Sophie Cruz

“Most of us were once foreigners”

September 25, 2015

Few places embrace diversity like New Jersey. One in five New Jersey residents was born outside the U.S. All of our ancestors came from somewhere else. Our most densely populated state in the Union continues to welcome immigrants from every corner of the globe, and our communities are stronger because of this. Pope Francis’ words yesterday, spoken clearly in his fourth-best language, ring true to these Italian-American Jersey ears. (more…)

Flags @ Cafe Trinbago - Orange, NJ

Trini Taste Test

September 8, 2015

West Indian roti pack the intense flavors of New Jersey’s Trinidadian cuisine. EthnicNJ tried six versions from popular local Trini spots to find a favorite.

Bourdain Parts Unknown

Bourdain’s New Jersey – The Restaurants

June 7, 2015

Bourdain Parts Unknown“To know Jersey is to love her.” In last Sunday’s Parts Unknown episode on CNN, Anthony Bourdain delivers an ode to New Jersey that will make many Jerseyans weep with pride. If you want to retrace Bourdain’s steps and meals, here are the spots he visited across the Garden State. (more…)

EthnicNJ Ancestry Map

Mapping Jersey Diversity

November 22, 2014

If you live in New Jersey, you already know we live in one of the most diverse states in the country. Our ancestors hail from just about every nation you can name, and first-generation immigrants continue to arrive. One in five New Jersey residents was born outside the U.S. (only California and New York have higher percentages). Nowhere is better than the Garden State to find people from many cultures living in close proximity. That means plenty of good food to flag on the EthnicNJ map. Now EthnicNJ is mapping New Jersey’s ethnic ancestry too. (more…)


New Jersey’s Super Bowl Food Guide

January 17, 2014

New Jersey is hosting its first Super Bowl and hungry visitors who find themselves on this side of the Hudson are in for a treat. There’s no better place to eat well, cheaply. For a real taste of Jersey, skip the corporate hospitality tents and cruise ship hotels. Try some of the Garden State’s favorite ethnic food. (more…)

Wall @ Tipico BBQ - Orange, NJ

Jersey-Style Barbecue

October 4, 2013
Wall @ Tipico BBQ - Orange, NJ

Tipico BBQ – Orange, NJ

New Jersey is not known as a barbecue destination. Garden State BBQ spots serve up some very good renditions of the classic American styles, and this weekend Atlantic City becomes an official stop on the USA Barbecue Championship circuit, but there is no recognized “Jersey” kind of barbecue. That’s true, but barbecue is alive and well in our state’s ethnic communities. Ethnic barbecue is one of New Jersey’s best-kept secrets. (more…)

Thali Platter @ Jhupdi

The Many Flavors of Desi Jersey

May 1, 2013

Indian food is fairly easy to find across New Jersey these days. Most Indian restaurants serve familiar dishes, the curries, kebabs and flatbreads originating in North Indian regions, like the Punjab. It takes a little more work, however, to find India’s other regional specialties, the South Indian dosas, Gujarati dhoklas and Indo-Chinese chili chicken Hakka style sought out by Indian-Americans. (more…)

Tacos al Pastor

Monmouth County Mexican

March 1, 2013

Authentic Mexican restaurants are sprouting up all over the Garden State, many in unexpected places. More than 200,000 New Jersey residents claimed Mexican ancestry in the 2010 Census, the second-largest Hispanic ethnic group after Puerto Rican. Ten percent of them live in Monmouth County. And two towns, in particular, have become enclaves for outstanding Mexican cuisine. (more…)

Love that Ramen!

EthnicNJ’s Top Ten Meals of 2012

December 31, 2012

Keeping tabs on New Jersey’s best ethnic food is my excuse to sample all kinds of dishes across the Garden State. Like always, 2012 was an excellent year for ethnic eating in Jersey. (more…)


Stay Strong New Jersey!

November 1, 2012

The devastating impact of this week’s historic storm is now apparent to all New Jerseyans, from Bergen to Cape May, from Trenton to Point Pleasant. Many of us without power are just now catching glimpses of the images of destruction. I know that neighbors are helping neighbors. Everyone in Jersey will lift each other up, and many others will lend a hand.

Prayers for those lost, praise for first responders and strength to all. Storms pass. New Jersey will recover.

“Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us. This pier lights our carnival life forever.” – Bruce Springsteen

NJ Recovery Resources


FEMA disaster assistance: 1-800-621-3362. Find open shelters by texting SHELTER and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA).

NJ Office of Emergency Management Alerts and Recovery Help and Advice.

To find a Red Cross shelter, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit:


American Red Cross.

The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, 732-918-2600.

FoodBank of South Jersey, 856-662-4884.

Community FoodBank of New Jersey, 908-355-FOOD.

Table to Table: Food donations from restaurants and professional food establishments in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Essex counties, 201-444-5500 or 201-887-7839.

Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund set up by Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie.

Immediate Supplies for NJ EMS and FIRE Departments affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Jersey Cares. Coordinating volunteer opportunities.

Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund.

Robin Hood Relief Fund – Recipient of funds raised through the 12 12 12 Concert for Sandy Relief.


PSE&G: 1-800-436-7734, @PSEGdelivers

JCP&L: 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) or 1-800-545-7738, @JCP_L

AC Electric: 1-800-833-7476, @ACElecConnect

Rockland Electric Company: 1-877-434-4100, @ORUConnect

Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative: 1-877-504-6463

Vineland Municipal Utilities: 1-856-794-4280