Five New Jersey eateries are among the hottest in the country, according to OpenTable’s newly released ranking of America’s Top 100 Restaurants for 2023.
Using an updated methodology based on diner ratings, percentage of reservations made in advance and five-star feedback, the review and booking website spotlights some of the most sought-after spots.
Commenting on this year’s list, OpenTable CEO Debby Soo said it features a range of establishments, from Michelin-starred venues to up-and-coming restaurants, coast-to-coast. It also includes representation across the culinary spectrum, with cuisines like Mediterranean, French and Japanese included.
These are New Jersey’s top restaurants, according to OpenTable:
Café Lore – Avalon
Cuisine: American, Seafood, American Contemporary
Dining Style: Casual elegant
Popular Dishes: Seafood Bisque, Pan Seared Halibut, Caesar Salad
Peter Shields Inn – Cape May
Dining Style: Fine
Popular Dishes: Roasted Halibut, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Golden Beet Salad
Stella Restaurant – Ventnor
Cuisine: Contemporary American, Contemporary French / American, American
Dining Style: Casual dining
Popular Dishes: Meatballs, Labne Salad, Grilled Romaine
The Saddle River Inn – Saddle River
Cuisine: French American, Contemporary French, Contemporary American
Dining style: Fine dining
Popular Dishes: Foie Gras, Filet Mignon, Lamb Chops
Washington Inn – Cape May
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean, Seafood
Dining style: Casual elegant
Popular Dishes: Grilled Pork Chop, Filet Mignon, Seafood Cioppino
Additionally, OpenTable noted several shifts in trends over the past year, including a renewed interest in dining out on special occasions, like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day – which grew 9% and 6%, respectively.
Another change – solo dining rose 4%, with Thursday and Friday as the most popular days to treat yourself. When it comes to trending cuisines, West African, African and Lebanese were at the top of the list, each reporting double digit dining increases of 72%, 23% and 18%, respectively.
Diner reviews of menu items with East Asian ties were on the rise, too, as OpenTable saw increased mentions of crispy rice (27%), omakase (17%), yuzu (17%), lychee (9%), miso (4%), ramen (4%) and kimchi (2%).
There was also more chatter about mocktail (48%) and non-alcoholic (8%) drinks, likely due to a rise of sober and sober-curious lifestyles. In addition, speakeasy saw gains (25%), as well as cocktails made popular on social media: espresso martini (39%), Aperol spritz (27%) and negroni (4%), according to OpenTable.