Just a hop, skip and a jump away from downtown Manhattan, there are plenty of things to do in Jersey City. Sitting right on the Hudson, the bustling enclave has also become a culinary hub in its own right, complete with waterfront restaurants and bars, fine-dining restaurants and a critically acclaimed pizza joint slinging pies that (gasp) rival those across the river. Thirsty for more? Don't miss the best Jersey City bars.
Best Jersey City restaurants
Slurp away at this hip noodle joint with a boozy ice cream speakeasy. “The brothless mazemen is out of this world,” says Charlie Bini. “Unfortunately, I could never bring myself to try anything else, but I’m sure it’s all good.” He’s correct, but no matter your order, make sure you add the chili-charred edamame for the table.
Think Italian cooking got too twee? On Thursday nights, this red-sauce joint serves all-you-can-eat pasta feasts, taking you back not to Italy but to Italian America circa 1960.
Go on a Monday from 4pm to close for $13 bottomless mussels, implores Ashley Lyden, including classic French broths as well as ones with Madras curry and a coconut Thai bath.
For dinner and drinks, Dullboy satisfies cravings for a finely-crafted cocktail, indulgent oysters or a bone-marrow burger. At the creative, literature-inspired restaurant, you can find snacks like duck fat tator tots and cocktails like the Biddy (mescal, vermouth, amaro and apple bitters).
Once you sit down in this brownstone’s Prohibition-era bar and order a 28-day dry-aged porterhouse and an old-fashioned, you’ll be in on the secret, too.
If your appetite for brunch includes room for bottomless Bellinis and mimosas, look no further than Fire & Oak. It’s tucked into the Newport Westin, serving up waterside views of the Hudson and Manhattan skyline, and offers a wide selection of salads, burgers and seafood entrées.
What was a '70s themed restaurant waxed their dining room into a dance floor and became Jersey City's thoroughly modern music venue and bar. The sharp onstage curation cares not about music genres, but rather can the act bring the noise, as it selects body-movers and shakers in every flavor from hip-hop to blues. Catch monthly '90s and New Wave dance parties as well live band karaoke. Fiittingly, the food menu is inspired by festival fare.
“All of their dishes are filled with nuanced flavors, especially if you are looking for one that will make you sweat,” says Charlie Connell. “Some can’t-miss options are the Chengdu dandan noodles, the incendiary Guizhou spicy chicken and the sliced lotus root with pickled pepper, a vegetable dish about as far from the Western comfort zone as possible.”
Four words: French-onion-soup dumplings.
Caribbean food in chic digs. Order: scotch-bonnet honey wings.
If this falafel-and-shawarma stalwart ever bottles its hot sauce, this spot will be a household name outside of JC, too.
“At one time, it had the best pork tacos in town, served with a side of attitude—before the snowflakes Yelped too hard about hurt feelings,” says Jeff Ashbock. “They still have the best pork tacos, but they are now served with reluctant grins.” Insider tip: There’s also the Taqueria Downtown Catering Co., which has a cool vibe and strong-AF margaritas.
Ever-changing menu of old-school Italian favorites that everybody in the neighborhood swears by.
The ideal location for a special event, whether you’re booking a room or a table for two, Liberty House has some of the best NYC views this side of the Hudson. Even better, the menu will make it so you don’t miss Manhattan for a second, with fresh, farm-to-table offering like safron braised mussels and whole Mediterranean Branzino.
If the building itself—restored and airy—or the restaurant’s historical ties (it’s named after Virginian patriot Henry Lee III, aka “Light Horse Harry”) don’t immediately draw you in, the food sure will. Opt for items from the raw bar or heartier plates like classic meatloaf or grilled, aged rib eye.
A mainstay of the neighborhood since 2002, this twee bistro offers French bites and a raw bar for Jersey City grubhounds. The decently lengthy menu stays true to classics—a selection of moules frites, savory crepes and charcuterie boards—that include entree staples like steak frites and duck confit.
Dine on upscale Mexican food that’s actually worth the price.
You can’t find a bad place to eat in the Little India section of JC. Our pick? Goat Roganjosh at PJs.
Ben Byruch and chef Leah Cohen, proprietors of acclaimed Lower East Side Southeast Asian eatery Pig & Khao, debuted this pan-Asian gastropub concept in September 2017. The menu here is naturally playful—think sriracha buffalo wings, pho-inspired disco fries and Filipino spring rolls, or lumpia—to go along with a selection of 12 on-tap brews. Beyond the plate, the best part of eating here is grabbing a sidewalk table to soak up right-on-the-water views of the Manhattan skyline from Harborside, the sprawling development in which the restaurant is located.
While New York Times’ critic Pete Wells claimed in 2017 that this is the best pizza in the New York City area, we’ve considered this true for years. Order the Bufala pizza, boasting New Jersey tomatoes and mozzarella cheese made from New Jersey water buffaloes.
There’s no better place to dine alfresco with an oaky glass of wine, an indulgent charcuterie board and your best friend.
Nestled in the heart of the Grove Street neighborhood—and elevating your dining experience with towering ceilings, exposed-brick walls and a romantic rooftop—Skinner’s Loft is a family-run joint that brings elegance and a relaxed evening out to the table. Dinner and brunch menus include modern dishes like a whiskey-smoked beef brisket or red-velvet pancakes.
Real-deal eats worthy of a New Jersey Italian grandmother served inside the Budinich family’s brownstone on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Do: Call to be invited over for dinner. 201-333-1476
“Dale Talde’s signature morning bowl, the breakfast ramen, is served in a brown-butter–and-pork broth with honey-glazed bacon and a beautiful soft-boiled egg,” explains Kim Nowacki. “It’s rich and buttery and has the perfect balance of a French-toast sweetness mixed with a touch of salt that the bacon adds, and then the egg brings it all together. I once watched a video of how to make this at home, but then decided to never try it at home and just leave it to the professionals. Bonus: If you’re doing a boozy brunch, don’t miss the Bellini (made with homemade Five Alive juice) and the pork dumplings with a pretzel wrapper.”
Model diner from the 1939 World’s Fair. Order: the special—three cheeseburgers, fries and a drink for $6.50.
It’s everything you could want from an American eatery, without any of the excess frills you don’t have time for. Burgers are the focus at both locations of this homegrown chain, with options like an eight-ounce Pat La Frieda blend topped with aged cheddar and sugar-cured bacon, and a veggie variety with avocado and chipotle mayo.