New Jersey Monthly always hits the nail on the head when it comes to its top restaurant picks. Each year the magazine recognizes the top 30 restaurants in the state and this year the picks are even better than the last.

This year, as in the past, it’s Top 30 is spot on. At least when it comes to the restaurants that I am familiar with.

Every style, every different cuisine, from casual to elegant from seafood steak, after all, whether the rest of the country knows it or not, this is what New Jersey is famous for. Usually, to me, the NJ Monthly best restaurant list is like watching the Oscars when you’ve only seen a couple of the films.

But this year, I noticed that I have been privileged to visit a lot of the restaurants on this list. My personal favorite part of this ranking is seeing which of my favorite spots made it to the list and this year more than a few did. So now I have to lay out my opinion. I’m going to give you the list of my Top 5 restaurants from this list. (Based on the fact that they are some of the ones I’ve actually been to.)

Here are some of New Jersey's best restaurants that if you haven’t tried yet probably should.

1776 by David Burke featuring Topgolf Swing Suite

This is one of Jersey’s newer restaurants but it caught up pretty quickly to the competition. Located just under Top Golf in Morristown, 1776 is the hottest new place to grab a bite. The menu items are as unique as they can get for a Jersey spot and the cocktails are delicious. You can’t come here without ordering the clothesline bacon which you will be cutting with a fork. Fun huh?

1776 By David Burke via Google Maps
1776 By David Burke via Google Maps
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Pluckemin Inn

If you are looking for a nice restaurant to eat at with family or for a celebration, this place is definitely the one. The outdoor dining area is beautifully lit and the food is incredible. Although this place is a little more upscale the burger is still the fan favorite.

Pluckemin Inn via Google Maps
Pluckemin Inn via Google Maps
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White Birch

White Birch in Flanders has had its ups and downs the past few years but has still managed to place Top 30 the past four years now. The menu is ever changing and the staff is super passionate about the cuisine. There’s nothing like a family run restaurant that actually hits the spot.

White Birch via Google Maps
White Birch via Google Maps
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Heirloom Kitchen

This New-American spot in Old Bridge is a great place to come if you’re an adventurous eater. They do a four course menu that changes often and never repeats itself making each visit unique. It’s also a BYOB so you can spend a little more on the food and bring whatever beverage you want.

Heirloom Kitchen via Google Maps
Heirloom Kitchen via Google Maps
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The Frog and The Peach

This New Brunswick restaurant revolves entirely around the seasons and uses locally sourced ingredients for every dish on the menu. The cocktails also change with the seasons so the food and drinks compliment each other in the most perfect way.

The Frog and The Peach via Google Maps
The Frog and The Peach via Google Maps
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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