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Jersey City Eats?

My company relocated to Jersey City from Midtown. I am in Harborside Financial Center, outside the exchange palce path station. This is a culinary wasteland. We have the Krispy Pizza Truck which makes a great grandma's pie. That's all that could even come close as being great around here. Oh wait, I forgot about Applebees and Uno's, Jersey home of the Chain. Ugh just kidding. Help!!! I need good eats. Maybe Time to seekout good delivery options. Any suggestions

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  1. My office moved from downtown (no great culinary hotspot) to JC a few years ago. I just eat in the cafeteria. There is nothing really worthwhile in downtown JC. The best of what there is? Well, when my department has a luncheon we go to
    Amelia's or The Light Horse. Both are pretty good, though just above average by Manhattan standards. If your company does not have a cafeteria, and you want good basic food, the Flamingo diner is cheap and not bad (a typical family-run Greek diner that has not been redecorated since the 60's, with prices to match), for eat-in or takeout. In Harborside, there are several forgettable restaurants, Markers being the best of a pretty sorry lot. Sorry to be so discouraging, but that's it. What I find hard to understanding is with all the residential development, why there is so little in the way of restaurants, or any other basic services. I can't imagine why anybody wants to live there; it has all the disadvantages of the city and the suburbs with none of the advantages.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      there are plenty of great dining options in jersey city and plenty of reasons to live there. you'll not find many around the exchange place area, however. that area is certainly more like 6th ave in the 50's than anything else, and i'd tend to agree that they need a couple of salad bars and delis at the very least for office workers. However as far as quality of life goes, JC has plenty to offer. In fact Ox just received an Excellent in the Jersey section of the NYT last week, deservedly.

      1. re: tommy

        As a former Jersey City Resident (last lived there in '94) I am wondering if the so-called "Harbor Casino" is still there. It is mostly a bar with food. Granted, it is nothing outstanding in the food department but I would have to say I would rather eat there than Applebees (even if the special was billed by the colorful owner as "Chromium Clams"!). The main reason to go is that it has not changed much since the 1930's and is the Headquarters for local Ward Heelers and political Bosses of JC. It is on Warren Street right by the River. (closer to Montgomery Avenue there used to be a place called Lisbon which was decent Spanish/Portuguese). All within walking distance of the Exchange Place Path Station. Of course, I am well aware that I am in a Time Warp as far as JC goes. But maybe someone else knows.

        1. re: jcmods

          To my knowledge these don't exist anymore. "Better than Applebees"? Not much of a recommendation. I've never been to Applebees, nor would I ever want to try one.

          1. re: jcmods

            Harbor Casino just reopened in December after a relocation and 3 year break! Same setup - a bar with food. I think it is only blocks from the original place (as per the bartender, the owners newphew). The restaurant space is being leased so the original owners (including the wife/chef) are just landlords now - new management is OK. Name will always stay the same.

          2. re: tommy

            Okay, so there is one good restaurant somewhere in JC, and it is not downtown. I rest my case.

            1. re: rrems

              hmm, well i'm no lawyer, but that's not a very strong argument. but your position is certainly clear.

        2. angelo,

          I do not know if they deliver, but the best Japanese/Sushi place in Jersey City is Komegashi Too on Pavonia across from the PATH.

          For a Burger, there's FatBurger on Washington. A 50's style place on the theme of Fuddruckers, but slightly more expensive.



          If you would like good old fashioned rustic Italian, there's Laico's. I go to the one on Terhune Street, but there's a location on Summit I believe.


          Down on Newark Street and Grove Streets, there's plenty of ethnic fare. The popular ones are:

          Benny's Falafel(Cheap Eats)
          Hard Grove Cafe(Cuban).

          On Newark Street, there's Filipino, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian

          5 Replies
          1. re: fourunder

            These are not bad suggestions, but as the OP will discover, they are not within easy walking distance.

            1. re: fourunder

              TY fourunder, I've read some of your posts before and found them helpful, will certainly check these out.

              Found fat burger, I say Ah, it's OK. Also over here is Nan King. It's ok to good, good being relative since there is NOTHING here!!!!!

              1. re: angelo04


                I made a mistake about the Falafel place. It's actually:


                IBBY'S FALAFEL
                "Family Recipe Since 1968"
                303 GROVE STREET
                JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY
                (Bet. City Hall & Grove Path Station


                10 A.M UNTIL 12 A.M.
                7 DAYS A WEEK

                Also on Pavonia is a deli that's quite popular. I do not know it's name, but it's very busy with commuters in the mornings.

                1. re: fourunder


                  BTW.............from past threads I will assume you are from the shore area. Laico's is a place very similar to Jimmy's Italian Restaurant in Asbury Park....been around for ever with employees who are fixtures. If you like Rustic Italian, you should consider going after work one day at the Terhune Street location. They serve a Family Style Salad and make their own bread along with other commercial bakery breads included in the bread basket.

                  I recommend any veal dish, any specials of fish, pork tenderloin, veal chop and the Paglia e Fieno with shrimp and lobster...it makes a great start for an appetizer to be shared.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    TY- I am actually in Old Bridge/Marlboro. I do frequently find myself down the shore in the Summer and will certainly travel far and wide for good chow. Thanks for the tips.

            2. If your taste palat is as muddled as your manners its no wonder you havent enjoyed some of the best 60 or so dining places in the tristate area ,within 10 min of your work place. Within one hour they are in the hundreds. I suggest, if you are able to use your computer, try checking out the fine and multi-national resturants in Hoboken, Jersey City and Bayonne for a modest start! ENJOY!

              3 Replies
              1. re: tjjb99

                10 minutes? How? Do you think we have cars with us to drive to these places? Bayonne? You've got to be kidding. We are talking lunch here, not major excursions.

                1. re: tjjb99

                  tjjb99 - "If your taste palat is as muddled as your manners " What are you implying?

                  While I agree there are great dining options nearby in the tri state area - I seek good food within the confines of a lunch hour. Thought that was pretty clear in the OP.

                  1. re: angelo04

                    I work in Plaza 2 in harborside, nice to see some other hounds here...

                    I get a salad from markers express every day for lunch, it is good but overpriced at 9 bucks.... I don't have time to really explore anything too far but there is a great italian deli down the street with a ridiculous line every day... for 6 bucks the meatball parm is awesome! can't remember the name of the place for the life of me...

                    we moved from midtown, god how I miss the halal carts :(

                2. It is a bit of a walk but the weather is getting nicer...Skinner's Loft on Newark Ave. has decent food - down the block from the PATH entrance.

                  1. http://www2.seamlessweb.com/AtHome/Ta...

                    Hey - ordered delivery from this Mexican place. Really good, I had the pork tacos. Give it a try.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: angelo04

                      I remembered the name of the deli it is Milano's... great chicken/meatball parm sandwiches for 6 bucks..

                    2. I work in Exchange Place too. I abolutely love Taqueria - 236 Grove Street. It has wonderful cheap Mexican food including items like tamales that are hard to find elsewhere. I can't wait until the weather gets warmer because though you can take the Path to Grove I only go when I can walk. If you are by yourself and walking fast it will take you about 10-12 minutes to get there. You can order ahead or order at the counter when you get there.

                      I also think that O'Connell's has a great atmosphere and is among the better Irish pub food I have had and unlike other Irish pubs they also pay attention to the wine list and have great martinis.

                      There is a soup cart often parked on the corner of Montgomery and Hudson. My office mates go nuts for it and there is always a long line. I have personally never tried it and suspect all that yumminess comes from lots of butter.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kellygirl

                        The Soups are good there, I convinced the guy to split the order of chicken and rice into 2 so my friend and I get soup and chicken/rice for 7 bucks each, not bad...

                        The soups are somewhat heavy, but quite tasty. My favorite is the carribean chicken soup..

                        Didn't know there were so many hounds in exchange place we should meet up for lunch!

                        1. re: mrgaga

                          Meet up sounds good when the weather gets better and I am less busy in this !@#$%^&! office, oh but I'm suppose to keep the topic related to chow. Sorry I digressed.

                          Today we are ordering in Thai and it is pretty good. Thought I'd pass it along.


                      2. So, I thought of this thread when my friend asked me about this lunch truck. Lucinda's Burritos & Tacos
                        Cute, no?
                        Maybe some of you downtown chowhounds should try it out and report back.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: nixienox

                          I work in 5 Harborside Financial Center. It is a wasteland over here. Marker's seems to be the standard of salads and burgers. There are 3 places in my building. City Beans is the coffee joint with sandwiches and salads for lunch. It is ok on a rainy day. Amiya (sp?) is the Indian Food restaurnat. I am not the hugest of Indian food fans but I did eat there once and I must say it was good. Plus they have a relatively cheap lunch buffet special with about 5 dishes to choose from. Porto Leggero is the Italian restaurant. Good food but expensive. More for a business lunch than the everyday meal.

                          Cheaper options include Au Bon Pain in 101 Hudson. Across the street is Canova deli. Like a NY deli, tons of hot food to select from that is weighed as well as sandwiches, hero's, and sushi. Pizza Uno, Fatburger and Chili's are in the area. For cheaper Italian, the place is Milano's over on Montgomery near the post office. Try the chicken, fresh mutz and balsamic. Awesome.

                          Other than that, try ordering from Vito's Italian in Hoboken. They deliver. They make the fresh mutz and have awesome bread.

                          1. re: nixienox

                            Lucinda's is great - great food, friendly people and good prices. they were featured in Food & Wine magazine in May and last week in the new york times...

                            1. re: blueskye78

                              I love this place:

                              Two Aprons
                              201 Warren Street
                              Jersey City, NJ 07302

                              Authentic Mediterranean sandwiches (its not your typical schwarma or panini)
                              $7-8 bucks price range
                              They deliver too ($10 min)

                              1. re: fsval

                                I couldn't agree more. I've been very pleased with several of their "panini," most notably the veggie panino, to which I add a moderate amount of feta, the Egyptian panino, the Turkish-Cheese panino and the hummus wrap. I haven't had any of the salads.

                                Are there any other items that stand-out on the menu?

                                1. re: Desidero

                                  Their rotisserie chicken is delish. I was quiet hesistant after looking at the machine. But since knowing it is organic, I thought I give it a try. They use fresh herbs and spices, and the flavor is just wonderful. The second time around, I ordered a whole chicken for two of my coworkers. They all loved it.

                                  1. re: fsval

                                    Delivery is hard...but there are a few good spots to eat in downtown JC. For thai/vietnamese try Saigon Cafe on Newark. Spanish/Cuban try La Conguita on Grove. Marco and Pepe or Ox are good options for New American fare. La Taqueria is good for Mexican, but their attitudes are a little holier than thou.

                                    1. re: Syphrite

                                      I love La Conguita. It has probably the best quantity-to-quality ratio in Jersey City. Their pernil and pollo asado are terrific as are the maduros. The fact that you can get out of there for about $9 and not have to eat until the following day makes the experience that much greater.

                                      I've had better experiences at Sawadee Thai than at Saigon, but it's been several years since I've been to Saigon, so I'll give it another try.

                                      One other recommendation: Legal Grounds makes a terrific espresso. I just wish they'd turn the radio off.

                          2. I live one block up from Harborside Financial, and I've found the area to be loaded with good restaurants. The best sushi I've ever had is at Honshu, on the corner of Montgomery and Greene. Hugely popular at lunch, and far superior to Komegashi (IMO). There's fine Italian in an elegant setting with great service at Porto Leggero. In the lovely Paulus Hook section of town, which begins only two blocks from Exchange Place, there is down-home Italian at Prestos, Amelia's for salads, burgers, etc, Bistro Le Source for French and The Lighthorse Tavern, which should not be missed for its beautiful setting (food and service quite good too). A slightly longer walk will bring you to Grove Street, with Marco & Pepe, the Merchant, Bar Majestic, More (Thai), etc. Plenty of good choices!

                            1. I mentioned Two Aprons in an earlier post, but I wanted to sing its praises again. I have absolutely no connection to this place, but I have become a loyal patron and I eat lunch there probably twice a week. I have tried pretty much everything on the menu. IMO, the best items are the Turkish Club, the Hummus wrap, chicken makdoos, the veggie panino and the Egyptian panino. The veggie rice pilaf side also deserves mention. (I used to be a fan of the rotisserie chicken wrap, but the chicken is made the night before and is not always fresh.) I discovered recently that Two Aprons serves Intelligensia coffee, which in a coffee starved neighborhood, is like manna from the heavens. If you live in JC or work in the area, I could not recommend this place more highly. The owner is also a terrific guy.

                              1. Thankfully, there is a great deal more to Jersey City than just the Paulus Hook neighborhood, and there are finally quite a number of good places to eat all over the city.

                                A long walk but worth it from Harborside, is Edward's Steak House on Marin below Montgomery. Upstairs the steaks and chops are stellar, and downstairs, in the pub room, they serve great burgers and fries. Over on Grove Street, besides Ibby's Falafel (which has better than excellent food) there is the Merchant.

                                Our favorite place is Madame Claude, which is off Newark on 4th and Brunswick. The 80 bus would get you there pretty easily. It's a BYO and a genuine French bistro with delicious and affordable food.

                                We think the Laico's on Terhune is head and shoulders better than the Summit location. And they have different owners, as well.

                                There are more places, but they're not easily accessible from Harborside.

                                67 Terhune Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07305

                                Ibby's Falafel
                                303 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

                                Madame Claude Cafe
                                364 1/2 4th St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ChefJune

                                  I'm not sure whether your comment that "there's a great deal more to JC than just the Paulus Hook neighborhood" was meant to disparage that neighborhood, but I would put Lighthorse and Two Aprons up against any two restaurants in JC.

                                  I much prefer More Thai and La Conquita for Cuban on Grove than Ibby's. I have found their schwarma fatty and their falafel dry. I always get indigestion after eating there. What are your favorite items on Ibby's menu? Tell us more about the Merchant. Haven't heard anything about it.

                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    Laico's hasn't been on Summit Avenue for about eight years.

                                    67 Terhune Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07305

                                  2. Used to be a nice little BYO Italian downtown called Presto's. We used to go there probably several times a year. I say "used to be," because even though it's still there, I would recommend staying away from the place based on our experience last night.

                                    Haven't been dining out too much lately bc of the economy, but decided to go to Presto's last night. To start with, it's changed hands. Prices have gone up considerably. One might say "skyrocketed."

                                    Neither of us was too hungry, plus it was hot and sticky, so we were thinking of a few antipasto dishes. There were no cold antipasti on the menu. And even if you ordered an entree, they were charging $2 per person for a dish of salad greens. The corker was the bread basket! After we had placed our order, the owner brought over a normal-sized bread basket containing a few wrapped pats of butter and 1/4 of a small baguette, carefully sliced into 8 very thin slices. It was a tiny little piece of bread in this great big basket. If I'd had a camera with me, I would have taken a photo, it looked that ridiculous. Anyway, he dropped the basked on our table and walked away. I called him back and asked him what this was. He said "It's the bread for your table. If you want more, you'll have to pay for it."

                                    I am still astounded!