Best of SJ The Shore >>

  • Best Salad When You Least Expect It

    Kaminski’s Bar & Grill
    1424 Brace Road
    Cherry Hill

    We know you go to Kaminski’s for the bar, the wings and sandwiches, but now when you’re in a healthy-eating mood, you can still head to your favorite pub. Choose from 12 salads – big enough to be a meal – and you’ll be feasting on specialties like the char-grilled salmon salad with pistachios and Kalamata olives or the steak wedge salad with strips of NY steak, candied walnuts and chunky bleu cheese. (If you can’t do the salad, at least go for the veggie burger – they have that too!)

  • Best Pickle Bar

    The Kibitz Room
    100 Springdale Road
    Cherry Hill

    Fight the crowd in the parking lot, put up with the New York temperament of some of the staff (come on, it’s all part of that NY-deli experience), order your sandwich at the counter – get a half sandwich unless you’re super hungry – and then enjoy the pickle bar while you wait for your order. It’s loaded with all kinds of pickles, cucumber salad, tomatoes, even sauerkraut. Yum.

  • Best Ice Cream

    Mr. Bill’s
    453 Route 73 South

    Get the vacation started early and stop at Mr. Bill’s on your way down the Shore. Order the cannoli ice cream. Do we really need to tell you how fantastic it is – it’s cannoli ice cream.

  • Best Appetizers

    Blue Monkey Tavern
    2 South Center Street

    We know people go here for the large selection of beers (with names like Ithaca Apricot Wheat and Epic Sour Apple Saison), and that’s all good. But isn’t it great to know you can chow down on some tasty bites when you’re trying out the cold brews? We can’t decide which we like best: the homemade mozzarella sticks or the cilantro pesto chicken fingers. So here’s an idea – order them both!

  • Best Dessert

    Kuzina by Sofia
    404 Route 70 East
    Cherry Hill

    We can’t resist the baklava. It’s heavenly – sweet, flakey layers of pastry, honey and nuts baked perfectly. You’ll be pleasantly pleased by the authentic tastes of this Greek eatery (try the lamb kabobs), and you’ll by knocked off your feet by the delicious desserts. There are several to choose from (we like the rice pudding too) but the baklava is hard to beat.

  • Best Outdoor Dining

    SweetWater Bar and Grill
    10 North Route 130

    Brand new this year, the deck at SweetWater is definitely sweet. Order the Rootbeer Float-ini (vodka, amaretto and vanilla ice cream) or the Pineapple Upside Down Cake (coconut rum, pineapple juice and grenadine), dive into some awesome apps – we suggest the homemade calamari – and watch the Phillies on one of the two flat-screens. Of course, you could just take in the gentle breeze, and if the sky is clear, get a cool view of the Philadelphia skyline.

  • Best Dinner and Dancing

    The Madison
    33 Lafayette Street

    There aren’t many places where you can get dressed up, have a lovely (and delicious) dinner and then stay to dance the night away. But at The Madison, you can have all that. On weekend nights, a live band takes the floor and the dinner crowd changes over to a dancing crowd. And no worries if dancing isn’t your style, there’s also live music – just a little more mellow – at the Martini Bar.

  • Best Business Lunch

    515 Fellowship Road
    Mount Laurel

    Don’t let the hotel entrance fool you. GG’s is a fine dining establishment, which lots of SJ folks already know. Just stop in during lunch, and you’ll see business execs sealing the deal over buffalo scallops or a spring berry avocado salad. There’s also a bar if you’re going for the “Mad Men” lunch.

  • Best French Toast

    Zena’s Café and Bakery
    308 Broad Street

    Just looking at the French toast at Zena’s makes you feel good, so imagine what happens when you dig in. Four pieces of warm, soft bread topped with berries and cream. It’s one part dessert, one part breakfast – all parts terrific.

  • Best Chocolate Cake

    Classic Cake
    480 Evesham Road
    Cherry Hill

    They call it the Classico: layers of chocolate cake separated by – wait for it – cheesecake! It’s topped off with chocolate buttercream icing and a fudge glaze. Absolutely delicious!

  • Best Cheesesteak

    Chick’s Deli
    906 Township Lane
    Cherry Hill

    You don’t want to go at the heart of lunchtime, because it’s usually packed. But you do want to go to this out-of-the-way deli, because the cheesesteaks are fantastic (they make Philly proud). If you call ahead, your order should be ready when you get there, even if it’s super crowded. But keep in mind, there’s a reason it’s so crowded.

  • Best Candy Store

    220 Kings Highway East

    Take a sweet walk down memory lane at this corner candy shop in Haddonfield. Old-time favorites like Root Beer Barrels, Sugar Daddys and satellite wafers are everywhere, along with today’s popular favorites, like chocolate-covered pretzels and 21 colors of M&Ms. (Around graduation time, certain colors of M&M’s sell out because everyone buys their school colors!) You won’t find boxed Godiva chocolates in the summer (too hot), and Black Jack gum is only in stock once a year, so stop in often. We think once a day sounds just right.

  • Best Omelette

    Short Hills Restaurant & Deli
    486 Evesham Road
    Cherry Hill

    Sure, everybody goes here for the matzoh ball soup and the cornbeef sandwich, but if you don’t stop for breakfast, you’re missing out. Short Hills has a pretty extensive selection of omelettes, and all are fluffy and tasty. You could go for an old standard, like pepper and onion, or get adventurous and try something new. How about the salami omelette or Nova lox and onion? Give it a try. You’ll be happy all day long.

  • Best Banana Split

    Castle Harbor Drive-In
    59 Saint Mihiel Drive

    What we like about this is the take-out container. They don’t shove the three scoops of yummy ice cream, fresh bananas, oozy hot fudge and tasty nuts into a typical plastic bowl. It’s shaped like a banana split, so when you’re digging in to that ice-cold wonderful mix of special treats, everything stays in its right place. And then, all is right in the universe.

  • Best Burger

    2026 Marlton Pike
    Cherry Hill

    We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again. You can’t get a burger better than a Five Guys burger. You can pick as many toppings as you want – and they’re free! Plus the burgers are cooked to order and always come out juicy and delicious.

  • Best Wedding Cake

    The Sweet Life Bakery
    601 East Landis Avenue

    Pastry chefs Jill McClennen and Stephen Wilson – both grads of the Culinary Institute of America – are over-the-top creative when it comes to pleasing brides on their special day. They make every cake from scratch – no pre-made icing, no corn syrup or shortening – so the taste isn’t too sweet, but rich and flavorful. And when it comes to decorating, their artistic talents are amazing. Truly beautiful cakes, and truly tasty!

  • Best Stop on the way Home from Work

    Bobby Chez Crabcakes
    The Village Walk
    1990 Route 70
    Cherry Hill

    It’s easy to solve the what’s-for-dinner mystery when you simply stop at this friendly seafood haven. Everything comes with written directions for re-heating, and some foods are ready to serve. A quick stop here, and you’ve got a delicious dinner for the family.

  • Best Cheesecake

    The Capital Grille
    At the Cherry Hill Mall
    2000 Route 38
    Cherry Hill

    Some people on the SJ Mag staff go to The Capital Grille late at night on the weekends, when most people have left just to have the cheesecake. It’s that good. Sweet, creamy with a crunchy caramel finish surrounded by fresh strawberries. So, so good.

  • Best Cupcakes

    Sweet T’s Bakeshop
    14 Kings Court

    You may recognize Toni Walton behind the counter. She worked for Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and appeared on the first two seasons of the reality show. Now she owns Sweet T’s with her sister Chrissy, and the two are whipping up some pretty awesome treats – especially the cupcakes. Some days they have specialty flavors, like PB&J or champagne raspberry. But every day, they line the shelves with a variety of fresh, yummy cupcakes like blueberry velvet, chocolate cream cheese and peanut butter obsession.

  • Best Grilled Cheese

    The Pop Shop
    729 Haddon Avenue

    We don’t know that you’ll want to have this for lunch, but The Pop Shop has a grilled cheese made with two slices of butter-grilled pound cake stuffed with cinnamon cream cheese, strawberries and a whole Hershey’s chocolate bar. Now that’s our kind of a grilled cheese sandwich.

  • Best Skinny Cocktail

    Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
    500 Route 73 North

    It’s assumed that you’ll get a great steak here, and a wonderful dining experience. But who knew you could get a martini that’s only 99 calories? (So you can have more than one!) Our fave is the Stoli Bombshell – vodka, fresh raspberries and squeezed lime juice.

  • Best Martini

    Grand Lux Café
    At Cherry Hill Mall
    2000 Route 38
    Cherry Hill

    It’s worth getting every time you go to Grand Lux. The strawberry martini is one-of-a-kind. You can watch the bartender crush the fresh strawberries right in front of you, and then taste a sip of sweet heaven.

  • Best Strawberry Shortcake

    Aversa’s Italian Bakery
    801 Route 168

    It’s hard not to like strawberry shortcake, but this one is so easy to love. Creamy icing, fresh berries, fluffy cake – it’s the ingredients of sweet joy baked into one out-of-this-world cake.

  • Best Steak – South American Style

    El Sitio Grill & Café
    729 Haddon Avenue

    It’s Bife de Chorizo on the menu. On your plate, it’s a juicy Argentinian cut of beef grilled to perfection. Bring your own bottle of red and some good friends, and you’ve got the makings of a great night.

  • Best Reason to Eat an Early Dinner

    Tre Famiglia
    403 North Haddon Avenue

    A new item on the menu at Tre Famiglia should entice you to decide 5 pm is the perfect time for dinner. The quaint BYOB has prepared an early dinner menu – three courses for $21.95 available Tuesdays through Thursdays from 3:30 to 6 pm (1 to 4 pm on Sundays). Everything here tastes good, so a special price for a special dish makes for a fabulous meal.

  • Best Rotisserie Chicken

    Joe’s Poultry Farm
    440 South Delsea Drive

    This is Vineland’s best-keep secret. Locals go to Joe’s for rotisserie chicken because they know you won’t find better anywhere else. They also know when the chicken sells out, the store closes. And that happens a lot.

  • Best Hot Roast Pork Hoagie

    The Sicilian Deli
    735 Mantua Pike

    Mark your calendar for Thursdays, because that’s the only day you can get this sandwich at The Sicilian Deli. And believe us, it’s a good reason to love Thursdays. The roll is fresh (which we all know makes the sandwich), the gravy is homemade, and the pork is tender and juicy. It’s perfection.

  • Best Brunch

    The British Chip Shop
    146 Kings Highway East

    For a really fun night, sit at the sushi bar and watch the talented chef work his magic. (If you’re lucky, it will be Chef Ito, who has been wowing customers since 1979.) The sushi here is outstanding, so you’ll pretty much love whatever you order. A great way to start is the sushi sampler – your choice of 10 or 12 pieces.

  • Best Sushi

    116 Kings Highway East

    For a really fun night, sit at the sushi bar and watch the talented chef work his magic. (If you’re lucky, it will be Chef Ito, who has been wowing customers since 1979.) The sushi here is outstanding, so you’ll pretty much love whatever you order. A great way to start is the sushi sampler – your choice of 10 or 12 pieces.

  • Best Coffee House

    Jersey Java and Tea
    140 North Haddon Avenue

    You might start looking for the cast of “Friends” in this cool and comfy coffee house. Big couches, slouchy arm chairs and friendly faces make this a popular spot for chatting and chilling. The espresso is divine, and don’t even get us started about the giant cupcakes!

  • Best Way to Throw a Party

    2 Centerton Road
    Mount Laurel

    If you’re hosting a party, Wegmans makes planning a menu and ordering the food super easy. You can make all your selections online, get a price and place the order. You can even pay online, so you can send someone else to pick up the order (while you put the finishing touches on the house). To top it off, if you need to speak with a real live person, they have a whole catering staff happy to help.

  • Best Sing-Along Bar

    Seasons 52
    At the Cherry Hill Mall
    2000 Route 38
    Cherry Hill

    You can belt out Billy Joel tunes, Elton John favorites and even a few show tunes at the popular bar inside this popular restaurant. You’ll love the piano player perched in the middle of the somewhat circular bar, and you’ll love the crowd who shouts out songs they’d like to hear. Grab a seat (you may have to wait on weekends), order your favorite drink and enjoy the sounds and songs.

  • Best Fish Tacos

    Dooney’s Pub & Restaurant
    1361 South Fairview Boulevard

    Order them blackened. The usually packed pub does a great job with these yummy tacos stuffed with fresh fish, cabbage, a special salsa and Thai mayo. It may be an Irish pub, but they know how to do fish tacos.

  • Best Sandwich in a Mexican Bakery

    Panaderia y Taqueria Puebla
    511 East Landis Avenue

    This place is what you would call a hidden gem. The outside has very little signage and could use a paint job. There’s no seating, and the menu is handwritten – in Spanish – on poster board hanging from the ceiling. But who cares about all that when you can have a to-die-for chicken torta with beans, avocados, tomatoes, salsa verde, a special sauce, pickled jalapeños, lettuce and cilantro with raw onions. That is one mean sandwich.

  • Best Guy to Talk to When You’re Craving a Good Steak

    McFarlan’s Market
    27 South Centre Street

    There’s a corner market in Merchantville with an old-school butcher counter inside. Behind that counter you’ll find Steve Rainsford. Of course he’ll be wearing the white apron, and he’ll probably be holding a pretty big knife. But if you need to find high-quality meats or you have a question about which cut of steak to serve at a dinner you’re hosting, he’s your guy.

  • Best Wings

    Pic-A-Lilli Inn
    866 Route 206

    Wednesdays are wing nights at Pic-a-Lilli. Chow down on all-you-can-eat wings for only $9.95. (We call that a delectable deal!) You get the full wing, and it’s packed with meat plus it has a crunchy, spicy kick, especially if you go for the smokers.

  • Best Farmers’ Market Graduate

    Mommas Home Made
    1225 Haddonfield-Berlin Road

    Last year, you had to wait until the weekend to get some of the incredible homemade dishes Daisy Smith made with her daughter Jaconda Bell. The two had been cooking out of Daisy’s house, then from the kitchen at Bethany Baptist church in Lindenwold, and selling out their goods at local farmers’ markets. But recognizing their success, the two opened a storefront earlier this year, where customer favorites like Smith’s applesauce and Bell’s Apple Carrot Cake in a Jar with Apple Sauce are on the menu. The store is clearly a family affair, and the applesauce alone is worth a visit. (It tastes like apple pie…in a jar.)

  • Best Pedal Power

    Collingswood Bike Share

    When Collingswood rolled out its bike share program, we knew the borough was onto something. For just $25 a year, residents get a rented bike and free maintenance from volunteer mechanics. Instead of buying new bikes for the program, the town is using repurposed or donated bikes, and each one is painted bright green so it’s easy to identify. Not only is the bike share promoting health and accessibility, it’s also reducing emissions and transportation costs. How cool is that?

  • Best Open Mic Night

    Hebe Music
    4 Mill Street
    Mount Holly

    Forget playing “Rock Band” at home – every Thursday night, aspiring musicians can show off their chops in front of a live audience at this hip Mount Holly spot. Sign-up begins at 7, and the music starts around 8 pm. Need instruments or amps for your set? Don’t worry, Hebe has it covered. Even if you don’t perform, it’s worth checking out – you just might hear the next “it” band before they hit the big time (plus, you can enjoy some of the great food from Hebe’s Backstage BBQ).

  • Best Eco-Chic Weddings

    Hebe Music
    4 Mill Street
    Mount Holly

    Not only is the Inn at Fernbrook Farms a gorgeous place to hold a wedding, it’s also an environmentally friendly venue. Guests dine on fresh, organic produce grown through sustainable practices at the farm, and recycling and composting give Earth-conscious couples peace of mind that their big day is waste-free. Plus, the lush gardens and vegetable fields create a beautiful backdrop for photos.

  • Best Cool Hair Color

    (thriv.) Salon and Spa
    2076 East Route 70
    Cherry Hill

    Ombré, dip-dyes and vibrant hues are all the hair-color rage right now, and the pros at (thriv.) Salon and Spa have the know-how and skills to give your locks the most current look. To make sure they are always ahead of the style curve (thriv.) stylists frequently travel to top-notch training programs as far away as London. Once they help you get the color of your dreams, they also have all the right products to help maintain your new look.

  • Best Massage Club

    Rizzieri Salon and Spa
    6001 Lincoln Drive West

    We love the relaxing massages at Rizzieri, so we were beyond excited when the salon and spa launched its massage club. For just $50 a month, you get exclusive discounts on all the luxurious, stress-reducing massages available (the deep-pressure massage is a favorite). Massage appointments are available seven days a week, so there’s no excuse not to pamper yourself.

  • Best British Style Invasion

    Essensuals London
    At Cherry Hill Mall
    2000 Route 38
    Cherry Hill

    They’re from across the pond, and they’re smashing (we love their accents). Husband-and-wife stylists Darren and Amy McHugh met years ago while working in an award-winning UK salon, but last year they made their way to SJ and set up a shop in the Cherry Hill Mall. The fashionable duo and their staff offer a full array of cut, color and style options that will leave you looking posh. (And did we mention we love their accents?)

  • Best Art and Ale

    Perkins Center for the Arts
    30 Irvin Avenue

    It’s not your average fundraiser – we’re talking locally brewed beer, live music and food-cart fare. It’s Handcrafted, the Perkins Center’s spring celebration of awesome art and ale. But Handcrafted isn’t just about beer – it’s about everything handcrafted (although the artist-made beer steins and flights up for grabs in the silent auction are pretty cool). If beer isn’t your thing, don’t worry because there’s always an assortment of craft soda and spirits on hand too. Cheers!

  • Best Family-Friendly Fun

    Camden Riversharks
    Campbell’s Field
    401 North Delaware Avenue

    The Riversharks know how families can have fun: every day of the week, moms, dads and kids can take advantage of special offers that make a trip to the ballpark even more memorable. Think Dollar Tuesdays (select menu and merchandise items for just a buck), Friday Fireworks and Sunday Sundaes (baseball + ice cream = a home run!). (And don’t miss SJ Magazine Night on September 4. Tickets are just $5 when you use the code SJMAG).

  • Best Gift for the Guy Who Has Everything

    Bart’s Grill Cleaning

    He doesn’t need another gadget and he certainly doesn’t need another tie, so just what do you get the hard-to-buy-for man on your list? Have Bart’s Grill Cleaning come to your home and make that backyard grill shine. After a complete degreasing, deep-cleaning steam bath and inspection, the grill will fire up like new. The next time your guy cooks up the perfect steak, he’ll have you to thank.

  • Best Staircase for Weddings

    Collingswood Grande Ballroom
    315 White Horse Pike

    The magnificent staircase at Collingswood Grande Ballroom is straight out of a fairytale wedding. The mahogany handrail and wrought-iron accents make the sweeping staircase the perfect setting for some seriously elegant wedding photos every bride and groom will cherish.

  • Best Day Trip - with the Kids

    Creamy Acres Farm
    448 Lincoln Mill Road
    Mullica Hill

    Call your friends, because this tour requires at least 15 people. Creamy Acres is a working dairy farm, and you can see firsthand how it operates. You can also see farm animals along the barnyard walk and have lunch in the picnic area. The hour-long tour costs $6. Best of all, you get fresh dairy-made ice cream at the end of your tour.

  • Best Overnight Escape - Nearby

    The Lily Inn
    214 High Street

    The Lily Inn is a short drive from anywhere in SJ, so it’s easy to hop in the car and enjoy a relaxing, kid-free weekend. The historic building has five immaculate guest rooms, each appointed with beautiful antiques, 10-foot ceilings and blue marble fireplaces. The inn is located just steps from quaint shops and restaurants along the Delaware River, but innkeepers Murray and Eugenia Sonstein have created such a welcoming, cozy retreat that you might find it difficult to leave.

  • Best Workout for Your Brain

    710 Haddon Avenue

    Think of it like the gym, only for your brain. ExtraordinaryED offers nearly 20 enrichment classes each week (crochet, tai chi and digital photography are just a few) for adults, students and families. Plus, there are day, evening and weekend classes, so it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Go ahead, give it a try – your brain will thank you!

  • Best Medieval Merriment

    New Jersey Renaissance Faire
    At Liberty Lake
    1195 Florence-Columbus Road

    Lords and ladies of all ages can visit a world where knights, dragons and fairies play at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire each June. You can explore the bustling marketplace, mingle with costumed characters, and watch as jugglers and minstrels spread mischief and joy. Jousting tournaments, storytellers, singers and dancers make this family-friendly festival a must-attend.

  • Best Conversation with a Celebrity

    Katz JCC
    Festival of Arts, Books and Culture
    1301 Springdale Road
    Cherry Hill

    Katz JCC always draws an impressive line-up of artists, authors and entertainers to its Festival of Arts, Books and Culture, but the organization out-did itself last year when it landed featured guest Carrie Fisher. When SJ Mag editor Marianne Aleardi interviewed her before a sold-out crowd of 700 people, the audience got to see what appeared to be a comfortable conversation between friends. Fisher was gracious, funny and surprisingly down-to-earth as she shared candid stories about her famous parents, addiction and the price of fame. It was an experience fans throughout SJ will never forget.

  • Best Aerial Experience

    Seize the Breeze

    Imagine you’re peacefully floating through the air, enjoying panoramic views of the tranquil Pine Barrens and beautiful farmland surrounding Wharton State Forrest. No, it’s not a dream – it’s what you’ll experience during a hot-air balloon ride. Flights launch from several spots, including South Jersey Regional Airport and Red Lion Airport, under the command of experienced balloon pilot Harry Eastburn. You’ll float along the sky and get a truly unique perspective of SJ.

  • Best Leadership Program for Girls

    Alice Paul Institute
    128 Hooton Road
    Mount Laurel

    It’s no secret that we’re big proponents of empowering young women, so of course we think Alice Paul Institute’s Lead-A-Way program is pretty awesome. It’s a series of workshops for middle-school girls that explore the foundations of leadership, including creative thinking, organization, working cooperatively and team-building. We’re excited to know a new generation of female leaders is taking shape in SJ.

  • Best Place to Buy Sneakers

    Haddonfield Running Company
    121 Kings Highway East

    It’s like you’re shopping with a friend who happens to know a lot about sneakers. The sales associates at the Haddonfield Running Company get down on the floor to make sure you’re wearing sneaks that fit perfectly. And then they do something really crazy: they give you a pair to try on and tell you to leave the store and run in them. Odds are after that, you’re walking out with a pretty good pair of sneakers.

  • Best Health Food Store

    786 Haddon Avenue

    A Collingswood staple for 30 years, Healthworks is a corner shop loaded with vitamins and supplements, natural snacks, gluten-free foods, body-care products and even eco-friendly items for your home. But best of all, the sales associates there are knowledgeable and friendly. They’ll help you find exactly what you need to stay well.

  • Best Place to Buy a Baby Shower Gift

    111 Kings Highway East

    You can get some adorable (and meaningful) gifts – for both baby and mom – at this cute shop in Haddonfield. Look for the onesies with all-too-true sayings: “Maybe I just need a hug,” “Put yourself in my booties” and “Love Magnet.” For Mom, choose from a variety of fitted women’s tees with more inspirational words embroidered on them: “Trust your gut,” “Enjoy the ride” or “Been there, not doing that anymore.”

  • Best Place to Buy a Feel-Good Gift

    Adventure Aquarium
    1 Riverside Drive

    When you get inside the aquarium, ask for an escort to the gift shop. (Unless of course, you want to buy a ticket and check out the fun exhibits at the aquarium!) Inside the gift shop, you’ll find canvas art painted by none other than the resident penguins. We’re not kidding. The penguins walk across paint and their cute little footprints become precious art. Sizes are 12” x 9” and 14” x 11” for $35. And if the art doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing the proceeds from your sale benefit animal conservation efforts should.

  • Best Place to Shop for a Hostess Gift

    The American Table
    740 Haddon Avenue

    Owner Cyndi Zippilli opened this shop in hopes of reminding us all of simpler times shared around the family table. Visit her friendly store to find table linens, serving dishes, jarred jams and even special cookware for kids. If you’re lucky, Cyndi will be pulling out some of her fresh-baked cookies from the stove when you arrive.

  • Best Consignment – designer bags

    941 Haddonfield Road
    Cherry Hill

    If you like seeing Prada and Gucci dangling from your arm, check out the consignment corner inside Cranky’s. Stop in often because you never know what treasure will be on sale (often at more than half off retail): a Tory Burch nylon tote, a Gucci suede evening bag or Louis Vuitton shoulder bag. It doesn’t get on the shelf unless it’s in top condition, so here’s your chance to accessorize in style.

  • Best Consignment – with a conscience

    740 Haddon Avenue

    You’ll find everything here you would expect at a consignment shop, like gently used clothing, baby gear and books. The really cool part is that every month, owners Morgan and Eric Robinson donate some of their proceeds to a different local charity. Last month, it was the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This month, it’s local arts program Community Rocks. Plus, any items that don’t sell after a few months get donated to a shelter in Camden.

  • Best Place to Buy a Candle

    Pinelands Folk Music & Basketry Center
    31 White Street
    Mount Holly

    There’s a lot going on at this country store, like basket-weaving classes and music workshops. In fact, someone may spontaneously start playing an instrument – maybe a mandolin or dulcimer – when you go. But lo and behold, over with the unique selection of candles, you’ll find some sweet heaven known as the SoyRoma Lotion candle. This specialty candle is made with a soft, creamy formula and has a low melting point, only two degrees above the body’s natural temperature. So after it burns, you can rub the melted soy wax on the rough patches of your skin for a warm, lightly scented, luxury massage.

  • Best Old-School Gifts for Kids

    New Concept Sports Card and Hobby
    676 Stokes Road

    Go old-school, and buy your favorite kid a toy that doesn’t involve a digital screen or handheld device. At this family-friendly spot, you’ll find everything you need for all kinds of fun pastimes: model airplane kits, board games, skateboards, kites, even yo-yos. (When was the last time you saw a kid play with a yo-yo?)

  • Best Backyard Buys

    New Concept Sports Card and Hobby
    676 Stokes Road

    Spruce up the backyard with some interesting find from Springdale Farms, which has been operating in Cherry Hill for more than 60 years. You’ll find plenty of plants and flowers as well as mulch and fertilizer, but you’ll also bump into lots of pretty decorative features, like stepping stones and outdoor table accents. (And speaking of the table, stop by the bakery before you leave for a home-cooked treat.)

  • Best Shop for Moms to Buy Tights and Tutus

    444 West Route 70

    Serious dance moms know this is the place to go before dance classes start. The busy store sits right on Route 70, so pulling into the parking lot can be a little tricky, but it’s worth the trip. You’ll find all kinds of shoes, tights and leotards for whatever style of dance you’re little one is signed up for. (They also have character shoes if you have an actress in the family.) The sales women will help you with sizing and getting the right fit, and if you tell them what dance studio you go to, you’ll receive a 10-percent discount.

  • Best Home Décor Shopping

    The Summit Sampler
    117 Kings Highway East

    Somehow, The Summit Sampler has created a boutique feel in its very large, inventory-heavy store. The shop along Kings Highway is overflowing with lovely home furniture and accents – sometimes it’s hard to walk around – yet you still can appreciate the quaintness and beauty of each piece. Head there to add something special to your home.

  • Best Home Décor Shopping - retro

    Dig This
    717 Haddon Avenue

    If you’re looking for a Dean Martin vibe for your den or you like the appeal of an Ozzie-and-Harriet look in the kitchen, this vintage shop should be first on your list. (Don’t even get us started on how you can make your family room look like the Brady’s.) Inventory is constantly changing, so you’ll probably walk out with something funky and cool every time you visit. After all, who can resist an olive-green leather armchair?

  • Best Place to Shop with your Teen Daughter

    South Moon Under
    500 Route 73 South

    It’s brand new, and hip-and-happening fashionistas are loving this spot for clothing, accessories and shoes. The sales people are friendly, and the styles are fresh. (Dani Jonas was recently spotted wearing a jacket from South Moon on her reality show “Married to Jonas.”) Both moms and daughters can find something fabulous – and have fabulous fun shopping together.

  • Best Teddy Bears

    Teddies of Mt. Holly
    44 White Street
    Mount Holly

    This is for the serious teddy bear lover. Owner Pat Johnson has collected an extensive selection of adorable plush (and resin) bears from around the world. You’ll find bears from England, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia – and even New Jersey.

  • Best Gift Shop

    947 Route 73 South

    When you’re looking for something unique, check out the boutiques within a boutique at Mixellaneous. Each inch of the large shop is divided into specialties: baby (dubbed Babylicious), apparel, hand-painted furniture, housewares, toys. There’s even an in-house candy shop. Just added to the mix: birthday parties for kids and ladies’ night out.

  • Best Antiques

    The Browse Around Shop
    1366 Route 38

    Scour two floors – 8,500 square feet – of extraordinary antique finds. Proprietor Charles Johnson, who has owned the store for 45 years, is a regular at estate sales so you’ll see new merchandise every time you go. This is also the place to go if you have a treasured furniture piece that needs refinishing or repairing.

  • Best Comics

    The Comic Book Store
    30 North Main Street

    Television’s “Big Bang Theory” is making comic books cool, so here’s a hot spot if you like the animated tall tales. The friendly shop within walking distance of Rowan University holds old and new titles, as well as supplies for the serious collector, like protective bags. Bonus for frequent buyers: become a subscriber (guarantee a minimum of three titles a month) and you’ll receive a 10 percent discount on all new titles and supplies.

  • Best Bling

    Hippie Chick Boutique
    43 South Main Street
    Mullica Hill

    Even the flip-flops have bling at Hippie Chick. This cute little girly shop has all kinds of special add-ons to make your outfit shine: costume jewelry, hair accessories, shoes and handbags. They specialize in matching accessories to formal wear, so if you’re heading to prom or a black-tie fundraiser, head here first.

  • Best Cheese Market

    Bagliani’s Market
    417 12th Street

    Okay, there’s more to Bagliani’s than just cheese. But when it comes to cheese, the family-owned business goes all out. Every year, hundreds of locals come together for the Annual Giant Provolone Cutting at Bagliani’s. It’s cheese history in the making. With much ado, every 600-pound block of provolone is cut to each customer’s specifications after being perfectly aged for one year. It’s a sight – and taste – you just have to experience.


    Best of SJ The Shore >>

July 2013
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