Websites like Yelp! have empowered the everyday eater to become their local neighborhood's New York Times food critic, praising and damning behind the anonymity of a computer screen.
Some peeved restaurateurs have argued Yelp! is little more than a "forum for the uninformed," a digitally-savvy clan of unsophisticated palates with little-to-no culinary education.
True or not, the reviews listed on the website unquestionably impact popular perception. Will you dine at a place one newspaper critic gave a dazzling review to if the same restaurant was scorned by the unwashed masses? Maybe. Maybe not.
So how does the average joe rank the many restaurants in Ridgewood and Glen Rock?
Based on Yelp!'s star ranking, we count down from #5 down to #1 on Japanese food. (Click here for the top 5 Italian joints or here for the top Japanese restaurants.)
Many of the restaurants accrued the same star rating, so in the case of ties the restaurant with the greater number of reviews is ranked higher.
5. Wilkes (East Glen Ave.), 4 stars, 8 reviews
"What really counts in a great deli sandwich?" asked Denise S. "The heavenly roll. If you don't do the Keiser roll right, don't bother putting anything tasty inside. Wilkies is #1 for the roll. When I was young and could eat white rolls with abandon, I used to go and order one with just butter. Heavenly.
They also make the most amazing 6 food hero's that have shown up at more than one party of mine to feed the family of carnivores I live with. It is lonely being the only vegetarian in a family of meat eaters but this crazy large hero satisfies them every time.
They do excellent individual sandwich platters for parties too. Make sure you go to the right Wilkies - this one on glen ave is the original and is still in the Wilkies family. The quality of the other one is MUCH lower. You can taste the difference most acutely in the coleslaw. Wilkies on glen has outstanding coleslaw."
4. Park Wood Deli, 4 stars, 34 reviews
"What a great little hidden gem of a deli," said Logan N. "The stars here are the 20+ special sandwiches that Park Wood offers. I decided to try the namesake sandwich and was not disappointed. The 'Parkwood' is a double-decker of turkey, roast beef, coleslaw, russian dressing, provolone, and 3 slices of soft rye. The meat is piled high for a $7 sandwich. It was easy for me to save the second half for dinner on my ride home."
3. Chestnut Deli 4.5 stars, 3 reviews
"I continue to love the food made here by Bill and his staff," said Joseph Y. "Bill's creativity and spin on classic deli fare is refreshing, and it is ALWAYS served with a smile on his face. I've been a huge fan, and will continue to be for many years to come."
2. The Market at RoCCa, 4.5 stars, 12 reviews
"Best deli in Glen Rock," claimed Garrett D. "Fresh ingredients, nice decor, big seating area, big and tasty sandwiches. My go-to deli in Glen Rock, carrying over the high degree of quality from their full restaurant 2 doors down."
1. La Strada 5 stars, 9 reviews
"There are 2 great Italian Deli's in Bergen County and this is one of them," Kevin D of Westwood said. "La Strada is the real deal, with great specials and excellent service. I have been going here for years and have never had a bad anything."
Do you agree or disagree with the Yelp! top 5 list? Any particular snubs? Would your list feature Best of Everything? Is La Strada worthy as best deli in town? Or would you crown one of the competitors above?