New York City isn’t the end of the tristate area’s fantastic food scene.
Food & Wine recently named Jersey City as one of the country’s top up-and-coming food scenes. And while some were taken aback (i.e.: How could there be anything better than New York City in this area of the country?!), my boyfriend and I were not surprised. We are spoiled for choice here.
While this list is by no means exhaustive (we just moved to downtown, so I’m definitely still exploring!), these are some of our favorite places to go. Every time I’ve been to each, I’ve never been disappointed in food or service.
Check them out and tell me your favorite one in comments!
This unassuming Korean restaurant is not only affordable – its food is DELICIOUS (oh yes, all caps on purpose)! We stumbled in here on a chilly fall day out of curiosity and did not leave disappointed. The ramen is fabulous, the bibimbop is truly perfect in every way and the best part? It’s BYOB, so you can bring in that fabulous Alsace Grand Cru you’ve just picked up from local wine shop, Madame Claude’s (my favorite pairing is with this one from Domaine Paul Blanck in Schlossberg). It’s got all the small-town neighborhood vibes and the staff is super friendly – and they’ll definitely remember your usual.
The truth about Indian restaurants? There are a lot of bad ones. My boyfriend and I really love Indian food so we literally tried a dozen different places before we finally found our local favorite in Raaz. Our go-tos are the Chicken Tikka and the Paneer Makhani, and don’t forget the veggie samosas! We’ve tried all kinds of things from their menu and have never been disappointed.
3. Hamilton Inn
I’m not a big brunch person, but if I’m gonna do it, you’d better believe it’s at the Hamilton Inn. Great vibes, great food and in the summer – a fabulous outdoor patio, complete with outdoor bar. It’s a great place to meet friends, take your parents, or for a sweet little brunch date. Believe me – the cornbread French toast is worth the splurge.
When it’s been a super long day at work, it probably means it’s time for a White Star Burger. Every month has a featured Burger of the Month, too, and so far they’ve all been pretty great (according to the meat-eaters in my life who love them). From a pescatarian perspective, there’s also a world of options: try the Beyond Burger of the Battered Fish Tacos.
This couldn’t be a Jersey City restaurant guide without an Italian sandwich joint, let’s be honest. We love walking over to this place and its old school Jersey Italian vibes. When you’re craving Italian comfort food done right, look no further.
6. Satis Bistro
Our go-to date night spot is this hidden gem, Satis Bistro. Farther away from the main drag (aka Grove Street), this romantic Mediterranean restaurant is the perfect mix of French and Italian cuisine. The wine list is killer, the gnocchi is spot on, and the ambiance beautifully romantic. Plus: it’s right around the corner from Morris Canal Park, where you can see an unobstructed view of the New York Skyline. I highly recommending making a night out of it and heading there after dinner for a kiss with your boo.
While there are more than a few decent taco spots in downtown Jersey City, Tacoria always takes the cake for me. I love their unique take on sauces and flavor combinations and the fact they have multiple vegetarian and vegan options (all of which are seriously delicious, by the way) just makes me love them all the more. And don’t forget to try the sides and desserts – we love the Nutella Nachos and the Mexican Street Corn!
A couple years ago, a renowned restaurant critic took on a project to find the best pizza in New York City. What he found was that the best pie was actually here in Jersey City (no, I’m not kidding, here’s the article!). In a lot of ways, it put our little town on the map for foodies, so it’s thanks in large part to Razza’s amazing pizzas that the food scene here is getting big. My two personal favorite pizzas here are the Burrata and the Funghi (recommended pairing: any classic red Burgundy). The salads are all also on point.
Fear not – there are far more than eight amazing restaurants in JC, and I’ll definitely be trying (and reviewing) a lot more as the months and years pass. But if you’re looking for a solid list to start with, the eight ones listed above certainly will not disappoint. Long live Jersey City cuisine!