When people think about New Jersey foods, they tend to lump them in with either New York City or Philadelphia. New Jerseyan’s know that our state is its own unique entity, not an extension of its two neighboring metropolitan areas. We’ve already covered Taylor Ham/pork roll and tomato pies in other posts. In this post, we’re going to celebrate other foods native to New Jersey.

Farmers Markets

While farmers markets aren’t unique to New Jersey, every New Jerseyan looks forward to that time of year where roadside produce stands and farmers markets are overflowing with locally grown fruits and vegetables. The most famous are Jersey corn, Jersey tomatoes, and Jersey peaches. However, local farms also grow plenty of apples, zucchinis, and eggplants. These are the reasons why we still proudly call their state the Garden State, even though out-of-towners prefer to tease us about the bad reputation.

Salt Water Taffy

Salt Water Taffy is most strongly associated with Atlantic City. However, this summertime shore favorite can be found at boardwalks up and down the Jersey Shore. This treat was created in the 1880s. While no one knows the true story of how salt water taffy was invented, the most commonly told story claims that David Bradley’s candy store became flood and soaked his entire stock of taffy. Hence, the name salt water taffy.           

Italian Hot Dog

In 1932, James Racioppi invented the Italian hot dog at his restaurant, Jimmy Buff’s. The typical Italian hot dog features an Italian roll, bell peppers, onions, and potatoes. The hot dog is often deep-fried and can also be served on pizza bread.


In New Jersey, we love our diners. We have greasy spoons that serve bacon, eggs, coffee and not much else as well as diner-restaurants that serve more elaborate fair, such as hamburgers, Greek and Italian favorites, and matzo ball soup. Regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s a diner for you.