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Guidebook for Jersey City

Willis

Guidebook for Jersey City

Food Scene
It's an ice cream shop and everyone likes ice cream, especially when it's right across the street.
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Torico
20 Erie Street
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It's an ice cream shop and everyone likes ice cream, especially when it's right across the street.
You've probably heard of Five Guys, but if not, it's a hamburger joint, and the hamburgers are delicious. Between the burger, cheese and bacon, excessive amount of fries, and a shake with whipped cream, you're looking at 2,500 calories or so, but it's really really good.
Five Guys
286 Washington Street
You've probably heard of Five Guys, but if not, it's a hamburger joint, and the hamburgers are delicious. Between the burger, cheese and bacon, excessive amount of fries, and a shake with whipped cream, you're looking at 2,500 calories or so, but it's really really good.
Good place for brunch on weekends, or dinner anytime. There's a bar downstairs, a dining room on the second floor, and a rooftop dining area when the weather's nice. We eat here a lot.
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Skinner's Loft
146 Newark Avenue
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Good place for brunch on weekends, or dinner anytime. There's a bar downstairs, a dining room on the second floor, and a rooftop dining area when the weather's nice. We eat here a lot.
We often go here to grab breakfast or lunch on the weekend. You can get bagels, pastries, pancakes, and even burgers. And of course coffee. Best of all it's not very expensive.
DaejaVu Cafe
217 Newark Ave
We often go here to grab breakfast or lunch on the weekend. You can get bagels, pastries, pancakes, and even burgers. And of course coffee. Best of all it's not very expensive.
If you can't make it to DaejaVu Cafe in your pre-morning-coffee state, 9 Bar Cafe is a bit closer. They have good coffee but not so much in the way of food.
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9 Bar Cafe
18 Erie Street
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If you can't make it to DaejaVu Cafe in your pre-morning-coffee state, 9 Bar Cafe is a bit closer. They have good coffee but not so much in the way of food.
This is one of our favorite weekend brunch places because they have the best pancakes in the neighborhood.
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Beechwood Cafe
290 Grove Street
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This is one of our favorite weekend brunch places because they have the best pancakes in the neighborhood.
In 2017 the New York Times said that Razza had the best pizza in New York City. I guess they meant "New York City area" since this is Jersey City, not NYC. As long as you're going to be staying four blocks away, might as well give it a try.
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Razza
275 Grove Street
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In 2017 the New York Times said that Razza had the best pizza in New York City. I guess they meant "New York City area" since this is Jersey City, not NYC. As long as you're going to be staying four blocks away, might as well give it a try.
People line up around the corner to get bagels here. The bagels really are excellent, but make sure you have time to wait.
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Wonder Bagels
517 Jersey Avenue
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People line up around the corner to get bagels here. The bagels really are excellent, but make sure you have time to wait.
If you're in the Hamilton Park area, or you just feel like taking a walk, this is a good place to get lunch or dinner.
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The Hamilton Inn
708 Jersey Avenue
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If you're in the Hamilton Park area, or you just feel like taking a walk, this is a good place to get lunch or dinner.
Hudson Hall is a popular restaurant that features an on-site smoker right out in the dining area and a menu full of smoked-meat dishes. There is also a large bar, a projection screen usually showing some sports event, and often a live band.
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Hudson Hall
364 Marin Blvd
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Hudson Hall is a popular restaurant that features an on-site smoker right out in the dining area and a menu full of smoked-meat dishes. There is also a large bar, a projection screen usually showing some sports event, and often a live band.
Mathew's is a quiet, stylish restaurant with a varied menu. There's something for everyone here. There's also a weekend brunch menu. If you're looking for something like a typical Upper East Side cafe, this is it.
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Mathews Food & Drink
351 Grove St
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Mathew's is a quiet, stylish restaurant with a varied menu. There's something for everyone here. There's also a weekend brunch menu. If you're looking for something like a typical Upper East Side cafe, this is it.
This is where we go to get coffee and bagels when the weather is nice and we want to take a walk. There's an outdoor seating area in back.
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Legal Grounds Coffee Co
170 Grand Street
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This is where we go to get coffee and bagels when the weather is nice and we want to take a walk. There's an outdoor seating area in back.
Sam A.M. is a tiny restaurant in the Paulus Hook neighborhood. It's just a really upbeat and fun place, and the staff is always really friendly. You might have to wait for a table.
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sam a.m.
112 Morris Street
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Sam A.M. is a tiny restaurant in the Paulus Hook neighborhood. It's just a really upbeat and fun place, and the staff is always really friendly. You might have to wait for a table.
Mexican take-out joint with a handful of tables. This is a satellite location of another restaurant further south on Grove St, also called Taqueria Downtown, which is more of an eat-in place. Not really sure if this is authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex or whatever but it's pretty good!
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Taqueria Downtown Catering Co
354 Grove Street
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Mexican take-out joint with a handful of tables. This is a satellite location of another restaurant further south on Grove St, also called Taqueria Downtown, which is more of an eat-in place. Not really sure if this is authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex or whatever but it's pretty good!
French-Lebanese bistro. Or, as they say on their web site, a Lebanese-French bistro. It's like a French bistro, and it looks like one too, except it's also Lebanese. The menu is full of falafels, hummus, kebabs, etc. No croque monsieur here, which I think is required by law to be available in French bistros, so I think we can safely say that this a Lebanese restaurant disguised as a French bistro. What I'm trying to say is, if you're looking for French food, go elsewhere, but French or not, the food here is excellent and unlike other restaurants in the neighborhood. We like the breakfast crepes that are available on the brunch menu.
Uncle Momo
289 Grove St
French-Lebanese bistro. Or, as they say on their web site, a Lebanese-French bistro. It's like a French bistro, and it looks like one too, except it's also Lebanese. The menu is full of falafels, hummus, kebabs, etc. No croque monsieur here, which I think is required by law to be available in French bistros, so I think we can safely say that this a Lebanese restaurant disguised as a French bistro. What I'm trying to say is, if you're looking for French food, go elsewhere, but French or not, the food here is excellent and unlike other restaurants in the neighborhood. We like the breakfast crepes that are available on the brunch menu.
Neighborhood Chinese restaurant, the kind with a spare decor, a dozen or so tables and three or four people waiting near the door for their take-out to be ready. This restaurant shows often shows up on "best restaurants in JC" lists, and it's our default Chinese take-out choice, especially if we're coming home from work, since it's on the way home from the PATH. It tends to attract some negative reviews on Yelp, but that seems to be common for Chinese restaurants that do a lot of take-out, probably because--let's face it--Chinese take-out isn't exactly haute cuisine. Like every other restaurant in JC, delivery takes forever, so probably faster to call in an order and then just go pick it up.
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Grand Sichuan
342 Grove Street
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Neighborhood Chinese restaurant, the kind with a spare decor, a dozen or so tables and three or four people waiting near the door for their take-out to be ready. This restaurant shows often shows up on "best restaurants in JC" lists, and it's our default Chinese take-out choice, especially if we're coming home from work, since it's on the way home from the PATH. It tends to attract some negative reviews on Yelp, but that seems to be common for Chinese restaurants that do a lot of take-out, probably because--let's face it--Chinese take-out isn't exactly haute cuisine. Like every other restaurant in JC, delivery takes forever, so probably faster to call in an order and then just go pick it up.
Drinks & Nightlife
Tiny, relaxed bar that also serves really good food.
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dullboy
364 Grove Street
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Tiny, relaxed bar that also serves really good food.
It's a bar filled with video games! It's like being a kid with an arcade literally a block away, except that you're adult and can have a drink too.
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バーケード
163 Newark Avenue
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It's a bar filled with video games! It's like being a kid with an arcade literally a block away, except that you're adult and can have a drink too.
O'Hara's is a sports bar, and there are TVs everywhere that are always showing games. We went here to watch the Super Bowl a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun. But they also have seating and a full menu, and the food is surprisingly good. It's also open very late (way past midnight) if you're up then and are looking for a place to go.
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O'Hara's
172 1st Street
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O'Hara's is a sports bar, and there are TVs everywhere that are always showing games. We went here to watch the Super Bowl a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun. But they also have seating and a full menu, and the food is surprisingly good. It's also open very late (way past midnight) if you're up then and are looking for a place to go.
Entertainment & Activities
If you are bringing kids to Jersey City and want a break from going into the city, bring them here. It's easy to get to by train (Hudson Bergen Light Rail), Uber, or car (there's parking). Lots of activities for grade school and middle aged kids, and there's a gated play area for the younger kids. IMAX movies are usually cool.
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リバティー科学センター
222 Jersey City Blvd
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If you are bringing kids to Jersey City and want a break from going into the city, bring them here. It's easy to get to by train (Hudson Bergen Light Rail), Uber, or car (there's parking). Lots of activities for grade school and middle aged kids, and there's a gated play area for the younger kids. IMAX movies are usually cool.
Getting Around
This is the PATH train to New York. Trains labeled WTC (World Trade Center) and 33rd St go to New York. You can also go to Newark and Hoboken.
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グローヴストリート
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This is the PATH train to New York. Trains labeled WTC (World Trade Center) and 33rd St go to New York. You can also go to Newark and Hoboken.
If you want to get to New York City but want a break from the PATH, or if you want to go someplace where the PATH doesn't go, like the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, you can take the ferry from here. Taking the ferry is fun even if you don't have anywhere to go; if the weather is good you can usually ride on the top of the ferry. You can even get a ferry from here all the way to Middletown, NJ, 45 miles away. When coming back, remember that this station is called "Paulus Hook."
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Paulus Hook
Hudson Street
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If you want to get to New York City but want a break from the PATH, or if you want to go someplace where the PATH doesn't go, like the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, you can take the ferry from here. Taking the ferry is fun even if you don't have anywhere to go; if the weather is good you can usually ride on the top of the ferry. You can even get a ferry from here all the way to Middletown, NJ, 45 miles away. When coming back, remember that this station is called "Paulus Hook."
This is the other ferry terminal. It's slightly closer to the house, but it's harder to find (you have to walk through the Harborside shopping/office building), and the service doesn't seem to be as frequent.
Harborside Ferry
This is the other ferry terminal. It's slightly closer to the house, but it's harder to find (you have to walk through the Harborside shopping/office building), and the service doesn't seem to be as frequent.
Harsimus Cove is one of those neighborhood names that only real estate agents use. The station should be called ShopRite because that's where it is. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) is a train that connects several towns along the Hudson River, including Bayonne, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, North Bergen, and of course Jersey City. It goes to the same riverside Hoboken terminal that the PATH does, but it also stops at two other stations on the west side of Hoboken, which was previously poorly-served by public transportation, and new communities have developed around those stations. The HBLR is also a good way to get to the Liberty Science Center, as it stops at the edge of the LSC parking lot.
Harsimus Cove Light Rail Station
Harsimus Cove is one of those neighborhood names that only real estate agents use. The station should be called ShopRite because that's where it is. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) is a train that connects several towns along the Hudson River, including Bayonne, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, North Bergen, and of course Jersey City. It goes to the same riverside Hoboken terminal that the PATH does, but it also stops at two other stations on the west side of Hoboken, which was previously poorly-served by public transportation, and new communities have developed around those stations. The HBLR is also a good way to get to the Liberty Science Center, as it stops at the edge of the LSC parking lot.
Essentials
Use the washers and dryers yourself or drop off and pick up later.
Sunny Laundromat and Dry Cleaners
367 Grove Street
Use the washers and dryers yourself or drop off and pick up later.
There are two grocery store options: Key Food and ShopRite. Key Food is closer but is smaller and more expensive. We almost never go here because we're cheap when it comes to groceries. :-)
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Key Food
574 Jersey Avenue
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There are two grocery store options: Key Food and ShopRite. Key Food is closer but is smaller and more expensive. We almost never go here because we're cheap when it comes to groceries. :-)
There are two grocery store options: Key Food and ShopRite. ShopRite is where you go if you're shopping for the week--or the month. It's mobbed day and night but the place is huge and the prices are great. There's a Dunkin Donuts and even a liquor store. It's illegal to sell alcohol in the grocery store in New Jersey but apparently you can just embed a liquor store within the grocery store and that's okay. (Update July 2019: The Dunkin Donuts is gone and has been replaced with a coffee machine! There goes the neighborhood...)
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ShopRite
400 Marin Boulevard
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There are two grocery store options: Key Food and ShopRite. ShopRite is where you go if you're shopping for the week--or the month. It's mobbed day and night but the place is huge and the prices are great. There's a Dunkin Donuts and even a liquor store. It's illegal to sell alcohol in the grocery store in New Jersey but apparently you can just embed a liquor store within the grocery store and that's okay. (Update July 2019: The Dunkin Donuts is gone and has been replaced with a coffee machine! There goes the neighborhood...)
99 Ranch Market is an Asian grocery store. It's enormous and they have several internal cafes and a bakery--all Asian. It's a little far to walk, but you can take Uber.
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99 Ranch Market
420 Grand St
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99 Ranch Market is an Asian grocery store. It's enormous and they have several internal cafes and a bakery--all Asian. It's a little far to walk, but you can take Uber.
This laundromat was recommended by one of our long-term guests. She wrote: "There’s an ATM inside that dispenses $10 notes - perfect to convert into quarters in their store and use these for a couple of weeks worth of washing. They’re friendly inside and the wash cycle only takes half an hour, so you’re not going to waste all your time sitting around watching your shirts go by."
Borinquen Laundromat
347 Grove St
This laundromat was recommended by one of our long-term guests. She wrote: "There’s an ATM inside that dispenses $10 notes - perfect to convert into quarters in their store and use these for a couple of weeks worth of washing. They’re friendly inside and the wash cycle only takes half an hour, so you’re not going to waste all your time sitting around watching your shirts go by."
This small shop can set you up with a SIM card or accessories for your phone or fix your broken screen. They've fixed a couple of phones for us. The staff are polite and the prices are reasonable.
Jersey City Wireless
183 Newark Ave
This small shop can set you up with a SIM card or accessories for your phone or fix your broken screen. They've fixed a couple of phones for us. The staff are polite and the prices are reasonable.
Shopping
Yes there's a mall within walking distance, just in case you miss the suburbs while you're staying in Jersey City. There is a Cheesecake Factory, a Zinburger, and a Johnny Rockets here, plus the usual mall stuff (McDonald's, etc.) and a food court. There is also a movie theater, and of course shopping. The large stores are Macy's, Khol's, JC Penny, and Sears. That should tell you that this is a mid-range mall (there's no Saks Fifth Avenue or Lord & Taylor here), but the owners seem to be trying to make it more upscale. If you want high-end shopping, take the PATH to World Trade Center and visit the stores at Brookfield Place.
Newport Centre Mall
Yes there's a mall within walking distance, just in case you miss the suburbs while you're staying in Jersey City. There is a Cheesecake Factory, a Zinburger, and a Johnny Rockets here, plus the usual mall stuff (McDonald's, etc.) and a food court. There is also a movie theater, and of course shopping. The large stores are Macy's, Khol's, JC Penny, and Sears. That should tell you that this is a mid-range mall (there's no Saks Fifth Avenue or Lord & Taylor here), but the owners seem to be trying to make it more upscale. If you want high-end shopping, take the PATH to World Trade Center and visit the stores at Brookfield Place.
Parks & Nature
According to their web site, "Liberty State Park is a green oasis in the middle of Metropolitan northern New Jersey." This is where you can go if you're looking for a lot of open green space and aren't up for making the trip to Central Park in NYC. You can walk here, though it will take about 30 minutes, or you can take Uber. From here you can get a ferry to either Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty--no need to go to NYC to get to either of those places.
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リバティー州立公園
200 Morris Pesin Drive
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According to their web site, "Liberty State Park is a green oasis in the middle of Metropolitan northern New Jersey." This is where you can go if you're looking for a lot of open green space and aren't up for making the trip to Central Park in NYC. You can walk here, though it will take about 30 minutes, or you can take Uber. From here you can get a ferry to either Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty--no need to go to NYC to get to either of those places.
This is a small park on a pier that juts out into the Hudson River with some tables and seating. The views of Manhattan from here are excellent, especially around sundown, when the sun reflects off the glass buildings across the river. Nearby is a Starbucks and some sandwich shops, so you can grab lunch and eat on the pier while watching the boats go by.
J Owen Grundy Park
This is a small park on a pier that juts out into the Hudson River with some tables and seating. The views of Manhattan from here are excellent, especially around sundown, when the sun reflects off the glass buildings across the river. Nearby is a Starbucks and some sandwich shops, so you can grab lunch and eat on the pier while watching the boats go by.
Nice city park in the middle of the Hamilton Park neighborhood, which is full of leafy trees and townhouses. The park has play areas for children and tennis and basketball courts. Around the park are a few cafes and the excellent Hamilton Inn.
Hamilton Park
25 W Hamilton Pl
Nice city park in the middle of the Hamilton Park neighborhood, which is full of leafy trees and townhouses. The park has play areas for children and tennis and basketball courts. Around the park are a few cafes and the excellent Hamilton Inn.