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Oct 20, 2009 08:23 PM

Hoboken Lunch Gems?

I live in Manhattan but am in Hoboken for the next 2 weeks taking a class. Looking for the hidden lunch gems. La Isla is probably the best restaurant in Hoboken but I'm hoping to find some others. There's also a truck parked on Newark Street, right near the PATH that has great lunch basics at ridiculously low prices. Anything else worth checking out??

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  1. That pretty much covered it. I feel that Hoboken is pretty miserable food wise, and La Isla is the best. A new place opened up, Piri Piri, which I have not had a chance to visit yet, but people I know have been and said it was quite good. Is the truck you are talking about the new Taco Truck, if not keep an eye out for it, it is supposed to be good.
    For a trip to the past, as in 80 years ago, visit Schnackenberg's on in the 1100 block of Washington. The woman that own it is the nicest woman in the world and will keep you entertained with stories. I think the last time we were in there she was getting ready to take her first plane ride, she's about 90. The food is typical, burgers, sandwiches, good shakes, but the building and interior are a trip back in time, if that's the sorta thing you like and the prices are very inexpensive.
    Most of the things in town are pretty much bars that serve mediocre bar food. There are two places, Zafra and Chucharamama are good places, but I've never been for lunch, but for dinner they were very good.

    10 Replies
    1. re: roro1831

      I personally think La Isla is ridiculously over-rated - I have never been impressed...but it's decent...
      I definitely prefer Zafra (also Cuban food)
      Chucharamamas is great but I don't think they are open for lunch.

      There is a place called Piccolos clam bar - that is actually no longer a clam bar.
      The address is 92 Clinton
      They are famous for their Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches - which are pretty delicious. I've also had a meatloaf sandwich in there that I really enjoyed. It's another old school place - that is worth stopping into for the vibe alone.
      You also might want to check out Biggies clam bar - which IS still a clam bar!
      They are at 318 Madison.
      Really good raw and fried seafood - I really like their fried calamari...I had a good potato and egg sandwich in there once too.

      1. re: NellyNel

        Biggies is right down the street from me, I forgot all about it and I walk by it every morning. I went to Piccolos once and had the cheesesteak and wasn't impressed at all. Def old school though.

        I def love La Isla, usually get one of the daily specials. I find when I have it delivered it just isn't as good for some reason.

        1. re: roro1831

          I am not even a cheesesteak fan - and I love their CS!
          In fact I was going to edit my post to say - I highly suggest the OP not miss it

          La Isla... hmmm Maybe that's my prob - while I have had it in a few times - I usually got take out...
          But my main beef with their food is that it is HEAVY on the garlic - way too much IMO.
          I Can't bear their Cuban Sandwiches. yuck
          You want a good Cuban? Try Central Ave. in JC - there a some cracking versions up a fraction of the cost of La Isla as well!

          1. re: NellyNel

            I can see that, but I am a fan of garlic. I don't really care for the cuban sandwich there as well, well I still eat every now and then but I've had better, and will have to venture to JC for one.

            1. re: roro1831

              If you ever do venture up my way -
              Go in the morning and stop at this Columbian place (I will have to get the name for you) and order a cheese ball and a cafe con leche.
              If you have never tried a cheese ball - you are in for a treat - it is a perfectly round fried ball. The only way I can describe the taste and texture is to call it a cheese flavored donut...very cakey and slightly cheesy...
              OH good God they are good!!!
              After the CB you can walk one block and get the best Cuban sandwich ever - very porky and tasty....
              AND If you have spent more than $6 all all of this - I'd be surprised.

            2. re: NellyNel

              The Cubano sandwich at La Isla is very garlicky, this is true. It's also pretty inexpensive though - about $6 as I recall - so I'm not sure how this other place could be a "fraction of the cost" unless the sandwich is like $3 there. But La Isla for me is not about the sandwiches. Their dinner fish specials are the best, IMO. The lunch specials are also a great deal if you're looking for more traditional Cuban fare.

              For other Hoboken lunch options, I'd suggest Grimaldi's for a personal pizza (though I'm not sure how early they open), Sri Thai for good, spicy Thai food, or Karma Kafe for Indian. If you're uptown, The Madison and Amanda's are solid choices for American (Amanda's being more upscale). Oh, and I almost forgot Zafra - another excellent Cuban choice, though I'm not sure what their lunch hours are.

              1. re: onate

                In fact the Cubans on Central Ave are almost always less than $3

                There is one place I go (Sorry - don't know the name) but the Cuban is HUGE, and tastier than La Isla and it costs $2.80

          2. re: NellyNel

            Hi there!

            I have to update my remarks!
            I went to La Isla for brunch on Sunday and I have to say it was EXCELLENT!

            DH had La Isla Huevos Rancheros - which was 2 perfectly poached eggs in a spicy delicious sauce (not drowned in either) - in a tortilla shell with rice and beans. It was spectacular really....I had a grilled chirizo sandwich with carmelized onions and potato sticks - it was pretty darn good too but I kept stealing the eggs and rice from DH!!

            We had one mango shake as well aand the bill was $28 - which I thought was slightly pricey for what we had..... but all & all I was impressed.
            Highly reccommend the brunch - you may have to wait - we sat at the counter and didnt have to wait

            1. re: NellyNel

              The brunch is very good, I may end up there this Sunday if things fall through on my other weekend activity.

              1. re: roro1831

                Oh - I was thinking the same thing!
                I am dying for those eggs!
                With a side order of Chorizo and a cafe con leche -

        2. I really enjoy 3 Forty Grill on Sinatra Dr. and Madison Grill on Washington Ave

          1 Reply
          1. re: NJfoodLover

            I like Madisons too - but I think the OP is looking for cheap eats and I don't think 3 Forty or Madisons would qualify

          2. Totally forgot about Vito's and Park and Sixth deli. The latter being a new place that opened a couple of months ago, good sandwiches and some pre-prepared items each day.
            There is also Fiore's which people claim has the best roast beef and mozz on the planet but I don't think it's all that.
            Viti's is on Washington, Park and Sixth surprisingly at the corner of Park & 6th, and Fiore's is in the 400 block of Adams.

            1. At the corner of 3rd and Bloomfield is Sri Thai, they're closed on Tuesday. Also on 3rd between Bloomfield and Garden is Von Holland Delicatessen (201) 792-2211. They are poplar for soup, carryout only. Oozing with "character" much like Schnackenberg's.
              I like Lisa's Deli at 9th and Park and Napoli's (for pizza and salad) on Washington and 11th.

              1. Absolutely YES to both Vito's and Lisa's delis! Great sandwiches at both, and the mozz at Vito's is a must-have.