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The History of Restaurants in New Jersey

New Jersey is known for its food scene, with countless restaurants serving up delicious dishes from all corners of the world. But have you ever wondered about the history of restaurants in the Garden State? From humble taverns to fancy fine dining establishments, the evolution of dining in New Jersey is a fascinating one.

Welcome to A Salute, where the food is so good, you'll want to stand up and salute! This gem of a restaurant is a must-visit for anyone looking for a delicious meal in New Jersey. The menu is packed with tasty options, from classic Italian dishes to fresh food. But what really sets A Salute apart is the friendly atmosphere.

The staff are approachable and always up for a laugh, making for a casual and enjoyable dining experience. Trust us, once you've tried the food and experienced the vibe at A Salute, you'll be planning your next visit before the dessert has even arrived.

The 18th Century

The restaurant scene in New Jersey can be traced back to the 18th century, when taverns were the go-to spot for hungry travelers. These taverns were often located near stagecoach stops or ferry terminals and served simple meals like soups, stews, and roasted meats.

One famous example of an old tavern is The Old York Cellars Inn which was built in 1746 in Ringoes, Hunterdon County. This tavern was renowned as a meeting place for patriots before and during the American Revolution and has been called one of the oldest and most historic buildings in the State.

The 19th Century

Back in the 19th century, fancy-schmancy restaurants were the new "it" thing for the fancy-pants folks. In cool cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken, posh dining spots popped up to cater to the upper crust.

One hot spot was the Garden Restaurant in Jersey City (since 1875), known for being one of the State's first classy joints. Their menu was a fancy fusion of French and American grub, and the place was decked out in elegance with chandeliers, fancy tablecloths, and snazzy silverware.

The 1950s and 60s

With the rise of the suburbs in the 1950s and 60s, a new type of restaurant gained popularity: drive-ins and diners. These establishments were designed to cater to families on the go, with quick meals served in a casual atmosphere.

The most iconic diner in New Jersey is the "Silver Diner" (Many Silver Diners: Hoboken, Cherry Hill, Princeton, etc..) originally known as the “Silver Top Diner” in Maple Shade which was built in 1952 and has become a staple in NJ. Drive-ins also became popular during this time period, with places like Stewart's Root Beer in Westfield and the famous (now closed) Dee-Dee's Drive-in in Rahway.

The 21st Century

As we move into the 21st century, the restaurant scene in New Jersey has become more diverse than ever. From trendy farm-to-table eateries to hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants, there really is something for everyone.

Additionally, there has been growth in the craft brewery scene, with many restaurants hosting their own microbreweries and beer gardens like the Iron Hill Brewery in Maple Shade.


Let's talk about New Jersey and its epic restaurant scene. From old-fashioned taverns to stagecoach stops, this state has seriously upgraded its dining game. Nowadays, we've got a booming industry with a tasty treat for every taste bud.

The best part? The history of these joints is part of our cultural heritage and every year brings new and mind-blowing delicacies. So when you're chowing down somewhere in Jersey, take a sec to appreciate the incredible background behind your grub. Bon appétit!

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