By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
Be forewarned that I do not intend to tread lightly on the subject of pizza. It’s been my experience that people tend to be quite opinionated when it comes to their personal favorites and having grown up in New Jersey I am certainly guilty of this.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been hopelessly involved in a love affair with Sun Tavern’s pizza. My earliest experiences with Sun Tavern — and probably most most cherished — occurred at their Union, NJ location, which, much to my dismay, has since been taken over by new management and renamed. Today, my family and I frequent the Fanwood, NJ location most often, but Sun Tavern also has a restaurant in Roselle Park, NJ.
Sun Tavern’s pizza recipe is closely affiliated with that of New Jersey’s famous Star Tavern pizza. Star Tavern, located in Orange, NJ, is technically the holder of the Best Pizza in New Jersey and has been a family favorite since my parents were children, but because of its fame it can be rather difficult to get a table. So, our allegiance lies with Sun Tavern simply because it tastes almost identical and the service is far superior.
Sun is famous for its thin crust pizza, which is what I prefer. The pizza is truthfully so tasty and holds such a fantastic cheese:sauce:crust ratio that I often order plain pies. Toppings are far from necessary. I don’t think I can say that about pizza served anywhere else other than Star.
Sun Tavern is also home to my favorite buffalo wings. The suicidal sauce truly is suicidal, though, so I’m happy to ask for it on the side. What I like most about these wings is that they aren’t overly breaded or overly fried. They have just the right amount of crisp to them without compromising the chicken itself.
All locations also offer a full menu, but I have rarely felt the need to venture beyond the pizza. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve actually read through the menu since I was a child.
Sun Tavern has a full bar, but I usually just order Blue Moon on tap. The bar isn’t what draws me to the restaurant, but it’s definitely a great perk that patrons can order whatever they want.
I can’t say that Sun Tavern is the greatest service I’ve ever had. It isn’t, but it’s far better than the service at Star Tavern simply because it’s less busy. The wait staff is always friendly and accommodating and the wait is usually not too bad for a table.
The restaurant itself isn’t anything special when it comes to interior design. It’s dark and the chairs and tables are wood. There’s a bar area and a restaurant area in both locations and the two are practically interchangeable. It has a sports bar feel to it, which is perfect to me for pizza and beer with family or friends.
You haven’t tried pizza until you’ve tried thin crust from New Jersey and no matter what, I will likely always hold Sun Tavern with the highest regard.