15 Best Restaurants in New Brunswick, NJ

Best Restaurants in New Brunswick, NJ

Welcome to New Brunswick, the vibrant heart of New Jersey, with a culinary scene as diverse as its population.

From hidden gems tucked away in quiet corners to bustling hotspots commanding attention on every foodie's radar, there's something to sate every palate in New Brunswick.

Join me as I share some of the best New Brunswick, New Jersey, restaurants that promise to transform an ordinary meal into an extraordinary dining experience.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable restaurants, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional dining establishments that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself

C&C Pizza and Restaurant

Have you ever had one of those days where you crave the comfort of a hearty Italian meal?

I had one last week and knew exactly where to head - C&C Pizza and Restaurant.

This local gem has never failed to impress with its top-notch service and mouth-watering menu.

One of my favorites is their shrimp alfredo, the best I've tasted in town.

There's something about the creamy sauce, perfectly cooked shrimp, and al dente pasta that hits the spot every time.

Trust me. I've also tried their chicken Alfredo; it's just as delicious.

And if you're in the mood for Mexican, their tostadas are fire, and the flautas de papa con chorizo is a tasty surprise every time.

But let's not forget about their signature item - the pizza.

It's classic New Jersey style with a delightful flavor that transports you straight to the heart of Italy.

Plus, they offer speedy delivery, which came especially handy when I was in a hurry and needed to eat on the go.

Their driver delivered my order to my office in around 30 minutes, just as promised.

On top of the great food, the staff at C&C are always friendly and helpful.

I remember calling them once at around 4:40 pm, and the lady who answered was lovely. She made sure my order was exactly as I wanted.

But don't just take my word for it; experience it yourself.

Visit their website here and check out their menu.

C&C Pizza and Restaurant has something to satisfy every craving, whether for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner.

C&C pizza and restaurant · 138/136 French St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Poke Nagomi

Just around the corner from the State Theater, nestled comfortably on George Street in downtown New Brunswick, lies a little gem of a restaurant that has won my heart - Poke Nagomi.

Its unassuming exterior doesn't do justice to the explosion of flavors awaiting inside.

While it shares its space with Cambo Box, it has managed to carve a niche, especially with its poke bowls, which are the best in New Brunswick.

To know what I'm raving about, visit Poke Nagomi.

I usually go for the signature bowl with spicy salmon and spicy tuna, topped with a generous dollop of spicy mayo.

Each bite was a sensory overload - fresh, flavorful, and delicious.

The bowl was jam-packed with sides, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.

On my first visit to Poke Nagomi, I opted for the BYOB (Build Your Own Bowl) option and was impressed with the quality and taste.

I chose spicy ahi tuna and salmon on a bed of half rice and half salad, with spicy mayo and wasabi mayo for dressings.

The seaweed salad and tamago added unique and complementary flavors that made the entire meal a delight.

Poke Nagomi is a must-visit if you're in the area, but do remember - parking is metered and can add up.

And with Poke Nagomi, the effort is certainly worth the reward.

Poke Nagomi · 342 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Hawaiian restaurant

Destination Dogs

There's something thrilling about stepping into Destination Dogs, where each bite can transport you to a different corner of the world.

You could say it's my passport to global cuisine wrapped in a fluffy bun!

You're greeted with a warm, convivial atmosphere when you enter through the doors.

You can't help but be drawn in by the tantalizing aroma of cooking sausages, a remarkable departure from the typical hot dog scent.

My go-to "dog" is the Andouille Armstrong; the distinctly smoky flavor of the sausage paired with the zesty toppings creates a perfect harmony of taste.

The Bun Mi and Achilles Meal are also crowd-pleasers, offering an array of flavors and textures.

Each dog here is a testament to the creativity and culinary prowess of the chefs!

But it's not just about the food.

The staff here always go the extra mile to make you feel at home.

Multiple times, I've received excellent recommendations from Bonnie, one of their servers.

She's always enthusiastic and warm, adding an extra spark to the overall experience.

As a sports fan, I enjoy the numerous TVs scattered around, ensuring I never miss a game.

And if you're in the company of kids or just a kid at heart, they even have a small arcade room where you can enjoy some games while waiting for your meal.

This isn't just a restaurant; it's a place where good food, sport, and nostalgia meet.

And did I mention the fantastic chili hot dog I devoured during my last visit?

Freshly prepared and loaded with flavors, it was everything I craved.

So, if you're looking for a unique culinary adventure, Destination Dogs is a must-try.

You won't be disappointed!

Destination Dogs · 101 Paterson St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Hot dog restaurant

Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

Now and then, I find myself craving some fresh seafood, and when that happens, there's only one place I consider - Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar.

This place has earned its place as my go-to for an exquisite seafood experience right here in New Brunswick.

Walking into Salt, you're immediately greeted by a welcoming, ambient atmosphere perfect for anything from a romantic dinner date to a formal event.

And let's not even get started on their mouth-watering array of oysters.

Sourced locally and from other renowned locations, the selection is always vast and of the highest quality.

You can't leave without trying them.

One of the things I appreciate the most about Salt is its consistency.

The food is always top-notch, whether it's a busy Friday night or a quiet Tuesday evening.

Whether it's a special from their ever-changing menu or a regular item, you can always expect it to be delicious.

Speaking of specials, I can't forget to mention the Happy Hour – an absolute must-try at Salt.

This is where you can order almost one of everything, and it's all fantastic.

Their buffalo shrimp is a personal favorite of mine, but don't let that stop you from exploring the rest of their menu.

Also, their perfect halibut keeps me coming back, cooked to perfection with a crispy exterior and soft interior, accompanied by fresh, seasoned greens.

The only advice I'd give you is to make sure you get a reservation - the place can get pretty busy.

So, the next time you're in the mood for some phenomenal seafood, head over to Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar.

It's a culinary gem hidden in plain sight.

Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar · 103 Church St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

Noodle Is Calling

From the hustle and bustle of George St and the Rutgers Area, you'll find a hidden gem instantly transporting you to the heart of Asia.

Welcome to Noodle Is Calling, a place that brings home closer with every bite.

One chilly evening, craving something warm and filling, I entered their quaint restaurant.

I was immediately welcomed by the cozy ambiance and the aroma of spices wafting from the kitchen.

Deciding to veer from the usual noodle soup, I ordered their Taiwanese Stewed Pork with Rice.

As I took my first bite, the rich flavors instantly reminded me of the comfort of home.

But their menu does not stop there.

On another visit, I decided to venture into their seafood options.

A bowl of seafood noodle soup was placed in front of me, brimming with fresh ingredients and a broth that was perfectly spiced.

The portion was generous and worth every penny, while the bao and Sichuan dumplings are also a must-try, bathed in a sauce so delectably spicy it could stand as a soup on its own.

Being in the heart of New Brunswick, parking can be a bit of an issue, but that's a small price to pay for a taste of authentic Asian cuisine right in our backyard.

It's the place that keeps me coming back—whether for company or when I need a comforting bowl of noodles or rice.

Noodle Is Calling is a place that I, without a doubt, highly recommend.

Noodle Is Calling · 354 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Chinese restaurant

Ramen Nagomi

There's something quite magical about the first slurp of a perfect bowl of ramen.

You know the kind I'm talking about - steaming hot broth, flavorful layers unfolding with each bite, tender cuts of pork belly that practically melt in your mouth.

That's the exact kind of culinary delight you can expect when you visit Ramen Nagomi, an authentic Japanese noodle shop nestled in my town.

My first visit to Ramen Nagomi transported me to a peaceful corner of Japan.

The compact place creates an intimate dining experience worth every minute of the typical hour-long wait.

Don't be deterred by the crowd. It's a testament to the quality of their food and service.

Diving into their menu is like a mini adventure.

There's plenty to choose from, whether you're a carnivore or vegetarian.

I recommend starting with one of their small plates, perhaps the pork gyoza, before moving on to the star of the show - the ramen.

Every bowl is a symphony of flavors, with the pork belly ramen being an absolute standout.

You'll know what I mean when you try it.

Moreover, they are a BYOB establishment, meaning you can bring your favorite bottle of sake to pair with your meal.

A perfect end to the meal is their green tea ice cream, a refreshing treat that leaves a lasting impression.

Ramen Nagomi is more than just a restaurant. It's a beautiful blend of food, ambiance, and service that offers a little slice of Japan in the heart of our town.

Whether picking up a takeout order or dining in, the experience is unforgettable.

Just visit once, and you'll understand why it's my go-to spot for an authentic ramen fix.

Ramen Nagomi · 49 Bayard St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Ramen restaurant


Picture this. You're craving delicious, flavorful food that's satisfying and aligns with your ethical and health beliefs.

That place is Veganized, the answer to your vegan cravings.

Their creative, fun, and wholesome vegan dishes are a must-try.

My go-to is the falafel wrap. It's an explosion of flavor in every bite.

The grilled wrap ensures it stays intact without becoming soggy or tearing apart when you eat.

The sweet potato wedges are perfectly seasoned, providing a delightful contrast to the falafel wrap.

And don’t get me started on their triple-cooked french fries. They're crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy inside, and just downright delicious.

One of my favorite things about Veganized is its quirky and eclectic ambiance.

Imagine an old Irish pub converted into a cozy vegan haven with tiny ceramic animals and intriguing figurines adorning the place.

It's located just across from the Courthouse in New Brunswick, adding to its charm.

Likewise, the food presentation is a visual treat, making the dining experience even more enjoyable.

If you plan to visit, I highly recommend trying the mushroom appetizers and the Mac & ‘cheese.’

And if you're into trying new things, smoked passion fruit is an appetizer that will not disappoint.

For a delightful vegan dining experience, you don't need to look any further.

Veganized · 1 Elm Row, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Vegan restaurant

Namli Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine

What a time to live in a city with a gem like Namli Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine.

As you enter the door, warm yellow walls welcome you, and the aroma of traditional Turkish fare brewing in the open kitchen.

This cozy little spot quickly became my go-to for a relaxed yet delicious dining experience.

On one such visit, I fell in love with their soups. Each spoonful was a burst of flavors dancing on my palate.

The warm pita bread with their signature dipping sauce is another crowd-pleaser.

It's so addictive you'd find it hard to stop reaching for more.

For my main course, I usually opt for their vegetarian offerings.

The salad, falafel, and mixed appetizer plate have never failed to leave me satiated.

But, the knufe, although not as cheesy as I generally prefer, was a delight in its unique way.

I believe food is not just a sensory experience but also an emotional one, and Namli Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine is undoubtedly a place that strikes that balance.

So, why not give it a try and see for yourself?

Namli Mediterranean & Turkish Cuisine · 88 Central Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Turkish restaurant

Steakhouse 85

There's nothing like a night out on the town, especially when that night involves a visit to Steakhouse 85.

You're greeted with warmth and kindness as you step through the doors.

My partner and I were recently made to feel like royalty upon our arrival for our anniversary celebration.

And the food?

Simply divine.

As a steak connoisseur, I can confidently say my Dry Aged Delmonico steak was perfectly cooked.

The temperature was spot on, and the wait for our meals was surprisingly short.

But it wasn’t just the food that made our night memorable.

It was the atmosphere.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll be treated to live jazz that fills the restaurant with fantastic, upbeat energy.

It’s a bit of a throwback, a slice of old-school charm in New Brunswick.

Let's not forget about their delectable sides.

The sweet potato casserole was a standout, a blend of sweet and savory that left me craving more.

Similarly, the tomahawk with blue cheese on top was an absolute treat, a must-have for any blue cheese lovers out there.

Next time you're looking for a unique spot to celebrate an occasion or treat yourself, don't forget to check out Steakhouse 85.

The food, service, and ambiance create an unforgettable experience that will leave you eagerly anticipating your next visit.

Steakhouse 85 Restaurant · 85 Church St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Steak house

Daniel's Pizzeria

Have you ever had a slice of pizza that leaves you craving more?

That’s exactly what you get at Daniel's Pizzeria.

I swung by the other night to grab dinner for my family.

We ordered two pies – a Margherita and a Pepperoni.

Let me tell you that Margherita pizza was an absolute delight.

It was unlike any other I'd had recently, and it was so delicious that it made me reach out for an extra slice.

I'm not sure what the secret is, but there's something about how they make it taste so excellent.

As for my first time trying their Pepperoni pizza, I must say it did not disappoint.

The crust was just the right level of crispy, and the tomato sauce was spot on.

And to top it off, the pricing was fair and reasonable.

Daniel's Pizzeria remains my go-to place for a plain or Pepperoni pizza.

After all, there's a reason why it's a favorite among the locals!

Daniel’s Pizzeria · 204 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

Pukhtun Afghan Cuisine

Have you ever stumbled upon a hidden culinary gem in your city?

That's exactly what happened to me when I discovered Pukhtun Afghan Cuisine.

It was a regular weekday, and I sought a new place to satiate my taste buds.

Swinging open their door, I was greeted by the alluring aroma of freshly baked bread.

Little did I know I was stepping into a haven of diverse and mouth-watering dishes.

I knew I was in for a treat when I ordered their lamb and chicken platter for two.

Despite the portion being perfect for two people, priced reasonably around $40, it felt like a royal feast on a platter.

What’s more, I also found a favorite in their butter chicken.

The fresh chicken, cut into small pieces, bathed in creamy butter sauce, was the gastronomic delight I never knew I needed.

And that bread!

Fresh from the oven, it added a new dimension to the dish.

The excellent service and friendly staff turned a simple meal into a memorable dining experience.

I can't help but look forward to revisiting this place more often, and it's safe to say Pukhtun Afghan Cuisine is a must-try for anyone looking for a taste of authentic Afghan dishes.

Pukhtun Afghan Cuisine · 135 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Afghan restaurant

Scarlet 158

There's a certain charm about the local eateries you don't find in big-name restaurants.

One of my all-time favorites is the Scarlet 158 Restaurant and Breakfast in New Brunswick.

It's pretty popular among the Rutgers crowd and for a good reason.

They offer a wide selection of breakfast items.

I adore their fresh-squeezed orange juice - it's a real treat!

They maintain reasonable prices without compromising their quality or portion size.

I've had the chance to sample many of their dishes, but the waffles hold a special place in my heart.

Accompanied by a generous serving of eggs, the deliciousness is simply unforgettable.

The cleanliness of this establishment is yet another commendable aspect.

The staff is friendly and thoughtful, always ready to lend a helping hand.

If you're a Mexican food fan, they've got you covered too!

A word of caution, though; parking on the street here can be tricky, but don’t let that deter you.

The food is worth the minor hassle.

For those who appreciate hearty breakfasts, I highly recommend their California combo.

It's a culinary delight with well-seasoned potatoes, a good portion of eggs and cheese, a cado, and two pancakes.

The food here is excellent and comes at a great price point.

I always look forward to my next visit to this delightful breakfast spot.

So if you're in town, don't miss out on the Scarlet 158 experience!

Scarlet 158 Restaurant and Breakfast New Brunswick · 158 Louis St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Bagel Nosh

Every sunrise finds me at Bagel Nosh, a quaint mom-and-pop counter tucked away in New Brunswick.

I'll tell you, nothing starts the day better than their house-made bagels, crowned with a heaping of toppings.

The intricate flavors and satisfying crunch are some of the best bagels you can find here.

It's not every day you find a place that's as clean and inviting as the bagels are delicious.

Their menu has a diverse array of options-- you could go a whole month without repeating a single breakfast.

And the freshness!

It's like they've got a secret garden out back.

If you're in town, make sure you stop by.

While it's not exactly designed for a sit-down meal, it's the perfect spot to swing by for a grab-and-go breakfast.

They even cater to the vegan crowd, striking the perfect balance between hearty and healthy.

Now, if you want to talk about their sandwiches, let's have that discussion.

The food is wallet-friendly, and the sandwiches are nothing short of monstrous.

And the best thing about Bagel Nosh?

They're willing to make anything off their menu at any given time.

If you see locals lining up for food, you know it's a good place.

Bagel Nosh · 357 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Bagel shop

Rakkii Ramen

Have you ever wanted to teleport to Japan to taste authentic ramen?

I found a way to experience Japan in my hometown without leaving my comfort zone.

Just in the heart of our locality lies a gem called Rakkii Ramen, a haven for ramen lovers and Japanese cuisine enthusiasts.

The moment you step through the doors, you'll be greeted by the enticing aroma of simmering broth and the subtle scent of fresh vegetables.

Although vegetarian options are limited, customization is available for your veggie cravings.

The ramen was warm and comforting, and the fried rice had perfectly balanced flavors.

On the other hand, the rose bubble tea, however, stole the show.

Unlike anything I'd tasted before, it was a perfect blend of sweet and floral notes.

The ambiance is a feast for the senses, with beautiful decor and murals adorning the walls.

The place is quite spacious and impeccably clean.

I was amazed at how quickly the food was served.

Sharing hearty laughs and delicious food with my friends, I felt at home in our town's little corner of Japan.

The experience left me feeling full, with food and great memories.

So, if you're planning a dinner out, why not try Rakkii Ramen?

Trust me; it's worth every penny.

Their delicious food and friendly service will have you planning your next visit before leaving the restaurant.

Enjoy a taste of Japan right here in town!

Rakkii Ramen · 353 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Ramen restaurant

It was one of those slow Tuesday mornings when your motivation is lost somewhere between your bed and the coffee pot.

As I was leaving my house, I remembered the quaint little Legal Grounds Cafe nestled in the heart of our town.

I decided to grab breakfast there, opting for a simple sausage, egg, cheese roll, and a cup of coffee.

The food was satisfactory, more of a reliable staple than an exciting culinary adventure.

Their menu was a mixed bag with an unexpected twist, featuring all your typical breakfast and lunch items.

To my surprise, the cafe also had a selection of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean offerings, adding an unexpected international flair to my mornings.

Their prices were quite reasonable, especially considering the locale.

For less than $6, I had a filling breakfast and coffee, making this an excellent spot for those in the area looking for a quick, inexpensive bite.

Once, around lunchtime, I decided to try their Gyro pita sandwich, which proved to be a delightful choice.

Since then, I often return to Legal Grounds Cafe, especially for its reliable and tasty breakfast offerings.

It is a convenient stop in my daily routine.

Legal Grounds Cafe · 55 Bayard St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States
★★★★★ · Cafe

Final Thoughts

Having lived and dined in New Brunswick for years, I've had the pleasure of experiencing myriad flavors and culinary experiences this city has to offer.

New Brunswick’s food scene is a testament to the city's cultural diversity and love for good food.

It's always a joy to discover new dishes and revisit old favorites in the exciting culinary landscape of New Brunswick.

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