Oak Tree Road – Mini India in Edison

I bet there’s not a single Indian in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia who’s not heard of Oak Tree Road.

Oak Tree Road Shopping & Restaurant Hub image © sagar.comOak Tree Road Indian Restaurants, Fashion & Jewelry Stores

Snaking its way through the towns of Iselin and Edison in Middlesex County, Oak Tree Road is a beehive of Indian stores and restaurants.

South Indian, North Indian and Gujarati restaurants, grocery stores, jewelers, Paan kiosks, Mithai and Chaat centers, saree and churidhar boutiques, beauty parlors, travel agents peddling “low fares to India” and Biryani joints give the entire street an unmistakable Indian ambience.

Growth of Oak Tree Rd

The growth of Oak Tree Road as an Indian shopping destination has its roots in the early 1980s when a couple of Indian grocery stores and restaurants came up there.

Since there were few Indian restaurants or grocery stores in the state those days, New Jersey desis quickly embraced these stores in a big way.

Fashion boutiques, beauty parlors and jewelry stores followed to Oak Tree Road in the 1990s. Today there are a dozen Indian jewelers on Oak Tree Road offering glittering diamond, gold and silvery necklaces, earrings and pendants.

As the Indian population in New Jersey rose with the arrival of software programmers and pharmaceutical researchers on H1B researchers, Oak Tree Road turned into the biggest Indian commercial hub not just in the state but in the entire U.S.

Pioneer Blvd (Artesia, CA), Devon Ave (Chicago) and 74th St (Jackson Heights, NYC) pale in comparison to Oak Tree Road.

Oh, there’s even a movie house on Oak Tree Road screening the latest Bollywood, Telugu and Tamil films.

Oak Tree Road Little India & Restaurant Hub image © sagar.comOak Tree Road Iselin, NJ

Recent Trends

In recent years, a bunch of Pakistani entrepreneurs have set up a few restaurants and Halal grocery stores on Oak Tree Road to cater to Pakistani immigrants.

There’s also been a surge in South Indian restaurants in the area over the last five years, particularly those offering the flavorful Hyderabadi Dum Biryani rice dish.

The annual India Day parade celebrating India’s Independence Day also happens on Oak Tree Road and is now a major event drawing thousands of visitors.

Weekends are the busiest times on Oak Tree Road with overflowing restaurants, crowded grocery stores and bustling beauty parlors.

For those planning a visit from New York City or Philadelphia, Oak Tree Road is conveniently located close to the Metropark Train Station. Just a 10-minute walk to the bustle of Oak Tree Road from the train station.

Oak Tree Road is also close to New Jersey’s major road arteries like I-95, Garden State Parkway and RT-1.

Why not make a trip to Oak Tree Road this weekend and soak in the desi ambence!

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