The Best Restaurants in Jersey City

Jersey City is home to one of the most exciting dining scenes in the state. Here are our top picks for where to eat.

Food at Mathews in Jersey City
Assorted dishes at Mathews. Photo: Courtesy of Mathews

The blossoming of downtown Jersey City as a dining destination can be traced to the opening of Marco & Pepe, across the street from City Hall, shortly after the trauma of 9/11 (and partly in response to it). Since then, the pace of adventurous openings has quickened, spurred by an influx of young adults and refugees from New York City. Marco & Pepe has since closed, but the scene barrels on.

Virtually any cuisine you can think of can be had downtown. In recent years, soaring rents have pushed new residents into neighborhoods like the Heights and Bergen-Lafayette, where new restaurants have opened to serve them. Jersey City has become one of New Jersey Monthly‘s favorite restaurant towns in the entire state.

Below are our top picks for the best restaurants in Jersey City, in alphabetical order.

Why should you trust this list? Put simply, New Jersey Monthly knows New Jersey’s dining scene. Our editors and restaurant critics spend endless amounts of time traversing the state to dine at all types of establishments, from fine-dining restaurants to pizza places, old favorites to new restaurants bringing their own flavor to New Jersey’s culinary scene.

Enjoy!

Ani Ramen

Ramen at Ani Ramen

Ramen at Ani Ramen is among the best in New Jersey. Photo: Liz Clayman/Courtesy of Ani Ramen

Since opening in 2017, this bustling ramen joint (a favorite in our 2023 Jersey Choice Restaurant Poll) has lured crowds with steaming bowls of hand-rolled ramen noodles and bao buns that are among the best in the state. Unlike the Montclair original (which opened in 2014), the Jersey City Ani Ramen location has a liquor license. The sizable bar serves highballs and other craft cocktails, and boasts an extensive list of Japanese whiskeys. There’s even an ice cream speakeasy in the back, run in collaboration with Luigi’s Ice Cream. —Shelby Vittek
218 Newark Avenue, 201-408-9811

Battello

In Italian, a battello is a boat, often used to ferry people ashore from a ship. Chef Ryan DePersio’s Battello sits right on the Hudson River shore. Since reopening after the reconstruction of its pier, the view of the city is better than ever, and Battello serves his “Italian-without-borders” cuisine. Battello is one of the premier wedding venues in the state, so a la carte tables are often hard to come by, especially on weekends, but worth it if you can get one. —Eric Levin
502 Washington Boulevard, 201-798-1798

Bread and Salt

Pizza lovers have been flocking to Bread and Salt in the Heights, opened in 2019 by renowned baker and pizzamaker Rick Easton, for its laden slices and simple, elegant sides. There’s no guarantee what either the pizza or “not pizza specials,” as a handwritten sign dubs them, will be: There’s no menu, and offerings also change throughout the night as things sell out. You head to the counter, point to whatever’s in the pizza case, order your not-pizza dishes, find a seat in the fairly bare-bones dining room and, if you’ve BYO-ed, crack open your wine. —Sophia F. Gottfried
435 Palisade Avenue

Cellar 355

Food at Cellar 335

Crispy duroc ribs, hamachi tartare, Korean-style wings, tropical salad, and shrimp and garlic at Cellar 335 are worth sharing. Photo: Laura Moss

There may not be another restaurant in the state that so well combines high concept—tiki bar, luau, hipster hangout in a basement boite—with genuine comfort, elegance and a terrific menu. At Cellar 335, treat yourself to seductively fanciful cocktails and fun food that successfully riff on Asian and Latin influences. —EL
335 Newark Avenue, 201-222-1422

Corto

Housemade pasta is the draw at Corto, a cozy, understated Italian BYO in the Heights serving simple, seasonal “cucina povera,” or peasant-style Italian cooking. Go elsewhere for spaghetti and red sauce; this open kitchen is better known for churning out underdog pasta shapes such as ditalini, malfadini or ditli in sauces with herbs, chilis, artisanal cheeses, seasonal vegetables and even wild boar or Wagyu beef. Menu items change often—but get a sneak of the day’s offerings from their artful Instagram account). —SFG
507 Palisade Avenue, 201-420-6290

Frankie

Food at restaurant Frankie in Jersey City

Grilled garlic shrimp, lamb kofta kebab and natural wine are some of the offerings at Frankie in Jersey City. Photos: Shelby Vittek

Aussie vibes meet natural wines at Frankie, which always offers a brief and welcome respite from urban living. Dishes feature influences from Southeast Asia, Britain and the Mediterranean, flavored with spices like za’atar, turmeric and cumin, plus ginger, garlic, chilies and cilantro. Owners Rowen McDermott (a Sydney native) and Rebecca Johnson opened the Art Deco–meets–surf culture space in 2017, with an exciting wine list that revolves around natural wines made by small producers. —SV
264 Grove Street, 201-333-0170

Hamilton Pork

The Gigantic beef rib at Hamilton Pork

The “gigantic beef rib” at Hamilton Pork is a must-try. Photo: Brent Herrig

Located around the corner from Hamilton Park, Hamilton Pork gets a thumbs-up just for its clever name alone. But the fun doesn’t end there: The barbecue is lusty and rich. In addition to the classics, specialties include lamb belly, brisket sausage and a $25 “gigantic beef rib.” There are long lists of sides, salads and tacos, as well as beer, wine, cocktails and tequilas. For dessert, it’s hard to pass up the churro waffle ice-cream sandwich. —EL
247 10th Street, 201-957-7245

Harry’s Daughter

A go-to spot for Bergen-Lafayette residents, as well as diners and revelers from downtown, this Caribbean gastropub is popular for its cheerful, relaxed atmosphere, tropical cocktails and fusion fare. On the menu, owner Ria Ramkissoon’s Trinidadian family recipes meet bar food: Nachos get their kick from scotch bonnet peppers, while roti flatbread, folded and stuffed with cheddar and pineapple, becomes a gooey quesadilla. For sticklers, Harry’s, named for Ramkkissoon’s father, also offers more traditional Caribbean dishes, from jerk chicken to whole red snapper to stewed peas and rice. Whatever your preference, wash it down with a house rum punch or a cocktail featuring the house-made ginger beer. When there’s a live band or DJ set, as there often is during weekend brunch service or backyard barbecues, there’s stiff competition for photo ops in the bar area’s swinging wicker chairs, in front of the palm-print wallpaper and at the bright pink patio tables. —SFG
339 Communipaw Avenue, 201-433-2471

Hudson & Co.

Take in the view across the Hudson from virtually any seat at the bar at Hudson & Co. The 300-seat facility in the Plaza 10 office tower offers a range of dishes, from coal-fired pizzas to filet mignon to specialty sushi rolls. The cocktails are strong and generous, and there are over 100 beers to choose from. —SV
3 2nd Street, 201-685-7330

Korai Kitchen

Korai Kitchen in Jersey City

Everything at Korai Kitchen is served family-style. Photo: Courtesy of Korai Kitchen

When Nur-E Gulshan Rahman and her daughter, Nur-E Farhana Rahman, were scouting locations, they avoided blocks packed with Indian restaurants. Though India and Bangladesh share a border, the cuisines differ, and the Rahmans wanted to bring their food out of India’s shadow. In 2018, they opened Korai Kitchen near Journal Square. Everything is served family-style in a buffet in the cozy storefront. The menu, which changes twice a day, might include creamy chicken korma, pumpkin shrimp curry, begun bhaja (fried eggplant), and various spiced vegetables. Hilsa, considered the supreme fish, is flown in from Bangladesh. Everything is cooked by Rahman, including the stellar bhorthas, flavorful mashes made from eggplant, potato, tomato or egg. BYO. In 2024, Rahman was named a James Beard Award semifinalist for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. —SV
576 Summit Avenue, 201-721-6566

Light Horse Tavern

The handsome Light Horse Tavern, restored from an 1850s tavern, exudes a great deal of historic charm. The raw bar offers fresh oysters, clams, Maine lobster tail, shrimp cocktail and poached mussels, and chef John Holm serves elevated takes on traditional gastropub dishes like bavette steak, crispy fish and chips, and hake with English peas. —SV
199 Washington Street, 201-946-2028

Luna

At Luna, the family who owns Paisano’s in downtown Rutherford brought their Italian cooking to downtown Jersey City, where they also gained a full liquor license. The specialty cocktails, some of which include locally made spirits like Jersey City’s Misunderstood Whiskey, are good. The house-made pastas are great—especially the pappardelle Bolognese and the cavatelli with basil pesto, walnuts and ground chorizo. Don’t leave without trying the grilled polenta, topped with silky and savory mushrooms. —SV
279 Grove Street, 201-333-0032

Madame

Madame marries naughty and nice. “When I was conceptualizing Madame,” owner Jamie Knott told NJM, “the mostly British word naughty kept coming back to me. To me, it means sexy but classy, and I wanted that for Madame. Combine that with an American speakeasy feeling, a French brasserie menu and amazing cocktails, and here we are.” The intimate, 400-square-foot restaurant opened in November 2022 and has made an outsized splash since then. We named it one of our 30 Best Restaurants of 2023 (along with Knott’s Saddle River Inn).
390 4th Street, 201-876-8800 

Maddy Rose at Liberty House

Long-lasting restaurants keep up with their clientele in ways that are subtle or sweeping. Liberty House, the initial venture of Landmark Hospitality in 2001, rebooted its mood, menu and moniker in 2023 and landed it on this year’s list of NJ’s Best New Restaurants. Maddy Rose honors 30-year-old Maddy Cretella, the next generation of Landmark ownership. (Landmark runs a slew of restaurants and event venues, including Felina and the Ryland Inn.) Cretella’s social outreach and modern spirit have enticed a new cohort of Hudson County diners to this spot for its festive air, hopping bars, and dining environments ranging from barside high-tops to private cabanas. Landmark culinary director Anthony Bucco’s sunny, seductive, Mediterranean menu favors seafood, salads, steak and sides, all ultra-fresh, simply prepared and flavor packed. What hasn’t changed at Jersey City’s reinvented icon is the dazzling Manhattan view. —KTH
76 Audrey Zapp Drive, 201-395-0300

Maritime Parc

Overlooking the marina in Liberty State Park, the patio of Maritime Parc offers views of boats, Jersey City skyscrapers and the tip of Lower Manhattan. The restaurant received a makeover in 2019, with more comfortable seating. The main draw, however, is the modern American menu of chef/owner Chris Siversen. Seafood is a particular strength, but the salads, pastas, sides, meat dishes (including the MP burger) and desserts give reason to visit as well. —EL
84 Audrey Zapp Drive, 201-413-0050

Mathews

Having visited Charleston, South Carolina, and fallen in love with its food and hospitality, Mateusz Kopec transplanted that easygoing grace and generosity to Jersey City when he opened Mathews in 2016. The menu, cocktails and the space itself all harmonize, whether you order a Low Country seafood boil, a plate of falafel bites with green tahini, a short rib ragu or a slice of s’mores pie with whiskey ganache. —EL
351 Grove Street, 201-333-1258

ONDO

ONDO, a Korean restaurant that opened in 2022, is not the place to go with a large party for traditional Korean barbecue or hot pot (head north to Palisades Park or Fort Lee for those.) At ONDO, you’ll find refined—and pricier—smaller-portioned plates, better suited for the date-night crowd the restaurant seems to attract.
3 2nd Street, 201-721-6771

Orale

A Mexican restaurant that is as cheeky and stimulating on the menu as it is in its vibe and décor. The guacamole menu alone is worth delving into. There are 11 kinds, with meaningful differences. Taco and enchilada ingredients go beyond the traditional—and then there are irresistible pig-outs, like the barbecued pork nachos and the everything-but-the-kitchen sink black Caesar. Libations include margaritas, beer, wine and fun cocktails. —EL
341 Grove Street, 201-333-0001

Pinwheel Garden

Brothers Steve and Albert Tseng opened this charming dumpling and noodle bar in 2018, bringing a much-need plant-focused menu to the Bergen-Lafayettte neighborhood. The mood inside the small space is intimate, with an exposed-brick wall, dim lighting and wood tables. Start with an order of bacon-veggie dumplings, and don’t skip the $4 scallion pancake. For mains, you can pick from an excellent Indian-spiced coconut curry (add lemongrass chicken, mushroom seitan, garlic shrimp or char siu pork), beef or veggie Bolognese, and the Trinity ramen, made with a rich beef, chicken and pork broth. BYO. —SV
318 Communipaw Avenue, 201-413-5333

Porta

There’s no shortage of great pizza in Jersey City. Chow down on classic Neapolitan pies at Porta, a bustling, three-story restaurant with a popular rooftop bar. Much like its Asbury Park location, Porta offers more than just pizza, including arancini, salads, roasted vegetables, pastas, mozzarella and ricotta that are made fresh daily. Both locations made NJM’s roundup of the best pizza in New Jersey. —SV
135 Newark Avenue, 201-544-5199

Razza

A pepperoni pie and a Margherita.

You can’t go wrong with a pepperoni or margherita pie at Razza. Photo: Erik Rank

Long before the New York Times anointed Razza the best pizza in New York, NJM had explained why people begin lining up outside the restaurant an hour before its 5 pm opening. The reason Razza is one of the best restaurants in Jersey City is the fanatical attention to detail of owner and master pizzaiolo Dan Richer. He maintains long checklists for every component, from tomatoes to crust to cheese and more. Not only are Razza’s wood-fired pizzas terrific, (and, by the way, Richer considers them Jersey pizzas, not Neapolitan), but so too are the salads, meatballs with ricotta, salumi, cocktails and more. —EL
275 Grove Street, 201-356-9348

Sam A.M.

Sam Kirk was inspired to open this hip breakfast-and-lunch spot in 2013 by memories of lazy Sunday mornings in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and his dad’s slow-cooked bacon and chipped beef. Rustic and homey, Sam A.M. elevates the tried-and-true. If you’re tired of bagels and lox, go for the Atlantic breakfast sandwich, with smoked salmon, cucumber-onion cream cheese and lettuce. The BLT, with thick bacon fried crispy, is decadent and delightful. BYO. —SV
112 Morris Street, 201-432-223

Taqueria Downtown

The low, dark ceilings; the strings of Christmas tree lights lit year-round; the small, closely spaced tables and compact bar; every inch of wall space packed with framed pictures of all sizes—somehow, all this adds up not to clutter but to a jangling merriment. A merriment reflected on the faces of the patrons, a mostly young crowd feasting on excellent tacos, enchiladas, burritos, guacamole, tamales and more. —EL
236 Grove Street, 201-333-3220

Würstbar

There’s no place in Jersey City—or anywhere in New Jersey—quite like Würstbar. In addition to a solid selection of craft beers, Würstbar also carries an impressive number of ciders, on tap as well as by the bottle. As for food, there’s a robust offering of fine sausages (beef, rabbit, duck, lamb, venison, kielbasa and veggie options), plus burgers and poutine. It’s the kind of place that will make you want to stay awhile. —SV
516 Jersey Avenue, 201-479-8396

MORE LOCAL DINING GUIDES:
The Best Restaurants in Morristown
The Best Restaurants in Montclair
The Best Restaurants in Princeton

 


No one knows New Jersey like we do. Sign up for one of our free newsletters here. Want a print magazine mailed to you? Purchase an issue from our online store.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required
Required not shown
Required not shown