Turnpike West – New Brunswick, NJ

Residents of the Turnpike West area near South Brunswick, Dayton and Monmouth Junction enjoy a high standard of living. Residents enjoy professional careers with a handful of high-profile employers in the area, including nearby Rutgers University, Princeton and a handful of tech companies. Head approximately 48 miles south-southwest of the New Jersey city center to an area populated with woodlands, wetlands and many undeveloped plots. Dotted among this rural landscape are schools and libraries that complement the nearby universities and help establish the area as one focused on education and higher learning.

Schools in Turnpike West

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

A few fast food chains, casual eateries, fine dining establishments and ethnic restaurants dot the landscape of this part of New Jersey. Most restaurants are along Ridge Road or Georges Road on the southern edge of South Brunswick. Sakura Sushi Depot keeps customers happy with cheap prices, fresh sushi, and friendly service. Whether dining in, grabbing takeout, or ordering delivery, this restaurant serves both Japanese and Chinese dishes. Try the tasty salmon avocado or sweet potato rolls from the sushi menu or fill up on the flavorful chicken lo mein or beef teriyaki from the Chinese dishes. Pizza Delizia Italian Restaurant has something for everyone, including hot sub sandwiches, hamburgers, appetizers, and healthy wraps. As the name implies, the best meals here come in the form of pizzas. The cheesesteak pizza comes with steak and two cheeses, and the vodka pizza has vodka cream sauce and penne pasta on top of whatever pizza you want. Black olives arrive on your pizza whole and tomatoes come in intact slices for some of the freshest ingredients you can find on New York-style pizzas. Locals head to Due Mari on Albany Street for a cozy date or a sophisticated drink paired with top quality Italian seafood. The Lumache, homemade pasta topped with fresh shrimp and scallops, comes strongly recommended, and it goes well with a glass of Chianti Classico. Round dinner off with the much-loved tiramisu or the cannoli gelato with a dessert wine. A favorite but somewhat hidden local bar, the historic Ale 'N 'Wich Pub sits on Hamilton Street and serves a wide array of beers and mixed drinks at a reasonable price. Play a rousing game of foosball or pool while savoring a pint of Hop Devil. While this establishment doesn't serve food, customers often bring takeout or have some delivered. For a little more excitement, dance or let your inner-singer loose on karaoke nights at the Golden Rail Pub on Easton Avenue. Patronized mostly by Rutgers college students, this establishment features cheap beer and a high-energy atmosphere. More nightlife options lie closer to North Brunswick and Princeton. Drive just 20 minutes north for a night of salsa dancing at Perle for a guaranteed good time.

History & Culture

With history dating back to the mid-1750s, the area's foundation was built upon a single tavern, a railroad junction and a mass of farms. Development turned these farmlands into a cultured suburb in the early 1900s, sprouting the tech industry firms and two universities that stand today. Though the area lacks museums to mark this history, a few historic houses remain in Princeton and New Brunswick. For a trip back in time, visit the Princeton University Museum of Art. For a taste of the arts, the South Brunswick Arts Commission coordinates galleried artwork displays from local artists. Poetry readings and a camera club also serve as arts enrichment opportunities for residents. With expansive plots of land, the area is great for those with a green thumb. The South Brunswick Garden Club and Dayton Village Citizens Coalition prepare for spring each year with an annual gardening workshop and seed catalog exchange at the South Brunswick Public Library.

Transportation

Definitely bring a car to this neighborhood, as long, winding streets define the spaces between residential areas. Parking is easy at most destinations, as public spaces and businesses offer ample free parking. Though no designated bicycle lanes exist, side streets are generally safe for bikers, and sidewalks provide a safe surface for a stroll. Running west and east, Highway 522 represents the major street through the neighborhood. U.S. Highway 130 goes north and south on the east side of this area. Catch a Coach USA express bus at the Exit 8A Park-and-Ride at Highway 130 and Highway 32 in South Brunswick. Take this bus to downtown New York City Monday through Friday from 5:20 a.m. to 8 p.m. Alternatively, if you need a personal ride, taxi companies serve the area, but you have to call ahead to arrange a ride.

Cost

Living costs less in this neighborhood than in downtown New York City, mainly due to lower expenses for groceries, goods, transportation, utilities and services. A one-bedroom apartment runs approximately $1,200. A pint of beer goes for about $3 at local pubs for happy hour specials. One gallon of gasoline typically costs 14 percent lower than the national average. A round-trip ticket on a Coach USA bus to New York runs about $25.

Shopping

Several high-value national chains sit just west of this neighborhood, along U.S. Highway 1. Find storefronts for high-end retailers at Brunswick Square, shop at the Super Stop & Shop in Dayton for groceries, or head to Von Thun Farms in Monmouth Junction for fresh produce from a local farm. Pierre's Bakery provides cakes, baked goods and sweet treats for any occasion, whether celebrating a wedding, graduation, birthday or winter holiday. Choose from multitiered wedding cakes and cheesecakes or individual cupcakes topped with huge, fresh strawberries. No matter what you order, Pierre's Bakery provides delicious, high-end treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. The Salon Simran day spa in Dayton provides serious pampering to locals, including haircuts, beauty treatments and skincare techniques. Make an appointment for a haircut, or get something more elaborate like a new color, style or perm. Skincare regimens include facials, threading and waxing.

Parks

Soccer fields of varying lengths give the fitness crowds a place to play in Sondek Park, along with three baseball diamonds and a softball field. A short, concrete walking trail creates a place to walk with your stroller or leashed dog. Reichler Park, close to the library and the town's municipal buildings, has a heavily wooded area for nature walks in addition to ball fields and a skate park. Every year, the South Brunswick Community Center at Woodlot Park hosts a "trunk or treat" event for local children. The safe and fun festivity features community groups, families and activities for kids the Sunday before Halloween. Games include costume contests and bounce houses.
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