Lunch

Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in Princeton and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Ferry House thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Hoagie Haven, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Lunch.

10 Alchemist and Barrister
This eminently popular place gains its name with a clever British twist on its owners' occupations (chemist and lawyer). More formal dining rooms and a more casual pub offer an apt setting for any occasion, and an outdoor patio adds extra charm. An elegant dinner menu includes veal medallions, shellfish medley, grilled steaks and chops, and roast duckling. At lunch, sandwiches, burgers, and salads take to the forefront; they're also prominent on the pub menu. (609-924-5555)

9 Ferry House
This warm, charming restaurant, lovingly attended to by chef-owner Bobby Trigg, is widely considered one of Princeton's best. Albeit pricey, the cuisine is a revelation of flavor, crafted around local ingredients. Fried calamari with soy glaze is a great starter, and mushroom-based appetizers are prominent. Entrees, then, include red chile-marinated chicken and grilled shrimp with crab mashed potatoes, BBQ-glazed filet of beef, and grilled breast of duck with stir-fried vegetables and a black pepper-ginger reduction. The menu changes with the seasons, and patrons may bring their own alcohol since the restaurant holds no liquor license. (609-924-2488)

8 Main Street Kingston Eatery & Gourmet Bakery
Find a perfect cup of joe and a sweet treat, or perhaps one of Kingston's great lunches. Gourmet sandwiches served on fresh-made bread include white albacore tuna salad, a grilled salmon BLT, and flank steak, blue cheese, and roasted tomato on country bread. Delightful gourmet salads include a classic spinach, honey-tinged turkey Waldorf, zesty chicken feta, and a hefty chef's salad. Hot options include chili, quiche of the day, and grilled chicken. And since they're there, you might as well have a go at the dessert bar or an individual tart — at the least! (609-921-2778)

7 Yankee Doodle Tap Room
A Princeton mainstay, this pub gleams with dark, polished wood. It's also marked by an original Norman Rockwell mural depicting Yankee Doodle. Of an evening, folks usually sidle up to the busy bar to score drinks, but the menu offers tasty distractions all day long. Among the offerings are fresh salads, hot and cold sandwiches, burgers, and main-course fare like potato-crusted salmon, fish and chips, and Black Angus meatloaf. While you wait, check out the table-top carvings made by Princeton students over the years. (609-921-7500)

6 La Mezzaluna
A sophisticated interior, awash in blue tones, pays homage to this restaurant's celestial name. Just as strong an influence are the robust flavors of Italian sausage, parmigiano, sage, and fresh tomatoes. Dishes include creamy risottos, delightful pastas, and lots of seafood. Entrees featuring veal, chicken, beef, and duck also benefit from the chef's accomplished hand. Tableside preparation of desserts is common, and service is careful and attentive. Diners may bring their own alcohol; the restaurant serves none. (609-688-8515)

5 Mediterra
Refusing to restrict itself to any one country, this popular place embraces many cuisines prevalent throughout the Mediterranean world. As a result, richness and flavor suffuse the menu's offerings, which include pasta dishes, seafood entrees, and even a classic Valencian paella. If a full meal's not in order, take advantage of the tapas selections, which include hummus, olives, and other more elaborate morsels. Outdoor dining is available, live music is an occasional treat, and the wine list has received well-deserved recognition. (609-252-9680)

4 Masala Grill
Updated Indian food, often boasting organic ingredients and California flair, finds a home at this near-campus restaurant. Earthy aromas waft through the air, a harbinger of what's to come. Rich curries are a welcome standard, and plenty of meatless dishes can be had. Tandoori dishes also find favor with diners, who appreciate lamb, chicken, seafood, and even vegan options. Great naan, fragrant samosas, and chickpea dishes further highlight the subcontinent's cuisine. Spice can be adjusted to your taste, and diners are welcome to bring their own alcohol to the restaurant. (609-921-0500)

3 Tortuga's Mexican Village
The digs are anything but sophisticated, and you'll likely have to wait for a table, but Tortuga's terrific food is absolutely worth any inconvenience. Authentic and affordable, the Mexican fare begins with zesty homemade salsa before it shifts towards carne asada, chicken with mole sauce, tamales, and chiles rellenos. You'll also find often-Americanized dishes like burritos, tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas, not to mention a few vegetarian options. Folks are permitted to bring their own alcohol. (609-924-5143)

2 Teresa's
Constantly busy, this well-loved trattoria gives folks a double whammy with fantastic food and affordable prices. Fresh, well-prepared Italian fare is the name of the game, complete with pastas, brick oven-baked pizzas, calzones, crisp salads, and antipasti. Along with dishes like lasagne or sauteed chicken with wild mushrooms, you'll also discover rosemary-marinated flank steak, pan-seared salmon, and penne with scallops, shrimp, and pecorino. Wine and beer are available. A great experience. (609-921-1974)

1 Big Fish Seafood
Hip, clean-lined decor with an underwater (though not kitschy) theme distinguishes this appealing restaurant. Part of a chain, Big Fish nevertheless slips into its Princeton home with customized decor and menu. Fresh shellfish are a big draw, and specialties include crab cakes, cedar-planked salmon, coconut-crusted tilapia, bronzed snapper, and shrimp jambalaya. You can also have fresh fish prepared as you like, or try an entree-sized sandwich or salad. (609-919-1179)

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Articles

Maps and Directions

1
Alchemist and Barrister 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $$
2
Ferry House 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, European, French
Dining Options: Catering, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $$
3
Main Street Kingston Eatery & Gourmet Bakery 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Bakery
Dining Options: Catering, Take Out
Neighborhood: KINGSTON
COST: $
4
Yankee Doodle Tap Room 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $$
5
La Mezzaluna 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $$
6
Mediterra 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Live Music, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: Eclectic, European, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $$
7
Masala Grill 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: Indian
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $$
8
Tortuga's Mexican Village 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: PRINCETON
COST: $
9
Teresa's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
10
Big Fish Seafood 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: PRINCETON
COST: $$
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