Look Out for These NJ Restaurants Coming in 2024

by Peter Candia
fatto con amore

New Jersey’s dining scene is nothing short of extraordinary. From Bergen County to the Jersey Shore, new restaurants are constantly popping up in the Garden State. With an excess of exceptional chefs, bar minds and hospitality professionals, it’s no wonder why NJ’s restaurant scene is constantly improving—making it one of the best in the US.

This year is shaping up to be no different. Keep an eye out for these NJ restaurants coming in 2024. 

BYRD – Hoboken, NJ

800 Jackson Street, Hoboken, NJ


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Common Lot Restaurant (@common_lot)

From the team behind the critically acclaimed Common Lot in Millburn comes BYRD, Chef/Owner Ehren Ryan’s first foray into casual, NJ dining. Casual with an asterisk, of course. Diners can still expect to see many of the globally-inspired bites that Common Lot-goers have come to love like charcoal-kissed octopus with vadouvan and curry leaf or any of the seasonally-rotating tartares. But Ryan isn’t afraid of taking risks, either—which, in his case, means dialing it back a tad. Double burgers with American cheese, steak frites, a varied raw bar and the like can be expected at Hoboken’s BYRD. “We’re going to have a little bit of everything for everyone,” Chef Ryan tells me. “The menu will be seasonal and it’s going to change at least four times a year. Probably more like six or seven, though. I can’t help myself.” 

On Sundays, larger groups can reserve a Sunday Roast—which might look something like a slow-cooked leg of lamb, complete with fresh rolls, roast potatoes and an array of sauces and condiments. 

Additionally, BYRD will feature a full liquor license—something Ryan and wife Nadine have long been vying for. Anticipate a borderless wine list and a cocktail menu replete with classics and originals alike. The 90-something-seat neighborhood restaurant is a change for the husband and wife duo, but a change they accept with open arms. Considering Chef Ryan’s pure skill in the kitchen, BYRD is some of the best news the Hoboken dining scene has received in over a decade. 


1215 Sunset Avenue, Asbury Park


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by CatBird Asbury Park (@catbird_ap)

When bread baker and pizzaiola Aimée McElroy closed her beloved Medusa last year, she knew it wouldn’t be her final curtain in Asbury Park. Instead, she planned to come back bigger and better than ever and those ambitions are turning into reality very soon.

CatBird will open in the space formerly operated by Sunset Landing Luncheonette—a neighborhood staple for decades. For McElroy, the 1960s-era lakeside cabin is the perfect home for her next project, which will feature a menu rife with wood-fired entrees, pizzas, naturally leavened breads and more. McElroy’s pizzas in particular garnered rave reviews at the now-defunct Medusa, where the crust lies somewhere between a NY-style and a Neapolitan thanks to slow fermentation. 

What’s more, CatBird—which is a BYOB—will feature a full list of Non-Alcoholic drinks.  “I’m really excited to have that space to offer NA drinks,” says McElroy of the menu. She’s deeming the beverage program “MockingBar,” get it? In addition to dinner, CatBird is poised to offer breakfast and brunch on weekends. With its behemoth of a pizza oven and sweeping outdoor patio looking over the lake, Asbury Park’s dining scene is about to get even better. 

Better Days – Jersey City, NJ

143 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302

cocktails in new jersey

Gabriel Rieben behind the bar | photo by Pete Bonacci

Last year, cocktail genius Gabriel Rieben broke the collective minds of New Jerseyans when he opened his innovatively addicting cocktail bar, 143 Social. Jersey City is currently having a moment in the cocktail world and that “moment” has lasted for the better part of a decade thanks to Rieben, whose resume includes leading the charge at Cellar 335, Madame, Dullboy, and Low Fidelity Bar previously. 

Located above 143 Social, where Bareburger currently is (which will remain open for delivery as a ghost kitchen), will be Better Days—Rieben’s continued contribution to the bustling Newark Ave neighborhood. Along with owner Arto Ozgun, the Better Days team looks to peel away some of the exclusivity that 143 offers in a hidden, speakeasy setting—bringing guests two distinct cocktail experiences layered atop one another. 

On the food side of things, Ozgun is putting together what he calls an American bistro menu—replete with shareable plates and the like. Think classic dishes, but elevated with the use of local vendors. Breads from NYC’s Balthazar and Pat LaFrieda beef will be featured in items like the Wagyu French dip and the large format, pastrami-style beef rib. Maybe house-made croissants and curry lamb burgers are more your speed. Just like that, Jersey City continues its dominant tear over the NJ dining scene.

Bar MUTZ – Westwood, NJ

90 Center Ave, Westwood, NJ 

bar mutz

Fresh MUTZ | photo via @bar.mutz

Chef Robbie Felice began making a name for himself back in 2016 when he opened Viaggio at just 26 years old to near instant critical acclaim. Since then, he has opened a few other restaurants. Osteria Crescendo, pastaRAMEN—ever hear of them? Well, he’s not done yet. Not even close. In fact, 2024 will see two new restaurants from Robbie Felice (see: Fatto con Amore below). 

Bar MUTZ is opening next door to Felice’s top NJ restaurant, Osteria Crescendo, but he plans on taking it in an entirely different direction. “New Jersey’s first mozzarella bar” is what he’s dubbing Bar MUTZ and that description couldn’t be more spot-on for the casual, hip trattoria. Guests will enjoy a wine list teeming with new-school bottles that aim to expand the average drinker’s palate and a cocktail list that looks to build off the success of neighboring Crescendo’s innovative and complexly alluring drink offerings. 

Behind the bar, right alongside bartenders slinging amaro-laced sours and spritzes, guests are treated to views of mozzarella and burrata, stretched by hand, to order. Beyond fresh cheese, expect Italian imports, gooey mozzarella sticks, and plenty of other casual bites. Bar MUTZ is teeing up to be one of New Jersey’s freshest takes on the ever-abundant Italian fare. Hop along for the ride, Felice is just getting cooking.  

Ram and Rooster

83 Central Avenue, Metuchen, NJ 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ram & Rooster (@ramandrooster)

“We’re going to try to push the boundaries of what Chinese flavors can be in America,” says Chef/Owner of forthcoming Ram and Rooster, Sean Yan. “Elevated concept. No traditional rules.” 

Metuchen’s Ram and Rooster is definitely one to look out for. Beyond Yan’s years honing his craft under Chef Dave Viana at the legendary Heirloom Kitchen, is a youth filled with eating traditional Chinese cooking at the hands of his parents—who hailed from Nanjing, China. The name is even an ode to his parents with Ram being his mother’s Chinese Zodiac sign and Rooster his father’s.

One thing is clear, though, Yan is not calling Ram and Rooster a “Chinese Restaurant.” Instead, he plans to combine all of his cuisine-spanning knowledge into the concept. The tasting menu—which will range from 7-10 courses depending on the night—will cover regional flavors of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and more while utilizing a heavy dose of ingredients local to New Jersey. Add an open kitchen to the mix and Ram and Rooster is shaping up to be one of NJ’s most exciting openings of the year. 

Osteria LK

180 Maplewood Ave, Maplewood, NJ

Chef James De Sisto | Laboratorio Kitchen

Eight miles away from Maplewood in Montclair, NJ, diners flock to Chef James De Sisto’s Laboratorio Kitchen because of his elegant approach to farm-to-table dining, defined by his unabashed love letter to simple cooking. We can’t get enough of the steak frites, gargantuan meatballs and impressive desserts. And soon enough, Maplewood diners will get a taste.

Osteria LK is coming soon, and it’s taking over an already legendary space. The casual Italian-focused destination will live where the lauded Artie’s once did—way back when it was still known as Arturo’s. “We want it to be an everyday restaurant,” De Sisto tells me. “It’s going to be simple, approachable food. We want it to be a place for everyone, every day of the week.” 

It’s a straightforward plan, but that’s what De Sisto does best. He lets the ingredients do the talking, and nothing is better. Expect pizzas, fresh pasta, and homestyle cooking on the corner of Maplewood Ave and Baker Street—Osteria LK is almost here. 

Fatto Con Amore 

349 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ

If you told me back in 2018—when I tried Robbie Felice’s food for the first time—that he would one day open NJ’s most-anticipated sandwich shop, I probably would have laughed in your face. But, that’s exactly what he’s doing with Fatto Con Amore, and if the recent exclusive sandwich drops are any indication, it’s going to be a total hit.

Located down the street from NJ’s hardest-to-grab reservation, Felice’s own pastaRAMEN, Fatto Con Amore promises artisanally-crafted sandwiches, using the best bread, meats and cheeses that the acclaimed chef can get his hands on. It’s Felice’s first real dip into the waters of fast-casual dining—a restaurant style that is growing in popularity each year. 

Growing up in New Jersey, Felice is no stranger to great sandwiches. It seems that in the Garden State, you’re never more than five minutes from a truly great sub—or, in Fatto’s case, a panino. Simplicity is the star and if you’re looking for a sandwich that’s packed half-a-foot-high with crappy cured meat and cheese, look the other way. “Made with love.” That’s the Fatto Con Amore motto.  

Corner Slice

419 Boyden Ave, Maplewood, NJ


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by CORNER SLICE (@corner_slice)

Corner Slice announced last year that they’d be closing their NYC location inside of Gotham West Market and coming to this side of the Hudson in Maplewood, NJ. As the name might imply, Corner Slice specializes in square pies—in fact, they only serve square.

Owner and pizzaiolo Mike Bergemann developed his signature dough to be uniquely chewy and airy. “It’s like a thinner Sicilian, but a thicker Grandma [pizza],” he tells me. It’s a style he has deemed the “New York square pie.” Bergemann also finds it important not to cheap out on flour, employing a three-flour method, using whole spelt, durum and wheat flours all from Central Milling in Utah. 

The best tomatoes from NJ and an array of fun toppings don the square pies. And soon, Maplewood diners will be opened to the world of Corner Slice’s cleverly-topped, three-day-fermented pizzas. 

The Roxy

68 Monitor Street, Jersey City, NJ

Chef-Partner Matt Moschella of The Roxy | photo by Pete Bonacci

From the team behind Corto—the legendary Jersey City Heights home-style Italian gem—comes The Roxy. The Mediterranean-inspired brasserie is poised to open this year. The Roxy comes at the hands of current Corto owners Chef Matt Moschella and Drew Buzzio—this time bringing along General Manager Justin Buzzio, whose resume includes time spent at the legendary Jean-Georges, to help run the operation alongside them.

The team looks to elevate upon Corto’s warm and homey vibe, which extends from the menu to the dining room. “It’s going to be a little more of a dining experience,” says Moschella of The Roxy. Think mixed metal detailing, stone tabletops, a focused food menu and a varied cocktail list—something that sets it apart from its BYOB sister restaurant. 

Along with Chef Rachel Dos Santos—who has helped to bring Corto its constant critical acclaim—The Roxy will drop the pasta section that Corto has become known for and instead focus on large main entrees, side dishes and a robust list of starters, like the crisp-roasted octopus that Moschella has deemed already a hit. Corto’s growing list of regulars should be happy to discover that there’s much more where that came from. 

About the Author/s

All posts

Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

Related Articles


John February 27, 2024 - 4:27 pm

Peter, I love your reviews and new restaurant notices. There seems to be a void, though, in the south Jersey scene. Is it a lack of great restaurants or does that area just get less attention?

Denise G. March 26, 2024 - 1:29 pm

OMG, it all sounds so great, I wanna try them all!


Leave a Comment

Yes, I would like to receive emails from The Digest Online. Sign me up!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: New Jersey Digest. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact