15 NJ Dishes You Have to Try this Winter (2023 Guide)

by Peter Candia and Emma Garibian
chicken and dumplings

New Jersey winters come with depressing times for many. The frigid air brings your teeth to a rapid chatter and the skies turn dark earlier than we may prefer. However, with winter comes food fit for the occasion. Comforting bowls of hearty stews, soups and more are just some of what people tend to warm up with in the winter months. In New Jersey, this tide of fare is abundant if you know where to look. These are 15 NJ dishes you must try this winter season. 

Tonkotsu Ramen – 7 Doors Down Ramen Co.

Bloomfield, NJ 

A comforting bowl of fresh noodles, veggies, meat and broth—what could be better than that to fight off the chill outside? At 7 Doors Down Ramen Co., rich pork broth is combined with a house miso blend, Snake River Farms pork belly, a soy-marinated egg, and mushrooms to create their Tonkotsu Ramen. Seriously, there isn’t a better bowl in NJ. 

where to get ramen in nj

Tonkotsu Ramen | Photo by Leigh Soriano

Fondue – Parkside Social

Verona, NJ

It’s hard to stay away from cheesy deliciousness on a frosty day. That’s why the fondue at Parkside Social is the perfect choice to melt your shivers away. Just to enhance the flavors, this fondue is made from beer cheese and served with cut-up kielbasa, soft pretzel, and pear. Such a starter is made to share but let’s be honest, on a cold day, it’s best for one. 

Curry Pots – Tiffin

Cherry Hill, NJ

With the create-your-own curry pots at Tiffin, you can enjoy the flavors of India your way. You simply choose your protein, sauce and spice level and the kitchen does the rest of the work for you. Guests can choose between vegetables, paneer, chicken, tilapia, lamb or shrimp and combine it with any sauce such as Tikka Masala or Vindaloo. The flavorful pot of food is fulfilling and tasty no matter how you build it.

Lamb Meatballs – South + Pine

Morristown, NJ

Chef Leia Gaccione’s lamb meatballs are downright addicting. That’s why since opening South + Pine in 2015, it is one of the few menu items that has never changed. Not once. The dish’s simplicity is what makes it so perfect—spicy lamb meatballs are laid atop a cool, Greek yogurt dressing with plenty of diced cucumber and dill. The juxtaposition of temperatures and flavors creates a perfectly balanced appetizer. The spices in the meatball are warming and make for an ideal dish in the winter time. Truth be told though, this dish would be alluring at any time of year.

Chicken and Black Pepper Dumplings – Sergeantsville Inn 

Sergeantsville, NJ 

What’s better than chicken and dumplings? Well, almost nothing. Gently cooked chicken and its broth are used to cook delicate dumplings. At Sergeantsville Inn, that’s no different. Griggstown Farm chicken thigh is simmered in veloute dotted with an assortment of winter veggies. Black pepper drop biscuits and a pan-roasted, Frenched chicken breast finished off an inviting bowl of stew. It’ll have you wishing (for once) it was winter all year round. 

chicken and dumplings

Chicken and Black Pepper Dumplings | Photo by Emma Radest @emma_radest

Lasagna Rotolo – Rosie’s Rustico (Fascino)

Montclair, NJ

Rosie’s Rustico is a pop-up restaurant in the space normally occupied by the legendary Fascino. Chef Ryan DePersio unrolled Rosie’s as an homage to his Grandmother’s cooking.  The lasagna rotolo is a prime example of simple cooking that is executed perfectly.  Lasagna sheets are rolled with whipped ricotta and baked with a hearty tomato sauce. The dish is finished with more ricotta and a Genovese pesto. The warmth this brings you will render the weather outside irrelevant.

where to get lasagna in nj

Lasagna Rotolo at Fascino

Soupe Aux Oignons – Brasserie Memere

Closter, NJ

Onion soup is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The platonic ideal of the classic can be found at Brasserie Memere. Caramelized onions are simmered in a savory oxtail broth. The mixture is topped with gruyere cheese and toasted bread before being placed under a broiler to get acquainted with one another. It is a soup that eats like a meal. Better yet, it’s piping hot and delicious.

onion soup best winter dishes

Soupe Aux Oignons | Photo by @pete.candia

Classic Meat Pie – Frankie

Jersey City, NJ

What’s better than a classic English meat pie in the cold months of winter? Well, perhaps an Australian meat pie. At Frankie in Jersey City, you can enjoy glasses of hip, biodynamic wine, cool decor and, yes, a flaky pie crust bursting with savory meat filling. The pie is stuffed with braised beef and confit onion—a combination that is nearly screaming your name the second the temperature drops below freezing. If you find yourself in Jersey City and need a place to warm up, Frankie is well worth a visit.


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Upside Down Sicilian – Coniglio’s

Morristown, NJ

Pizza is a true New Jersey comfort food and, sometimes, comfort food is precisely what the doctor ordered to combat the winter air. No pizzeria in Jersey has been making more noise than the new(ish) Coniglio’s in Morristown. To be honest, any pizza at Coniglio’s will do just fine, but the upside down Sicilian-style is otherworldly. A thoughtful nod to old school “L&B Style” pizza from Brooklyn, mozzarella cheese is laid down first, then topped with rich tomato sauce and Pecorino Romano. This pizza is comforting, warm and exceptionally delicious.

upside down sicilian

Upside Down Sicilian | Photo by Coniglio’s

Magret de Canard – Sophie’s Bistro

Somerset, NJ

French cuisine is filled with hearty dishes that are ideal for the cold winters. This flash-seared duck breast at Sophie’s Bistro is paired with a delicious demi-glace, honey, raisin and cognac, served with gratin and vegetables, which makes for the perfect comfort food. Put together with the French antique decor; this dish makes winter just a bit cozier.


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Talula’s Reuben – Talula’s Pizza

Asbury Park, NJ

The Reuben is a classic American grilled sandwich and is highlighted deliciously on Talula’s Menu. Here, the warm Reuben involves housemade pastrami, pickled pepper Russian dressing, coleslaw and gruyere cheese on country sourdough bread. Why is this the best sandwich in the cold winter season? Well, when the pastrami is heated and the cheese melts, the tangy dressing incorporates with the coleslaw and bread. This marriage of flavors allows it to become the most irresistible grilled sandwich.  


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Chicken Savoy – Belmont Tavern 

Belleville, NJ 

When you walk into Belmont Tavern you are transported to an old-school, classic New Jersey Italian restaurant. Their Stretch’s chicken Savoy has been a classic served since it opened in 1967. You don’t receive just one or two pieces of the chicken—the whole chicken is presented to you. The addicting chicken is roasted and smeared with garlic, herbs and red wine vinegar. Not only is this dish a Jersey classic, but it’s the perfect hearty meal on a shivery night.


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Sunday Roast (weekends only)- The Black Swan Public House

Asbury Park, NJ

A British Sunday Roast is a timeless dish that is ideal in the wintertime. At The Black Swan in Asbury Park, slowly roasted beef Ribeye is combined with a classic Yorkshire pudding, roasted vegetables, potatoes and an unctuous beef jus. This is undoubtedly one of the most warming meals one can find and lucky for us,  you don’t have to fly across the pond to get one—we have it right here at the Jersey Shore.


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Chicken Pot Pie – The Fox and Falcon

South Orange, NJ

The chicken pot pie from The Fox and Falcon is not to be avoided. This classic dish is the perfect answer for a chilly night. It calls for its usual suspects: Chicken, potatoes, onions, and carrots, but is also suited with roti. As a time-honored classic, it is simple yet daring and delicious. Suddenly, the chicken pot pie will give you that warm embrace needed in the winter season. 

chicken pot pie

photo from The Fox & Falcon

Galbi-Jjim – ONDO 

Jersey City, NJ

Galbi jjim is a perfect balance between savory and sweet. The contemporary version of this beef short rib dish is found at ONDO. The soy sauce in the braising liquid adds a ton of umami. The vegetables also break down and help to thicken the sauce, adding to the savory sweetness. The dish is served with a chestnut purée, thai chili, chives and a choice to top it with black truffle.

galbi jjim ONDO

Galbi-Jjim | Photo by @pete.candia

About the Author/s

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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.

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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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