Where to Eat in New Brunswick (2023 Guide)

by Emma Garibian
where to eat in new brunswick nj

From high class to quick takeout, New Brunswick’s food scene has so much to offer. While other cities like Princeton, Jersey City, or Montclair get all the attention with restaurants, New Brunswick—like the rest of New Jersey—is on the come up when it comes to being a foodie town. 

The Frog and The Peach 

If you want a truly memorable meal, check out The Frog and The Peach. Executive Chef Bruce Lefebvre purchased the restaurant in 2012. Since then, it has been named New Jersey’s Best “All Around” restaurant, and it’s been selected for inclusion in “America’s Top Tables.” Lefebvre is known for his modern take on American Cuisine and for staying true to the authenticity of The Garden State’s agriculture and fisheries. The restaurant is also known for its outstanding staff and gorgeous interior decor. A New Brunswick food list is incomplete without The Frog and the Peach. 

Destination Dogs

Destination Dogs is where you should go to see the entire world—or, at least the world of hot dogs. This hot spot takes you all over the globe tasting different hot dogs inspired by an array of cuisines. From New Orleans to Los Angeles or even Vietnam to Italy and everything in between, you can find the perfect hot dog by eating through the lengthy menu. Destination Dogs even takes the chance to pay homage to local Rutgers University with their Scarlet Bite. It is an all-beef hot dog, with cheese sauce, fries, cabbage, tomato, pickle, yellow mustard, mayo, ketchup, and scallions.  Founders Jimmy Cronk and Sean Hosty bring the community a unique concept by combining their love for travel and hot dogs to create a menu that touches on the delicacies of a variety of cultures. 


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Diesel and Duke

A take-out burger joint like no other, Diesel and Dukes speak for themselves. They are perfect for a night in, a late-night craving, or even a quick lunch break. Diesel and Dukes have multiple locations aside from New Brunswick like Jersey City, Montclair, Caldwell, and Princeton — and their food is fantastic. The burgers are cooked to perfection: juicy, cheesy, and simple. But the real star of the show here is the French fries. Whether you are ordering them plain, cajun, or splurging on their “ranger fries,” your mouth will be watering. If you are looking for a tasty burger in town and hot, crispy fries, they are one of the best in New Jersey. 


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Hansel ‘n Griddle

Hansel ‘n Griddle is like striking gold for the student residents of New Brunswick. Hansel’s, as the locals call it, does a good mix of classic food. You can get burgers, paninis, and crisps, which are similar to a quesadilla. The popcorn Buffalo chicken crisp is a favorite amongst hungry students. During the cold winter months, you can find soups of the day that are made fresh daily by the owner’s mom. You can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but Hansel’s is best enjoyed after a night out. The spot is serving food until midnight on weekdays and until 3 a.m. on the weekends. Whether it’s a late-night craving or a casual meal, there is something for everyone here. 


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Cambo Box

Inspired by the founders’ Cambodian grandma and her flavor-packed citrusy dishes, the Cambo Box brings a similar experience with a modern twist. The mixture of Cambodian tastes and American influences make this place a winner. Dining here, you can choose between a rice box or a sandwich. Step two is choosing your protein— guests can choose between, lemongrass steak, chicken, shrimp, tofu, and more. Top your box or sandwich with add-ons like a fried egg and chili sauce on top and you have yourself a meal! 

Stuff Yer Face 

Stuff Yer Face has already cemented itself in the Rutgers University history books as it’s been serving students and locals alike for 46 years. The food is not complicated but scrumptious. The restaurant is recognized for its strombolis, which is like a mix of a sandwich and a pizza. The “boli” is filled with your favorite stuffing of meats, vegetables, and cheese. They are so good that even President Jimmy Carter paid a visit to taste them. A personal favorite however is the chicken wing “potachos,” their spin on buffalo chicken potato chip nachos. The restaurant has two levels with a large bar, plenty of dining space, and a great outdoor area for the summer. This is the place to be on a Rutgers game day, with plenty of beers and famous fishbowls. When coming to NB, you have to try this classic.


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Harvest Moon

This local pub with craft beer brewed on-site and an eclectic American pub menu should be your first stop on George Street. Harvest Moon typically offers eight original beers on tap at any one time. Not a beer person? There is a full bar service carrying liquors and wines and a menu of specialty cocktails, perfect for a night out. Their food is a tasty experience of American classics. A popular one is the Brunswick wings. These jumbo wings are crazy crispy and can either be tossed in Buffalo sauce or their homemade BBQ style—either one is a win. The rest of the appetizers are equally as alluring. Do not overlook the sandwiches and burgers. With 14 options, there is always something new to choose from. The best part? Truffle fries. 


Whether you are looking for an intimate dinner for close friends or a corporate meeting, Sahara is suitable for all. The Middle Eastern restaurant offers family-style dishes, like shareables, as well as personal entrees. Walking into the restaurant you will be greeted with beautiful decor of Turkish lamps, a mural of Petra in Jordan, and the smell of fresh pita bread. Yes, fresh, like right out of their very own pita oven, fresh. Classic starters like hummus and baba ghanoush are made to perfection and drizzled with aromatic, extra virgin olive oil. The shepherd’s salad combines fresh flavors and electric colors with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, red onion, and parsley. It’s drizzled with white vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil mixture that is best soaked up by the pita. 


When talking about the food scene in New Brunswick, Tacoria is often one of the first names to get brought up in conversation. This New Jersey staple was born in Hub City by friends from Rutgers. Now they share delicious Mexican/American flavors with us. Tacoria offers so many options like tacos, mission-style burritos, burrito boxes, quesadillas, and nachos. You will always get the freshest and juiciest meats. Don’t eat meat? Their vegan options, like the Golden Avocado, are just as good (maybe even better). The ambiance feeds into the whole experience. When eating inside, you get to sit in a greenhouse-like structure, with varied plants—they have added murals and swings too because why not.  


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Located in the downtown side of the city, Cuzin’s is a high-quality seafood and clam bar. Whether guests want to indulge in a lobster cocktail and some oysters or want to enjoy a larger seafood entrée, the restaurant is sure to make a memorable meal. Cuzin’s may be known for the finest seafood in the area, but you can also order prime cuts of steak and even remarkable cocktails. The elegant yet casual seafood restaurant is great for the many business workers in New Brunswick but also caters to casual dinners with family and friends. If you are looking for something more upscale with a large menu this is the spot for you. 

Sophie’s Bistro 

Though Sophie’s Bistro is located in Somerset, it is an honorable mention. This quick drive outside of New Brunswick is the perfect place to feel like you have run away to the French countryside. French country antiques, large open shuttered windows, dark woods, soft pastel colors, and walls covered with family pictures make Sophie’s an intimate cozy environment. This is the place where one could have a good, hearty meal (comfort food), simple and unpretentious. A favorite for many is the Magret de Canard— a flash-seared duck breast paired with a delicious demi-glace served with gratin and vegetables. No matter who you go with or for what occasion, this place will make you feel at home. 


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About the Author/s

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Emma is an editorial intern. She likes to spend her free time cooking new recipes and chilling with her cat Stella.

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