It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when we break out our “must-try” lists and scour South Jersey to find the very best businesses that make living here exciting, sweet, inspiring, delicious and all-around lovely. So take a look at this year’s bests. We bet you’ll find some old favorites – and some new spots to try!

  • Best Apple Cider Doughnut

    Johnson’s Corner Farm

    johnsonsfarm.com

    The yummiest way to start your family fun day at Johnson’s Farm – stop into the market to pick up a bag of fresh, cinnamon-y doughnuts. (If you’re lucky, they’ll still be warm.)

  • Best Wedding With a View

    Camden County Boathouse at Cooper River

    camdencountyboathouse.com

    Imagine saying “I do” along a serene river, taking photos on the dock and watching the sunset disappear with the Philly skyline in the distance. The backdrop at the boathouse makes your big day unforgettable.

  • Best Fitness For The Whole Family

    Katz JCC

    katzjcc.org

    Katz JCC is keeping the whole family fit with everything from a ninja warrior class for kids ages 4 to 10 to cycling and barre classes for adults.

  • Best Seafood Tower

    Caffe Aldo Lamberti

    caffelamberti.com

    It’s a choose-your-own-seafood-adventure with the freshest seasonal oysters, Maine lobster, jumbo white shrimp and more available to build your own seafood tower. And if you can’t decide, choose one of Aldo Lamberti’s own creations.

  • Best Meal For A Cause

    CK Catering

    cathedralkitchen.org

    Not only do meals from CK Catering taste delicious, but they also help the organization fund its community meal program, which serves more than 100,000 meals each year to food insecure residents of Camden.

  • Best Crab And Pasta Dish

    Joe’s Pizzeria & Bistro

    joesbrickovenpizzeria.com

    We can’t stop thinking about the Crab Alla Rosa at Joe’s Pizzeria & Bistro. Crabmeat, veggies and your choice of pasta doused in a brandy rosa cream sauce? We’ll be right over!

  • Best Kids’ Menu

    Silver Diner

    silverdiner.com

     

     

    Join the (kids’) club! Not only does Silver Diner have plenty of delicious options for your little one, but when they join the kids’ club, they can have extra fun like prizes, a free birthday entrée and shake, and exclusive kids’ parties.

  • Way To Get The Pinelands In Your Pocket

    NJ Pinelands Commission

    nj.gov/pinelands

     

    The mission of NJ Pinelands Commission is to preserve, protect and enhance the Pinelands – and they also run a killer Instagram account. Followers get gorgeous landscapes, fun nature videos and updates on the Pinelands in the palm of their hand.

  • Best VIP Club

    Amalthea Cellars

    amaltheacellars.com

    Four wine club memberships for the price of one? Sign us up. Amalthea Cellars’ VIP club includes perks like exclusive tastings, early access for events and surprise sales of bottles from Amalthea winemaker’s personal collection. $25 covers four memberships.

  • Best Veggie Sandwich

    Five Guys

    fiveguys.com

     

    Surprise! We know you love the burgers, we do too. But if your friend is vegetarian, show them the veggie sandwich with grilled onions, mushrooms and green peppers, lettuce and tomatoes on a toasted bun.

  • Best Bowls

    Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar

    harvestseasonal.com

    Fresh, seasonal ingredients mean powerful flavors. And these plant-based bowls – like the lemon-kale pesto bowl – are tasty, healthy and unique.

  • Best Engagement Rings

    Family & Co. Jewelers

    familyjewelers.com

    The experts at Family & Co. have decades of experience and plenty of elegant, eye-catching options for one of the biggest days of your life.

  • Best Porterhouse Steak

    Bring a friend because this Porterhouse is served for 2, and the savory steak is dry aged in house. You’re going to love it.

  • Best Way To Eat More Pasta

    ITA101

    ita101.com

     

    We couldn’t choose just one pasta to eat – that would be crazy. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, ITA101 has the solution: a pasta tasting menu, where you get to try a few of their housemade pastas. And the menu changes each week!

  • Best Ice Cream For Adults

    Lickety Splitz

    laurellanesnj.com

     

    Ice cream gets a little kick at Lickety Splitz, with alcohol-infused flavors like orange creamsicle infused with tequila or a classic strawberry daiquiri.

  • Best BBQ Platter

    Henri’s Hotts Barbeque

    bestbbqsj.com

     

    Henri’s Hotts platters are to die for and come with 2 sides (try the candied yams & baked beans) and cornbread.

  • Best Outdoor Dining

    Carlucci’s Waterfront

    collingswoodballroom.com

    Cheers to beautiful South Jersey’s waterfront views. The only thing that would make Carlucci’s riverside views better is admiring them with great friends and a fabulous meal.

  • Best Open Mic Night

    Nuanced Cafe

    nuancedcafe.com

     

     

    There’s a strong sense of community when this cozy coffee shop fills up to support local talent during open mic nights. And nothing goes better with watching live acts than some delicious locally made baked goods and locally roasted coffees.

  • Best Spot For Buffalo Lovers

    Pic-A-Lilli Inn

    picalilli.com

     

    Buffalo sauce isn’t just for wings (although the Pic’s wings are a must-try). In fact, “buffalo” gets an entire side of the Pic’s menu, featuring buffalo mac n cheese, buffalo chicken rolls, buffalo shrimp and the classics.

  • Best Wild Birthday Party

    Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge

    cedarrun.org

     

    Warning: this party will get wild. The main event at these parties are visits from the friendly South Jersey wildlife ambassadors of the refuge.

  • Best Hostess Gift

    Cheese Etc. & Gourmet Gifts

    cheeseetc.com

     

    Cheese and spices and wines, oh my. This one-stop shop for South Jersey foodies is packed with local beer and wine, locally made spreads and dips, and honey from local bees.

  • Best Crabs

    Chickie’s and Pete’s

    chickiesandpetes.com

    You can have a crab feast here. In fact, they actually have an item on the menu called crabfeast. All the crabs are cooked in special seasoning that’s so good, your hands will be coated when you’re done.

  • Best Hair Treatments

    Rizzieri

    rizzieri.com

     

    A lot of people don’t even know this exists, but if your hair is looking a little drab, Rizzieri has several treatments to get its vibrancy back: K18, Botanical Repair, Olaplex and Pramasana. Ask about it, and thank us later.

  • Best Morning Sweet Treat

    Sabrina’s Cafe

    sabrinascafe.com

    Bet you thought we were going to say it’s the challah French toast. You’re not that far off, but we’re currently obsessing over Sabrina’s stuffed French toast latte as a delicious pick-me-up in the morning.

  • Best Burger With All The Fixins

    The Pop Shop

    thepopshopusa.com

     

    It’s called the Mac Daddy Grilled Cheese Burger: 2 beef patties, lettuce, onion, pickles, 1000 Island dressing AND two grilled cheese sandwiches are used as buns. We recommend calling a friend for help. Or don’t.

  • Best Balloon Arches

    Tinsley Treasures Co.

    tinsleytreasures.com

     

    The customized balloon arches designed by Tinsley’s Treasures are going to blow your guests away. (See what we did there?)

  • Best Cake For One

    Nothing Bundt Cakes

    nothingbundtcakes.com

     

    Cake for one is the best kind, especially when it’s the delicious mini-bundts (called bundtinis) from Nothing Bundt Cakes – with a variety of scrumptious flavors from red velvet to lemon blueberry.

  • Best Private Dining

    The Capital Grille

    thecapitalgrille.com

     

    With your choice of elegant rooms, The Capital Grille’s quality menus and high-end service are the perfect addition to any celebration or meeting.

  • Best Tacos

    Tortilla Press Cantina

    tortillapresscantina.com

     

    Tortilla press is getting this honor for the second year in a row – that’s how good these tacos are. This year, we’re grabbing the Birria Tacos any chance we get.

  • Best Gnocchi

    Tre Famiglia

    trefamiglia.com

     

    We’ve been talking about the gnocchi at Tre Famiglia for years, but with good reason. The airy potato dumplings in a tomato cream sauce are simply the best. Don’t miss them!

  • Best Out-Of-This-World Treat

    The Original Banana Company

     

     

    Ever wanted to eat a UFO? Turns out, it’s pretty sweet. Original Banana Company in Laurel Springs has a UFO Ice Cream Sandwich made with banana cream ice cream sandwiched between two pieces of banana bread.

  • Best Butcher Counter

    Haddon Culinary

    haddonculinary.com

    This shop is a mix of old-school excellence and modern-day foodie fabulous. The butcher counter has everything you need for your summer BBQ or just the family’s weekday dinner.

  • Best Pizza Worth The Wait

    Pizza Amore

    pizzaamoredelran.com

     

    The Grandma pie is only available as a whole pizza and takes 45 minutes to an hour to be prepared – so plan ahead. (It’s worth the wait.)

  • Best Lamb Chops

    The ChopHouse

    thechophouse.us

    The exquisite entrée offers 16 oz. of Double Cut Australian Rib Lamp Chops topped with mint pesto. Cooked to the perfect temperature every time.

  • Best Housewarming Gift

    Pinecone Trading Co.

    pineconetradingco.com

    Nothing says welcome home like a thoughtful gift. For your foodie friends, a ceramic brie baker crock. For the scent-sational co-worker, pick from an extensive candle collection. The options are endless.

  • Best Scenic Train Ride

    Woodstown Central Railroad

    woodstowncentral.com

    Inside and out, this might just be the most beautiful train ride you’ll take. Hop on the restored vintage steam locomotive and passenger cars and choose from rides like Scenic Rambler and Brew to Brew.

  • Best Specials

    Sapori Trattoria

    sapori.info

     

    Owner Franco Lombardi takes special care to create unique dishes for guests he considers family. Your pasta special may have a touch of butternut squash, speck and truffle cheese, or the specially prepared pork cheeks may be accompanied by risotto. Savor the flavor.

  • Best Neighborhood Event

    Collingswood Porchfest

    collingswood.com

     

    Collingswood comes alive every September with music, food and community love all over town. Houses host performers on their porch, and some offer food and refreshments. This year’s festival is on September 28.

  • Best Toppings for Your Steak

    Everyone knows you’ll love how your steak is prepared at Flemings, but don’t forget to pick an out-of-this-world topping to add to the perfection. Try the Truffle-Poached Lobster. Yes, we said perfection.

  • Best Bar To Get Sushi

    Tommy’s Tavern + Tap

    tommystavernandtap.com

     

    You don’t usually order sushi at a lively bar, but you should at Tommy’s. They have a good (and delicious) selection of traditional rolls, sashimi and poke. So order a beer and get the chopsticks ready.

  • Best Spot For Date-Night

    Monterey Grill

    montereygrill.com

     

    Be sure to go about an hour before dinner to hear live music in the very cool bar area, and then enjoy the most delicious dinner in the tastefully elegant dining room. (Don’t miss the mozzarella-stuffed meatball as an appetizer. Simply amazing.)

  • Best Place For A Wedding Entrance

    Collingswood Grand Ballroom

    collingswoodballroom.com

     

    All eyes will be on you when you make your entrance down the eloquent grand staircase, with its double-sided top, small landing (perfect for posed photos) and then elegant center stairs.

  • Best Custom Cakes

    Classic Cake

    classiccake.com

    From elaborate stain glass creations and elegant wedding cakes to adorable cartoon characters made of frosting, all your (cake) dreams are about to come true.

  • Best Pies

    Pied Out Bakeshop Cafe

    Whether it’s the sausage gravy hand pies or a classic chicken pot pie, these flaky crusts and delicious flavors will have you coming back to this Delanco fav.

  • Best Way To Eat Sweet Potatoes

    Seasons 52

    seasons52.com

    It’s official, from now on we’re only eating our sweet potatoes in a skillet. Oh, and with maple pecan streusel on top.

  • Best Hair Extensions

    Soffiato Via

    soffiatovia.com

    Consult with the stylists at Soffiato Via to find the right extensions for your dream length, color or density. You’ll be in good hands (and you’ll have great hair!).

  • Best Cabaret Dining Experience

    Ristorante LUCCA & Piano Lounge

    ristorantelucca.com

    This will take you back in time – enjoy a fine dining experience (white tablecloths, extensive wine list & outstanding dishes) while listening to live jazz singers. A perfect evening.

  • Best Tasting Menu

    This tasting menu delivers a sampling of IndeBlue’s modern and traditional Indian flavors – with a choice of 2 appetizers and 2 entrees. The meal also includes a dessert sampler, bread basket and chai or coffee.

  • Best Hotdog

    1785 Farm Dog

    The new Medford market has been wow’ing folks with their fresh produce and desserts (don’t miss the waffles & ice cream) but their creative take on hotdogs is what always brings people back. Try the Muck Bucket, topped with their own chili, kraut, diced onions and homemade jalapeño mustard. You might want to order two.

  • Best Place To Meet Fellow Gardeners

    The Greater Woodbury Garden Club

    woodbury.nj.us

    Gardening lovers are welcome to join over 50 members for monthly meetings, garden visits, a cut-flowers exhibition, plant exchange and more gardening fun throughout the year.

  • Best French Menu

    The tastefully decorated dining room is a wonderful backdrop to this Collingswood gem. The creative menu changes with the season and offers delicacies like Rabbit Vol-au-Vent and Escabeche (grilled octopus, roasted scallops and grilled turbot).

July 2024
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