New Jersey is home to a wide array of culinary delights. A place nicknamed “The Garden State” cannot simply be known for its illustrious crops without there being some specialty dishes they are used in!

Across the United States, people have created unique meals that have become a staple among their local communities. Here in New Jersey, we have plenty of our own local favorites that we would like to share with all of you. Here we have highlighted just four of those favorites. If you ever get the chance to try them out, we absolutely recommend that you do!

Tomato Pie

Cheese, tomato sauce and crust. No, it’s not pizza! It’s tomato pie. The three basic ingredients are flipped around to create something a little less known, but equally delicious. A tomato pie is typically made with cheese going on the crust before tomato. This simple switch truly makes the tomato the star of the show. Tomato pie was brought to us by the Italian-American community in the 19th century and it still has a presence around these parts today. If you’d like to try your hand at making your very own tomato pie, here is a great recipe. If possible, use ripe New Jersey tomatoes to really top it off!

Disco Fries

An indulgent comfort food with a little bit of confusion. What we mean by that is how there are a few other dishes (such as poutine) that are often confused with disco fries and vice versa. Disco fries are made up of just french fries, gravy and chunks of mozzarella cheese melted on top. It is a diehard New Jersey diner favorite.

Chicken Savoy

The Italian roots are strong in New Jersey, so naturally there had to be more than just one Italian dish on this list. Chicken savoy was invented at the Belmont Tavern by a chef who called himself “Stretch”. People came from far and wide just to try this instant classic of a dish. Many restaurants on the east coast offer their own version of chicken savoy, but the traditional dish is prepared by rubbing garlic, hard cheese and herbs on some cut up chicken. Then roast it on high in a pan with some vinegar. The aromas that give way are simply mouth-watering.


Another old time favorite that has recently seen a revival in dining experiences across New Jersey is the beefsteak. A beefsteak banquet has been a staple for the working class since the mid-1800s, where people can gather and eat beefsteak until their stomachs are content. Beefsteak is a beef tenderloin dipped into a butter base then sliced thin and served on sliced rounds of bread. Most banquets will have tray after tray of this savory finger food for you and your guests to eat your fill.

Still hungry? Read up on even more New Jersey classics here.

"Creating Culinary Magic"

- Chef John Deatcher

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