From world renowned tomatoes to legendary hot dogs, New Jersey is chock full of culinary treasures. And to celebrate all the great food and drink that the country’s most densely populated state has to offer, we’ve rounded up 23 of the Garden State’s claims to culinary fame as part of our first annual guide to the best food and drink in every state.
Like Rodney Dangerfield, New York City’s neighbor to the west doesn’t get much in the way of respect. A big part of the reason for that is the dense network of highways that make it a crucial conduit for those traveling up or down the Eastern Seaboard. But if you’ve only seen Jersey by way of the Turnpike, then you really haven’t seen Jersey.
New Jersey is called the Garden State for a reason: Much of the state is lush and verdant. According to Jersey Fresh, the state is home to 9,000 farms covering 720,000 acres, and food and agriculture is Jersey’s third-largest industry. Not only do New Jersey farms produce more than 100 kinds of fruits and vegetables, the state is also home to some great places to eat and drink, and over the course of the past year we’ve honored everything from its best hot dogs and farmers markets to its best dive bar and craft brewery in our comprehensive and wide-ranging lists and rankings, compiled through extensive research and with input from a wide network of site contributors, bloggers, journalists, and chefs. We’ve compiled these into individual slideshows celebrating the best food and drink in every state, and you can find our New Jersey gallery here.