Six Bars to Check Out in Central NJ
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Six Bars to Check Out in Central NJ

A list of six bars and restaurants that are worth checking out in central NJ.

Central NJ is like the red headed step child when it comes to night life and bars. North Jersey has exciting places like Hoboken, only a skip away from NYC, which is a mecca for fun bars and restaurants. South Jersey has all the trendy bars like Bar Anticipation and the Tiki Bar, located conveniently by the infamous Jersey shore. So what does Central Jersey have? Here is a list of fun bars that rival any northern hot spot or hip southern hang out.

1. Clydz (New Brunswick)

Clydz is literally a hole in a brick wall that has something for everyone. It is notorious for its outstanding and lengthy lists of martinis as well gourmet take on bar food. Upon entering, you will be immediately in the bar area. The lighting is dim and relies mostly on the cozy fireplace and soft lit candles. Indie rock music can faintly be heard over the bustle and excited noise from its numerous patrons. The bartenders don't skimp out on the alcohol and pour your drink with an almost artsy, methodical disinterest. This place attracts businessmen and well to do families during dinner, but a more young, college age crowd once night settles in. Clydz offers a happy hour, which offers great deals on martinis and bar food, but drinks and food can run up to $10 to $15 respectively after happy hour ends.

2. Old Bay ( New Brunswick)

This a great place to go to if you're into live music. Old Bay always has great daily specials and happy hours, which makes the place packed and full of activity. This bar has a Louisiana Cajun style, with its bright decor and its spicy take on traditional bar foods. (Picture macaroni and cheese and sliders with a little kick to them). This bar has multiple floors and even an outside patio that is always in use whether it's summer or winter. The bartenders are personable, but tend to make the drinks a little weak. All in all, Old Bay's style, drink specials and live entertainment makes it a great place to visit on a Friday night.

3. Cheeseburger in Paradise (Woodbridge/Iselin)

Do you like to wow bar crowds with your karaoke skills? Cheeseburger in Paradise is the place for you. Patrons love participating in its lively karaoke activities on Wednesday and Friday nights. This place has a relaxed, tropical island theme. Bartenders and servers are talkative, friendly and dance around in T-shirts and khakis. The bar has an impressive and extensive drink menu that offers everything from multi flavored margaritas and fruity tropical drinks to hard to find import beers and classic liqours. Cheeseburger in Paradise also offers two happy hours: one during the day and one during the night. The menu is limited to mainly burgers and  a bunch of fried appetizers like fried pickles and mozzarella sticks. Cheeseburger in Paradise is definitely a fun and unique experience.

4. Jose Tejas (Woodbridge)

Jose Tejas is known as the best place to get your tex-mex fix. Jose offers huge portions of quality foods like fajitas, tacos, quesdillas, enchiladas as well as other cajun and mexican specialties. The bar is stocked with a myriad of tequilas and offers big 18 oz sangrias and margaritas for only $5. People from all over NJ, Philadelphia and New York crawl to Jose Tejas, making the restaurant extremely busy on any given night. Jose offers its food and drinks at crazy inexpensive prices, making the wait worthwhile. The bad side is that the wait is normally an hour to two hours and the experience is designed to rush you out as soon as you're done eating. Either way, Jose Tejas is definitely a spot to check out.

5. North Brunswick Pub (North Brunswick)

This cozy pub has been around for years and has a "Cheers" like feel to it. Many of its patrons are regulars and for good reasons. Although the pub looks small on the outside, the inside is spacious and has a comfortable atmosphere. The walls are decorated with several plasma televisions to display all kinds of sports games. The bar is staffed with older, skilled bartenders who free pour with confidence and finesse. The pub is also infamous for its bar food and many rave about the bar pizzas. The prices aren't bad for the quality of food and amount of alcohol you receive. The pub is the perfect laid back place that keeps guests coming back for more.

6. The Grove (Milltown)

The Grove is a well kept secret that is only known to locals. Right off of Milltown Road, this pub is a great place to unwind after work. It attracts an older crowd and classic rock music is always playing. The bar is dimly lit so patrons can watch the sports games on its several plasma televisions. Patrons can sit back with a beer or drink, munch on free popcorn and relax without feeling hurried or rushed. The drinks are decent and the menu offers quality homestyle choices that are hard to come by in small pubs.

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