NJ Dining: Star Tavern


Star Tavern & Pizzeria
400 High St, Orange, NJ
(973) 675-3336

As I alluded to in a previous post about Kinchley’s Tavern in Ramsey I love a good bar pizza. Star Tavern in Orange is probably one of the better examples of this particular pizza style — nice crispy crust with good char, nice tangy sauce, good cheese distribution. The restaurant has that great old school tavern atmosphere that you find in great college towns.

Star Tavern storefront.

Star Tavern dining room.

Antipasto salad. Nice pile of sharp provolone with good pepperoni and salami.

Wings. The default sauce had a decent kick to it and clearly these wings were not from a big bag.

The plain cheese pie. I URGE you to resist the temptation to order a “special” pie or any other pie with toppings on it before trying the plain cheese pie first. The plain cheese pie is an exercise in pizza perfection simplicity. This is a very good example of when less is more.

Plain cheese slice

Nice char underneath.

Three cheese pie with sausage and meatballs. Very good, but as I said, get the plain first.

Slice of Three Cheese with Sausage and Meatballs.

12 Responses to NJ Dining: Star Tavern

  1. [...] Apparently, in the late 80’s, there was a schism within the ranks of Kinchley’s, and one of the employees went on their own to open their own place. In essence, the pies at Nellie’s Place are very similar to the ones at Kinchleys (which apparently, are also derived from Star Tavern’s). Like Kinchley’s Nellie’s has a tavern-like atmosphere, although I’ll go out on a limb and say it looks a little nicer inside and the table layout is less crowded. [...]

  2. A&E says:

    donot tell me this isn”t the reciepe from the old tree tavern pizza in paterson that burned down

  3. [...] Pizza, Pizza Town USA in Clifton, Santillo’s in Elizabeth, Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany, Star Tavern in Orange, or the legendary DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies in Trenton that make great American-style [...]

  4. Tonyfig says:

    I can tell you from my own experiences that Star Tavern is its own institution. I lived blocks from the Star in the 50’s and 60’s and since then the pies have not changed much at all. The pizzas are cooked in a standard Blodgett deck ovens but the process starts out in a thin well-oiled pie pan and halfway through the pan is pulled from the oven to finish the pie directly on the deck. This gives the crust a great flavor that is also crisp and cooked perfect in my opinion.

    On the days we didn’t head into the Star itself I have memories of my mother sending me down to Star for balls of dough on Fridays when most all Catholics didnt eat meat, for the Italians in the area it was pizza (cheese mostly with a few anchovie “white”pies) and pasta ala oglio.

    Star is a must visit for me everytime I head back home. GREAT thin-crust tomato pie.!

    For the “shore” in Jersey, the comprable pizza is at Pete and Eldas…classic thin crust tavern pie.

  5. Steve Nielsen says:

    If this is the same Star Tavern Pizza taste from back in the 60’s. It’s the best on earth…..I miss it here in Florida. I’m thinking about visiting New Jersey again just for Star Tavern pizza and Dicky Dee’s Italian hot dogs…the good stuff!!! …and of course a big mug of Birch beer.

  6. Joe Sablon says:

    I was born, but not raised in New Jersey, and whenever I have an excuse to visit family the underlying motivation is to eat at Star Tavern for the plain cheese pizza, and Jimmy Buff for the italian hot dogs. Star is stellar!

  7. David nelson says:

    The Star tavern’s plain cheese pizza is probably the best I can remember having in recent years. Their pizza is better than the 2 top choices out here in southern PA 80 miles west of Philly. I like the Star’s thin crust which minimizes the bread and maximizes the cheesiness. Is it worth a side trip from the turnpike or other NJ highways you might be traveling? You bet’cha. We were at Liberty State Park in Jersey City recently and made the short trek over to Orange for a wonderful lunch of Pizza and antipasto. Almost ironically it seems the more orange color that is in the pizza, the better it tastes.

  8. As far as I am concerned, pizza town usa in garfield is the best and because it is locked in a time warp – it brings back nice memories of my youth in the 60’s and 70’s. Also, Brunos in Lodi , South End in Cedard Grove, Anna Capri in Verona.

  9. John Walker says:

    Just visited Star Tavern after about 7 years. Used to visit it almost weekly over a 5 years span back then. Happy to say that it’s the same deal. Same waitresses, say pizza, same salad, same calamari. Go with the plain as Jason says. Keep the toppings to a minimum if you want to dabble. Fewer toppings = crispier crust and bubbly cheese. Awesome place.

  10. [...] NJ.com (The Star-Ledger) Off the Broiler South Orange Patch Well Fed On the Town Yelp Share and [...]

  11. Jim Freeman says:

    Down memory lane. I started going to the “Star Tavern” in 1952. At that time Bruce was the owner and the kitchen staff was run by Lou (?) and his pretty wife (he was big and she was tiny). Lou developed the Pizza recipe which included a thin crust. To this day I have never tasted a better plain cheese pizza than the “Star” pizza. Lou’s wife unfortunately died in a car accident and Lou later sold the kitchen which was separate from the tavern to a person who also bougth the recipe. Over the years I have lived in many states but always make it back to the “Star”. I must admit that the early ’50’s version is better than today’s pizza but still better than any other plain cheese pizza! If by chance Jack Ricci reads this try to contact me through this medium.

  12. joe harrington says:

    Been a customer for over 40 years and last night,1-20-11 about 6:00pm was appalled by the extremely poor service and unpleasant attitude from the so called waitress (middle age women). She forgot our calamari order and said SHE did not forget it the KITCHEN did (apparently she does not know her job); she forgot our drink order and we had to ask the busboy for it; never came back to our table to ask if everything was okay and if she did she would have known the calamari was not served; Basically she was disgraceful and the Star can do much better. Our guests who we bragged to, about the Star, could not believe this waitress poor attitude. The Pizza was excellent but will never again return with guests.

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