The 21 Best Restaurants in Jersey City Right Now
From sushi and Italian food to Indian fare and jerk chicken, NYC’s neighbor across the Hudson River has it all.
The secret is out: Jersey City, NYC’s neighbor across the Hudson River, isn’t simply a town with a few critically acclaimed pizzerias and red-sauce Italian joints, but it’s one of the country’s best food cities in general.
In addition to its popular Restaurant Row with a concentration of eateries conveniently located by the Grove Street PATH station, Jersey City’s culinary offerings stretch well beyond this area while also reflecting the city’s diversity well. Along with plenty of pizza and pasta to go around, choose from Indian food, ramen, seafood, sushi, burgers, jerk chicken, and more. Whether you’re coming from NYC or are a JC local wondering “what are the best restaurants near me?,” here are 21 top-notch eateries in Jersey City to check out right now. And be sure to check out Jersey City Restaurant Week running until March 20.
Located in the basement of concert venue White Eagle Hall, Cellar 335 is a modern Asian- and tropical-themed eatery that’s especially ideal for dining out with your crew who likes to share dishes. Here, chef Christopher Abbamondi (Corton, Fishtail, Versa) cooks up signatures items like the Spicy Cornbread with smoked cheddar and honey-togarashi butter served in tiny cast iron skillets; maple chipotle Korean-Style Wings; and Drunken Chicken Noodles with lo mein, broccoli, chili and lime. For drinks, sip on specialty cocktails like the Purple Tribe (coconut gin, pisco, ube) or the large-format Zombie Priest Punch (rum, absinthe, passion fruit, pineapple) that serves 2-3.
Jersey City offers no shortage of Indian food, but what about Bangladeshi cuisine? Korai Kitchen has been a popular destination for this fare since opening in early 2018 and was recently featured on an episode of Take Out, a series hosted by Lisa Ling which delves into the history of Asian food in America. Run by Nur-E Gulshan Rahman and her daughter Nur-E Farhana Rahman, the Journal Square restaurant offers bhorthas (vegetable mashes), curries, biryani, specials like Roasted Chicken and Beef Tehari, and more available a la carte in portions for two or via special meals for one. Korai Kitchen is currently only doing takeout and delivery, but when dine-in service resumes, note that their buffet is a feast.
Want beer hall-quality food and brews without the massive beer hall? Würstbar has you covered. Despite its name, it’s kind of the best. The small bar on Jersey Avenue has a big selection of beers, brats, ciders, sausages and more, and an incredibly friendly staff to help you pick your meal and drink. Go for the Fried Cheese Curds served with chipotle aioli or the signature Haus Wurst with either a brat, kielbasa, or beef frank on a sweet roll, but you can also get more creative than that. The Maui Bow Wowie is a beef frank with bacon, pineapple jalapeno relish, chipotle mayo and cilantro; and the El Cubano is a Polish kielbasa with roasted pork, mojo mayo, swiss, dill pickle and mustard.
Jersey City is a great food town, but it isn’t necessarily a great brunch town. Luckily the opening of Cafe Alyce last summer has helped change that with a Southern and Indian-inspired menu. The cafe took over the space that once housed the Medical Center Luncheonette and kept the neon sign to pay homage, but has updated the interior and menu. The homemade Biscuits & Gravy with Pork Sausage or Creamy Mushroom Gravy are absolutely terrific, and the grits are some of the best found in the city. And be sure to try the Poached Egg Aloo Paratha, a tasty Indian flatbread served with spicy tomato chutney.
15 Fox Place
Once the Budinich family home, 15 Fox Place now houses one of New Jersey’s most unique dining experiences where diners are treated to literal home-cooked Italian feasts. There’s no menu to order from. Just sit down and prepare yourself for a five-course meal served by the family that once lived there, packing so much food (Polenta with Meat Sauce, Chicken Roulade, Spaghetti al Limone, and fresh Zeppolis are the stars) you’ll need to pace yourself to make it to dessert.
How to book: Call 201-333-1476
After spending part of the pandemic as a non-profit restaurant serving Detroit-style pizza and Thai rotisserie chicken, the biggest name in New Jersey ramen is back to serving up noodles, buns, and donburi bowls—not to mention an impressive selection of cocktails. Their many types of ramen are all customizable—try adding on enoki mushroom, a marinated soft-boiled egg, and an umami bomb featuring a house blend of miso, chilis, and spices.
This NYC-based cajun seafood restaurant known for its seafood boils, raw bar, and fried seafood baskets offers Jersey city a cuisine it’s long been lacking, and has now become a local favorite. With crawfish, lobster, crab, shrimp, and other seafood served by the pound and sourced directly from New Orleans, The Boil is a spicy, messy Louisiana feast complete with brown paper table coverings and bibs, while wooden buoys hang from the walls and thick boat rope-lined booths play up the nautical theme.
Bread and Salt
While Jersey City Heights was already a must-try food neighborhood and Jersey City has long been a pizza destination, the addition of Bread and Salt Bakery from James Beard Award-recognized Rick Easton, solidified its authority thanks to its Pittsburgh-born Roman-style pizza and smorgasbord of baked goods (which earned a raving New York Times review). The bakery opted for a preorder and pickup system during the pandemic, preparing pastries like Pangoccili, sandwiches like the Prosciutto & Mozzarella, and of course, pizza like the Whole Mozzarella and Whole Rosa—but now also offers walk-up service when it’s open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Corto may be one of the best kept culinary secrets in Jersey City, an exceptional Italian restaurant in a city full of them. The small rustic dining room is home to a smaller rotating menu with a few choice pasta dishes and meat dishes, but every single option is so inspired you’ll have a tough time choosing. Reliable favorites include their Rigatoni with calabrian chili and mint; or the Angry Chicken with tomato and guanciale that’s so tender that you’ll hardly need a knife. But if you spot Ravioli or Gnocchi on the menu during your visit, don’t think—just order.
DomoDomo was a welcome addition to Jersey City’s sushi scene when it brought its four straight Michelin Bib Gourmand awards across the Hudson from New York in fall of 2019. Their creative collection of hand rolls feature combinations like the Unagi made with smoked eel and chocolate soy sauce; and Spicy Tuna topped with furikake and potato chips. Additional popular items include the signature Oyster Sampler with ponzu sauce and yuzu foam; Katsu Sando with onion jam; and Miso Salmon with lime and ichimi—all served in an elegantly minimalist wood-paneled dining room.
It’s far from the fanciest of Jersey City’s dining options, but absolutely one of its most delicious. From soul-soothing Soup Dumplings and tongue-tingling Dan Dan Noodles to more American-style classics Sesame Chicken and Beef and Broccoli, Grand Sichuan is perfect for eaters adventurous for the new and old. The Eggplant with Garlic Sauce is sweet and caramelized and will have you rethinking the vegetable entirely. The fact that the restaurant is BYOB makes it even better.
Served in a space that can be described as gas station chic, when you open a barbeque joint blocks from Hamilton Park, the restaurant kind of names itself, right? The no-frills menu at Hamilton Pork includes a long list of Brisket, Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Lamb Belly, Sausage by the links, and more. Can't decide? Go with the Meat Sampler platter and get three different varieties, or snag some barbeque tacos from a dedicated menu section that also includes a Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs. Burnt End Beans and the Mac & Cheese are among their tastiest sides, and be sure to add on the Churro Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich.
What exactly does the menu at a Caribbean-inspired gastropub look like? Think classic sports bar fare, with a spicy Carribean twist. Wings tossed with scotch bonnet honey sauce or peri peri; Jerk Chicken Egg Rolls with jerk dip; Shepherd’s Pie with homemade mashed potatoes; and Vegan Stew Peas are just some of the dishes on offer, in addition to Trinidadian Style Curry in goat, shrimp, chicken, and vegetable. Their drinks are strong and sweet, especially the aptly named Ria’s Rum Punch.
If you like bellying up to the bar and sitting down for a burger and a brew, you won’t do much better than The Hutton, nestled in a quiet corner of the Jersey City Heights and providing classic bar room ambiance. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, pasta dishes, and steaks populate the menu, but they have more ambitious plates like a handmade pasta of the day or Sweet Potato Tamale with whipped avocado, ghost cheese, and salsa verde.
Perhaps the most low-key of chef Ryan DePersio's five New Jersey restaurants, Kitchen Step is nonetheless an American bistro that stands out in a city that has plenty. Clever cocktails like the Polar Bear Plunge (mezcal, pear, lemon, allspice and ancho verde) are simple, yet well-executed, along with dishes like Buttermilk Baked Chicken Breast and Ricotta Gnocchi with sage pesto. For an impressive brunch menu, the Nutella Swirl Pancake with Misunderstood Whiskey maple syrup is like dessert for breakfast and has helped make this eatery a Jersey City standby.
Madame Claude Bis
Madame Claude opened in Jersey City back in 2002, long before the town was known for being a food destination. It moved to a new location six years ago but is serving up the same classic French bistro fare with a formidable wine list in a dimly lit intimate bistro perfect for a date night. Coq Au Vin, Duck Confit, Steak Frites, and all the French staples are here, and weekly live jazz performances add to the ambiance.
Pinwheel Garden: Dumpling And Noodle Bar
A hidden gem off the beaten downtown path, Pinwheel Garden’s tender and flavorful noodles make the trip well worth it. The menu isn’t extensive, featuring not much more than the restaurant’s name suggests, but every dish is well-executed and served by an incredibly friendly staff. The system here is pretty straightforward: Pick your noodle type, pick your topping, and get to slurping. The Coconut Curry over udon noodles with lemongrass chicken is sublime, along with their Bacon & Veggie Dumplings.
Jersey City was known for its Indian food long before it was a pizza destination, and for good reason—Asian-Indians account for more than 11% of the city’s population (a higher rate than any other major American city). Walk into any of the countless restaurants in the India Square neighborhood and you’re bound to have a good meal, but none will top Rasoi. Massive portions of authentic curries at very reasonable prices, served in a simple but elegant dining room with white tablecloths and a wait staff that will help you navigate their expansive menu. Their Chicken Vindaloo paired with garlic naan is undefeated, but their Lamb Korma and Paneer Tikka Masala are perfect for those less spice-inclined.
Razza Pizza Artiginale
No restaurant in Jersey City has earned the acclaim of Razza, which The New York Times notoriously proclaimed the best pizza in NYC despite residing in, gasp, New Jersey. Dan Richer’s pizzeria continues to live up to the hype with his Neapolitan pies that change with the seasons. The Burrata Pie is a local favorite, and Project Hazelnut is topped with mozzarella Rutgers University hazelnuts, ricotta and local honey if you're looking for a sweet slice. Razza will soon expand its dining room and resume indoor dining for the first time since March of 2020.
Time wasn’t exactly on Scram’s side—the bakery that started as a Charleston, South Carolina food truck opened up shop in the Garden State the weekend before COVID-19 hit New Jersey. But after closing during the height of the pandemic, it reopened and quickly became one of the hottest new eateries in Jersey City with delectable breakfast sandwiches and pastries that draw lines every weekend. The Ham Bun featuring egg, gruyere, Béchamel sauce, and pineapple jam is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Breakfast sandwiches are only available Thursday through Saturday, and they sell out, but they’re well worth the wait.
A long wait to get a table at Taqueria is just as much a part of the Jersey City experience as PATH delays and alternate side parking tickets. The good news? Their succulent Carnitas, Barbacoa, Pescado, and Steak Tacos travel well and are readily available for takeout—albeit from the restaurant’s catering location a few blocks up Grove Street. Get two for a snack, three for a meal and if you’re starving throw in a quesadilla. They aren’t just some of the best tacos in Jersey City, but also probably the state.