Nestled in the shadow of New York City, Newark is often overlooked — but foodies should start paying attention. This northern New Jersey city contains the 4-square-mile Ironbound Neighborhood, an area filled with approximately 200 impressive restaurants that vary in ethnicity and style. With ample parking and a carefree, European vibe, the neighborhood’s eateries serve up both traditional and innovative dishes designed to tempt you over the “iron” tracks.
A Trip for the Taste Buds
Located at 63–69 Ferry Street, the bustling, family-owned Iberia Peninsula focuses on traditional Portuguese-Spanish dishes. Try the rodizio, an all-you-can-eat dining experience featuring skewers of 10 different meats. The parrilhada, an overflowing plate of seafood and rice meant to be shared with a friend or a special date, is also a popular choice.
Old World Romance
“Adega” means “wine cellar” in Portuguese, so you can only imagine the wine list at Adega Grill. Located at 130 Ferry Street, the restaurant features a long bar and a romantic vibe heightened by an inviting fireplace and murals of grapevines. Dine on seafood and organic meats by candlelight on comfortable couches, or sample tapas at the popular bar.
For Seafood Lovers
Portuguese flavors dominate the Ironbound neighborhood, but one restaurant tops the list: Seabra’s Marisqueira at 87 Madison Street. As one of the first Portuguese restaurants in the area to specialize in seafood, this tapas bar offers oysters, clams, shrimp, calamari, and mussels along with a good selection of Portuguese beer and sangria. This cozy spot fills up quickly, thanks in part to reasonable prices and excellent service.
Enough to Share
Even before you order, Forno’s of Spain presents you with plates of fresh bread, olives, and salad, a mark of the attentive service you’re about to receive. This popular and traditional Spanish restaurant, located at 47 Ferry Street, is famous for its paella, seafood, and steaks. Order tapas to share, and be prepared to take some home. The wine list is equally large, with more than 450 bottles available.
When You Crave a Steak
True steak lovers know it’s not always easy to find perfectly prepared filets. Juicy steaks, along with a nice variety of Brazilian and Portuguese entrees, can be found in Fernandes Steak House at 158 Fleming Avenue. Try one of the many surf and turf combinations or the grilled Chilean sea bass, and don’t forget to save room for flan.
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