During the pandemic, it was hard to cook dinner every night for a family of six. Imagine our excitement when restaurants started opening back up again or allowing customers to order take out. Over the course of the time, I was able to put together my top five places that I believe everyone should visit at least once because they are that good.
My first restaurant is located in Westville on Broadway. I have never heard a bad word about Speranza. From their amazing service to their filling meals, you will leave happy and satisfied. When you arrive at the restaurant, it is a small section sandwiched between two different stores. Despite the lack of space, they have tables set up in front of their restaurant so that customers can choose to eat outside. They have electric fireplaces to keep you warm on a chilly night. When you walk inside, it is very lowkey with a small bar, but tables that can seat any party sizes. They have string lights hung from the ceiling which gives it a dim but classic look. The restaurant is mainly all wood which is very aesthetically pleasing.
Speranza has amazing Italian food from spaghetti and meatballs, lobster mac and cheese and meatball salad. For appetizer options, I would recommend the truffle fries. They are crispy but smothered in their truffle cheese sauce, and they are to die for. Their side salad options like the Caesar salad is a basic salad but has long slices of parmesan cheese that just makes it outstanding compared to other restaurants. It is a very clean restaurant, and it is obvious just how much the people that own it care about making sure that everyone has a good experience.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go for an amazing meal with great deals, Olive Garden is the place to go. The exterior design of Olive Garden is very nice. They have flowers planted all around the restaurant and metal benches set up outside if you want to wait. When you first walk in, there is a bar straight ahead with seating. If you are above 21, you can sit in that section.
Olive Garden is the perfect place to go if you want a great meal for a good price. But, before you get to the entree, you have to start with the unlimited salads and breadsticks option. If you’re not careful though, you could become addicted. I would recommend everyone try any of their soups or their pasta dishes (specifically the alfredo). Another great option is their cheese ravioli. As someone who does not like cheese, I could eat these for the rest of my life. For dessert, I recommend the warm Italian donuts. It is warm fried dough with sugar sprinkled on top and is served with a warm chocolate sauce, and they are amazing. It is like biting into a piece of Heaven. Olive Garden is a great place to go if you want to take your friends or family out for dinner but also stick to a budget. Nothing is expensive, and they always have great deals.
Rexy’s is another great place that my family loves. Rexy’s has a meal for anyone. If you bring your friend who lives on chicken tenders, they have a meal for him or her. They are not expensive, and they have good prices for meals that could probably cost more. Before Covid, they used to do karaoke nights, and it was fun watching everyone get on stage and sing horrible renditions of the top songs today. The service is average but not in a bad way. They make sure you have everything, and they check to see if you need refills. The interior design is nice. They have a big open bar in the middle and off to the left and to the right they have big rooms that allow you to have big party sizes. Due to Covid, they now have outdoor seating inside a big heated tent. It is not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it doesn’t affect the quality of service. Besides that, it is a very nice building, and they have an all brick look.
If I could recommend one thing, it would be their clam or mussels linguini if you are a seafood lover. It is cooked to perfection. If you are not a seafood lover, then I would recommend the spaghetti bolognese. It is covered in their meat sauce, and once you add the parmesan cheese, it is something that I would eat for the rest of my life. Now, if you are not into pasta, my family’s favorite thing to devour is their hot wings. They are spicy but crispy and served with celery and french fries, and they are amazing.
Applebee’s is one of the best restaurants around. The waiters and waitresses always make it a goal to get to know you and are always very nice and happy which makes for great service. While some interior designs of this restaurant are better in other towns (like Somerdale), it is all basically the same with colored lamp shades and red accents. The exterior design on the other hand is not something that would really catch your eye, but it is still nice. It is all brick with a bench or two in the front of the building. The overall vibe of Applebee’s is very uplifting because everyone in there is talking loudly, laughing, and having fun.
Applebee’s has great deals during the week that offer cheap appetizers or great entree deals. Not only do they have Italian, Mexican and American food, but it is also super cheap. For a great appetizer option, they have boneless wings, and you can get buffalo sauce, honey BBQ sauce or sweet Asian Chili sauce. My go to entree is basic, but it is their bacon cheeseburger because it is so good. I have never once been disappointed. If I am feeling adventurous, then I will go with their Southwest steak bowl. You can customize it, but I love everything in this meal so I get all the works. This is the perfect place to go with friends or family.
Last but certainly not least, Naples is a family owned restaurant in Mullica Hill. This is the perfect place to go to if you want a great meal with your family. It is the best place to go for pasta or a really good burger. I’ve never been to a place with better service. My grandparents have gone so much that everyone there knows us. The owners always come up and talk to us and make sure everyone is eating and enjoying their meal. The interior design shows old fashioned Mullica Hill and how it used to look without making it tacky. It is very open and big with a bar to the left. To the right, you can watch the chefs cook and prepare your meals through an open window. The exterior design is very rustic but looks very clean and nice. Naples is on a busier street so if you are not looking out for it, you may miss it. If you do not feel like dressing nice, this is a great place to go too. It is also a great place if you do feel like getting dressed up and going out. Naples is super clean. The owners care deeply for the restaurant so they always want it clean.
I always switch up my order when I come to Naples because I know that I will like almost anything on their menu. Just recently, I tried the stuffed shells. I am not being dramatic when I tell you that I was transported to Italy itself. My family comes here for the pizza alone because as my mom always says, “They have the best pizza I have ever tried.” She recommends their food to everyone, which is saying a lot because she is very picky. Their pizza has a crunchy crust with melted mozzarella cheese and amazing tomato sauce. The food is cheaper here, and you will never have a bad experience here. They make sure to accommodate you and make sure that your meal is good.
I recommend that everyone goes to at least one of the five restaurants listed above for a great meal but for a cheaper price. All the locations can be found in South Jersey and are available for takeout or dine-in. You will not regret it, and they are guaranteed good times.