Famous food in New Jersey is something every local and traveler to the state has to try at least once in their lives. From Newark all the way down to Cape May, you could spend days sampling some of the best fare across the state. Now you can do it with the help of a group of enterprising foodies who got together to form the NJ Food Tour Trail, a collaboration of seven organized food tour operators committed to reviving the restaurant trade in New Jersey after the devastating effects of lockdown.
So, when you’re not completely engrossed in your online casino games, take a trip to NJ and allow some of the most informed and interesting food guides to introduce you to New Jersey cuisine.
Ever wondered what food New Jersey is known for? Or even what the best New Jersey food is? Whatever your taste, here are some of the finest food tours that explore everything from hidden gems tucked away in obscure corners of NJ to incredible street food from stalls and food trucks on amazing walking food tours.
Cape May Food Tours
Where: Cape May
How long: 3 hours
At the foot of the state is the resort town of Cape May. Cape May Food Tours’ signature Historic Downtown Tour highlights both the town’s Late Victorian architecture as well as the finest local restaurants while the West Cape May tour focuses on more contemporary offerings.
The tours take you on a walk through the town where you will stop six times with an opportunity to sample the local seafood, traditional homestyle food as well as more contemporary fare. Restaurants on the tour include Quincy‘s Original Lobster Rolls, The Original Fudge Kitchen and Aleathea’s.
Beyond The Plate Food Tours
Where: Jersey City, Red Bank, Somerville
Price: From $91
How long: 2.5 – 3 hours
Founded in 2013 as Jersey Girls Food Tours, Beyond The Plate hosts tours in Red Bank, Jersey City and Somerville. Centered around showcasing the diversity of culinary expertise in the state, Beyond The Plate takes you on what they call a “progressive tasting journey.”
Their signature Jersey City walking tour operates just a stone’s throw away from downtown Manhattan and is a tasting tour with a bit of arts, culture and history thrown into the mix. Get exclusive access to some of the most sought-after restaurants where you’ll meet the owners and chefs and chat to industry experts to learn more about the food and drink you’re tasting along the way.
Restaurants you can look forward to include Gringo’s, Tamborim, Razza, Luna, Ghost Truck Kitchen, Pasta Dal Cuore, Bang Cookies, Departed Soles Brewery and Torico Ice Cream.
Taste of Asbury Food Tours
Price: From $100
How long: 2.5 – 3 hours
Founded by school teachers Bonnie and Justin Brown, Asbury Food Tours is the culmination of a culinary and cultural journey of discovery. As the two foodies traveled the US, they found a profound connection between food and the culture of people at the places they visited.
And thus Asbury Food Tours was born. When they’re not hard at work in the classroom, the couple entertains visitors by giving them “a look into the soul of this city by the sea through the foods of this amazing town.”
Their most popular tour is the Sip & Stroll Tour which takes you on a leisurely walk down Cookman Avenue where you will stop at five establishments with drink pairings of hand-crafted spirits at four of them. Meet and chat with chefs and owners as you sample their food and culture.
Savor and Stroll Food Tours
Price: From $75
How long: 2.5 – 3 hours
Home to George Washington’s 18th Century home, Morristown is a town rich with culture and history. Established in 2017 by Kathleen Carozza, a registered dietician nutritionist, Savor and Stroll Food Tours focuses on marrying healthy eating with culture and history.
The new History and Graze tour takes you on a brisk walk through Morristown, taking in the historical sites interspersed with four tastings along the way, stopping for a meal and ending with a fifth tasting of food and beer at Glenbrook Brewery
On The Town Food Tours
Where: Atlantic City, Bordentown, Collingswood, Haddonfield, Hammonton, Mount Holly
Price: From $70
How long: 3 hours
On The Town Food Tours was born out of years of tracking food and flavor trends for food manufacturers and consumers in the US. It didn’t take long for owner and operator Audrey Wiggins to work out that she could apply all that knowledge and insight to bring people closer to the food and experiences she had been sampling over the last 10 years.
On The Town devised tours in each of the towns and cities it operates, specializing in exploring the best restaurants, markets and bakeries in New Jersey. In a world where people are bombarded with content on food, Wiggins feels that it is important to offer a more curated experience in localized areas. Whether you like artwork, Jamaican cuisine or neighborhood restaurants in Atlantic City from the 1900s, On The Town will take you on a rich food journey.
Sister Cities Food Tours
Where: Lambertville, New Hope
Price: Private tours customized to requirements
How long: From 3 hours
Sister Cities Food Tours has a modern tale behind its conception. While watching lost tourists craning over cellphones googling places to eat, the smart folks at Sister Cities would literally walk up to them and ask where they would like to go.
It wasn’t long before they figured they could charge for the service and, considering most of the inquiries were about food, Sister Cities Food tours came into being.
Situated on the state line between Lambertville and New Hope, PA, Sister Cities is able to serve both towns with its unique blend of fun, food and history. Unlike other food tour operators, Sister Cities provides bespoke experiences based on booking requirements. They do, however, guarantee stops at five of the best restaurants and a few hidden gems along the way. Try the newer brewery and vineyard tours for a different experience.
Nom Nom Newark Food Tours
Price: From $50
How long: approx. 4 hours
Nom Nom Newark Food Tours is the food tour arm of Have You Met Newark Tours. It was an organic evolution of the tour operator when many of the guides realized that they all eat locally and were constantly offering clients recommendations on where to eat and why.
The Ironbound Food Tour, in particular, takes a walking taste tour through this melting pot of global ethnicities. Which, as one may imagine, is beautifully expressed in the cuisine produced by these communities. The most prominent of these are the Portuguese and Brazilian communities which arrived in the early 20th century and established themselves as a force in the neighborhood.
The Ironbound Food Tour covers the waves of immigration that have formed this unique neighborhood’s culture and food scene and includes stops at churches and parks as well as four venues to taste the unique Ironbound flavors.
Noshwalks Food Tours
Price: From $18
How long: 1 hour
This specialized tour isn’t strictly part of the NJ Food Tour Trail but is a fantastic inclusion in this list. The Middle Eastern Paterson Tour is run by Noshwalks, an NYC-based tour operator that runs a very different model from regular food tours. Here’s how it works: “You will pay an $18 registration fee for the ‘Noshwalk’ you want to attend. You’ll pay for your own food AND make a donation to an organization that’s listed with the tour.”
Noshwalks hosts specialized tours on specific dates and the Middle Eastern Paterson tour will run from June 24, 2023. According to Noshwalks, “Paterson throbs with the energy of the many immigrant entrepreneurs who now call it home, and we’ll visit a range of markets and bakeries that sell top-quality goods for reasonable prices.
“Stops will also include at least one Turkish market and a Colombian restaurant. (Paterson has a large Peruvian area that we’ll visit in 2024!) But most destinations sell delicious foods from the Middle East and North Africa.”
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