1. , 601 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
While Italian dishes like pizza and pasta have become such a part of American culture that they’re often not considered 'ethnic' anymore, less-widely known Italian foods are still exotic to most Americans. Boasting many awards, including the highly coveted Zagat rating of No. 1 Italian restaurant in New Jersey, offers the highly unusual option of a personal visit with the chef, after which he will prepare you a 5- to 6-course meal, based on your dining preferences. Here in the states, we're accustomed to the idea that Italian food means red sauce (or gravy for those from South Philly), lots of cheese, tons of pasta, oregano, and garlic. While all of those things are common to the southern regions of Italy, the northern regions consume food with a distinctly different flavor profile. Sapori focuses on the foods of Italy in its entirety, and the menu reflects this, with choices like pork medallions topped with a port reduction-shitake-thyme sauce and crab meat salad with beets, avocado and lime vinaigrette. For more information, visit sapori.info or call 856-858-2288.
2. Cross Culture Ethnic Indian Cuisine, 208 Kings Hwy. E., Haddonfield
Dining al fresco is quite an experience, and it’s rare to come across restaurants that offer the opportunity. At Cross Culture Ethnic Indian Cuisine, you can choose to dine in their lush interior or, for excellent people-watching, sit at one of the outside tables set up on the sidewalk. Serving a traditional Northern Indian menu, dinner choices include chicken tikka masala, aloo ghobi, lamb biryani, paleek paneer and a full selection of tandoori items. Sunday brunch and the four-course lunch specials are online reviewers’ favorites with descriptions ranging from “very fresh” to “perfect!” The chef can also accommodate vegetarian and vegan diners. For more information, visit crosscultureindiancuisine.net or call 856-428-4343.
3. , 610 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
With lunch specials starting at just $9, and a dinner menu that offers nearly 50 different sushi rolls from which to choose, is a sushi standout. Its interior looks as though it would fit into the swankiest neighborhood of Manhattan, with ultra-long, stark white sofas and a wrap-around sushi bar. Gourmet rolls are stuffed with fillings like lobster salad, eel tempura, softshell crab, oysters and mango. Besides sushi, their extensive menu offers traditional Chinese dishes, like salt and pepper shrimp, to Thai and Japanese specialties, like green curry and a variety of udon and ramen noodles. For more information, visit woksabi.com or call 856-858-6688.
4. , 37 W. Crescent Blvd., Collingswood
An ethnic restaurant column would not be complete without mention of the famous and Zagat-rated . A Collingswood fixture since 1974, has an outstanding reputation among sushi gourmands. Diners note the freshness of raw fish here, and note the purism of 's menu offerings—that is, no multiple-ingredient fancy rolls or Americanized versions of Japanese food. Another frequently-mentioned feature of this favorite sushi haunt is the huge portions offered at reasonable prices and the extreme attention to detail that 's head chef utilizes when preparing all dishes. For more information, call 856-854-9773.
5. , 701 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
It’s not easy to find Mexican restaurants in the tri-state region, especially those offering authentic cuisine. prides itself on using the freshest ingredients possible, including as many organic items as chef and owner Mark Smith can get his hands on. He loves whipping up Tex-Mex inspired, upscale cuisine in a relaxed, laid-back and fun environment. From traditional treats, like burritos and tacos, to more unusual items, like the chipotle peanut pork barbecue platter and honey-lime scallops, Smith offers something for everyone, including vegetarians, vegans and those with gluten allergies. With a list of numerous awards under its belt, has been a Collingswood favorite since 2002. For more information, visit thetortillapress.com or call 856-869-3345.