that makes them consistently crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. In other words, they melt in your mouth.

  • Best Dessert Flights

    Seasons 52


    Seasons 52’s signature “mini indulgences” are so small you can order more than one in a sitting without feeling at all like you’ve overindulged. Better yet, order them by the flight and try 6 of the 7 delicious flavors. (It’s up to you whether you share. We won’t judge.)

  • Best Grandma-like Cookies, But Bigger

    Downtown Cookies



    These cookies look and taste like they’re made with grandmotherly love – except they’re huge, which grandma would likely worry would spoil your appetite. But don’t worry Grandma, they’re made with zero preservatives and high quality, fresh ingredients.

  • Best No Fuss Surf & Turf

    By Land or Sea Xtream Cuisine

    This modest Glassboro eatery offers a menu of extremes: From Colossal king crab, Baltimore crabs and Maine lobster tail to slow-cooked BBQ, pasta dishes and hoagies. Save room for the sides, including baked mac & cheese, candied yams and collard greens.

  • Best Piano Lounge

    Ristorante Lucca and Piano Lounge


    Almost halfway through its first year in operation, Bordentown’s Ristorante Lucca has an elegant and intimate piano bar that makes a great night out even better. Experience old-world Italian fare in the luxurious dining room (think white table cloths & dishes prepared tableside), then extend the night listening to live music in the lounge. A special place for a special night.

  • Best Harvest Hayrides

    Johnson’s Corner Farm


    Summer in South Jersey means bountiful harvests of South Jersey’s most famous crops: blueberries, sweet corn and peaches. Take the family on a hayride through Johnson’s fields to pick all 3.

  • Best Wine VIP Club

    Amalthea Cellars



    When you’re in Amalthea’s tasting room, it’s like you’ve somehow been transported to a chateau in France or a Tuscan hillside. You’ll want to recreate that serenity by bringing home lots of your favorite vintage bottles – and returning often. The VIP pass offers discount rates and access to special tasting events.

  • Best Vegan Treats Even Non-Vegans Will love

    Amanda’s Vegan Vibes


    Non-vegans who try Amanda’s cakes, cupcakes and cookies are often shocked that they look and taste so good. The home-based baker uses only natural ingredients and will work with you if there are ingredients you need to avoid. That’s the vegan vibe.

  • Best Iced Tea Flights

    Hens & Honey Shoppe



    Move over wine and beer flights, the latest from this working farm’s boutique shop is iced tea flights featuring 4 delicious flavors from the nearby Greenwich Teaburners farm. Check out other unique products, including candles made from soybeans on site as well as oil-based body and bath products made from the nuts of the pecan trees.

  • Best Way To Go Green

    Camden County Sustainability Center



    Camden County’s quest to pioneer and promote green living took a huge leap with the opening of this center last year. It’s been busy since then, with 3 greenhouses used to help feed animals at the Philadelphia Zoo, vineyards where grapes are grown and a tool library, where you can check out something to help with your DIY project. Their annual plant sale attracts 5,000 gardeners each Spring.

  • Best Caterer

    Cathy’s Catering



    Not only will your guests be going on and on about everything they just ate, but you will have such a good feeling after working with the experts at Cathy’s. The food is delicious, the planners are beyond helpful, and the service is exceptional.

  • Best Seasonal Menu

    Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar



    Harvest’s menu is updated every 3 months to showcase the best farm-to-table flavors of the current harvest. That’s tough when the springtime entrée you’re obsessed with doesn’t make the summer menu. But don’t worry, you’ll find your summer fling food.

  • Best Ready-To-Grill Bundles

    Haddon Culinary



    With locations in Haddonfield and Collingswood, Haddon Culinary has lots of prepared foods and seasonal dishes for dining in and take-out. If you’re beach bound, grab the All American Beach Bundle, a cooler bag filled with burgers, dogs and chicken kabobs, fixings, sides and dessert for 4 for $80.

July 2023
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