The spread at this casual Brazilian restaurant is guaranteed to take on and handle even the biggest appetites. To whet your palate, the gigantic salad bar features fresh, tasty tidbits like aurgula, palm hearts and olives. For those unaccustomed to the churrascaria concept, the dining experience takes a deliciously exciting turn, starting with a seafood buffet that features specialties like grilled cod and shrimp in yucca sauce. Don't get carried away there, though – the rodízio selection, which is brought by your table, includes tenderloin, ribs, sausage, lamb, pork and chicken! For cocktails, try the delicious Brazilian Caipirinha to start.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: Entertainment, music and a pit master. The formula for a great night out.
Courtney's expert tip: Free delivery is available within the Ironbound area.
So you want a place to grab a quick and easy meal. Something that will fill you up and not require that you wear a tie. Likely you will find yourself swayed by one of the fast food giants, but in New Jersey near Penn Station, McWhorter BBQ is a much better bet. Traditional Portuguese chicken is rotated on a charcoal exposed rotisserie. The result is the crispiest skin and a flavourful interior that encourages you to eat almost all of the super sized portion. Less than $10 will grant you more than one meal. It seems to be the place for New Jersey cops to have a bite, so you have never been safer.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: McDonalds, McDreamy and now McWhorter. We can always do with a little more "Mc" in our lives.
Courtney's expert tip: They only take cash at McWhorter.
Aguilas de Mexico has no website, no WiFi and no alcohol. How can they get away with this? Because their food is absolutely excellent. Steak and chicken tacos are so good, you might forget that you are there to eat and not to inhale. Four tacos come in each order, along with green salsa (hot) and red salsa (for hot sauce experts). You can get the food delivered with a minimum $20 order or sit in the bare-bones restaurant and eat your weight in guacamole. If you are someone who thinks that Taco Bell's tacos are just fine, you need to go here to get schooled.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: Enchiladas in green sauce will have you saying "Chipotle who?"
Courtney's expert tip: Most items are under $10, but they do accept credit cards in case you have forgotten your small change.
Whether you are eating on your own or with a crowd, Pic-Nic Bar & Restaurant is interested in making it happen. With lots of space and hospitality, it is easy to dive into their rich sauces, rice dishes in heavy iron pots and crispy sausage. In short, a meal at Pic-Nic is a tasty experience. With brick-lined walls and rare European wines, you will swear you have stepped into quaint, old-world Portugal. The to-go menu is substantial, offering whole pork ribs and 32 ounce skirt steaks for the heartiest of appetites. Whether you stay awhile or eat at home, the BBQ, surf and turf and sangria are not easily forgotten.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: A beautiful interior and dishes so divine, it will be hard to limit the amount that you eat.
Courtney's expert tip: Parking can be a little challenging to get in this area, so give yourself time.
Creating your own sandwich or salad is a lot more exciting when you are out of the confines of your own kitchen. This is the idea behind Harvest Table, along with fresh food that goes the extra mile (like when the staff runs out to your car if you can't find free parking). Vegetarian chili is the perfect warming tool on a cold winter's day, with hearty, stew-like chunks of fresh vegetables, beans and spices topped with cheddar cheese. Healthy burgers can be made with turkey, salmon or portobello mushrooms and a hearty side salad. If you have room left over, the killer triple chocolate brownies are a good way to balance out all the health.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: This small cozy breakfast and lunch choice has been a favourite for those seeking healthy fare in Newark since 2007.
Courtney's expert tip: There is free WiFi and a great breakfast selection here if you want to start your day off right.
Have you had any Basque cuisine lately? Us neither. Basque cuisine includes meat and fish that is cooked over hot coals, sheep's cheese and tapas style small plates. Casa Vasca is the place to go if you decide you would like to be more adventurous when it comes to your culinary life. This adventure will end happily, as Basque cuisine is rich and flavourful and somehow familiar. Popular dishes at Casa Vasca include wonderfully presented seafood fare and succulent meat dishes. If you are on the verge of a cold, you must indulge in the garlic soup, which cures all ails. Finish off the evening with a nice sweet port.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: Basque cuisine involves all of the things we like about eating out: great selection and a whole lot of yum.
Courtney's expert tip: Wine selections are almost all under $50, making wine with dinner an affordable option.
This casual spot is popular in Newark for their house-made sangria and authentic Spanish cuisine. With an old-school feeling, the staff is interested in learning your name. If you return, you can test their memories. Now open for over 20 years, Fornos of Spain always offers generous portions served by an attentive waitstaff. This includes the complimentary olives, warm bread and balsamic-dressed salad to start. The wood-walled dining room adds comfort and intimacy. There is also an outdoor garden (when weather permits) for relaxing with drinks and conversation. Seafood paella is a must, piled high with fresh lobster and shrimp.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: House made sangria and paella so authentic, you will be convinced that you are in Spain.
Courtney's expert tip: We mean it - the portions are enormous. If your appetite isn't the same, consider ordering a bunch of appetizers as a tapas-style option.
If you are a person who likes a sandwich that is more meat than bread, then Hobby's Delicatessen and Restaurant in Newark is for you. Open since 1962, old-fashioned and delicious practices have been maintained, like corned beef pickled in huge stainless steel vats. Highly acclaimed sandwiches have many filling options, from pastrami to brisket to house-cured tongue (don't knock it until you have tried it). Matzoh ball soup or clam chowder are both good ways to kick off your eating extravaganza if you believe that you can conquer one of their "sangwiches" no problem. They do have salads, but most people keep their greens to the pickle on the side.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: They mean it when they call their sandwiches over-stuffed. Soon you will be too.
Courtney's expert tip: Come before the Devils or Nets game for a feast with fellow sports enthusiasts.
Chef Nelson Yip is a sushi artist. His sashimi may come rolled like a rose, and the presentation of his food at Sushi House 21 is almost as good as the flavours. The giant menu includes everything you might crave from a Japanese restaurant, as well as the aptly named "Yummy roll" with grilled salmon, black pepper, asparagus and cucumber. Even though it is named "Sushi House" it has far more choices than sushi alone, with spicy seaweed salad, pork belly confit and chilean seabass, to name a few. Nelson lived in Montreal, so you will note the French influence in his food. Incredibly unique.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: The Ironbound area may be more known for Spanish food, but chefs like Nelson Yip may be able to change that.
Courtney's expert tip: Cheesecake and mango mousse cakes are recommended ways to end your meal.
This attractive restaurant, whose interior features stone fireplaces and archways, wrought iron gates, and walls painted in earthy yellows, is one of the best reasons to venture out to Ironbound. Fabulous Portuguese and Spanish cuisine and wine are the restaurant's specialties (its name, after all, is Portuguese for "wine cellar"), and most of the top dishes focus on fresh fish, seafood or organic meats. The retro-inspired lounge area, meanwhile, is a cool place to hang out, enjoy drinks and make a little conversation. Sangria comes in many of the colours of the rainbow. Dinner specials are sizeable and in many cases could be split by two people.
Recommended for Newark's Best Restaurants because: A stunning atmosphere with delightful Portuguese and Spanish mains.
Courtney's expert tip: Wednesdays have 1/2 priced bottles of wine!