I love to sing New Jersey’s praises. We have beautiful shorelines, amazing diners, and outstanding shopping. There’s always something to do or somewhere to visit, and wine bars are no exception. If you’re looking for a great place to chill with friends or relax on date night, check out this guide to New Jersey’s best wine bars.
Hoboken is one of the best places to go for an evening out. The proximity to New York and the upscale, hip streets make it a great atmosphere for date night or an evening with friends. Bin 14 Trattoria Wine Bar reflects this, being quiet and low-key during its off-peak hours. They offer a menu with Italian/French influences and offer over 100 different wines. They can be a little pricey, in my opinion, but the waitstaff is friendly and knowledgeable, which makes up for any dent it puts in my pocket.
The Ironbound section of Newark is known for its Spanish-Portuguese restaurants (I will drive for miles just to get to their best rodizio!). Mompou Tapas Bar and Lounge is colorful and upscale. One of the coolest things about it is the downstairs lounge. It’s not as noisy here and there are comfy sofas and low tables for relaxing and chatting with friends. Reasonably priced with amazing food (tapas are small plates, similar to appetizers), what more can you ask for? The bar itself can get very crowded and LOUD, with deejays on certain evenings and a heavy Latin influence, so don’t expect constant serenity.
Westfield is one of the cutest little towns to shop in. Lots of trendy stores and a Trader Joe’s nearby, they have so much to offer. 16 Prospect Wine Bar and Bistro has a laid-back, homey atmosphere and offers a wide selection of both wine and beer. 16 Prospect was formerly known as Northside Trattoria, but was remodeled by new owners. It’s a great place to stop after a day of shopping in Westfield.
There are so many places to eat in Clifton that you can almost lose track. But Zinburger is my favorite. Where else can you get great wine and a burger? Kind of classy and casual both at the same time, Zinburger appeals to a large audience. Their menu is one of the most unique I have seen (try their BLT salad!), and I love that they pair wine with every interesting offering. There are also two other locations in Jersey–one in Cherry Hill, and one in Paramus, so be sure to check them out.
Related articles by Deborah Zelasny:
Eating Clean in the Garden State
New Jersey’s Best Breakfast Spots
New Jersey’s Best Romantic Getaways