The 25 Best Restaurants in Jersey City

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

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 is gone, but the scene barrels on. Now things have reached the point where virtually any cuisine you can think of can be had in downtown. Lately, soaring rents have pushed new residents into neighborhoods like the Heights and Bergen-Lafayette, where new restaurants have opened to serve them. Here is what you need to navigate it all—our 25 top picks for the best restaurants in Jersey City, in alphabetical order.

best restaurants jersey city

A bowl of ramen at Ani Ramen. Photo by Liz Clayman, courtesy of Ani Ramen

Ani Ramen

Since opening in 2017, this bustling ramen joint 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 sizeable 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.—SV
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. Battello serves the “Italian without borders” cuisine that DePersio developed at the mother ship, his first restaurant, Fascino, in Montclair. 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.—EL
502 Washington Boulevard, 201-798-1798

Bread and Salt

Pizza lovers have been flocking to Bread and Salt in the Heights, opened earlier this year 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. BYO—SFG
435 Palisade Avenue

Broa Café

Michael Casalinho grew up in the Ironbound section of Newark, working in its Portuguese restaurants. What puzzled him is that the food there simply did not measure up to what he experienced eating in cafes on family trips back to Portugal. Broa aims to bring the real café atmosphere and cooking, rich in seafood and vegetables, to Jersey City, and it largely succeeds. BYO—EL
297 Grove Street, 201-463-1467

Cellar 335

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

Cellar 335

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 riffs on Asian and Latin influences.—EL
335 Newark Avenue, 201-222-1422

Corto

House-made pasta is the draw at Corto, an understated Italian BYO in the Jersey City Heights. Go elsewhere for spaghetti and red sauce—the 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. Simple and seasonal ‘cucina povera,’ or peasant-style Italian cooking, is the motto at the cozy one-room Corto; The menu, from the cheese and salumi plate to the entrees, changes often (but get a sneak of the day’s offerings from their artful Instagram gallery).—SFG
507 Palisade Avenue, 201-420-6290

Frankie JC

From left, grilled garlic shrimp, lamb kofta kebab, and a bottle of natural wine; and the surf-inspired entrance at Frankie in Jersey City. Photos by Shelby Vittek

Frankie

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, as well as 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

GP’s

The Italian dishes many Jerseyans have grown up with and consider their birthright are executed with panache at GP’s. Hankering for spaghetti and meatballs, steak pizzaiola, eggplant parmigiana, chicken scarpariello, veal piccata, shrimp scampi? GP’s has you covered. Choose from a list of affordable wines, many of them Italian, beer and signature cocktails.—EL
236 Pavonia Avenue, 201-418-8800

best restaurants jersey city

The gigantic beef rib at Hamilton Pork. Photo by Brent Herrig

Hamilton Pork

Located around the corner from Hamilton Park, Hamilton Pork gets a thumbs up just for its name. But grab a table or seat at the bar and the fun has just begun. The barbecue here 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, also 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 or at the bright pink patio tables.—SFG
339 Communipaw Avenue, 201-433-2471

Hooked JC

A handwritten sign outside Hooked JC simply reads, ‘You should eat here.’ Seafood lovers across the city would agree. Inside the funky shack, located a few blocks off the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood’s main drag, there’s a no-frills nautical vibe, thanks to beleaguered wood paneling and many a decorative fish wall hanging. Order up front like so: Choose your fish (there are three fresh catches that change daily, shrimp, and scallops); whether you want your order grilled, blackened or fried; and if you want your meal in the form of a po boy sandwich, served alongside a platter of French fries, hushpuppies and coleslaw or over salad. There are house-made sauces, from the classic remoulade and tartar to pineapple soy ginger, and menu items that lean more heavily towards comfort food, such as mac and cheese and polenta poppers. One thing Hooked doesn’t offer is drinks—it’s BYO.—SFG
467 Communipaw Avenue, 201-946-4177

Check out our other town dining guides:
The 12 Best Restaurants in Princeton
The 16 Best Restaurants in Morristown
The 21 Best Restaurants in Montclair

Hudson & Co. in Jersey City. Photo credit: Jeremy Smith

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

Latham House

Owned by husband and wife team, chef Daniel Latham and Kris Yettra, Latham House opened in 2016. Expect modern American dishes—roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon; cast-iron truffled mac and cheese, lamb meatballs, pan-seared scallops—and some excellent desserts prepared by pastry maker Yettra.—SV
299 Marin Boulevard, 201-479-8432

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’s 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

Last year, the family who owns Paisano’s in downtown Rutherford brought their Italian cooking to downtown Jersey City, where they also gained a liquor licenses. The specialty cocktails, come of which include locally-made spirits like Jersey City’s Misunderstood Whiskey, are good, and 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

best restaurants jersey city

Photo courtesy of Madame Claude Bis

Madame Claude Bis

This ‘speakeasy’ is indeed tucked away on a side street on the outskirts of the bustling downtown district, a smattering of twinkle lights the only indication you’re headed towards a Parisian-style bistro. Once inside, an unpretentious menu of French classics in hefty portions—pâté, French onion soup, coq au vin, crepes, mussels, duck leg confit, and a wide selection of French wine, of course—awaits. For an added vacation-without-leaving-home experience, Francophiles can eat to the tune of a live jazz band on Tuesday and Thursday nights, or slurp $1 oysters with classic French films rolling in the background on Wednesdays.—SFG
390 4th Street, 201-876-8800

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 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

best restaurants jersey city

Photo courtesy of Mathews

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 smores pie with whiskey ganache.—EL
351 Grove street, 201-333-1258

Órale

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. Order one of the samplers. Taco and enchilada ingredients go beyond the traditional, and then there are irresistible pigouts like the barbecued pork nachos and the everything-but-the-kitchen sink black Caesar. Beer, wine and fun cocktails, too.—EL
341 Grove Street, 201-333-0001

Dumplings at Pinwheel Garden in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of Pinwheel Garden

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 dumplings (bacon and vegetable, or spinach pie) 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, and mozzarella and ricotta that are made fresh daily.—SV
135 Newark Avenue, 201-544-5199

A pepperoni pie and a Margherita.

A pepperoni pie and a Margherita at Razza. Photo by Erik Rank

Razza

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

Photo courtesy of Würstbar.

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), burgers and poutine. It’s the kind of place that will make you want to stay awhile.—SV
516 Jersey Avenue, 201-479-8396

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