Are you a fan of Italian food? Do you find yourself craving for some delicious pasta, pizza or gelato every now and then? Well, you're in luck because New Jersey has a wide range of authentic Italian restaurants that will satisfy your cravings. From classic family-owned trattorias to modern fine dining establishments, there's something for everyone here. So put on your stretchy pants and get ready to indulge in the best of Italian cuisine in the Garden State.
The History of Italian Food in New Jersey
New Jersey has a rich history when it comes to Italian food. The first wave of Italian immigrants arrived in the late 1800s, bringing with them their traditional recipes and culinary traditions. They settled in cities like Newark and Camden, where the Italian community became an integral part of the local culture.
Over the years, Italian food has evolved in New Jersey, blending with other cuisines and incorporating local ingredients. Today, you can find a fusion of traditional dishes and modern interpretations on menus across the state.
Must-Try Dishes in New Jersey
So what should you order when dining at an authentic Italian restaurant in New Jersey? Here are some must-try dishes that will give you a taste of Italy right here in the Garden State:
1. Pasta Carbonara
Pasta lovers, rejoice! This classic Roman dish is a staple on most Italian restaurant menus. Made with spaghetti or rigatoni tossed in a creamy sauce of eggs, cheese, and cured pork, it's simple yet incredibly delicious. Give it a try at De Novo in Montclair or Emilia's Restaurant in Rutherford.
2. Chicken Parmigiana
This dish is an Italian-American creation that has become a popular comfort food in New Jersey. It consists of breaded chicken cutlets smothered in tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. For the ultimate indulgence, try it at Cafe Luna in Old Bridge or Toscano Ristorante in Bordentown.
3. Wood-Fired Pizza
New Jersey is known for its excellent pizza, and some credit must go to the state's large Italian population. From Neapolitan-style pies with chewy crusts to thin-crust New York-style slices, you'll find a variety of options here. For a taste of authentic wood-fired pizza, head to Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City or Cibo e Vino in Denville.
No Italian meal is complete without dessert, and what better way to end your meal than with some creamy gelato? This frozen treat is the Italian version of ice cream but has a denser texture and more intense flavours. You can find delicious gelato at locations like La Favorita in Atlantic City or Bovella's Pastry Shoppe in Westfield.
Craving some carbs and cheese that'll warm you up from the inside out? Look no further than A Salute, a hidden Italian gem in New Jersey. This place truly makes the Jersey Shore proud with our delicious pasta dishes and friendly service, and it's the perfect spot for a casual date night or dinner with the fam.
Tips for Enjoying the Best Italian Food Experience
Before you head out to enjoy some Italian food in New Jersey, here are some tips that will enhance your dining experience:
Make a reservation: Most Italian restaurants in New Jersey can get busy, especially on weekends. So it's always a good idea to make a reservation to avoid waiting.
Try something new: While classics like pizza and pasta will never disappoint, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new from the menu.
Save room for dessert: As mentioned earlier, no Italian meal is complete without dessert. So make sure you save some space for gelato or cannolis.
Don't forget the wine: Italian food and wine go hand in hand. Ask your server for recommendations on which wine pairs best with your chosen dishes.
New Jersey is a food lover's paradise, and when it comes to Italian cuisine, the options are endless. From traditional dishes passed down through generations to modern interpretations of Italian favourites, you'll find it all here. So go ahead and indulge in some delicious Italian food in New Jersey – your taste buds will thank you! Happy eating!