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Looking for the best Mexican in North/Central Jersey (NJ)

Looking for the best Mexican in North/Central Jersey. We're not interested in chains or typical Jersey Mexican dives that cater to people that never had good food. Fancy is unimportant, authenticity and great ingredients are.

Essentially, we want to find something gastronomically nice like you would discover in Manhattan, at a reasonable price. The best so far has been Tortugas in Princeton, but we need something more northerly (if it exists).


Apr 06, 2012
syakoban in New Jersey

Best bagels in Tristate area?

Essa photo:

Best bagels in Tristate area?

Essa Bagels CANNOT be beat for taste, texture and size. We make the trip from Jersey all the time.

End of conversation.

Best bagels in Tristate area?

You must be from Ohio or Utah...

Russ and Daughters vs. Barney Greengrass

R&D is the best for lox and sable - no contest

Nov 10, 2010
syakoban in Manhattan

Mexican Restaurant in NJ.

Sorry clairetraas - you could not have been spolied by SoCal Mex and say that Beana's is excellent. Beana's - on it's best day, is average. The owner is of Irish descent with no culinary training - just has a hispanic cook that fakes his way through the menu. Sheeesh.

Tortugas in Princeton is a far more authentic place. It's just a hole in the wall, but the locals know it and appreciate it. Also, La Salsa in Rockaway NJ if your looking for the basics like burritos. It is a SoCal franchise that started on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and covers all of CA and IS the real deal. Although it's a franchise (and looks like it), no lard, no canned anything - all fresh and top quality. I guarantee it. There's also one in Fairfield CT, but the owner there will tell you that the mango salsa in the CA locations is still a better recipe.

Beana's... o' me madre...

The best lox and sable???

You're kidding right? As a result of this post, I tried Greengrass. I would equate their lox and sable with what I can get at any NJ supermarket - like Shop Rite. And pre-sliced? No no no - no place that's for real ever pre-slices. We were there and had second thoughts, but went ahead anyway based on the responses here. What a waste of a lot of money (way overpriced) and an opportunity to eat better.

There isn't too much food that I can claim to really know something about, but lox and sable - I'm very qualified to warn others to stay away from this dump. I have to agree with thew below "i'd prefer good fish with a bad attitude than bad fish with a smile". R&D has big ego problems, but I'll have to deal with them and rush out of there w/the fish.

BTW - been turned on to Ess-a bagels and have had nothing but good experiences so far.

Apr 21, 2009
syakoban in Manhattan

The best lox and sable???


I've been a longtime customer of Russ & Daughters and their fish is undeniably excellent. I'm wondering who else is in Manhattan or NJ that stacks up???

The problem with R&D for me is their deteriorating attitude. I think the latest generation is too caught up in their growing celebrity (as perceived by them) due to some PBS shows and more and more, their "schmooze" lacks sincerity. Just yesterday I witnessed the male cousin being outright nasty to an old woman for no reason at all.

I like their fish, but would prefer to buy from a place that has great products and is focused on the customers and not themselves.

Any help out there???

Dec 26, 2008
syakoban in Manhattan