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20 Places

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20 Places

goodparmesan | Oct 1, 201811:43 AM     1

Elizabeth, NJ is generally overlooked when it comes to food. Generally, restaurants around here have a short life-span, except for a rare few.

There are over 300 restaurants in Elizabeth spread out over different sections, with choices of Colombian, Haitian, Uruguayan, Brazilian, Portuguese, Honduran, Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, American, Italian, Peruvian, Cuban, Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan.

The places most famous, would be the ones in business the longest: Spirito's, DiCosmo's, Tommy's Italian Sausages, Santillo's Pizza, Valenca, City Tavern, Salvadoreno, Urban Griddle, etc.

Working in the area, I'm always on the hunt for the very best and uncovered. Below are my best tips, having eaten at most of the establishments over 2 years.

- Ponto de Encontro, a homey Portuguese cafe with daily rotating lunch specials.

- Roc's Cafe, Portuguese, Top-notch pastry items using doce de ovos (a yolk cream thickened with sugar) such as their bola de berlim and tentugal. Their tarts are also a good choice, such as the ubiquitous well-known pastel de nata. (Keep in mind, my current favorite nata is from Newark, a place called Canela Bakery on Wilson Ave.)

- Peniel Shalom, Brazilian, a quilo buffet with Minas Gerais dishes. One of my favorite consistent meals in Elizabeth. They make fresh-to-order salgadinhos as well, a delicious coxinha.

- Olga's Place, Costa Rican, the only Costa Rican restaurant in Elizabeth, and a bar. The casado is top-notch, well-seasoned steak.

- La Estancia, Uruguayan, they make a delicious gnocci in meat sauce.

- Don Ricky Bakery / Las Delicias Bakery, Colombian, these bakeries on Morris Ave. make my favorite almojabanas, pandebonos, pan de yuca is particularly most-known at Don Ricky.

- Taqueria Nealtican, Mexican, great spot for antojitos such as pambazo & molotes.

- Rinconcito Latino, Salvadoran, 800 1st Ave, Elizabeth, NJ, this is a hole-in-the-wall on Elizabeth Ave, with no store sign, they make great soups and typical plates.

- Arepas Colombianas, Colombian, Elmora section. Best jugos (fruit shakes) I've found, and also quality stuffed arepas, like the Venezuelan arepa pabellon.

- La Caravana, Peruvian, best pollo a la brasa I've consistently had so far.

- Don Julio, Peruvian, great chifa Peruvian dishes, love their lomo saltado.

- Sweet Clary Bakery, Cuban, they have Cuban and Colombian baked goods, but make a great medianoche.

- Alkazar Bakery, Uruguayan/Argentine - their bizcochos/facturas can be good if fresh out of the oven, but their masitas and alfajores are usually the best. Fantastic cappuccinos.

- King of Subs, Peruvian, great ceviche.

Spirito's
DiCosmo's Italian Ice
Tommy's Italian Sausage
Santillo Brick Oven Pizza
Valenca
City Tavern
El Salvadoreño
Urban Griddle
Ponto De Encontro Cafe & Restaurant
Roc's Café
comida brasileira
Olga's Place
La Estancia Parrillada Pizzeria Panaderia Uruguaya
Don Ricky Colombian Bakery
Las Delicias Bakery
Rinconcito Latino
Restaurante La Caravana
Don Julio
Sweet Clary Bakery
King of Subs
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