Located just a short drive west of New York City, the quiet, laid-back city of Clifton, New Jersey, is a popular destination for people who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Besides offering an ideal environment for relaxation, it's known as a food haven. Whether you're looking for classic American comfort food, authentic Mexican cuisine, or a tantalizing Asian meal, you'll surely be able to find a restaurant that suits your taste, budget, and preferences. Make sure to check out the following restaurants in Clifton, whether you live here or are visiting.
Image via Flickr by Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana's Other Side
Mighty Quinn's Barbecue is widely regarded as one of the best places to eat barbecue in Clifton. This counter-serve eatery offers slow-cooked, smoky-flavored meats in a lively and cozy environment. It uses the finest ingredients and a combination of Carolinian and Texan preparation methods to make a wide array of delicious melt-in-your-mouth barbecue dishes that will have you coming back for more.
If you have an insatiable appetite, it's recommended that you order the Brontosaurus Rib, which is a full beef short rib with super-tender meat that falls right off the bone. Alternatively, you can opt for spareribs, brisket, burn ends, half chicken, wings, or pulled pork. There are also many sides available, including baked beans, mac and cheese, sweet corn fritters, sweet potato casserole, and the restaurant's famous dirty fries.
Mighty Quinn's Barbecue is situated on New Jersey Route 3.
Matthew's Italian Restaurant on Bloomfield Avenue is a modest-looking establishment that offers some of the best Italian dishes in town. Its dimly lit atmosphere makes it an ideal place for a romantic occasion. The owner of the restaurant, Matthew Tyahla, frequently engages with diners and makes sure the staff provides the best possible service. The food is prepared and presented with equal care, so you can rest assured you'll have a top-quality meal. Try the restaurant's famous hanger steak with Italian long hot peppers, potatoes, and broccoli rabe, or opt for the veal masala with brown sauce and mushrooms.
Image via Flickr by Ken Lund
Situated on River Road, Rutt's Hut isn't just a great place to enjoy delightful American comfort food — it's also a tourist attraction. Established in 1928 as a roadside hot dog stand, this eatery is home to the legendary Rippers, which are deep-fried hot dogs with cracked and split casings. Made with mustard and a unique blend of spices, the relish is just as well-known as the hot dogs. Other than hot dogs, the restaurant also has a wide selection of sandwiches, burgers, roast meats, steaks, chops, and fried seafood. There's also a breakfast menu to kick-start your day. You won't want to miss this storied place.
If you're craving a succulent burger, head down to Zinburger. Although it features a simple decor, this restaurant has an upscale feel because of its innovative gourmet menu and carefully selected wine list. Most of its dishes are prepared from scratch, and its burgers are made with house-ground USDA-certified /Black Angus beef or American Kobe beef.
Gourmet burger options include the signature Zinburger, Samburger, Beyond Burger, Breakfast Burger, Kobe Burger, and Big Bad Blue. There's also a wide array of salads, sides, and desserts for you to choose from. The beverage list consists of 25 wines, over a dozen beers, and a variety of lemonades, iced teas, and milkshakes. Zinburger is located at Promenade Shops at Clifton on NJ-3.
The Clifton City Tavern is a restaurant and bar that offers authentic Mexican food and drinks, as well as a wonderful social experience. With its great food, friendly service, and vibrant atmosphere, it's a great place for a night out with friends.
Some of the recommended items on the restaurant's menu include the avocado salad, Plato Cantina, sizzling fajitas, authentic American-style tacos, and churrasco 16-ounce skirt steak. The obvious choice for dessert is bunuelo, a delicious fried donut ball. Also, make sure you try the Tavern Margarita, which is made up of 32 ounces of margarita mix, two shots of tequila, and two bottles of beer. Clifton City Tavern is located on Van Houten Avenue.
If you like Japanese food, you should definitely check out Ino Sushi on Market Street. This family-owned restaurant features a simple menu that has all the sushi dishes commonly found in Japanese restaurants. However, it distinguishes itself with its authentic flavors and commitment to using only the freshest ingredients. Ino Sushi is known for traditional sushi preparation at its sushi bar. If you aren't sure what to order, don't worry, because the owners often offer suggestions to customers. For dessert, go for the refreshing and flavorful mochi ice cream.
Ino Sushi is located on Market Street.
Although it specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, Toros Restaurant on Hazel Street attracts diners with all types of palates because of its wonderful decor, delicious food, and exceptional service. Its colorful and atmospheric Turkish decor contributes to an authentic Mediterranean dining experience. This restaurant is one of the best places in Clifton for a romantic date or special celebration.
On the menu, you'll find a great selection of salads, cold and hot appetizers, entrees, traditional Turkish dishes, kebabs, seafood, and combination plates. For a truly satisfying meal, start with babaganus, which is pureed smoked eggplant with sesame oil, and then try a traditional Turkish entree such as the hunkar begendi, a classic dish made with baked chunks of chicken or lamb served on eggplant puree. Finish your meal with an exquisite dessert such as the baklava, a Turkish pastry made of layers of super-thin dough filled with pistachio crumbs.
So, that's the list of the best Clifton restaurants from the staff at Unique Gold and Diamonds. If you know any other local favorites that we failed to mention, feel free to drop us a line and let us know. We'll surely add them to our list.