Food & Drink in Clifton

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Since 1848, Applegate Farm has existed under many guises, but its purpose has always remained the same: to provide fresh dairy products for local families. Originally home to the Sitger family and their golden guernsey milk, the farm has changed hands several times since the late 1800s and survived through the Civil War, both World Wars, and all six Star Wars. It experimented with its first ice-cream cone in the late 1920s under the guidance of owner Julian Tinkham, who also had the good foresight to preserve the farm's historic structures so that future generations could visit the 19th-century farmhouse that once helped slaves to freedom or count the number of tiles in an authentic 1919 tile silo?one of only three built in the state.

Since then, the farm has expanded and operates under the current leadership of the Street family, who hold themselves to the same dedication to quality that has sustained the dairy for more than 164 years. The range of ice-cream flavors changes seasonally but usually includes at least 63 distinctive varieties ranging from orange pineapple and toasted almond to vanilla peanut butter and Graham Central Station?which won top prize at the New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival. No-sugar-added and dairy-free treats, like apple cider donuts, can also be found in scoopable form, along with ice-cream cakes, ice-cream pies, and ice-cream sandwiches.

1092 Main Ave
Clifton,
NJ
US

A curved-glass case is the only thing that separates salivating customers from Brothers display of french and italian pastries, which include whipped-cream pies, cookies, danishes, and two sizes of cannolis. The store's fresh baked loafs of garlic, brioche, and rye bread, however, perch proudly on open racks, ready to encase sandwich meats, warm butter, or mouthwatering restaurant reviews. The intermingling smells of sweet and savory treats culled from natural, preservative-free ingredients represent a 35-year-old tradition at Brothers Quality Bakery. Custom sculpture cakes are the cherry on top of the baked goods sundae, and the Brothers Quality staff pile layers of fondant and icing upon their red velvet and chocolate masterpieces to create designs such ladybugs for birthday parties, corsets for bachelorette parties, and snowmen for holiday events.

70 Market St
Clifton,
NJ
US

It’s been open since the early 1980s, but there’s nothing dated about Chengdu 46. The gourmet Chinese restaurant has managed to keep a steady crowd of happy customers for the past 30 years thanks to two things: its romantic ambiance, and crack team of native Sichuan chefs. Families and dinner dates alike gather beneath red paper lanterns to savory crispy peking duck and empress chicken by the flickering candlelight. One chef specialty known as Spicy South Sea Pearls consists of whole sea scallops that have been fried, sautéed, and arranged to resemble a more grown-up version of a candy necklace. All food can be prepared for dine-in or takeout, and parties of four or more can reserve a private room and dine from a multicourse banquet menu.

1105 US Highway 46
Clifton,
NJ
US

Raised by her grandmother in a small mountain village near Genoa, Italy, Maria Leonardi grew up eating and cooking classic North Italian cuisine. After moving to the States, Maria worked in restaurants before opening a small shop to sell house-made pastas, sauces, and soups in 1953. For 35 years, Maria appeared in her neatly pressed apron nearly every day, pausing between batches of fresh dough to share friendly conversation and cooking advice with visitors.

Three generations later, Maria's descendants keep her memory alive by honoring her original recipes in that same shop, now named Nonna Maria's Homemade Pasta. A large interior window looks onto pasta machines as they meld fresh eggs, dough, and cheeses into products such as manicotti, ravioli, and baked ziti. Fresh pasta is cut to order behind the counter, and jars of sauce bottle classic flavors, including that of Nonna Maria's specialty genovese pesto sauce.

1132 US Highway 46
Clifton,
NJ
US

Jamie's Cigar Bar & Restaurant offers a little bit of everything, from grilled chicken sandwiches and beer to prime steaks and full-bodied cigars. These eclectic offerings make it a place to share an intimate date over tortellini in cream sauce or head to the sports bar area for Sunday's game or Wednesday's commercials. Meanwhile, a cigar menu lets smokers take their pick of finely rolled stogies including options from Rocky Patel and Padron.

915 Bloomfield Ave
Clifton,
NJ
US

When Gerasimo “Jerry” Dimitratos and Dimitrious “Jimmy” Doris took over Famous Midtown Grill in 1998, they got to work giving the place a makeover. They installed the handful of neon signs that now light up the diner and updated the menu with all manner of Greek specialties, including Greek salads, a dozen wraps named for Greek gods, and the local favorite—the gyro. But the two knew where to stop, and the corner diner still retains its mid-century charm, complete with backlit menu boards, a counter that runs the length of the space, and the art deco “Midtown Grill” sign that sprawls along the side of the building.

On any given day, the Grill feeds more than 100 hungry lunch customers. Many of them sidle up to the counter for a trademark plate of gravy covered cheese fries, or the Hot Texas Weiner served with a homemade sauce created by the original owners in 1959. Classic American breakfast dishes are served all day, including 20 varieties of omelets and corned beef and hash, each served with a side of grits, home-fries, or freedom.

1218 Main Ave
Clifton,
NJ
US

Clifton Scene