Trenton’s iconic pork roll might be its signature dish, but if you are looking for delicious food from diverse cultures, Trenton is the best in the area.
Beloved by insiders and visitors alike, this historic city features authentic cuisine from North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia. If you want to travel to other countries (gastronomically speaking) you don’t have to go far. There are so many options—it can be difficult to choose.
Here are ten (plus one) of our favorite signature tastes of Trenton that you need to try.
AREPA (Venezuela): a delicious corn meal sandwich roll. At Casdeluna (800 Chestnut Avenue in the New Chambersburg), they have 14 different fillings—our favorite is the steak arepa. It might be our favorite food anywhere in the world.
BRISKET (Texas): smoked beef. It’s rare to find succulent brisket north of the Mason Dixon, but there it is at the 1911 Smokehouse Barbecue (11 Front Street downtown). You can locate the Smokehouse by the smell of brisket two blocks away.
FALAFEL (Middle East): fried chickpea dish. Try Gyro Express (7 East State Street downtown).
MITITEI (Romania): grilled ground meat rolls made of beef and veal with garlic and thyme. Blue Danube Restaurant (Elm and Adeline Streets) serves authentic mititei along with other great tastes from eastern Europe.
MOFUNGO (Puerto Rico): garlic flavored mashed plantains. Towering like a dormant volcano over your dinner plate, mofungo with chicken or pork is something not to miss. Try it at Tropical Family (778 Centre Street) or Sabor Latino (293 Ashmore Avenue).
OXTAIL (Jamaica): a meat stew. You’re in luck—Trenton is rich in oxtail. Try Bamboo Grill (911 Chambers Street), restaurant 5oh4 (504 North Clinton Avenue) or Hummingbird Restaurant (29 South Warren Street downtown).
PHO (Vietnam): a soup featuring rice noodles. Pho Friendly (729 Brunswick Avenue) is Mercer County’s only true Vietnamese restaurant, but it would stand out as the best if there were 20.
PIEROGIES (Poland): Poland’s national dish is stuffed dumplings. At Rozmaryn Restaurant (925 North Olden in the Polish neighborhood), you get your choice of potato & cheese, meat or sauerkraut & mushrooms served with friend onions or sour cream.
SMALL-BATCH ROASTED COFFEE. Trenton Coffee House and Records (750 Cass Avenue) uses, according to HiddenTrenton.com, “only the BEST beans that are fresh (harvested less than 15 months previously, and usually fresher.”
THE COMEBACK (soul food): fish filet sandwich in comeback sauce. Ila Mae’s Restaurant (313 Market Street in Mill Hill)
TRES LECHES CAKE (Mexico): Moist three milk cake. You can find it at the Mexican Chencha y Chola (865 South Broad Street) or the Costa Rican La Cabana (3 Dayton Street).
Try all eleven of these authentic, diverse dishes! Take pictures of you at the restaurant and post them on the Trenton Eat Local Club FaceBook group.
If you want to explore the authentic, diverse Trenton food scene, check out recommendations at www.HiddenTrenton.com or join the Trenton Eat Local Club as they eat their way month by month through the Trenton menuscape.