Paterson is home to a large range of family run establishments offering authentic fare from across the globe, from classic American hotdogs and milkshakes, to the lahmacan and pide of the Middle East. While these restaurants are located on the busy streets of New Jersey, once inside, diners encounter little pockets of culinary heritage, served up by passionate and experienced locals. The following updated listing showcases the very best of Paterson’s diverse cultural restaurants.
Located in a beautiful setting by the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park along the Passaic River, Libby’s Lunch remains a true American favourite after eight decades. A local classic, it delivers a piece of New Jersey’s heritage with every hotdog and milkshake ordered. Ask for your hotdog ‘all the way’ for the full culinary experience – a top-quality hotdog sausage with chilli sauce, mustard and onions. You can’t say you’ve truly seen the Falls without a trip to Libby’s.
Libby’s Lunch, 98 McBride Avenue, Paterson, NJ, USA, +1 973-278 8718
El Sabor Tropical
Offering Dominican fare, El Sabor Tropical is a relatively new restaurant in western Paterson that is quickly making a name for itself as a diner and take-out. The menu is a fusion of Caribbean, Spanish and Basque culinary influences – the bistec encebolado (steak with onions) comes highly recommended, along with the pollo rotisado and carne guisada (beef stew).
El Sabor Tropical, 325 Totowa Ave, Paterson, NJ, USA +1 973-389-1312
Ozkaradeniz, meaning ‘Real Black Sea’, is a family-oriented Turkish restaurant offering a relaxed, small-town ambience with friendly staff and authentic decor. The focus of the menu is on their lahmacun and pide – the Turkish equivalent of pizza, with a beautifully doughy base topped with meats and spices. The combination pide comes highly recommended – an Ozkaradeniz original served with an egg on top. For the complete Turkish experience, sample a glass of aryan, a refreshing traditional yoghurt-based drink.
Orkaradeniz, 1023 Main St, Paterson, NJ, USA, +1 973-523-7779
Star Pide ve Lahmacun Salonu
Immerse yourself in a Turkish community with Star Pide Salonu, whether watching Turkish football on the restaurant’s television screens, enjoying tea with locals or observing fresh bread being expertly made in front of you. The shepherd’s salad comes with great recommendations – using only fresh vegetables and with a kick of zesty lemon, it balances the doughy pide perfectly. Star Pide Salonu has been described as a jewel in Paterson’s dining scene, so it is definitely one to try if you want to experiment with Middle Eastern fare.
Stare Pide ve Lahmacun Salonu, 1059 Main St, Paterson, NJ, USA, +1 973-754-8888
For reasonably priced Turkish and Middle Eastern fare, Toros Restaurant offers a fresh and flavoursome menu. Named after the Toros Mountains of the western Himalayas, the restaurant seeks to recreate some of the spectacular cuisine which finds its origins in this region, using breads made of wheat flour – ekmek, pide, simit and manti – as an elemental ingredient and foundation to many of the dishes. Bulgur and pilav grains are another staple of the Toros kitchen, along with traditional kebabs, dating back to when Turks learnt to cook over open campfires. The lunch specials are particularly good value, offering a choice of soup or salad, an appetizer, entrée and drink all for $11.99.
Toros, 1083 Main St 1, Paterson, NJ, USA, +1 973-742-6877
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