Every year, we spend months shopping, playing and gorging our way through our towns and neighborhoods to track down the most amazing stores, marvelous attractions and delectable eateries our area has to offer.

A few exhausting weeks and extra pounds later, we have one incredibly comprehensive and invaluable Best of SJ list. What follows is our awesome, don’t-miss-it, everything-you’ve-gotta-try guide to the best of everything South Jersey. (By the way, if you need us, we’ll be at the gym).

Best of SJ The Shore  »

  • Best Bar Bites

    Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
    At Moorestown Mall
    400 Route 38 West, Moorestown

    When you’re meeting up with friends for a drink and want a little something to eat, Firebirds has just the thing. The restaurant’s Bar Bites menu is filled with tasty tidbits like shrimp tacos and tenderloin sliders. And what’s even better, everything on the special menu is discounted during happy hour.

  • Best Cakes Made By Reality TV Stars

    DiBartolo Bakery
    667 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    Bakery owner Al DiBartolo and his coworker Manny Agigian serve up dessert with a dash of entertainment. The pair has been featured on the Food Network’s “Save My Bakery” and were the runners-up on season four of TLC’s “The Next Great Baker.” The success hasn’t gone to their heads though­ – DiBartolo is still the delicious bakery next door.

  • Best Fried Pickles

    In a Pickle
    530 Crown Point Road,
    West Deptford

    As this deli’s name suggests, pickles are a big hit here. Each thick, tangy pickle slice is breaded and fried until it’s perfectly golden-brown, creating an awesome, bite-sized appetizer that’s hard to resist. All three varieties – traditional, Southern and jalapeño – come perfectly paired with a creamy ranch dipping sauce.

  • Best New Farm

    Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm
    2691 Monmouth Road, Jobstown

    IMG_5650So, Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm isn’t exactly new – the sprawling, 315-acre farm was established in 1693 – but it is the newest place to go for down-home fun in South Jersey. Just like its sister property in Medford, this Johnson’s location has activities for the whole family – and yes, they also have everyone’s favorite apple cider doughnuts!

  • Best Chocolate Martinis

    Carlucci’s Waterfront
    876 Centerton Road,
    Mount Laurel

    The chocolate martinis at Carlucci’s are silky smooth and oh, so delicious. The bartenders use both crème de cacao and Hershey’s Syrup, so there’s no shortage of chocolatey goodness. Order one (or maybe two) martinis and enjoy the waterfront view from Carlucci’s beautiful outdoor lounge.

  • Best Wings

    Pic-A-Lilli Inn
    866 Route 206, Shamong

    Mild, spicy, hot or smoky – any way you like them, there’s no denying that the wings at The Pic are the best around. If you still haven’t made it to the legendary Shamong restaurant, go now.

  • Best Sushi

    300 South Lenola Road, Maple Shade

    IMG_5615There’s a reason people crowd into Yokohama – the sushi can’t be beat. Pick any of the chef’s specialty rolls, and you’ll be in sushi heaven. Don’t miss the New Jersey roll (shrimp tempura, cream cheese, eel, avocado and caviar).

  • Best Swim Club

    Katz JCC
    1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill

    006 (2)The Katz JCC’s Summer Swim Club is the coolest way to beat the heat. When you join, you get access to the outdoor pool at the JCC’s Cherry Hill location, which has lap lanes, a kiddie pool, a snack bar and lots of comfy seating. You can also use the pool – and lake – at JCC Camps at Medford and its huge water slide, splash park and playground.

  • Best Monday-Night Family Dinner

    Tortilla Press
    703 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    Banish those beginning-of-the-week blahs with dinner at Tortilla Press, where kids eat free every Monday night (one free entrée from the kids’ menu for every full-price adult entrée ordered). The family-friendly offer is also good at Tortilla Press Cantina in Merchantville, just in case mom and dad need a margarita fix (no judgment from us), or you can always bring your own tequila to the Collingswood location.

  • Best Meal Served on a Front Porch

    Marlton Tavern
    65 East Main Street, Marlton

    The Marlton Tavern is set inside a Victorian-era house, with the main dining room where the front porch would be. Don’t miss the all-you-can-eat snow crab special on Wednesday and Thursday nights – yes, really!

  • Best Addition to Your Wine Tasting Party

    Cheese Etc. & Gourmet Gifts
    Soha Arts Building
    1001 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township

    Sure, you’ve got the reds, the whites and the rosés – but do you have snacks? The cheese spreads from Cheese Etc. are just the creamy complement you need. Flavors like Fig ’N Zola (gorgonzola blended with figs and fig preserves, with a swirl of balsamic vinegar) and Berry Grigio (white cheddar blended with pinot grigio and strawberry preserves) will have guests raising their glasses in your honor.

  • Best Fresh Pasta

    Matteo’s Italian Foods
    673 Cross Keys Road, Sicklerville

    When you’ve got guests to impress and lots of mouths to feed, there’s nothing better – or easier – than a giant platter of fresh pasta. Whether you need fettuccine, pappardelle, fusilli or rotini, get it from Matteo’s and let everyone think you spent hours in the kitchen.

  • Best Pot Pie

    Black Horse Diner
    152 North Black Horse Pike, Mount Ephraim

    Is there anything better than true comfort food from a classic South Jersey diner? The Black Horse Diner’s giant chicken pot pie, piled high with veggies and covered with a golden crust, is just like mom used to make.

  • Best Special-Occasion Cakes

    Classic Cake Company
    480 Evesham Road,
    Cherry Hill

    zIMG_0508Planning a birthday party or wedding? Celebrating a new baby or bar mitzvah? Then calling Classic Cake should be at the top of your to-do list. The bakery always turns out custom cakes that look and taste amazing.

  • Best Gourmet Pizza

    Pizza Amore
    77 Hartford Road, Delran

    The fresh pies at Pizza Amore have become the standard by which we measure all others. Thanks to an abundance of fresh toppings and a huge menu (we love the Carciofo, with mozzarella, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes), we’ve yet to find any that compare.

  • Best Resort Treatment, Without the Resort

    Spavia Moorestown
    1670 Nixon Drive, Moorestown

    For those times you need to fit a little bliss into your hectic schedule, Spavia Moorestown is the solution. As soon as you step into the calming day spa, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a five-star resort. Choose from an assortment of massages, facials, wraps and other treatments, and you’ll soon find yourself in a state of utter relaxation.

  • Best Calamari

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

    TCG_Calamari_2010The pan-fried calamari is what The Capital Grille calls their “signature appetizer.” We just call it delicious. Served with hot cherry peppers, the golden clusters of calamari have a perfect combination of crunch and spice. Trust us when we say one order might not be enough.

  • Best Book Festival

    Collingswood Book Festival
    Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    Every year, book lovers flock to Collingswood for poetry readings, workshops and the chance to hear from their favorite authors. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, October 1 from 10 am to 4 pm. And special guests include SJ Magazine’s Marianne Aleardi, Maury Z. Levy and Sally Friedman, who will talk about their book “Worth Repeating.”

  • Best Lobster Ravioli

    515 Fellowship Road,
    Mount Laurel

    We’ll keep this short and sweet: Get yourself to Redz and order the lobster ravioli. Then, just try not to lick the plate clean. Really, it’s that good.

  • Best Prix-Fixe Menus

    The Madison
    33 Lafayette Street, Riverside

    The prix-fixe menus at The Madison change with the seasons, so you know you’re always getting the freshest local ingredients that have been carefully selected by Chef Jack Connor himself. With four courses ­for just $35, you can’t go wrong.

  • Best New Spin on Girls’ Night Out

    225 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown

    Workshops1Painting canvases is so 2015. Instead, gather up your girlfriends for a private painting class at Soldier58. You’ll learn to detail, varnish or paint one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, or sign up for a vintage finish workshop or a how-to class about cabinet makeovers. While you’re there, shop the hand-painted and antique furniture and home décor pieces – we’ve already started refurnishing our homes with these gorgeous pieces.

  • Best Restaurant for Your Special Event

    Tre Famiglia
    403 North Haddon Avenue, Haddonfield

    Next time you’re planning a shower, birthday dinner, retirement party or even just dinner with your large group of friends, call Tre Famiglia. They’ve become experts at providing exceptional Italian cuisine to groups in their beautiful space on Haddon Avenue. Check in next year when their expansion next door should be complete – to host even larger groups!

  • Best Sandwiches

    Short Hills Restaurant & Deli
    486 East Evesham Road, Cherry Hill

    We love all the options at Short Hills, but sometimes we just have to sit back and admire the variety and quality of their sandwiches. (More than 20 different clubs! Loaded hoagies! Gourmet sandwiches!) Ask for the “L3” – hot corned beef and pastrami with Swiss cheese, served on two potato pancakes.
  • Best Barber Shop

    Franco’s Barbering at Rizzieri
    At Moorestown Mall
    400 Route 38, Moorestown

    Francos-1-14-16Shot1When Frank Rizzieri’s grandfather started in the hair industry in the 1920s, he opened Franco’s barber shop. Today, you can step back in time and get a true men’s haircut (or straight-razor shave) in this vintage shop, complete with traditional chairs salvaged from a New York barber shop.

  • Best Salads

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

    We’ve loved every salad we’ve ever ordered from Seasons 52. They’re great as a starter (the crisp romaine and baby kale Caesar is a favorite) and even an entrée (we recommend the sesame grilled salmon). No matter which salad you select, you’ll always get a plate full of fresh, flavorful goodness.
  • Best Kids’ Birthday Party

    Movement Lab
    710 East Park Avenue, Hainesport

    For your little ninja warrior – Movement Lab will create an obstacle course in their gym that mimics the famous “American Ninja Warrior” TV show. And this gym knows ninja warrior obstacles; the gym’s two owners have made it to the final rounds on the show. Cost is $300 for a two-hour party for 15 kids.

  • Best Calorie-Conscious Crabcakes

    Bobby Chez Crabcakes
    1990 Route 70 East,
    Cherry Hill

    You’re counting calories, but need to satisfy your seafood craving. Enter Bobby Chez (of course!), who now has broiled jumbo lump crabcakes, served in a natural crab shell without the breading. At just 100 calories each, you can still have your (crab)cake and eat it too.

  • Best Mind-Testing Fun

    Escape Room South Jersey
    710 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    The escape room craze is sweeping the country – and South Jersey finally has an escape room of its own! There’s nothing quite as fun (and sometimes funny) as gathering a big group of friends, solving puzzles and finding clues to escape the traps, like our favorite, the Cold War-themed “American Embassy Room.”

  • Best Loaded Burger

    Dooney’s Pub & Restaurant
    1361 Fairview Boulevard, Delran

    Save your appetite for this one – a house burger topped with corned beef and bacon, served with horseradish cheddar and spicy mustard on a pretzel roll. Oh, plus fries. It’s massive, and it’s so good.

  • Best Evening Gowns

    Jan’s Boutique
    406 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill

    When we needed six stunning evening gowns to photograph our Women of Excellence honorees, we knew exactly where to go. Jan’s has a large selection of beautiful gowns and dresses for any special occasion.

  • Best Teen Birthday Party

    The Melting Pot
    584 Route 38 East,
    Maple Shade

    What could be more fun than celebrating your birthday with fondue! The Melting Pot can accommodate any group size, so invite as many lively teens as you want – they’ll love the choice of cheeses (how about the Buffalo Wisconsin Trio?), dipping sauces (maybe some red curry coconut?) and of course, the selection of chocolate sauces for dessert (chocolate s’mores…yum!).

  • Best Heavy-Duty Fun for Grownups

    Diggerland USA
    100 Pinedge Drive,
    West Berlin

    You’ve enviously watched the kids ride in, play on and drive the cool heavy machinery at Diggerland − now you can finally have a turn. The construction-themed adventure park is now offering supersized heavy equipment just for those 18 and up. Diggerland XL visitors can operate three giant machines following one-on-one instruction from a heavy machinery foreman.

  • Best Hot Dog from a Burger Joint

    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
    2026 Route 70 West,
    Cherry Hill

    Yep, we said it – hot dogs. The toppings you’re used to piling onto your Five Guys burger might be even more delicious atop a perfectly grilled, all-beef hot dog. This is a hot dog game-changer: The folks at Five Guys split the juicy dog right down the middle and stuff your choice of toppings inside…Why didn’t we think of that?

  • Best Decade of Making SJ Beautiful

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

    It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since (thriv.) opened its doors. In that time, the salon’s professional colorists and stylists have worked their magic on countless clients. Though the styles have definitely changed over the years, their commitment to making sure you look beautiful has never wavered.

  • Best Bar with Live Music

    Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar
    At Moorestown Mall
    400 Route 38, Moorestown

    Every Thursday and Friday night, you can have a drink and listen to some feel-good, easy listening music from 8 to 11 pm. But if you get there at 8, you won’t get a seat at the bar, so plan an early dinner and then head to the bar for a super-fun nightcap.

  • Best Stop on the Way to the Shore

    Henri’s Hotts Barbeque
    1003 East Black Horse Pike, Folsom

    Henri’s Hotts doesn’t make “fast food,” but everything here is worth waiting for. Stop in for lunch on your way to the Shore and savor a homemade meal. You can’t go wrong with ribs or pulled pork, and don’t even think about skipping the mac ‘n cheese.

  • Best Seafood Feast

    Blue Claw Crab & Seafood Eatery
    4494 Route 130 North, Burlington Township

    There’s only one place in SJ where you’ll find seafood served like this. Blue Claw’s seafood feasts come in huge bowls that are absolutely loaded with the freshest blue, king, snow and Dungeness crabs. The two-person feast options also include a double serving of corn on the cob, veggies and homemade soup. Bring your appetite, because this is one serious seafood selection.

  • Best Storybook Wedding

    Braddock’s Tavern
    39 South Main Street, Medford

    Nuptials held in Braddock’s Colonial Room usually elicit lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” – the brass chandeliers, bay windows and French doors are classically romantic and elegant. And when a Braddock’s bride walks down the courtyard aisle, it’s straight out of a fairy tale.

  • Best Pancake Fries

    The Pop Shop
    729 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    What? Pancake fries? We must be in pancake heaven! These unique specialty treats are prepared with The Pop Shop’s homemade recipe, and we’ve never tasted anything like them. Doused in cinnamon and powdered sugar, the awesome breakfast/dessert is one of our favorite new discoveries. (That’s why we featured it on the cover!)

  • Best Corner Store

    McFarlan’s Market
    27 South Centre Street, Merchantville

    Remember the good old days when the corner store was a friendly neighborhood spot to buy really good food? Well, you can have that experience at McFarlan’s. This nostalgic corner store offers an authentic butcher counter, shelves of specialty foods and to top it off – the friendliest customer service. Good news for Collingswood residents: McFarlan’s is about to open on Haddon and Washington Avenues.

  • Best Tennis Lessons

    Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club
    1820 Old Cuthbert Road, Cherry Hill

    DSC_4550a - Version 2

    Maybe you’re a newbie on the tennis court, or maybe you’ve got a great backhand but want to work on your serve. Either way, the experienced tennis pros at Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club can get you into the swing of things. The club also offers an assortment of tennis camps, leagues, tournaments and drills for kids and adults.

  • Best Outdoor Dining

    601 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    New this year, the outdoor dining patio at Sapori is spacious, cozy and a great reason to head to this Collingswood treasure for some authentic Italian cuisine. But be sure to make a reservation – you won’t get a table outside or inside without one!

  • Best Place for the Kids to Burn Off Energy

    The Salvation Army
    Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
    1865 Harrison Avenue, Camden

    Stop the “I’m bored” chants before they even start by heading to the Kroc Center. The huge 120,000-square-foot community center has an assortment of sports programs, music and arts classes, and one of the coolest water parks we’ve ever seen (there’s a waterslide, splash buckets, fountains and even a lazy river). The facility is open to kids and adults of all ages, so grownups can get in on the fun too.

  • Best Bagels

    Mount Royal Bagel Company
    101 Route 73 South, Marlton

    Our carb-loving hearts skipped a beat when we tried the handmade bagels here. They’re made using a technique that hails from Canada – the bagels are boiled in honey water and then baked on oak planks in a wood-burning brick oven – so they’re sweeter and denser than their American counterparts.

  • Best Tater Tots

    1800 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill

    Listen, we love the French fry just as much as the next person, but there’s something to be said for the underrated tater tot. At Rockhill, the tater tots are just as crispy and delicious as their more popular potato cousin, and their round shape makes them the perfect vessel for the restaurant’s amazing homemade sauces. We love the Wisconsin (cheddar cheese and bacon) and Montreal (gravy and cheese sauce).

  • Best Outdoor Furniture Selection

    Green Lea
    204 Route 73, Voorhees

    Green Lea showcases their outdoor furniture in the main store and three greenhouses. They have so much inventory you’re sure to find something to turn your backyard into a special haven.

  • Best Customer Service

    2 Centerton Road,
    Mount Laurel

    It’s not easy to run a mega-store serving thousands of shoppers and still have a staff who treats every customer like a friend they can’t wait to help. Wegmans does that. Just leave the store during a heavy thunderstorm – and see who’s waiting outside with an umbrella.

  • Best Thrift Store

    Frugal Resale
    740 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    Whether you’re hunting for a prom dress or an amazing pair of cowboy boots, treasures abound at this adorably appointed downtown Collingswood shop. If you’re just window-shopping, this is the best place to do it. The inventive window displays are reason enough to drop by.

  • Best Crepes

    Café Flora
    100 Springdale Road,
    Cherry Hill

    Café Flora gets its name from the flower shop with which it shares an entrance, but the flowers aren’t the only beautiful things around. The creperie offers perfectly folded crepes in a ton of varieties. They even offer breakfast crepes, packed with eggs, cheese and fresh vegetables. Get a little taste of Paris right here in SJ!

  • Best Specials

    Nunzio Ristorante Rustico
    706 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood

    You can’t go wrong ordering anything off the menu at this Italian treasure, but it’s always a treat to hear what Chef Nunzio has prepared for the evening. If the waiter happens to offer osso buco as a special, request that! You won’t be disappointed. (Of course, if the rack of lamb is a special, you won’t be disappointed with that either.)

  • Best Airport Meal

    Runway Café
    At South Jersey Regional Airport
    68 Stacy Haines Road, Lumberton

    This little café is a great choice for breakfast or lunch, especially if you want to spend some quality time staring out a window. From the cushioned booths, you can watch planes come and go on South Jersey Regional Airport’s runways while enjoying a weekly special like the brioche French toast.

  • Best Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

    UMMM Ice Cream Parlor
    236 High Street,
    Burlington City

    Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the best, like getting homemade sweets from an old-fashioned ice cream parlor like UMMM. Grab a two-scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream – try not to go back for seconds, if you can help it – and enjoy the breeze off the Delaware in the outdoor seating area.

  • Best Man Cave Meets General Store

    Gorshin Trading Post
    125 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield

    Gorshin Trading Post has brought a rugged vibe to downtown Haddonfield. The store’s carefully curated merchandise – ranging from clothing and accessories to grooming gear and gourmet food – is artfully displayed inside the former tavern.

  • Best Raw Bar

    The Riverwinds
    1075 Riverwinds Drive,
    West Deptford

    Grab a couple of friends, because you’ll need help eating the shellfish tower from the raw bar menu. Order a glass of white wine from the expansive drink menu and feast on oysters, clams, jumbo shrimp, crab and the piéce de résistance, chilled Maine lobster.

  • Best Turkish Coffee

    Star Manti
    4000 Route 130 North, Delran

    Turkish coffee is steeped in rituals that go back nearly 500 years, and they’re still honored at Star Manti. The rich, aromatic coffee is served in an exquisite cup that sits on an embellished platter resting atop a red velvet pillow, much like Turkish royalty received in the old days. It’s much more than just a cup of coffee – it’s an unforgettable experience.

  • Best Two-Bite Treats

    Indulgence Cupcakery
    43 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield

    smoreWe love our share of sweet treats, but we especially love the perfectly petite cupcakes made by Indulgence Cupcakery – the miniature pastries in crazy-imaginative flavors like Irish cream, maple bacon and passion fruit champagne. They’re always fresh and, most importantly, won’t leave you feeling guilty afterward.

  • Best Outdoor Flea Market

    Berlin Farmers Market
    41 Clementon Road, Berlin

    Spend a weekend morning on the ultimate treasure hunt, scouring the aisles of the outdoor vendors at the Berlin Farmers Market. There’s a little bit of everything, from bicycles and antique furniture to kids’ toys and sports equipment, and everybody’s willing to make a deal, so come ready to haggle.

  • Best Way to Spend a Clear Summer Night

    Movies in Knight Park
    Collings Avenue & West Browning Road, Collingswood

    When we want to kick back and enjoy a breezy summer evening, we turn to free movies in Collingswood’s Knight Park. What could be more peaceful than watching the big screen from a comfy beach chair or blanket? Check our website for a complete schedule.

  • Best Saturday Night Bonfires

    Amalthea Cellars
    209 Vineyard Road, Atco

    We’ve been raving about Amalthea Cellars for years (we even filmed a segment of our TV show “This is South Jersey” there), simply because they create fantastic wine (they’ve won lots of really impressive awards). But not only is the wine there unbelievable, so is the setting. Once the sun goes down on Saturday nights, wine is poured, music starts playing and the bonfire gets going. Cheers!

  • Best Cigar Club Membership

    Burnz Cigar Vault & Lounge
    239 North White Horse Pike, Lawnside

    If you’re a cigar lover (or know one), then Burnz Cigar Vault & Lounge has just the club. Members of the swanky lounge are treated to cedar cigar lockers, a juice and coffee bar, and seven flat-screen TVs, along with special discounts and access to special events. The lounge, which is owned by former “Survivor” contestant Gervase Peterson, has three levels of membership, each one better than the next.

  • Best Way to Up Your Eyebrow Game

    A Medical Spa At Rizzieri
    At Moorestown Mall
    400 Route 38, Moorestown

    Ask the experts at A Medical Spa At Rizzieri, and they’ll tell you that great eyebrows don’t happen by chance. Enter microblading, a semi-permanent solution to sparse, over-plucked, over-waxed and thinning eyebrows. Just one procedure will have your brows on point for nine to 18 months.


    Best of SJ The Shore  »

July 2016
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