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Guidebook for Jersey City

Ki

Guidebook for Jersey City

Food Scene
Named after birthplace of cantucci, more widely known as biscotti, in Prato, Italy. This bakery/cafe has amazing, authentic focaccia sandwiches made with high quality imported Italian products. My faves are Spicy Porchetta which they roast in house, Manhattan, Sienna and La Boscaiola sandwiches. Paired with fresh squeezed OJ or limonata makes for exceptional breakfast or lunch.
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Prato Bakery
371 Erie Street
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Named after birthplace of cantucci, more widely known as biscotti, in Prato, Italy. This bakery/cafe has amazing, authentic focaccia sandwiches made with high quality imported Italian products. My faves are Spicy Porchetta which they roast in house, Manhattan, Sienna and La Boscaiola sandwiches. Paired with fresh squeezed OJ or limonata makes for exceptional breakfast or lunch.
This small, easy on the wallet, Egyptian/Middle Eastern shawarma joint is one of my go to lunch spots. The chicken shawarma with housemade harissa based hot sauce and grilled lamb chops are standouts. Their gypsy box is a good deal for generous amount of food. What keeps me coming back is consistent friendly service and food. Also vegan friendly.
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Gypsy Grill
187 Newark Avenue
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This small, easy on the wallet, Egyptian/Middle Eastern shawarma joint is one of my go to lunch spots. The chicken shawarma with housemade harissa based hot sauce and grilled lamb chops are standouts. Their gypsy box is a good deal for generous amount of food. What keeps me coming back is consistent friendly service and food. Also vegan friendly.
Literally around the corner from my house this neighborhood gem serves quality burgers and rotating draft beers. Service is always great and has outdoor seating. Family friendly although it can get a bit loud inside when fully booked. Buffalo wings, Whitestar burger and Crispy Chicken Sandwich are my go to favorites at this well run establishment. Also opens late (2am!).
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White Star Bar
230 Brunswick Street
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Literally around the corner from my house this neighborhood gem serves quality burgers and rotating draft beers. Service is always great and has outdoor seating. Family friendly although it can get a bit loud inside when fully booked. Buffalo wings, Whitestar burger and Crispy Chicken Sandwich are my go to favorites at this well run establishment. Also opens late (2am!).
Best Vietnamese in Hudson County. Service is fast, friendly and budget friendly. Menu is extensive but tried and true favorites are Cha Gio, Lemon fresh beef with salad, Pho #1, Grilled Pork Chops over Rice, Squid with lemongrass and Bo Luc Lok. They also made respectable authentic bahn mi sandwiches.
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New Thanh Hoai
234 10th Street
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Best Vietnamese in Hudson County. Service is fast, friendly and budget friendly. Menu is extensive but tried and true favorites are Cha Gio, Lemon fresh beef with salad, Pho #1, Grilled Pork Chops over Rice, Squid with lemongrass and Bo Luc Lok. They also made respectable authentic bahn mi sandwiches.
Indian grocery that surreptitiously serves really good takeout only Indian food! This place started as American deli/grocery then there was a ownership change and new owners introduced takeout Indian food that is very affordable and delicious. Chicken Tikka Masala, Curry Chicken, Palak Paneer, Chole Masala are standouts. They also have extensive vegetarian options as well. Vegetables are not the freshest but if you're in a bind it's a very convenient place to pick up your pantry essentials.
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Prime Food Market
180 10th Street
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Indian grocery that surreptitiously serves really good takeout only Indian food! This place started as American deli/grocery then there was a ownership change and new owners introduced takeout Indian food that is very affordable and delicious. Chicken Tikka Masala, Curry Chicken, Palak Paneer, Chole Masala are standouts. They also have extensive vegetarian options as well. Vegetables are not the freshest but if you're in a bind it's a very convenient place to pick up your pantry essentials.
American style Barbecue joint with friendly service and good brisket with a bar made out of shipping container. Daily Happy hour deals and good food makes this place a neighborhood gem. Also has outdoor seating and cool spot to bring friends from out of town.
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Hamilton Pork
247 10th St
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American style Barbecue joint with friendly service and good brisket with a bar made out of shipping container. Daily Happy hour deals and good food makes this place a neighborhood gem. Also has outdoor seating and cool spot to bring friends from out of town.
Artisanal gelato spot that is handmade on premise with organic grass fed milk. They also hold classes for both adults and kids if you're interested in learning how to make them. Faves are boozy pisco sour, vanilla and lemon.
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Bucket & Bay Craft Gelato Co
150 Bay Street
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Artisanal gelato spot that is handmade on premise with organic grass fed milk. They also hold classes for both adults and kids if you're interested in learning how to make them. Faves are boozy pisco sour, vanilla and lemon.
BYOB, family friendly neighborhood pizza restaurant with generous portions. They make their own mozzarella in house and overall excellent value for the quality. Sausage broccoli rabe appetizer, portobello salad and a Margherita pie make for a complete midweek meal. Sometimes their crust can be little undercooked so we always ask for it well done. Best bang for buck is to grab one of their gigantic slices for like $3, at the takeout counter on 5th street.
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Rustique Pizza
611 Jersey Avenue
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BYOB, family friendly neighborhood pizza restaurant with generous portions. They make their own mozzarella in house and overall excellent value for the quality. Sausage broccoli rabe appetizer, portobello salad and a Margherita pie make for a complete midweek meal. Sometimes their crust can be little undercooked so we always ask for it well done. Best bang for buck is to grab one of their gigantic slices for like $3, at the takeout counter on 5th street.
Their coffee/espresso is best in downtown Jersey City IMHO. They use Counterculture beans and I've been a fan since they opened. Cappuccino and Lattes are done to perfection. They also have a juice bar.
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Dames Coffee Espresso Bar
581 Jersey Avenue
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Their coffee/espresso is best in downtown Jersey City IMHO. They use Counterculture beans and I've been a fan since they opened. Cappuccino and Lattes are done to perfection. They also have a juice bar.
My go-to spot for eat-in Chinese in downtown JC. This is Shanghai style, northern Chinese spot that has legit xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and very good ma po tofu. Much better service than Grand Sichuan which is just horrible with customers. Standouts are cucumber in garlic, spicy beef and tripe, shredded pork with beancurd, and spicy hot pepper chicken.
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Shanghai Best
95 Montgomery Street
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My go-to spot for eat-in Chinese in downtown JC. This is Shanghai style, northern Chinese spot that has legit xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and very good ma po tofu. Much better service than Grand Sichuan which is just horrible with customers. Standouts are cucumber in garlic, spicy beef and tripe, shredded pork with beancurd, and spicy hot pepper chicken.
Started by Los Angeles transplants as a humble food cart way back when downtown JC was very much up and coming, this now brick and mortar taqueria is authentic and one of the best in NY metro. All the tacos are must haves especially carnitas, pescado, and if you're into more adventurous inclined, buche and lengua. Their house made salsas and hot sauces are perfect accompaniment to all of their tacos.
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La Taqueria Downtown
236 Grove St
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Started by Los Angeles transplants as a humble food cart way back when downtown JC was very much up and coming, this now brick and mortar taqueria is authentic and one of the best in NY metro. All the tacos are must haves especially carnitas, pescado, and if you're into more adventurous inclined, buche and lengua. Their house made salsas and hot sauces are perfect accompaniment to all of their tacos.
Basement level, dimly but warmly lit French bistro serving many of the classics - Escargots, Steak Frites, French Onion Soup, Bouillabaise, Moule Frites etc. Owners are often on premise, in fact the husband plays in the band that provides live music so the service is warm and friendly. One of the pioneers of the downtown restaurant scene!
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Madame Claude Bis
390 4th Street
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Basement level, dimly but warmly lit French bistro serving many of the classics - Escargots, Steak Frites, French Onion Soup, Bouillabaise, Moule Frites etc. Owners are often on premise, in fact the husband plays in the band that provides live music so the service is warm and friendly. One of the pioneers of the downtown restaurant scene!
Excellent cocktails, pretty decor, nice place to take a date or go on a double date. Menu is solid all around with portion size on the smaller side but delicious nonetheless.
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Mathews Food & Drink
351 Grove St
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Excellent cocktails, pretty decor, nice place to take a date or go on a double date. Menu is solid all around with portion size on the smaller side but delicious nonetheless.
Once you go Krispy, you never go Dunkin'. Stick with their classic - original glazed. You can watch the donuts being made behind the glass wall and once you taste the first bite of that warm, pillowy, sweet fried dough you will instantly feel nirvana. The size, texture, and glaze and most importantly the serving temperature (must eat it then and there) really makes you hate chains less.
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Krispy Kreme
95 Christopher Columbus Dr
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Once you go Krispy, you never go Dunkin'. Stick with their classic - original glazed. You can watch the donuts being made behind the glass wall and once you taste the first bite of that warm, pillowy, sweet fried dough you will instantly feel nirvana. The size, texture, and glaze and most importantly the serving temperature (must eat it then and there) really makes you hate chains less.
Drinks & Nightlife
What's not to like about throwback arcade place with a full bar? This Brooklyn based chain is darkly lit but thoroughly enjoyable if you want to rehash fond childhood memories on old arcade games like pacman, daytona, tetris etc.. all the while sipping on nice selection of draft beers.
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Barcade
163 Newark Avenue
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What's not to like about throwback arcade place with a full bar? This Brooklyn based chain is darkly lit but thoroughly enjoyable if you want to rehash fond childhood memories on old arcade games like pacman, daytona, tetris etc.. all the while sipping on nice selection of draft beers.
Parks & Nature
One of the most ideal place in Jersey City to take Manhattan skyline and lady liberty. There's also Korean War Memorial within for all you veteran families or history buffs. Little hidden gem spot for photos and dog walk.
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Morris Canal Park
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One of the most ideal place in Jersey City to take Manhattan skyline and lady liberty. There's also Korean War Memorial within for all you veteran families or history buffs. Little hidden gem spot for photos and dog walk.
Quiet, peaceful, never crowded public park with amazing views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbour. This park is truly a Jersey City treasure. In the summer you can barbecue while your kids play in the large playground. Or take advantage of vast and expansive open greenspace that surrounds you to fly a kite or play frisbee. You can go fishing on the boardwalk or jog or ride your bike while being mesmerized by lovely views of lower manhattan and lady liberty.
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Liberty State Park
200 Morris Pesin Drive
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Quiet, peaceful, never crowded public park with amazing views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbour. This park is truly a Jersey City treasure. In the summer you can barbecue while your kids play in the large playground. Or take advantage of vast and expansive open greenspace that surrounds you to fly a kite or play frisbee. You can go fishing on the boardwalk or jog or ride your bike while being mesmerized by lovely views of lower manhattan and lady liberty.