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Where to Find Fondue in North Jersey

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Fondue, a popular Swiss melted cheese dipping sauce, originated in Switzerland in the 18th century. It was at first used to feed families who had limited access to fresh food during the wintertime. According to Everything Fondue, local villagers would heat cheese with wines, garlic, and herbs in a pot and use it to dip stale bread, which of course would soften in the heated mixture.

This became a Swiss winter tradition known as fondue — deriving from the French word, ‘fondre’, which means ‘to melt.’ Today, fondue is used to dip a variety of foods including meat, seafood, and vegetables. But, not only that, it’s used on top of dishes in the form of melted cheese and even as a dessert — chocolate fondue — to satisfy your sweet tooth. Read on for The Montclair Girl’s round-up of where to find fondue in North Jersey.

Melting Pot | 250 Center Avenue, Westwood + also in Maple Shade + Red Bank

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Melting Pot)

The Ivy at Chatham

When one thinks of fondue, they might automatically think of The Melting Pot. With locations across the US, the Melting Pot’s entire menu is fondue. There are cheese fondues, such as Wisconsin cheddar and classic alpine, and entrée fondues, including one for steak lovers, one for seafood lovers, and one for vegetable lovers. Finish the meal with a sweet chocolate fondue, which comes in a variety of chocolate flavors (milk, dark or white), and it comes with fresh fruit and sweet treats.

Read More: The Ultimate New Jersey Foodie Bucket List

La Fortaleza | Carlstadt, Clifton, Garfield, Lodi, + Passaic

La Fortaleza is a popular Mexican restaurant that provides authentic Mexican cuisine. The vibrant vibe mixed with Mexican decor, makes for a fun night out. The fondue dish served here is an appetizer called Queso Fundido. It’s made with handpicked mixed cheeses and topped with pico de gallo. Customers can choose additional toppings such as jalapeno slices, sauteed mushrooms, or chorizo (Mexican sausage). It comes with a side of flour tortillas for dipping. There’s a lot more to the menu though like the build-your-own margarita, mojito, or colada.

MEAL 522 Franklin Avenue, Nutley

(Photo credit: @mealsteak)

Meat, Eat, And Lounge (MEAL) located in downtown Nutley has a unique dining experience, which has a bar with specialty cocktails, the finest quality steaks and chops, and a fresh raw bar of seafood. Their menu features some delicious dishes that incorporate fondue. The truffled MEAL chips app is made with bleu cheese fondue, smoked bacon, and scallion. The steakhouse burger is made with bacon, beer cheese fondue, lettuce, tomato, and frizzled onion. There’s also the steakhouse sandwich that’s made with filet mignon, bleu cheese fondue, crispy onion, and its house BBQ sauce. Your taste buds will be left wanting more.

Café 37 | 37 S. Broad Street, Ridgewood

Café 37 is a modern American cuisine restaurant that is a bit pricey, but worth a visit, especially for a special occasion. The fondue dish, which costs $48, has people raving about it in reviews. Café 37’s broiled day boat Jersey scallops come with a cognac smoked gouda fondue gratin with grilled asparagus. One person on Trip Advisor wrote, “The prix fixe menu was perfect because it had everything I wanted to try. From tempura shrimp appetizer to ahi tuna entrée and finished off with chocolate cake… The scallops were also a hit with the gouda fondue.” Another person on Yelp wrote, “Two of us had the scallops with smoked gouda fondue. It was an amazing dish, and defied conventional wisdom of not serving cheese and fish together.”

Popolari 1047 Broad Street, Bloomfield

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Popolari)

Popolari is a retro-chic Italian pizza and pasta bar serving mouth-watering homemade dishes. It’s won multiple awards including “Best New Restaurant” in NJ. Even though a lot of the food has people talking, there’s one in particular that people can’t get enough of — the Nutella fondue. As if Nutella isn’t good enough on its own, it’s even better melted. Popolari serves it with Zeppolis (fried dough ball with powdered sugar). Some fans commented, saying, “We killed this entire bowl last night,” while another wrote, “I took them home and kept going to the fridge for more!” They also have a cheese fondue, which is made with swiss cheese and is just as tasty.

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Popolari)

Sophie’s Bistro | 700 Hamilton Street, Somerset

Sophie’s Bistro is a classic French bistro located in Somerset. Per its website, the decor is similar to a cafe in Paris with “French country antiques, large open shuttered windows, dark woods, soft pastel colors and walls covered with family pictures make Sophie’s an intimate cozy environment.” Their fondue specialty is featured on their brunch, lunch, and dinner menu, so no matter what time you go, you can try it out. Called the “Petite Fondue Aux 3 Fromages,” this special app is made with three melted cheeses (blue cheese, gruyere, and muenster) and baked potato slices. It’s served with toast rounds for dipping. Bon appétit!

Port of Call 450 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack

(Photo credit: @poc_hackensack)

Port of Call is also known as POC All You Can Eat Sushi. It’s an American fusion and sushi buffet in Hackensack Commons. Apart from the variety of food, you can fill your dish with, there’s a chocolate fondue station for dessert. As one Yelp reviewer put it, “The fact that they have a fondue station is just delicious! How can you say no to fondue?” And of course, you can select whatever fruit and sweets from the buffet you want to dip in the chocolatey dessert. The best part is you pay the buffet fee and you can eat as much as you want.

Soosanghan Pocha | 243 Broad Avenue, Palisades Park

Soosanghan Pocha has become one of the go-to Korean restaurants in Palisades Park. And, there’s one spicy dish that has everyone talking — the “Cheese Buldak.” It’s “fire chicken” (definition of buldak) made with “extreme spicy sauce” that comes in a sizzling skillet and it’s topped with cheese fondue. Cheese buldak is actually a well-known Korean dish that people have made at home using hot pepper flakes, ground black pepper, garlic, ginger, and onions. Now that’s fiery!

Trap Rock Restaurant + Brewery | 279 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights

(Photo credit: Trap Rock’s Facebook)

Trap Rock’s wide selection of seasonal craft brews and menu with a southern flare has left its mark on the map. It was featured in the New York Times, which gave it an “excellent” rating, and has 4.3 stars on Google. There’s one fondue dish on the menu and it’s a small plate that people can’t get enough of. The Blue Cheese Fondue Potato Chips are just as delicious as they look! They are, as you guessed it, potato chips topped with blue cheese alfredo sauce. Guests have the option of upgrading this item by adding short ribs for a few dollars more. Trap Rock was Harvest Restaurants’ first restaurant that opened, and now they own 13 restaurants in North Jersey.

See More: Your Guide to Buying Gourmet Cheese in Hoboken + Jersey City

DeNovo European Pub | 1257 River Road, Edgewater + 275 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair

DeNovo is a European family-oriented styled pub with two locations in NJ. The fondue-based dish can be found at its Montclair location. The “Black Fettucini Arrabiata” dish is a specialty dinner made with rock shrimp and tomato fondue. It’s seasoned with garlic, basil, and chili. If you want to try making tomato fondue at home to go along with your pasta, here’s an easy recipe we found from Food Network.

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