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Hoboken has previously been named one of the best foodie cities in New Jersey, and so we thought we’d explore for ourselves. Our conclusion? Hoboken is filled with culinary treats, and is both a melting pot for foods from all over the world, and a center of traditional American dishes, easily rivaling some of the state’s bigger towns. Here are ten unmissable places to eat out in Hoboken.
Hoboken’s excellent reputation for fine cuisine is built on restaurants like Leo’s Grandevous, which opened in 1939. The Italian dishes served up at Leo’s Grandevous are authentic and plentiful, just like you’d find in Rome or Florence. While the seafood dishes are excellent, we don’t think you can beat a simple pasta meal at a restaurant like this (served with a glass of Italian wine, of course). Often frequented by Frank Sinatra fans because of the original owner’s affinity with the Hoboken-born singer, you’re sure to enjoy some good music alongside your meal.
Carlo’s Bakery has been providing Hoboken locals with delicious and extravagant cakes since 1910, and the team are showing no sign of slowing down. Carlo’s are known for their wedding cakes, but their smaller goodies are equally tasty and the perfect place to take the kids for an after-school treat. They also run cookery classes and sell bakeware so you can try your hand at making cakes. Recently, master baker Buddy has appeared on the Food Network channel, and his cake design was voted the best cake in America. This secured the bakery’s status as a Hoboken institution, so make sure you make time for a visit.
Cucharamama is truly the place to go for South American food in Hoboken, and since opening in 2004 it has won over the hearts and stomachs of locals and tourists alike. This isn’t your usual Mexican restaurant, but instead serves up a medley of South American flavours, taking inspiration from the proprietors’ lengthy research in countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica. A wood burning oven stands at the heart of this little gem, and is the source of many delicious meals, including Argentinean sausages and Peruvian marinated chicken. Beautifully decorated, the restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, although we think taking a seat at the bar and trying a few different tapas-style dishes is the best way to eat at Cucharamama.
This very affordable little restaurant often has queues outside, ample evidence of the quality of its food. If you do decide to brave the queue you’re in for a treat, as La Isla’s Cuban dishes are second to none and bring a new life to the traditional cuisine with exciting recipes and fresh ingredients. Their daily specials ensure that even regulars never get bored. La Isla is also open for brunch, and you’ll regularly hear locals opining that the french toast here is the best in the city.
There’s no clearer sign of a good restaurant than looking at the menu and finding at least five things you want to eat, and that’s exactly the case at Amanda’s. From exciting starters, such as heirloom cherry tomato and watermelon salad, to innovative mains like spicy seafood stew and homemade porcini pappardelle, there’s a huge variety of ingredients used at this cozy and accommodating French restaurant.
Come to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria with a big appetite as one of their pizzas could feed a small family! It’s an ideal venue for diners with specific dietary requirements: the staff are always very accommodating and serve excellent gluten free pizzas. The ingredients are incredibly fresh and of a consistently high quality. Unsurprisingly, they’ve now expanded and have two restaurants in Hoboken, both of which also serve delicious pasta dishes if you’re not a pizza fan.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, 411 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ, US, +1 201 792 0010