Elizabeth is one of New Jersey’s largest cities, and is nearby to the larger cities of Newark and also New York, just across the river. The city dates back to the mid-1600s, and has a number of historic neighborhoods as well as a diverse population. Read on to see The Culture Trip’s picks for the best places to eat in the city.
In a state known for its Italian heritage, it’s not surprise to find some excellent pizza joints. Al Santillo’s has been around since 1918, and is one of the best spots in Elizabeth for Sicilian-style pizzas. The restaurant offers various ‘styles’ in which diners can order their pizza, such as 1940 Genuine Tomato (just sauce), or 1990 American Style (soft crust). The restaurant has been run by the same family since its early beginnings, and has been called the best pizza in New Jersey by reviewers.
A lovely place for a light meal or breakfast, Brisas Colombianas Bakery has a tasty range of breads, cakes and pastries as well as hot savory breakfasts and lunches. Many of the options the bakery offers are Colombian, with some special ingredients imported from Colombia itself in order to ensure the most authentic baking and cooking. The interior has a homey feel to it, but it’s fairly small so often the place is packed.
For Italian food that’s not limited to pizza, Michelino’s is a beautiful Italian restaurant offering a lovely range of authentic Italian dishes. There is a fine dining menu, with dishes such as pork osso bucco, chicken rollatini or veal saltimbocca, which can be enjoyed in a sophisticated interior. It’s slightly more expensive than other places in town, but the quality and service make it worth the cost. A great choice for a special occasion or romantic meal.
Juliana’s Pastry Shop is a family-owned bakery specialising in Dominican baked goods and desserts. They also offer coffee to go with a morning slice of cake or sweet pastries, as well as a Dominican lunch menu with daily specials. The service is friendly, and the bakery also offers personalised cakes for special occasions. A lovely spot for treats or snacks.
For an unusual twist on classic American steakhouses, Valenca is a Spanish and Portuguese grill serving dishes such as Portuguese sausage, grilled shrimp and other seafood, and hot stone steak. With all the grilling, the restaurant is filled with the enticing smell of cooking, which together with the bustling atmosphere gives the restaurant a lively vibe. Valencia is popular with all clientele, such as families and business people, and cooking the steak yourself on a hot stone is a fun and unique dining experience.
Tommy’s is a great little Italian fast-food shack, offering Italian style hotdogs and potato cups. The portions are huge, and great value for money; the sausages are meaty with a unique flavor, far tastier than your average hotdog. The bar is family-run and by focusing on a limited menu, they have really perfected their signature meals. A great choice for something a little more indulgent than a sit-down meal.
As one of the only places in Elizabeth to find truly organic food, Mamita Linda doesn’t disappoint. The restaurant itself is primarily Latin American fusion, offering salads, soups, and grilled meat and vegetables, all with tangy Latin flavors. The restaurant’s owner works in house, serving customers with a welcoming smile. There is also an excellent selection of fruit juices on offer, each with a different health benefit for the body. A fantastic spot for the health-conscious or those just looking for something fresh and full of flavor. Address: 313 Morris Ave, Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States, +1-908-469-2993
This unassuming Italian restaurant doesn’t seem like much from the outside, but is a favorite with the locals for its authentic flavors and dishes. It has been part of the neighborhood for years, with wait staff that have been working there for an equally long time, making it a great place to absorb the local atmosphere. The dishes are simple and unpretentious, but really tasty, and include pizza, ravioli, chicken parmigiana and meatballs. Easily one of the most authentic Italian spots in town.