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The Cranbury Inn:
A Restaurant Review

The Cranbury Inn
The Cranbury Inn
21 South Main St
Cranbury, NJ

Cranbury Inn: Restaurant Highlights

Fare:  Traditional American

Price:  Moderate - Expensive

Food Quality: Creativity of the menu, food preparation, and the quality of ingredients used have been recently upgraded to be above banquet quality

Service: Friendly, attentive

Decor: Historic 1700's building, charming historic ambiance with wide-planked flooring, fireplace, antiques wagon wheels hanging from the ceiling as chandeliers.

Overall Rating:  2 1/2 Stars

Note: Four star Rating System from 1/2 Star = poor to Four stars = Best in Class

Noise Level:  Moderate, except the bar area can get very loud when their TV is viewing a popular sports event.

Dress:  Casual

Recommended For: Diners who enjoy a traditional American menu in an historic setting.

Not Recommended For:  Diners who enjoy an eclectic food menu in a trendy, modern setting.

Recommended dishes:  When available, The Prime Rib Slow-roasted ribeye served with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, & au jus; The Pasta Shrimp Diablo Blackened shrimp and spinach simmered in a spicy roasted garlic, white wine, and tomato stew over bucatini pasta' and The Plant Based Roasted Asparagus Pasta Roasted asparagus and shallots marinated in a vegetable puree au jus with tarragon served over bucatini pasta.

Liquor:  Full-Service Bar with excellent wine and beer selections

Restaurant Review

The Cranbury Inn is a landmark restaurant with a historic past that dates back to the mid 1700s. It has recently been renovated while maintaining and preserving the site's rich, historical heritage.

In 1982 the Cranbury Historical Society was successful in having the town of Cranbury placed on The National Registry of Historic Places. The Cranbury Inn is in that historic district and on the National Registry.

The Cranbury Inn is many has a rich historical history including being known as an alleged stop on the Underground Railroad & boasts an alleged "body hiding box" in a converted flu space.

In October 2022, the Cranbury Inn opened under new ownership by Cranbury Inn R & P Management and is managed by co-owner Bill Arnold.

Under the direction of Bill Arnold, recent repairs and updates have been made to maintain the structural integrity of The Cranbury Inn, while preserving the site's rich heritage. This includes the renovation of the bar area and entrance.

Bill Arnold is also the founder and owner of NJWineSeller, a NJ based liquor retail store. One of his first upgrades is the renovation of the bar area and addition of a NJWineSeller retail store that now resides in the rear legacy banquet area of the Inn. All items served in the new bar area will be available for purchase in the new onsite retail store. The nine-seat bar was restored into a center island for beer taps and high-top tables, and it was replaced with a 22-seat bar.

Other upgrades include upgrading the dining rooms with new lighting and laminate flooring, replacing the former wall-to-wall carpeting, and repainting the ceiling and beams. 

The pumpkin pine floors that were hidden under carpeting in the lounge have been restored, as has the oak flooring in the bar area.

The main building of the Cranbury Inn consists of two original taverns built in the 1700's and an innkeeper's house built directly in front of the taverns, adjoining all three.

The interior includes creaky, wide-planked flooring, antiques wagon wheels hanging from the ceiling as chandeliers, and a plate collection displayed on plate rails throughout the restaurant.

There is a glass encasement exposing the outside wall of the original building with handmade bricks and timber frame construction using hand-hewed timbers from the 1700's acquired the nearby forest.

The barn offers sweeping balconies that create an attractive setting for weddings. The Cranbury Inn is especially popular as a banquet hall for weddings, religious celebrations, and corporate functions. The banquet functions can be accommodated in their private rooms for 2 to 200+ guests.

Under new management, the menu has also been updated and upgraded. A definite improvement both in quality and menu additions.

The Cranbury Inn is open seven days/week. Mon – Thurs: 11AM – 10PM, Fri – Sat: 11AM – 11PM, Sun: 10AM - 10PM, & Sunday Brunch: 10:30AM – 2PM

They are also open on Thanksgiving serving a special 4 course Thanksgiving menu, and on Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve for both a New Year's Eve Dinner & a New Year's Eve Party.

(Updated: November 2023)

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