The Highest Quality Restaurants in New Jersey

By John Geraci ‘24

Usually most of us don’t feel like cooking. It feels like too much of a hassle to pick something out, go to the store to get ingredients and have to prepare the table and go through multiple steps depending on what you make; however if you go to a restaurant, you don’t have to worry about going all over the place just for a meal. Instead you can just pick from an easy menu, wait a few minutes, and you have your meal.
Olive Garden is one of those high quality restaurants which also doesn’t burn out your wallet. The food at Olive Garden is of fairly high quality. They serve a wide variety of pastas, soups and most Italian foods you can think of. Olive Garden will always leave you satisfied with your meal, whether it be the delicious breadsticks that come fresh out of the oven perfectly soft to the touch, or even the salad filled with local fresh vegetables allowing you to pour any dressing of your choice, which brings out the flavor in each bite. There are also many wonderful drinks to choose from, one of which is delicious and refreshing bellini peach iced tea, which tastes better here than anywhere else. The portion sizes also depend on the meal you get, but are usually pretty full and will not leave you hungry afterwards.
The interior design of the restaurant is very decorative. It emphasizes on being an Italian restaurant with paintings of Italian countryside all over and decorative plates on the walls along with Italian designs which really makes it feel authentic. Generally they will have calming Italian jazz music playing, and it keeps the atmosphere relaxed and friendly with servers checking in consistently to make sure you aren’t in need of a refill or out of something like breadsticks. The room is generally peaceful.
Hollywood Diner is the next restaurant, which is a radiant restaurant and fans of the 1950s will especially like it. Food at the Hollywood Diner consists of delicious breakfast foods like soft buttery pancakes which taste homemade or a non-breakfast food such as pasta which comes out steamy and warm ready to eat. Servers are friendly and will make sure you are enjoying your meal. Wait time is generally a bit shorter than most restaurants due to the amount of staff always ready to serve you. In terms of interior design, the interior gives a 1950s USA feel to it with music from that generation playing in the building and all different signs and even a 1950s Chevrolet vehicle on display in the building when you walk in which adds to the ambiance of the restaurant. On the outside, the building is covered in fairly bright colors and even some neon lights which further adds to the 1950s feel of the diner and is fairly large so you won’t miss it when driving on the highway.
One restaurant that almost everybody knows about is none other than Chick-Fil-A, who has not only maintained a great reputation throughout the years but also a high quality expectation for their customers. The overall look of the place makes it a friendly place and a welcoming environment that feels like you can just be there and enjoy yourself with a sunny feeling with help from the paintings and the famous “Eat more chicken” cow. In terms of food, it is some of the best for a fast food category restaurant. Some items on their menu include some of the most unique chicken you will find and you can tell it isn’t processed. The second the chicken enters your mouth, you can taste the incredible difference in texture and taste more than anywhere else.
Another good restaurant which is more local and just as well known would be Applebee’s. Applebee’s has decent service and never any problems with the servers who are generally very friendly and helpful. In terms of outdoor and indoor looks, Applebee’s gives off more of a bar feeling, which is on purpose as they do have a bar inside the restaurant. I usually only get a few food items. The last I tried was the pasta which came out nice and warm and nearly melted in my mouth. What you get for your money seems to be fair. I’d say the portions are correct for what you pay, and you will generally get your money’s worth.
The last restaurant on the list is Dunkin Donuts that has managed to maintain high quality for a fast food restaurant over the years and has multiple locations within walking distance of most places. The interior and exterior have been renovated in recent years, but they give off this more modern feel and make it feel friendly to a point. The food is usually spot on, one of their famous items, the doughnut, is their specialty. Another option that many people love is their famous coffee that makes you feel refreshed and ready for the morning which is made right there in the store, which many people purchase everyday. No matter which donut you get, you will be satisfied with everything. The donuts always come out fresh and soft. Perfect conditions for the taste of the donut to explode the second you bite down. In terms of service and cleanliness, the service is generally fast and efficient while the cleanliness rarely ever has problems, especially with COVID-19
Sometimes it can be worth it to try out new places so you know you aren’t missing out on anything. So if you don’t feel like cooking, or you are just in the mood for a meal, there are always great restaurants just around the corner.