A taste of the must-eat local restaurants around Ramapo

Photo by Emily Melvin

Ramsey, N.J. and Suffern, N.Y. offer a variety of small businesses for Ramapo students’ needs. Only a five to 10-minute drive away from campus, you can shop locally and indulge in a variety of close-by independent businesses. Shopping local not only supports the business, but the families behind the business. 


In these towns, there is a wide selection of cuisine, as well as stores with a diverse selection of products. Listed are some of the many local businesses you should check out the next time you need a bite to eat or want to treat yourself. 


Sarinas Afghan Cuisine (Suffern)

Sarinas is the closest Afghan restaurant to campus with a wide variety of delectable menu items. From kebabs to tandoori, Sarinas has it all. Something to consider trying are Falafel, Baklava and the Potato Bolani. 


Forgia Brick Oven Pizza (Suffern)

With dining and takeout, this pizzeria offers some tasty and authentic Italian-style cuisine and pizza. Also offering gluten-free and some vegetarian options, this menu is exquisite and inclusive! Some great dishes to try are the Zeppole, Eggplant Rollatini and, of course, the many different types of pizza pies.


El Banquete (Suffern)

Who doesn’t love Salvadorian food, especially from one of the few authentic restaurants close to campus! El Banquete offers a unique and diverse menu, and some dishes to try are the Bistec Alcavallo and the Mojarra frita.


Smyrna Mediterranean Cafe Grill (Ramsey)

Smyrna serves authentic Mediterranean food, and is one of the few Mediterranean restaurants in the area. The menu is extensive and has something for everyone. Some dishes to try are the Red Lentil Soup, the Babaganush and the Kazandibi!


Lettuce Inn Juice Bar (Ramsey)

This is one of the few juice bars in Ramsey. Along with an inclusive and diverse menu, they carry smoothies, juices and protein shakes. Some smoothies to try are the Ginseng Fling Smoothie and the Bee Stinger Smoothie.


Lily & Kate Gifts and Accessories (Ramsey)

This little gift shop carries a whole variety of different items, some even displaying the town name. Handmade gifts are also available to be purchased here! Check out Lily & Kate before heading home for the holidays!


Ramsey Corner Cafe (Ramsey)

Tucked in the corner of Spruce and East Main Street, this quaint little cafe serves a variety of different menu items. Some items to keep out on the watch for are their scones — trust me, you’ll want to get your hands on one.


In addition to many other local businesses, these seven stand out for their unique offerings and status. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many local businesses are suffering and struggling to stay open. It is important to shop local and family businesses for them to be kept open. 

By doing the consumers' part, the business and family behind the business gain. Rather than paying for a CEO’s new car payment, a shopper can help a family to be able to have dinner, support their family and keep a roof over their head. 

Local businesses are not only special to themselves, but also to people who live in that area.

Take advantage of the shops and restaurants in the nearby towns while you can. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite hotspot.