Food & Drink

The 14 Best Restaurants in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Published On 08/19/2015 Published On 08/19/2015

Since nothing numbs the pain of a disappointing football game quite like a 50-cent slice, an old-fashioned ice cream, or a fat sandwich, here are the 14 best restaurants in New Brunswick. All are within a five-minute walk from Rutger’s campus -- it’ll take you longer to decide what to eat than where to eat.

Tumulty's Pub

Best burger: Tumulty’s

361 George St
Expect nothing but straight-up decent pub fare at this university stalwart, like massive 10oz, build-your-own burgers. Eat ‘em on Tuesdays for only $5.
 

Best pizza: Skinny Vinnie’s

60 Sicard St
The sign outside this conspicuous corner joint claims it’s the “Best Pizza in Town,” and we’re not about to argue this, particularly because there aren’t many other places that have a fry slice in their arsenal like Skinny Vinnie’s does. Can you think of one? Exactly.

Flickr/Jazz Guy

Best place if your parents are paying: Old Man Rafferty’s

106 Albany St
It’s a little out of budget for the average college student, so when parents are in town, tell them about your academic probation over bacon-wrapped filet mignon and a dope dessert that definitely involves at least eight different forms of chocolate.
 

Best brunch: White Rose Hamburgers

43 Easton Ave
It’s called White Rose Hamburgers, but breakfast here is the most important meal. Eggs and home fries are perfect every time, and the bacon is deep-fried. You hear that? THEY DEEP FRY THE BACON. Everything is served on cafeteria trays and plastic plates, which is a quaint little touch.

The Old Bay Restaurant

Best Southern: The Old Bay Restaurant

61 Church St
It’s the best alternative to Bourbon St in New Brunswick! Also, the only Bourbon St alternative in New Brunswick, but whatever. The Cajun/Creole menu is loaded up (seafood jambalaya, pecan-crusted catfish, po-boys, Kobe sirloin), the beer list is 22 deep, and there are themed happy hours -- like Pint Night and Wine Down Wednesday -- almost every night of the week.

Flickr/Ben+Sam

Best happy hour: Stuff Yer Face

49 Easton Ave
The happy hour prices ($1 off drinks and apps) are fine, but the real draw is the packed outdoor patio when the weather is nice. “Bolis” (stromboli) and “potachos” (nachos, but made with potatoes rather than tortilla chips) will set your stomach up right for one to seven fishbowls.
 

Best sandwich: The Fat Sandwich

Available all over New Brunswick
The famous Grease Trucks no longer exist in the lot on the corner of College Ave and Hamilton St (RIP), but the Fat Sandwich is still readily available. It's one of the best college sandwiches in the country, and you can get your hands on one of these bad boys at almost any spot on Easton Ave. There are well over 50 different varieties, and all come with a heaping portion of fries... on the sandwich.

Flickr/Kevin Harber

Best ice cream: Thomas Sweet

12 Easton Ave
It’s near impossible to walk past without stopping to sample the old-fashioned ice cream and fro-yo. Flavors change with the seasons, but the long lines out the door never diminish, even in the winter months.

Sanctuary

Best late-night: Sanctuary

135 Easton Ave
Open late and just a few steps away from the bars, this quirky diner -- with its comic book collection and extensive menu -- is seriously underrated.
 

Best sushi: Sushi Room

12 Easton Ave
The ambiance might appear fancy but it’s actually quite casual! And the lunch special won’t run you more than 15 bucks.

Steakhouse 85

Best steakhouse: Steakhouse 85

85 Church St
Big chops, classic surf & turf, seven different kinds of potatoes -- it’s got everything you could ever expect from a steakhouse, including the hefty check.

Harvest Moon

Best date spot: Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe

392 George St
Grab dinner before or drinks (in-house-brewed beer!) after a comedy show at the Stress Factory or a play at the State Theater.
 

The best “I only have $5” option: The Olive Branch

37 Bartlett St
Cheap beer, 50-cent slices, and skeeball. When you wake up in fear of checking your bank balance, the spare change you find in your car should be enough to finance a trip to OB.

Hansel 'n Griddle

The best of the best: Hansel 'N Griddle

130 Easton Ave
The go-to spot for any Rutgers student, H'NG always has a line, even after its relocation to a bigger property (right smack in the middle of three busy bars, we might add!). The crisps (aka quesadillas) and the smoothies are excellent for Sunday breakfasts, post-football-game meals, Tuesday dinners, late-night studying nosh, and Tinder dates if you just want to be adequate.

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1. Tumulty's Pub 361 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This university stalwart serves nothing but classic, reliable pub fare. There's a downstairs area with live music and events, and the upstairs is for dining and drinking.

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2. Skinny Vinnie's 60 Sicard St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Count on freshly baked pizza and Italian subs and calzones at this corner joint. Don't count on losing any weight.

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3. Old Man Rafferty's 106 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This family-friendly American restaurant has a pub-type feel and offers hearty fare and outdoor seating. It's a little pricey, so local college students should go when the parents are in town!

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4. White Rose Hamburgers 43A Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Although the word "hamburger" is in the title, it's really the breakfast that you want to come for here. Everything is served on cafeteria trays and plastic plates, which provides a quaint touch. Most importantly, they DEEP FRY their bacon!

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5. The Old Bay Restaurant 61 Church St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This Cajun/Creole spot practically takes you to New Orleans with jambalaya, catfish, po-boys and an assortment of other delicious classics. The beer list is huge and they place has themed happy hours pretty much every night of the week!

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6. Stuff Yer Face 49 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Head to Stuff Yer Face when the weather is nice to join the ranks on the packed outdoor patio. The stromboli sandwiches are made to order and the international beer is always flowing.

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7. Thomas Sweet 51 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This ice cream shop makes homemade small batches on site, and they even have an in-site chocolatier. Flavors change with the seasons, but the one thing you can count on is the long line.

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8. Sanctuary 135 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This joint keeps it low key and high quality with counter service and delicious burgers, sandwiches and wraps. There's a comic book collection to peruse and the place is open late.

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9. Sushi Room 12 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This sushi place puts elevated taste in a casual setting, and the lunch prices can't be beat. If sushi isn't your thing, there's plenty of Asian fusion cuisine to enjoy.

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10. Steakhouse 85 85 Church St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This steakhouse has a surf & turf menu with a hefty price tag attached. Expect an upscale atmosphere and occasional live jazz.

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11. Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe 392 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This relaxed brewery has exposed brick walls and serves house-brewed beer along with eclectic pub fare. The food is selected to pair well with the beer so anticipate a great tasting experience.

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12. The Olive Branch 37 Bartlett St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This is the place for cheap beer, cheaper pizza and a round (or 10) of skeeball.The place keeps things cheap and casual so you can ball on a budget and leave with a full stomach and a good story.

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13. Hansel 'n Griddle 130 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

A favorite of Rutgers students, this place is perfect for everything from Sunday breakfast to dinner on Tuesday. Their crisps, or quesadillas, are a must-order.

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