Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

When I solicited a bunch of social media pages to find out where their favorite hidden gem restaurants in New Jersey were, I was half expecting people not to share their favorite food spots. I have a few favorite hidden gems that I haven’t shared with anyone because I was being selfish.

I didn’t want anyone to know about “MY place.” I then realized that if I don’t share my findings with others, these businesses might not survive. I’m no longer keeping these places to myself. I want these local business owners to thrive and I want to let others know where they can get some great grub.

Hidden gems aren’t always tucked away on some obscure dirt road in the middle of nowhere. There could be a hidden gem in plain sight, a place that flies under the radar until enough of us get the word out.

Let’s see where the people will lead us by sharing their favorite hidden gem restaurants in New Jersey.

  • Pho Viet Express - 1222 NJ-166, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Hidden in a shopping center along with other restaurants right off the Garden State Parkway in Toms River. Thanks to James R. for the recommendation. I hear the Pho broth is so good, people order extra to take home. The House Special Pho looks like the way to go.

    Pho Viet Express

    Order online directly from the restaurant Pho Viet Express, browse the Pho Viet Express menu, or view Pho Viet Express hours.

  • Rat's Restaurant at Grounds For Sculpture - 16 Fairgrounds Rd, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619

    The outside is magnificent with an array of sculptures on an exotic landscape.Named for the beloved character Ratty from the classic children’s storybook The Wind in the Willows, Rat’s Restaurant will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time into a cozy French countryside café—offering a one-of-a-kind dining experience you will not soon forget. An unusual farm to table menu with really lovely selections like; Pappardelle Beef Bourguignon, made with tender short ribs and exotic mushrooms. Romance is in the air my friend.


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  • Porcini - 168 Bay Ave, Highlands, NJ 07732

    Michael W. wrote, “What a great little place we just found. We’ve gone twice in the last 3 weeks and had 2 great experiences. The servers (John and Al) were great. The chef/owner (Chris) came over at the end of our meal to see how everything was. The salads, appetizers and entrees were excellent.”

    I always look at the menu when I hear about a place I’ve never been to, to get a feel for type of food they serve. There’s a Wild Mushroom Tart on the menu made with Rosemary Creme, Confit Onions, and Goat Cheese that has me thinking about checking this place out.


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  • No.79 Restaurant Bar & Liquor Store - 4423 S White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037

    Rebecca from South Jersey chose to share this place with those who are looking for their next hidden gem. Offering Polish-Italian Fusion food, and other good things like Korean Wings.  The place definitely has a very unusual aesthetic, with the wall of pennies behind the bar, and the wall papered with articles from a Pittsburgh newspaper.  I’d really love to try this place!

    No 79 Restaurant Bar & Liquor Store - Hammonton, NJ

    17 reviews of No 79 Restaurant Bar & Liquor Store "Amazing staff, super friendly and efficient, great food, fun place to come! We love it here it's our new once a week place to come to! :)"


  • Pinto Thong Thai Cuisine - 1135 Hurffville Rd, Deptford, NJ 08096

    Becca Ann from the South Jersey area gave me a list of what she considers hidden gems.  This place is in a strip mall and from the photos, it looks like maybe 8 or 10 people can fit in the place. Mild, Medium. Thai Hot, or extra Thai Hot are the levels of spiciness to choose from. I like it hot, but not extra Thai Hot. Give me some meaty dumplings and Pad Thai, or a Panang Curry dish, a Boba Tea and I’m all set. Vegan and Gluten Free options are available.

  • The Early Bird - 519 Howard St, Riverton, NJ 08077

    Looking for a hidden gem for breakfast in South Jersey? Jen suggests heading to The Early bird. From the looks of the street view map, the area looks quaint and lovely. It looks to be surrounded by other small shops and eateries in a residential neighborhood. Grab a nice breakfast of Creme Brulee French Toast or a lunch of Strawberry Fields salad and enjoy the rest of your day.

    Early Bird at Milanese

    Fly-By Dinner! Every Week A Different Dinner! *NOW OFFERING DELIVERY* Let us help with your hectic weekday schedule. Choose Your Dinner....Choose Your Night! Pick up or take delivery of your dinner and enjoy a homemade meal with your family before practice and games!


  • Ephesus Grill - 306 E Evesham Rd, Glendora, NJ 08029

    How did Michelle In South Jersey know I like Turkish food?

    Ephesus Grill - Glendora, NJ

    Delivery & Pickup Options - 50 reviews of Ephesus Grill "Great new spot in Glendora with Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food. Menu is expansive and the staff are very friendly and attentive. Generous portions and the food tasted great. They do dine in or take out. I saw signs for GrubHub and UberEats as well.

  • Eastlyn Golf Course & The Greenview Inn - 4049 Italia Ave, Vineland, NJ 08361

    A night out in your best clothes at this upscale restaurant with great menu selections. I noticed that there isn’t anything over $40 on the regular menu. That’s pretty reasonable for a fine dining establishment.

  • Mar Belo Portuguese Restaurant/Lounge - 611 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740

    One Of the best restaurants you’ll find in the state. I wrote about this place back in January and I can’t say enough good things about them. My absolute favorite appetizer is the Polvo à Espanhola which is grilled baby octopus, olive oil, garlic, & lemon. A simple preparation with just a few ingredients makes the octopus the star of the show. Everything I have ever had here is absolute perfection. If you can’t make it up to Newark’s Iron Bound District for a Portuguese meal, then this will become your favorite place on the shore.

  • Matt's Red Rooster Grill - 22 Bloomfield Ave, Flemington, NJ 08822

    An old Victorian House converted into a charming comfortable restaurant. You MUST see this menu

    All ingredients are fresh and prepared to order.

  • Saddle River Inn - 2 Barnstable Ct, Saddle River, NJ 07458

    Curtis and Freda from Monmouth County raved about this lovely BYOB place.  The Saddle River Inn is a fine-dining, contemporary French restaurant nestled along the banks of the Saddle River.  Sounds romantic. 


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  • Lazzat Indian Cuisine

    Another hidden gem in a strip mall was revealed to us by Mark from the Jersey Food Warriors. Cousin Valerie wrote:

    ” Solid Indian food, clean and such nice staff. They helped explain the food spice levels and sauces. We had chicken tikka masala, spicy chicken vindaloo, garlic naan and vegetable samosas. The food was fresh and the spices and herbs were great!”


    Taste of true North Indian Masala Magic in Matawan, New Jersey

    TASTE DELIVERED ON TIME In Lazzat's, we believe in preparing and serving fresh food. Meals are, therefore, prepared only after orders are placed. With parcels or deliveries made at lightning speed, steaming hot, nutritious food reaches you within no time.

  • Seed To Sprout - : 410 Main St, Avon-By-The-Sea, NJ 07717

    An Organic Vegan Heaven is in Avon-By-The Sea!  The plant-based menu looks good enough to try for a meat eater like me. The Buffalo Chickpea Salad is something I would normally make at home.  Come on by, Alex and Cara are waiting to see your smiling face.


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  • Avenue Le Club - 23 Ocean Ave N, Long Branch, NJ 07740 (Pier Village)

    Le Club Avenue is a sophisticated private beach club combining European style and elegance with American energy and service excellence. Le Club evokes the laid-back luxury of the Riviera, while offering members and their families modern services and world-class amenities.

    It’s hard to find a good French restaurant that isn’t in Paris or even NYC. The Shore has one in Long Branch. From Escargot to  Cote De Boeuf  this place delivers. Beautiful food, beautiful international wines and cocktails in a beautiful atmosphere with dramatic high ceilings. If you want romance and ambience, then try Avenue.’

    Restaurant Menus | Avenue Le Club in Long Branch, NJ

    See the menu for Avenue Le Club in Long Branch, NJ. Dine in and Curbside pickup available

  • The Local’s Spot - 3003 English Creek Ave Suite D4, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234

    They have some yummy stuff, like the French onion  burger, and the Korean pig wings. Pig wings are just the lower pork shank loaded with their special sauce and maybe some sesame seeds. It’s nothing fancy, but the food is darn good and you will never leave hungry.



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