No NJ City Is Doing Dining Better Than Maplewood Right Now

by Staff
Maplewood Restaurants

When discussing the culinary hot spots of New Jersey, the usual suspects always pop up: Jersey City, Montclair, Collingswood—but, there’s another NJ town that has been making strides on the dining front and it might not be where you expect it. There isn’t a Jersey town whose dining scene is growing faster than Maplewood’s is right now. 

As Maplewood has become a popular destination for NYC expats over the last five years, the food scene has morphed alongside the town. Within its borders, Maplewood locals enjoy fresh pasta, French bites, classic diners, ramen, crisp falafel and some of NJ’s best pizza options. These are the must-try restaurants and eateries in Maplewood, NJ—plus some forthcoming ones we can’t wait for.

Able Baker


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This neighborhood bakery is the perfect spot to sneak into for a scone and a cup of coffee. It’s also a great place to get your next birthday cake, or if you’re like me, a birthday pie. Beyond the basics are cookies, gourmet pop tarts, quick breads and savory hand pies. It’s the one-stop spot for all things baked goods in Maplewood. 

Ani Ramen


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Ani Ramen has over ten locations, but the Maplewood spot is still worthy of mention. It’s a favorite in the community for the reliably good bowls of ramen, fluffy bao buns stuffed with braised pork and the blistered shishito peppers. Ani is a lesson in consistency and there’s good reason why after all these years, it’s still talked about. 



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Artie’s is one of my favorite places to dine (and drink) in the state. Full stop. The eclectic eatery set inside an industrial building serves up unbelievably delicious wood-fired pizzas, pastas, salads, roasted veggies and more. To go along with the fare is a simple cocktail list with a focus on Italian Amari and a bakery dishing out some of the best croissants and ​​canelés you’ll find in NJ. Artie’s isn’t just a part of the Maplewood dining scene—it is the Maplewood dining scene. 

Bill & Harry’s

If you’re looking for Chinese takeout in Maplewood, you can stop your search. Bill & Harry’s is a family-owned staple of the community, specializing in Chinese takeout classics like crisp and sweet sesame chicken, blistering egg rolls stuffed with cabbage and pork, tangy spare ribs, egg-fried rice and more. A New Jersey town is incomplete without a killer Chinese takeout option, and Maplewood has Bill & Harry’s. 

Chutzpah Kitchen


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Middle Eastern street food is the name of the game at Chutzpah Kitchen, which has two locations in New Jersey. Think creamy hummus anointed with fragrant olive oil and marinated chickpeas, fried artichokes, crispy falafel, kufta-stuffed arayes, flaky Moroccan beef cigars. Maplewood diners are lucky to have this all-encompassing spot, which highlights the many flavors and cultures of the Middle East. 



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This casual spot specializes in soul food and Southern flavors. The kind of homestyle cooking that woos you with its sheer comfort. Munch on cornmeal-dredged catfish or crispy fried chicken with collard greens and candied yams on the side. Chicken and waffles, buttery cornbread (obviously), BBQ ribs and let’s not forget apple or peach cobbler for dessert. Additionally, Cornbread sources all ingredients from local farms and purveyors. 

Restaurant Lorena’s

Lorena’s serves French bites in a sleek, bistro-like setting. The menu morphs with the seasons, featuring the likes of spring pea hummus, linguine with shrimp, pistachio-crusted duck, white asparagus alongside menu mainstays like steak frites and French onion soup. Maplewood locals love the happy hour and brunch—which comes with the added bonus of live jazz. 

Porta Rossa

Part market, part casual restaurant, Porta Rossa focuses on extruded pasta, fresh produce, gelato, Jersey-made cheeses, imported Italian goods and more. It’s a place that you can stop in for a plate of pasta at lunchtime and leave with the ingredients for dinner at home. The pasta program at Porta Rossa is impressive, offering both extruded pastas and egg doughs to be purchased in-store to take home. Oh yeah… they might just have the best Italian sub in the state, too.  

Spot Diner

Diners and New Jersey—the unbreakable bond. Maplewood has its fair share of classic diners like Spot Diner which is perfect for a reliably good breakfast, lunch or dinner option. It’s a diner, don’t overthink it: waffles, char-broiled burgers and some great homestyle entrees like roast chicken or meatloaf with mushroom gravy. It’s no-frills, and that’s why we love it. 

Valley Street Eatery

The Valley Street Eatery team says, “Free World Eatery, where we cook what we want, when we want.” That’s a concept I can totally get behind. The menu—which is laden with sandwich options, fulfilling apps, entrees and more—has a little bit of something for everyone. From homemade soups to breakfast burritos, Valley Street Eatery is a must-try lunch spot in Maplewood. 

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger brings a relaxing atmosphere complete with Thai noodles, curries, skewers and more to Maplewood. Think fish sauce-flavored spicy chicken wings, beef satay, papaya salad, drunken noodles and roast duck soup with udon. Whether dining in or taking it to-go, Wild Ginger has you covered with Thai food in Maplewood. 

Bonus: Restaurants Coming Soon to Maplewood

Maplewood is continuously growing—and so is the food. There are several hyped-up restaurants poised to open this year that we couldn’t leave off. Keep an eye out for these Maplewood restaurants in 2024. 

Corner Slice


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Corner Slice can’t come soon enough. The square-focused pizzeria originally opened in Gotham Market in NYC before closing last year and announcing a relocation to NJ. The slice shop specializes in a square pizza that is “thinner than Sicilian, but thicker than Grandma [pizza]” as owner Mike Bergemann puts it. 

Osteria LK

From the Chef and Owner of the lauded Laboratorio Kitchen in Montclair comes Osteria LK, a scaled-back restaurant that aims to bring simple, locally driven food and wood-fired pizzas to Maplewood. The BYO is bound to quickly become one of the community’s staples. 

Perla Oyster Bar


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This once mobile-only oyster truck is getting a brick-and-mortar. The menu, which is oyster-focused, is expanding to include Basque-style pintxos like anchovy toast and conservas, along with French bistro staples like escargot and the like. What’s more is a non-alcoholic beverage menu featuring cocktails, N/A wines and beer.

About the Author/s

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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1 comment

Megan April 26, 2024 - 4:08 pm

No true salvage cafe mentioned! That’s a huge miss.


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