It’s almost 5 p.m. and you are eager to get home from work. You run over to Penn Station in Newark to catch your train, but alas, you have missed it. What to do?
The bar at Bellos beckons.
Of course you could sit and wait for the next train. You may even want to get a snack from one of the many places within Penn Station. If that's what you were thinking of doing, you've made a mistake. What you should do is walk across the street and have a beer at Bello's Gastro Pub at 376 Market Street.
There is no finer place to sample different beers than Bello's, which has more than 180 different beers available. So you might be thinking, I'll never be able to try 180 beers. You're probably right, but if you try 100 of them, you’ll be rewarded. Not only is your name added to a plaque on the wall, but a free T-shirt is included as well. After one hundred you can continue on your quest to try every beer Bello's serves and as you reach new milestones new rewards will be made available.
The allure of reaching immortality on the wall of fame at Bello's is not the only thing that will have you coming back. The location is great because it’s less than a minute walk from Penn Station. The small outdoor eating area is an excellent spot to sit on a nice day. You are surrounded by some of the best looking buildings Newark has to offer. Inside Bello's you'll feel right at home given the friendly atmosphere. It looks like the perfect place to watch a game, with a few TV’s that appear to be dedicated to sports.
I went with the intent of reviewing Bello's as a bar rather than a restaurant. Of course, that didn't stop me from ordering some appetizers from their menu, which includes a plethora of interesting options. I ordered the cheese fries and buffalo garlic shrimp with chorizo for our group to share. I’ll admit that it’s the rare French fry that I don't enjoy and I’ll even admit that I often enjoy fries too much. That being said, these fries were well above average, mainly because they were clearly hand cut and not too greasy. The buffalo garlic shrimp were great, and I strongly suggest dipping your fries in the sauce.
For my beverages I enjoyed two of my favorite beers, both IPAs. The first one I had was the Dogfish 120 which is strong and has an extraordinarily high ABV (alcohol by volume). After that I had a Victory Hop Devil which is made in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I would not suggest the 120 to a novice, the high ABV will go straight to your head.
I will give Bello’s 4 stars out of 5. I can't really say anything negative about this place. My experience was delightful. As I said earlier, I reviewed Bello’s as a bar, not a restaurant. I believe that Bello's could stand up against any bar in Newark or elsewhere.
Prior to trying Bello's I used to drive to West Caldwell to try craft beers at Cloverleaf (a worthwhile trip). Now that I have found Bello's, those days are over. Maybe one day you’ll see my name enshrined on the wall at Bello's and become part of their great history. I’ve already made a good head start.