20 Best Restaurants In South Jersey

South Jersey boasts a thriving and diverse food scene, with everything from five-star Italian restaurants to James Beard-nominated chefs, and quality places from Camden all the way down to the Jersey Shore. In making this ranking, we looked purely at lunch and dinner spots in South Jersey, because if we opened it up to also include breakfast places, this would be a very, very long article. And besides, how can you compare a tasty vodka pasta to a stack of blueberry pancakes? You can't. Using our own experiences as a South Jersey native along with extensive research, we came up with our list of the best restaurants in South Jersey (more detail on our methodology at the end of this article if you're curious).

In picking these places, we want to provide a comprehensive list. Whether you're stumped for a new burger place, care to see if your favorite Italian restaurant is on this list (it probably is), or hope to find a new favorite spot worth traveling to, we've got you covered. Choosing only local places and not mega-chains, since you can go to a chain anywhere, and leaving beloved Jersey diners to a roundup list of their own, these are our favorite restaurants in South Jersey.

Verona Ristorante Italiano - Haddonfield

The perfect upscale first date spot in Haddonfield, Verona Ristorante Italiano is an exquisite Italian restaurant — but you probably guessed that from the name alone. Located in charming downtown Haddonfield, just 15 minutes outside of Philadelphia and accessible from the city by train, Verona is a newer staple in the area, having been open since 2018.

In the appetizer section, we recommend indulging in the Peach Burrata, which consists of roasted peaches, snow peas, Burrata, and salty prosciutto all drizzled in white honey and balsamic vinaigrette. For your main, the Lobster Ravioli and Penne Alla Vodka are quality choices, and so are the Cacio e Pepe and the Chicken Parmesan. The homemade desserts change each day, so count on something new and exciting to look forward to at this classy white tablecloth establishment.


(856) 446-2126

141 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033

Joe Italiano's Maplewood - Multiple locations

We're talking South Jersey, a region with a very prominent Italian population, so expect a few Italian restaurants on this list. You can get better Italian food in South Jersey than in most other parts of the country, so if you're visiting the area for the first time, check out a few of the spots we reference on this list. Joe Italiano's Maplewood is a total South Jersey classic, and anyone from the area knows that. Though it now has multiple locations, we recommend the original establishment in Hammonton. It expanded its dining area a few years ago, so now there are additional tables to sit at and enjoy a meal there.

While the main courses are heavenly and all the sauces are homemade, we especially loved the Joe Italiano's starters. The first thing you get on the table (if you're dining at dinnertime), is two kinds of fresh, warm bread. You'll also get a complementary salad for the table with peppers, olives, and veggies in it, all covered in a light and delicious vinaigrette dressing. You can't go wrong with anything you order at Joe Italiano's.


Multiple locations

Cinder Bar - Multiple locations

If you attended Rowan University or have lived in the Glassboro area, you've heard of and been to Cinder Bar. While it has the word bar in the name, it's not just a bar. Cinder Bar offers many kinds of American food, including burgers, salads, wood-fired pizza, and sandwiches. We devoured one of the best Caesar salads we've ever tasted there, so we recommend that. We also can vouch for the creamy lobster bisque, Italian ricotta meatballs, the Philly Dilly Pizza (featuring kosher dill pickles, fontina, mozzarella, chopped bacon, and roasted garlic dill aioli), the vegan cheesesteak (yes, really), and the steak frites entrée.

The handcrafted cocktails at Cinder Bar are also worth mentioning, as they made South Jersey Magazine's 2023 list of the Best Cocktails in South Jersey. Any of the cocktails are outstanding, though the Cinder Punch and Coco For Mango win out in our book.


Multiple locations

The Crab Trap - Somers Point

At the Jersey Shore, you can bank on the East Coast's best seafood. And one of the best seafood restaurants is The Crab Trap in Somers Point. Seeing as this spot is on the water, all the seafood will be fresh and the meals divine.

Enjoy wonderful appetizers like Maryland Crab Soup and Lobster Puffs, then dive right into the main course options of fresh oysters, fresh fish, crabcakes, or steaks, if you're not in the seafood mood. We recommend a combination meal so that you get the best of both worlds, like the Second Mate, which comes with broiled lobster, shrimp, scallops, deviled clam, crab meat, and fish.


(609) 927-7377

2 Broadway, Somers Point, New Jersey 08244

Gouldsburger's - Haddonfield

Another newer spot in the Haddonfield downtown, Gouldsburgers offers up some of South Jersey's best burgers. Though the inside of the restaurant does have some high-top seating, most people take their orders to go or arrange for delivery through delivery service apps. Whether you eat your meal there or at home, it's delicious all the same.

There are signature burgers at Gouldsburgers, including the Smokehouse and Pocket Full Of Sunshine, as well as chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and completely customizable burgers. This is a gourmet burger place, so expect to have one of the best burgers you've ever tasted — and don't forget the side of truffle fries with tasty Parmesan.



109 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033

Manco & Manco Pizza - Multiple locations

We just can't stop talking about Manco & Manco Pizza. And you know what? We're okay with that. As one of our top picks for pizza on the Jersey Shore, and subsequently one of our top picks to eat in Ocean City in general, it only makes sense to also include it on this overall South Jersey restaurant ranking.

Manco & Manco is a beloved pizza institution, crafting homemade pies daily and delivering its unique pizzas in the Ocean City area. Stop by any of its many locations on the Ocean City boardwalk or in Somers Point for one of the best slices of pizza you have ever had. Seriously, we mean it.


Multiple locations

ITA 101 - Medford

A wholly unique spot not even comparable to any other eateries on this list, ITA 101 brings quality, creativity, and high-class eats to Medford, New Jersey. Located in the cute Medford downtown, ITA 101 offers a consistently changing menu, basing its dinner items on seasonal ingredients and chef inspirations.

While it does brand itself as an Italian spot, you can expect a wide range of things from this restaurant beyond Italian food. Currently, there's a truffle theme going on, and we're all about that. Check the menu before making your reservation to ensure that the items sound interesting and that there are options for you depending on allergies and dietary restrictions.


(609) 654-0101

20 S Main St., Medford, New Jersey 08055

LaScala's Fire - Multiple locations

Another absolute favorite spot (which serves one of our favorite pasta dishes in the U.S.) is LaScala's Fire. There are two locations in South Jersey — Glassboro and Marlton — so definitely stop by one to try the tasty pasta, seafood, salad, pizza, and sandwiches.

This place is the definition of a bustling, modern Italian spot where young folks come to celebrate job promotions, old friends go out together for lunch, and where many dates happen too. You must get the Ricotta Board as a starter, as it is one of the most popular dishes, with warm, soft breadsticks to dip into a ricotta honey-layered concoction. And if you're a cheese aficionado, you can't go wrong with the Four Cheese pizza too.


Multiple locations

Estia Taverna - Marlton

If you're seeking quality Greek food in South Jersey, look no further than Estia Taverna. We totally dream about this restaurant — it's that good. Located on Route 70 in Marlton, Estia is the best place to go for any special occasion. Though it's a bit on the pricey side, we have and will pay those amounts repeatedly to experience some of the best food we've ever tasted.

You must start with the Estia Chips appetizer (zucchini and eggplant slices fried and dipped in fresh tzatziki sauce), and from there the menu is your oyster. There's a raw bar, whole fish selections, lamb chops, roast chicken, and even a swordfish kebab.


(856) 596-5500

140 W Route 70, Marlton, New Jersey 08053

The Farm And The Fisherman Tavern - Cherry Hill

We included this spot on the list for so many reasons. First, it features several unique offerings in an Italian and Mexican food-heavy region, and second, if you've been there, you know just how tasty it is. The owner and head chef, Joshua Lawler, was a 2012 James Beard semifinalist, and deservedly so.

Though the menu changes with the seasons and what's freshly available, you can expect a variety of meat, fish, sandwiches, and salads from this joint, as indicated by the name. There's also an extensive wine and cocktail list, making this a perfect classy night out for you and your loved ones.


(856) 356-2282

1442 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Dock's Oyster House - Atlantic City

Great restaurants abound in Atlantic City but Dock's Oyster House ranks among the best of them. Since 1897, Dock's Oyster House has been a dependable staple with a renowned oyster bar, expensive wines, and juicy steaks.

If you're not going for the raw bar for some offbeat reason (you should really go for the raw bar if you have the chance, as it is what it's known for), then head over there for one of Dock's classics, like the lobster tail or the Crab Meat Au Gratin. And don't ignore the sides here, either: The Pommes Soufflé is to die for.


(609) 345-0092

2405 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401

Caffe Aldo Lamberti - Cherry Hill

Caffe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is one of the nicest places you can dine in the area. Though prices are a bit steep, the food's quality makes it worth it; and we're not just recommending places because they're upscale. We're picking the spots with the best food, period. Caffe Aldo Lamberti provides it.

Choose the ravioli of the day (what a concept!) as your main, or the Fantasia Di Mare, featuring shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari, and paccheri pasta in a white wine sauce. This restaurant is also known for its wine selections, being honored with the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence in 2023.


(856) 663-1747

2011 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002

Sagami Japanese Restaurant - Collingswood

A highly regarded restaurant in New Jersey in general, not just South Jersey, Sagami Japanese Restaurant in Collingswood is a must-try. The eatery's simple website and minimal social media presence mean you'll have to take our word that this restaurant is beyond good — it's in a league of its own. Actually, don't just take our word. Take the James Beard Awards' word for it. The chef, Shigeru Fukuyoshi, is up for this year's Best Chef award.

High-quality sushi, sashimi, and more await you here. You can go for sushi rolls, udon noodle bowls, or delicate entrées like steamed salmon and sukiyaki. This is one place you definitely shouldn't skip.


(856) 854-9773

37 Crescent Blvd, Collingswood, New Jersey 08108

Borghi's By The Bay - Stone Harbor

Borghi's By The Bay is quite the endearing name for a restaurant, and its location makes things even sweeter. And we haven't yet mentioned the waterfront views and small but mighty menu featuring seafood dishes, pasta varieties, and delectable starters.

In terms of starters, we think you should go for the bacon-wrapped scallops with roasted corn scallops, then transition into sautéed filet tips with bacon cheddar mashed potatoes and homemade onion rings. There are even gluten-free options for those looking for that specification. Borghi's is charming and offers some Instagrammable views and eats that you won't want to miss in Stone Harbor, New Jersey.


(609) 961-3899

8128 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, New Jersey 08247

Black Whale Bar & Fish House - Beach Haven

If you're wondering why this restaurant sounds familiar but you're not native to the Jersey Shore restaurant scene, it's probably because Taylor Swift stopped by to attend producer Jack Antonoff and actress Margaret Qualley's wedding event. Celebrity aside, the couple picked a wonderful place to host an important occasion, because the food and ambience are unmatched.

Located in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, the Black Whale Bar & Fish House tags itself as the "neighborhood bar" that "just happens to be" one of LBI's best fish houses. We think it can give itself a little more credit than that, but we respect the origin story. You can get both great cocktails and bites here, and some of our favorites include the jumbo lump crab cakes, lobster bake made for a family, and oysters from the raw bar. All the seafood is, obviously, fresh, and everything is beyond tasty and worth the price.


(609) 492-0025

100 N Pennsylvania Ave, Beach Haven, New Jersey 08008

Central Taco & Tequila - Westmont

Central Taco & Tequila in Westmont, New Jersey, is fun, bright, and unforgettable. The vibe inside (and out, with the outdoor seating), is young and carefree. But that doesn't carry over to the food and cocktails, with them being well-thought-out and meticulous in their ingredients and proportions.

The queso starter is unbeatable, though you'll probably want extra chips. For your main, we recommend ordering several different specialty tacos and splitting them with your dining partner. The quesabirria, Korean short rib, shrimp and chorizo, and al pastor are great picks. And take a peek at the drink menu, because they are masterfully crafted. Try a specialty flavor margarita, like lemon blueberry or blood orange.


(856) 833-6800

350 Haddon Ave., Haddon Township, New Jersey 08108

Chef Vola's - Atlantic City

Another Atlantic City pick, Chef Vola's is an acclaimed Italian restaurant down the shore, with generations of New Jerseyeans coming back for more. It opened in 1921, and that longevity — especially through the COVID-19 pandemic — is for a reason. It's a small establishment, for sure, with limited seating, but if you can snag a spot (reservations are required), you'll be happy you made the effort.

Once there, try one of the pasta selections, or the steak. You also simply can't go wrong with a fresh seafood option, like crab cakes or flounder francaise. Then, after dinner, you can hit the boardwalk or casino for the night.


(609) 345-2022

111 South Albion Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401

Pic-A-Lilli Inn - Multiple locations

Shamong isn't a well-known South Jersey town, but if it's recognized for one thing, it's the Pic-A-Lilli Inn. Owned by locals, there are multiple locations of this favorite, and you can either eat in or take your food to go. If you choose to sit inside at the Shamong location, you'll be greeted with a lively atmosphere, a big wraparound bar, and sometimes even live music.

What really makes this place stand out is the special wing sauce. Coming in mild, medium, or hot, the sauce is unlike any other we've had, and that's saying something. It packs such a unique and delicious flavor that this place gets slammed with phone-in orders on Super Bowl Sunday and holidays. If wings and chicken tenders (called ears here) aren't your things, you can always get a yummy cheesesteak, a pulled pork sandwich, or one of the many burger options.


Multiple locations

AXO - Lindenwold

Totally unlike any of the other restaurants on this list, AXO in Lindenwold, New Jersey, is carving its own path in the South Jersey food scene. A self-proclaimed "Mexican-Asian" restaurant, AXO offers the best of both cuisines in creative fusion foods you and yours will enjoy.

You can't go wrong with the birria dumplings, street corn, Korean al pastor tacos, and the rib-eye rice bowl, and you must grab a churro for dessert. Everything here is out of this world, and with over 20,000 Instagram followers, folks everywhere are catching on. Don't feel like sitting down to eat? AXO accepts pickup orders so you can enjoy the deliciousness at home.


(856) 435-1111

4 N White Horse Pike, Lindenwold, New Jersey 08021

Donkey's Place - Multiple locations

Widely regarded as having even better cheesesteaks than both Pat's and Geno's (a very bold statement, we're aware), Donkey's Place is a South Jersey stalwart. The primary location, right across the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philly in Camden, lets Philly locals hop over the water and taste these cheesesteaks for themselves if they're fuming about the allegations. Even Anthony Bourdain thought this place was potentially better than the ones in Philly.

Open since 1943, Donkey's has one of the simplest menus around but it understands that sticking to the basics works. You can get a cheesesteak and a drink, then customize it to the nines. So, load it up with everything from stuffed cherry peppers to cheese fries to pickled tomatoes. The world's your, eh, cheesesteak.


Multiple locations

Our methodology

Now that you've read about our top favorite South Jersey restaurants, you're probably wondering how we came to these conclusions. First things first, I am a South Jersey native, and possess extensive experience dining in the area my whole life, having tried spots everywhere from the Jersey Shore to the Delaware River.

Secondly, extra research was conducted outside of places I'd already visited in order to ensure that no hidden gems went uncovered. Additionally, other South Jersey natives were consulted to widen the search net. Finally, only lunch and dinner places were considered, as involving diners, breakfast spots, and coffee shops would've made the list far too long. Selections were based on the quality of the food and the prices, which may vary, though no establishments were selected wherein the price tag didn't fit the quality of the meal.