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You have to admit, one of the toughest things about the quarantine was all the South Jersey fun we were missing. We live in such a wonderful place to have dinner with friends or enjoy a family day out with the kids. Our hometowns are packed with spots that make life delicious, lively and special. We’re highlighting some we think are the best. We know you can think of a few others too. That’s what makes South Jersey so incredibly special.

2020 Best of SJ The Shore>>

  • Best Next-Level Marshmallow

    The Artisan Marshmallow
    theartisanmarshmallowco.com

    You’ve never seen marshmallows like this before. You’ll be in ooey-gooey heaven with these unique treats. (Ever heard of a Bourbon vanilla marshmallow? Us neither, but we want one.)

  • Best Soul Food

    Corinne’s Place
    corinnesplace.com

    For 31 years, Corinne Powers has been offering soul food and Southern cooking, and foodies from all over have been loving
    it. Special treat: they also offer vegan and vegetarian options.

  • Best Adventure Pass for your Pre-K’er

    Adventure Aquarium
    adventureaquarium.com

    You’ve got until July 12 to sign up for this one, so hurry. Kids ages 2 to 5 get unlimited free visits to Adventure Aquarium for 1 year with the Pre-K Adventure Pass. (This way you won’t miss the Pre-K playdates every Tuesday.)

  • Have some SJ favs you’d like to shout out? Take the Best of SJ Readers’ Poll here.

  • Best Gluten-Free Food Market

    Bleu Bear Market
    bleubearmarket.com

    Imagine a Wawa but all the fresh grab-and-go and made-to-order food is gluten free. That’s what Bleu Bear Market in Marlton is all about.

  • Best Spot for Your Outdoor Wedding

    The Madison
    cafemadison.com

    There’s a lot of reasons to plan your wedding at The Madison, from the phenomenal menu to reception rooms that can be transformed to fit your vision. And then there’s the courtyard for your ceremony, with its towering stone fireplace and twinkling lights. Your day – and your photos – will be epic.

  • Best Mac & Cheese

    Cheese Etc. & Gourmet Gifts
    cheeseetc.com

    Made with homemade in­­gre­dients, these aren’t your quick boxed meals. Choose from garlic & herb, pub beer, bacon chive and pimento. It’s a lot of mac & cheese goodness.

  • Best Flavors of Summer

    Latteria
    latterialove.com

    Latteria’s all-natural, homemade ice cream comes in so many flavors you’ll be asking for samples of everything. Check their website at 3 pm for the day’s flavors. Two scoops of the Coconut Dark Chip, please.

  • Best Iced Tea

    Mademoiselle Macaron
    lamademoisellemacaron.com

    Gone are the days when your only iced-tea options were sweetened or unsweetened. Wash down your homemade macarons with flavors like Raspberry Mojito or Indigo Punch.

  • Best Wings for Every Occasion

    Pic-A-Lilli Inn
    picalilli.com

    You might think wings aren’t appropriate for every get-together (which, first of all, how dare you), but these wing sauces will change your mind. Garlic parm or Jim Bean Maple? SJ foodies can’t decide.

  • Best Gourmet Pizza

    Pizza Amore
    pizzaamoredelran.com

    Get creative with a primavera, buffalo chicken or hoagie-style pie. Amalfi pizza with ricotta and mozzarella cheese topped with tomato sauce and sausage? Sign us up.

  • Best Cut and Color

    Thriv. Salon & Spa
    thrivesalon.com

    Let’s face it: after months of quarantine, most of us needed to spend some ser­i­ous quality time in a salon chair. The pros at Thriv.
    are masters of the cut and color, so whether you arrive with inches of roots or an ill-advised at-home dye job, you’ll leave feeling like a whole new you.

  • Best “Pickle-Bar-Included” Meal

    Short Hills Restaurant & Deli
    shorthillsdeli.com

    Wondering if your homemade matzoh ball soup, plate of lox or thick sliced hot pastrami sandwich comes with pickles? Oh, you bet they do.

  • Best Way to Elevate Your Tailgate

    Chickie’s & Pete’s
    chickiesandpetes.com

    Chickie’s & Pete’s isn’t just serving burgers and fries – they’ve got lobster rolls and cheesesteak nachos to up the ante at your next tailgate. Whenever that may be, it will be epic.

  • Best Mexican Meal with a Local Twist

    The Tortilla Press
    thetortillapress.com

    Come for delicious homegrown meals. The local tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, peppers and cilantro in their Jersey-fresh salsa are straight outta SJ farms.

  • Best Specialty Classes

    Katz JCC
    katzjcc.org

    So much more than an upscale gym, the JCC offers specialty programs for all different needs. Pedaling for Parkinson’s and Pilates for Neurological Disorders are just some of the classes that focus on promoting wellness of the mind, body and spirit.

  • Best Italian Dinner Like Your Nonna Used to Make

    Sal & Joe’s Spaghetti and Pizza House
    salandjoespizza.com

    From the old-world décor to homemade pasta soaked in freshly-made sauce, Sal & Joe’s will have you feeling like you stepped back in time and right into grandma’s dining room.

  • Best Breakfast Sandwich

    K & A Bagel Cafe
    kabagelcafe.com

    As far as we’re concerned, a fresh-baked Jersey bagel is the only way to start the weekend. Pork roll, egg and cheese on sesame? It’ll be gone before you even get to the car.

  • Best Barbershop

    Rizzieri Salon and Spa
    rizzieri.com

    Nothing says gentleman’s day like laying back with hot lather for a straight-razor shave. You’ll feel dapper whether you leave with the perfect fade or rockin’ mullet (we’re serious – they’re coming back).

  • Best Celebration Cake

    Classic Cake
    classiccake.com

    Try the carrot cake, with its fruity, nutty flavor blend, stick with the award-winning tiramisu cake or have something custom-made. Whatever you choose, don’t expect to have a crumb left.

  • Best Seriously Seasonal Dish

    Seasons52
    seasons52.com

    Entrées show up on the menu for only a few months, being updated as the seasons change. That can mean only one thing: you need to go all year long to try all the great dishes.

  • Best Fresh-Caught Feast

    Blue Claw Seafood & Crab Eatery
    crabeatery.com

    There’s nothing that says “Summer in SJ” like a trip to this crab house, a Burlington institution for nearly 50 years. Tie on a bib and get cracking on a big pile of fresh-caught crabs.

  • Enter for the chance to win a Best of SJ Prize Pack!

  • Best “Just Trust Us” Treat

    The Wing Kitchen
    thewingkitchen.com

    Our new obsession is chicken-fried doughnuts. Picture golden-brown donuts dipped in buttermilk and flour, seasoned to perfection and served with powdered sugar. Look out chicken and waffles.

  • Best “Treat Yourself” Outing

    DiBartolo Bakery
    dibartolobakery.com

    Treat yourself to a ricotta cannoli cheesecake or sticky bun and you may even catch a glimpse of TV-worthy cake (literally – Al DiBartolo has competed on TLC’s “The Next Great Baker” and Food Network’s “Halloween Wars.”)

  • Best Gifts for Your Special Moments

    Family Jewelers
    familyjewelers.com

    With more than 80 years in business, Family Jewelers has been a trusted name to generations of customers. These are jewelers with the taste, expertise and creativity to help you figure out exactly which sparkly gift you must have.

  • Best Edible Art

    Golden Sun Artistry
    goldensunartistry.com

    If you can dream it, this small-but-mighty shop can bake it. Order a custom dessert in whatever size, shape or flavor you can
    imagine. The bakers will work with you to customize a delicious work of culinary creativity.

  • Best Special-Occasion Dinner for 2

    The ChopHouse
    thechophouse.us

    Whether you’re dining on the lakeside patio or picking up your meal to take home, The ChopHouse will make your celebration
    one to remember. Choose from delicious entrées like their 6oz filet mignon and lobster mac n’ cheese. Save room for dessert.

  • Great Food that Does Good

    CK Cafe’s delicious sandwiches are named for spots in the city – try The Pyne Point or The Fairview. And as if the delicious food wasn’t reason enough to swing by, you’ll be supporting Cathedral Kitchen’s inspiring meal service and job-training programs.

  • Have some SJ favs you’d like to shout out? Vote in our Best of SJ Readers’ Poll here.

  • Best 4 PM Jukebox Breakfast

    Silver Diner
    silverdiner.com

    Bring a few quarters for the jukebox, so you’ll be jiving and jamming when you dig into a big stack of blueberry buttermilk pancakes, topped off with a hand-spun black & white shake.

  • Best Gnocchi (Once Again…)

    Tre Famiglia
    trefamiglia.com

    It’s hard to go wrong with anything at Tre Famiglia. But for us, there might as well be just one thing on the menu: the house-made gnocchi. The airy potato dumplings are so heavenly they’ve earned our recognition again and again and again…

  • Best Beer for Foodies

    Iron Hill Brewery
    ironhillbrewery.com

    For everyone looking for the next cool flavor, these seasonal beers go straight from the taps to your table, meaning that Red Wagon strawberry rhubarb kettle sour is as fresh as it is trendy.

  • Best Buy Local Shop

    The Camden Store
    camdeneverything.com

    With more than 50 designs that promote Camden, this is the ultimate shop for finding Camden pride wear. Make sure to sport a “Camden Fresh” tee to their open mic nights and panel Q&As.

  • Enter for the chance to win a Best of SJ Prize Pack!

  • Best Summer Beers

    Flying Fish Brewing Co.
    flyingfish.com

    Flying Fish’s seasonal collection has something for everyone. Salt and Sea is perfect for a beach day. Hazy Bones is a BBQ favorite. XPA Citra Pale Ale is clutch on a fishing trip. We could go on…

  • Best One-Stop Shop for Plant People

    Bespoke Home & Life
    bespokehomeandlife.com

    Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still find the perfect plant from their very cool inventory.

  • Best Bar at a Bowling Alley

    Pinsetter’s Bar & Bowl
    pinsetterbowl.com

    What’s the next best thing to a perfect 300 game? How about a craft cocktail or a fresh-poured brew between strikes and spares.
    Head to the large patio tables to keep the party going even after the pins are down.

  • Best Way to Feel Fancy – Outside

    Caffe Aldo Lamberti
    caffelamberti.com

    How can you improve on a meal of homemade pasta paired with an incredible wine? Eat it al fresco, of course. The outdoor patio at Caffé Aldo Lamberti is cozy and elegant at the same time.

  • Best Sky-High Fun

    The Gravity Vault
    gravityvault.com

    From team-building exercises to unforgettable birthday parties, nothing beats a trip to this indoor rock-climbing gym.
    You’ll want to go back again and again. The climbing courses change monthly, so boredom is not an option.

  • Best Wine Pairing Every Time

    The Capital Grille
    thecapitalgrille.com

    You don’t have to be a fine-wine connoisseur to get a pour that expertly brings out the flavors of your meal. With more than 350 world-class wines, every dish has its perfect pairing.

  • Best 10-Napkin Stack of Ribs

    Lumpy’s BBQ
    lumpysrestaurant.com

    Grab the entire napkin dispenser. Lumpy’s has a reputation for tasty ribs slathered with just the right amount of their signature
    BBQ sauce.

  • Best Insta-Perfect Family Outing

    Johnson’s Corner Farm
    johnsonsfarm.com

    Switch on portrait mode for a candid of the family hayride or pumpkin-picking outing. At Johnson’s Corner Farm, great Instagram photos make even better memories. #TooCute

  • Have some SJ favs you’d like to shout out? Vote in our Best of SJ Readers’ Poll here.

  • Best Retro Arcade

    Game On! Arcade
    gameonmedford.com

    Whether you’re looking to relive the glory days – mashing buttons and flicking joysticks – or to take virtual reality gaming for a spin, Medford’s Game On! Arcade is fun for the whole family. You can play the classics, like Donkey Kong, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man and much, much more.

  • Best Throwback Family Outing

    The Pop Shop
    thepopshopusa.com

    Have your 2000’s kids step back to a time of sock hops and chocolate malts as you dig into a deluxe burger and create-your-own ice cream sundae at the niftiest ice-cream counter in town.

  • Best Crab Cakes

    Since 1997, Bobby Chez has been a household name for one delicious reason: the gourmet, can’t-be-beat jumbo lump crab cakes that bear his name. You know them, you love them, and if you haven’t tried them yet, what are you waiting for?

  • Best Build-Your-Own Seafood Dinner

    Nunzio Ristorante Rustico
    nunzios.net

    What do cozze, granchio, polipo, gamberoni and branzino have in common? They’re all on the menu at Nunzio’s. (In English, that’s mussels, crab, octopus, shrimp, and European bass.) Put them together to create your own dinner.

  • Best Dinner with a View

    Carlucci’s Waterfront
    carlucciswaterfront.com

    Settle into your seat along the banks of the Rancocas Creek, order a Perfect Martini (it’s called that for a reason), and experience South Jersey’s most peaceful patio dining experience. It’s a great spot for lunch or happy hour, but the real show starts at sundown.

  • Best Specialty Foods

    Wegmans
    wegmans.com

    If staying home for months taught us anything, it’s that our routine recipes can get real boring, real quick. Suddenly we’re all
    culinary creatives, but where to find a new recipe’s special ingredient? Wegmans, of course.

  • Most Fun You Can Have at a Library

    Burlington County Library System
    bcls.lib.nj.us

    Forget everything you’ve ever thought a library should be. With a Burlington County Library card, you can stream movies, take online classes, learn a new language, attend virtual activities, and even borrow a day-pass to dozens of museums and attractions.

  • Best Way to Spice Up Your BBQ

    Fresh Grill Paella
    freshgrillpaella.com

    Fresh Grill Paella will set up right in your backyard. Before you know it you’ll be enjoying the sight, smell – and unreal tastes – of a huge pan of paella, the classic Spanish rice dish you’ll crave even after you’ve eaten.

  • Enter for the chance to win our Best of SJ Prize Pack!

  • Best Balcony for a Wedding Photo

    Camden County Boathouse
    camdencountyboathouse.com

    Celebrate the moment your betrothed said “I do” on the expansive wrap-around balcony overlooking the Cooper River. It’s the ultimate South Jersey way to tie the knot.

July 2020
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