Local Vibes

Local Vibes

Local Vibes

Craving Eggplant Parmesan in South Jersey? Here Are the Locals’ Top Recommendations.

Eggplant Parmesan is a favorite classic Italian dish that we enjoy at my house, and it’s a very affordable dish to make.

I love eggplant Parmesan but the number of steps you must take to make it is a pain in the neck. You must peel the eggplant, salt it to remove excess moisture and to tone down the bitterness. Salting the eggplant also makes it less spongy.

Then, you must slice it thin enough, so it cooks up to a perfect crisp. Then there’s the flour coating, the egg dip, the seasoning, and the breadcrumbs. Oy Vey!

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Heating the oil to the perfect temperature of 350 degrees for frying is the easiest part, or maybe eating it is the easiest part.

I make eggplant Parmesan maybe once or twice a year, and chicken cutlet Parmesan once or twice a month.

Finding exceptional eggplant Parmesan in the outside world is not easy. Some places make it a soggy mess. Some places don’t cook the eggplant properly, making it tough to eat.

I’ve eaten at places that just throw all the ingredients together without any thought. I’ve also eaten at places that do a spectacular job, those are the places that I return to.

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

If your restaurant or deli makes a good eggplant Parmesan, then chances are good, the rest of the food you make is better than good.

* On a side note, if you’re going to make any eggplant dish, choose eggplants with taught skin and an indentation on the bottom. In my experience, those characteristics have worked best for me.

I took suggestions from people who either live or travel to South Jersey often, and asked them where they go to get incredible eggplant Parmesan, and this is the list I came up with.

 

 

  • Di Paolo's Italian Ristorante - 28 Broad St, Penns Grove, NJ 08069

    Michelle loves this place and guarantees that folks who crave eggplant Parmigiana, will love DiPaolo’s version. Honorable mention to Lynn K. for backing Michelle up.

  • Illiano Cucina - 200 Tuckerton Rd, Medford, NJ 08055

    A few people suggested this place for a nice dish of classic eggplant Parmigiana. Maria B. suggested the Stuffed Eggplant Parmigiana –  with ricotta, mozzarella, egg, parmesan cheese, topped with mozzarella, and marinara.  The pasta dishes on the menu look incredible as well. Plus their famous pizza bread comes with every meal.

     

  • Mamma Rosa - 1 S White Horse Pike Lindenwold, NJ 08021

    This place looks like one of those hidden gems you come across every now and then. Lisa R. claims to be an “Eggplant Snob.” I hear you Lisa. Lisa is absolutely certain that Mamma Rosa’s served her the best eggplant parm she’s ever had.  This BYOB cash only place is intimate has great service and great food.

    Mamma Rosa in Lindenwold - Restaurant menu and reviews

    All info on Mamma Rosa in Lindenwold - Call to book a table. View the menu, check prices, find on the map, see photos and ratings.

  • Fieni's Ristorante - 800 S Burnt Mill Rd, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043

    A BYOB for unpretentious Italian meals, including housemade pastas, in a converted ranch-style home. This place was suggested by lots of South Jersey foodies including Ed Z. Marla, and Audrey. They have an interesting recipe for their “Special” eggplant parm. They slice the eggplant very thin and according to one fan, they dip it in something that resembles a batter rather than a breadcrumb coating. That is something I need to experience.

  • Boaggio's Bread - 823 E Gate Dr, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054

    John Cohl has been involved in a whirlwind love affair with Boaggio’s for quite a while. For heaven’s sake, the man has a sandwich named after him. It’s no surprise that John chose this place as his favorite place to get eggplant Parmigiana . In addition to being the nation’s #1 specialty bakery, they have a shop that serves creative sandwiches, stuffed breads, salads, pizza, and a plethora of delectable gourmet dishes.

     

     

  • The Kitchen Consigliere - 700 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108

    The name of this place drums up memories of the scene in Goodfellas where Paulie is slicing the garlic with a razor blade and Vinnie and Johnny are cooking up the sauce and the steaks in their personal prison kitchen.

    Convicted mobster, Angelo Lutz,  raised $37,000 on Indiegogo to Open The Kitchen Consigliere a couple of years after serving 7 years in federal prison.

    This is the food Angelo grew up eating courtesy of his mother and grandmother’s old world recipes. A handful of people gave a tip of the hat to the classic eggplant Parmigiana made in this fine establishment.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CxVscQOuovL/?hl=en

  • Zito's Tavern - 350 Vineyard Rd, Atco, NJ 08004

    Jessica O. said this is the ONLY place she’ll get eggplant Parmigiana!  They don’t have a website, but there are several sites online to find their menu. After surfing through their Instagram, I am drooling over the eggplant parm sub.

  • Vincenzo's Smithville - 28 S New York Rd, Galloway, NJ 08205

    Amie said this was her favorite place to eat eggplant Parmigiana. They use eggplant in several of their dishes which could indicate a large demand for this nightshade vegetable. They have combo dishes of chicken, eggplant, and veal, as well as a classic eggplant rollatini , eggplant panini, and several others.

    Vincenzos Ristorante | Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

    Vincenzo's Ristorante is an Italian restaurant and pizzeria located in the heart of the the lively Smithville vicinity of Galloway New Jersey. We put the "Accent on Italian", serving fine Italian food and pizza in a full service comfortable and casual atmosphere.

  • Viggiano's on Sunset - 109 Sunset Blvd, West Cape May, NJ 08204

    Stephen was upset because no one mentioned any restaurants in Cape May. Thank you for noticing Stephen, and thank you for telling us about the excellent eggplant parm at Viggiano’s. You have the option of ordering the Grande portion or the piccolo portion of this classic dish. Get out of here with your piccolo portion!!

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  • Lamp Post Diner - 1378 Little Gloucester Rd, Clementon, NJ 08021

    They have a regular eggplant parm dinner on the menu, but the real dish to write home about is the eggplant tower. Wednesday M. loved it so much, she shared a photo of this glorious dish.

    Eggplant Tower From Lamp Post Diner - Clementon NJ

    Lamp Post Diner

    Welcome to your new favorite neighborhood spot. Welcome to the most delicious breakfasts, baked goods, and lunch and dinner specials you've ever had. From our family to yours: Welcome home.

  • Briglia’s Tavern - 24 NJ-73, Berlin, NJ 08009

    Every so often, a bar or tavern has a dish on the menu that you wouldn’t expect to be noteworthy.  You expect a tavern to have good burgers, and sandwiches, but who expects a bar or pub to have good eggplant parm? Not me.

    Ryan hipped me to Briglia’s eggplant Parm made with vodka sauce instead of marinara. I’m a sucker for a good vodka sauce.  Thanks Ryan.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CyKhiO5OiWj/?hl=en&img_index=1

  • The Olive Italian Restaurant - 195 Center St, Sewell, NJ 08080

    The Olive Italian Restaurant in Sewell serves up delicious Italian food in Tuscan inspired surroundings. The plating is exceptional and Amy and Nicole just love their eggplant Parmigiana. I think it may have been Amy who mentioned the Eggplant Florentina, which is crispy fried eggplant, baby spinach, roasted peppers, and marinara sauce, topped with  melted provolone  cheese, served with linguini.

  • Mannino's Cucina Italiana - 126 S Broadway, Pitman, NJ 08071

    Kathy gives 2 thumbs up for Mannino’s eggplant Parmigiana. They serve all the classics and they were voted one of the best Italian restaurants by NJ.com back in 2018.  The cheesy garlic bread and the rigatoni Bolognese were mentioned in one of my food groups as being top notch.

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