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A restaurant open at the sides with flower bedecked tables outside.
Hoboken has its romantic, out of the way bistros, like Barbes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

15 Restaurants to Seek Out in Hoboken

Pizza the size of your face, gravy-drenched roast beef sandwiches, and tons of fresh mozzarella await

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Hoboken has its romantic, out of the way bistros, like Barbes.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Founded in 1849, Hoboken is a city in New Jersey of almost 55,000, located directly across the Hudson River from the West Village and Chelsea. The name meant “land of the tobacco pipe” to the Lenape people, and indeed pleasure remains a major aspect of the city’s reputation, as demonstrated by its slew of destination bars, clubs, and restaurants, and its entire week of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, including a LepreCon (something like SantaCon) — though it was canceled this year as a result of the pandemic.

Hoboken is the boyhood home of Frank Sinatra, and the location of engineering school Stevens Institute, which sits on a picturesque bluff overlooking the river. But it’s also a politically progressive city headed by Berkeley-educated Sikh mayor Ravi Bhalla, where plastic bags have already been banned, as I discovered when I tried to take away the leftovers of one of the city’s famous fresh-mozzarella heroes. These humongous sandwiches represent the city’s signature dish, with Italian food still its most common cuisine.

Here’s a culinary tour of Mile Square City.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Pilsener Haus & Biergarten

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In the obscure — and not easy to get to — northwestern corner of Hoboken lies what may be the metropolitan area’s most perfect German beer garden. The sprawling 19th century factory that houses it is full of hulking brick-lined rooms with appropriate signage, but even more glorious is the paved outdoor area, where smoke curls up from a barbecue grill. The list of beers on tap, in bottles, and in cans will satisfy any beer fan. The food is also spot on, from schnitzels and wurste to things you might not expect, like a lamb burger and a pudding made of pretzels.

A darkly crumbed pork cutlet sprawled over a red-potato salad.
Wiener schnitzel at Pilsener Haus.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Barbès

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On a quiet corner among stately townhouses, with flower-bedecked outdoor seating areas, Barbes is a classic French bistro, offering a combination of Moroccan and Parisian fare. Sure there are mussels, a salade Nicoise, and steak frites, but diners will also find tajines, couscous, triangular briwats, and the pillow-shaped chicken pastry called pastilla, prettily criss-crossed with cinnamon and powdered sugar, for the sweetest main courses around.

A ceramic crock with stewed chicken topped with a preserved lemon slice.
Chicken tajine at Barbes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

M & P Biancamano

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M & P Biancomano is one of at least six delis in Hoboken that make their own fresh mozzarella, affectionately known as “mutz” (though you’ll sound foolish using that term if you don’t hail from Hoboken). Eat your hero at the cheery indoor dining area or at the outside tables if weather allows. The list posted above the prep counter — over which salamis and hams hang — runs to 55 hot and cold heroes. On your first visit, get one of the lettered ones, which feature multiple Italian cold cuts.

Cold hero C: ham, cappicola, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mozzarella
Cold hero C: ham, cappicola, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mozzarella
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ali Baba

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Ali Baba, open since 1983, has long been a beacon of Middle Eastern fare right on Hoboken’s main drag. A palm tree mural covers one wall, an oud (similar to a lute) hangs from the ceiling, and an open kitchen allows you to watch kebabs being grilled, bread dips being mashed, and generous platters assembled. Vegetarian pita sandwiches are a particular bargain, which is an economic triumph given the comfort of the premises. Lamb and chicken entrees and pilafs also prevail.

Babaganoush blob with a salad on the side, and pitas in a separate basket.
Babaganoush platter.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Benny Tudino's

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Founded in 1938, Benny Tudino’s is one of Hoboken’s oldest pizzerias. The fixtures inside are well worn, with pizza ovens in front and wood-clad dining room up a few steps in the rear. Tudino’s has survived all these years partly because of a gimmick — its slices are humongous, enough to easily make a big doughy meal, and the cheese flows like a raging stream at winter’s end. Pizzerias often pull this oversized slice trick in DC’s Adams Morgan, but rarely venture this far north.

A slice of pizza next to a dollar bill to show size.
Benny Tudino’s giant slice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dom's Bakery Grand

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At one time, Hoboken’s most famous baked good was tomato focaccia, a thick, red-sauced flatbread something like a pizza, but also something like a round bread, and one with many potential uses — including just putting it in the oven topped with some of Hoboken’s famous mozzarella. Descended from a long line of focaccia bakeries, Dom’s is the last one standing, and worth visiting from anywhere in the metropolitan area. Other Italian breads and pastries also for sale.

A round thick red pizza in a box, charred in spots.
Dom’s legendary tomato focaccia.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fiore's House of Quality

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This Italian deli founded in 1913 is perhaps the most famous purveyor of the fabled roast beef and mutz hero, a gravy-drenched wonder only available on Thursdays and Saturdays. But other days bring other delights, and this being Hoboken, the mozzarella is made fresh in store every day. There’s no seating, but the sandwiches are so good, you won’t have time to sit as you wolf them down. A distinguished selection of Italian groceries to take home is also available.

A sandwich cut in half with sliced beef dripping and big wad of white cheese.
Hoboken’s iconic roast beef, mutz, and gravy hero, at Fiore’s House of Quality.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Old German Bakery

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Old German Bakery is not really very old at all, but it has nailed the classic European pastries with an emphasis on Teutonic and fruit-bearing varieties— though a few are savory. The apple strudel comes in individual servings, with a flaky crust and sweet filling. Turnovers heavily encrusted with granular sugar, black forest cakes, crumb cakes, and rye and pumpernickel breads are also recommended. Seating provided, making it a good place for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Half-moon apple turnover and rectangular apple strudel, crusts glistening.
Apple turnover and apple strudel.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

House of 'Que

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This handsome casual restaurant with massive amounts of seating indoors and outdoors offers spectacular views of the Hudson River, and is a great destination for beer and cable sports. Though the barbecue itself is sometimes just so-so, the drinking snacks are often fabulous. The burgers are big and smoky, the hot dogs sluiced with smoked brisket chili, crema, and pico de gallo, served with decent french fries (tuck a few in the bun for a spectacular meal). Nachos, wings, and mac and cheese are also above average for a bro-y hang of this sort.

Hot dog eclipsed in its bun with several sloppy ingredients, held aloft by a hand.
All-beef hot dogs come with several toppings.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Halifax

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Specializing in seafood, with plenty of modern American brasserie fare thrown in — such as clam chowder, chorizo flatbread, multiple raw bar selections, corn agnolotti, and smoked chicken — Halifax is Hoboken’s most ambitious restaurant. Located in the W Hotel, the dining room offers views of the Manhattan skyline. For dessert, don’t miss the freshly fried apple fritters with maple sauce.

Two skin on fish fillets sticking out of a dark broth in a bowl.
Blue cod in smoked shellfish broth.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Antique Bar & Bakery

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This handsome restaurant has retained much of the appeal of the century-old bakery it came to occupy. The centerpiece is a giant coal-burning oven that operates at temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but instead of turning out pizzas, it roasts pastas, steaks, casseroles, vegetables, and the occasional dessert (including a celebrated bread pudding). Focaccia and other breads mirror the bakery’s historic output.

A storefront with arched entrances seen from a side angle, with a green curbside structure in front.
Antique Bar & Bakery.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Empanadas Cafe

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While most empanadas around here can be identified as Dominican, Spanish, Central American, or Colombian, the version at Empanadas Cafe is staunchly Argentine: Flaky baked crescents with a braided spine and no sign of greasiness. Yet, they are far from austere, with a rich filling that in the signature beef pie runs to ground meat, green olives, eggs, and onions, with a spicy orange dipping sauce served on the side. Many other fillings available, some international in outlook.

A crescent pie with beef written in block letters along the side.
Beef empanada from Empanadas Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

La Isla

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This splendid Cuban diner — with prices below what you’d expect given the quality of the food you’ll find on a stretch of the Hudson sometimes called Little Havana. The pressed sandwiches are a particularly good deal, of which pan con bistec is a local favorite. But also consider the voluminous blue plate specials varying by day, which include the pulled and seasoned pork roast lechon asado.

Shredded roast pork with a dome of yellow rice on the side.
Lechon asado.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The days when New York City had a ready supply of good Malaysian restaurants is long gone, and this Hoboken holdover seems like a throwback to that era. The L-shaped interior is compact, clad in bamboo, and extremely comfortable, and a nifty lunch special attracts a crowd. The regular menu is expansive and doesn’t pull its flavor punches, as I found recently when I enjoyed the classic nasi lemak, featuring fragrant coconut rice with curry chicken and various condiments.

Rice, boiled eggs, and chicken curry.
Nasi lemak at Satay.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Curry Up Now

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Lots of places in the metropolitan area dispense Mumbai street snacks, but none quite so well as Curry Up Now, a lively and colorfully decorated fast casual spot with seating inside and outside. Vada pav is a pair of buttered and toasted buns into which are loaded round potato fritters with a pleasing cumin flavor, and lots of a fiery spice powder known as Bombay dust. Plenty of other snacks and curries, including vegetarian and chicken versions, are worth checking out.

Two round potato balls in two small buns held together with a bamboo toothpick.
Vada pav from Curry Up Now.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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Pilsener Haus & Biergarten

A darkly crumbed pork cutlet sprawled over a red-potato salad.
Wiener schnitzel at Pilsener Haus.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

In the obscure — and not easy to get to — northwestern corner of Hoboken lies what may be the metropolitan area’s most perfect German beer garden. The sprawling 19th century factory that houses it is full of hulking brick-lined rooms with appropriate signage, but even more glorious is the paved outdoor area, where smoke curls up from a barbecue grill. The list of beers on tap, in bottles, and in cans will satisfy any beer fan. The food is also spot on, from schnitzels and wurste to things you might not expect, like a lamb burger and a pudding made of pretzels.

A darkly crumbed pork cutlet sprawled over a red-potato salad.
Wiener schnitzel at Pilsener Haus.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Barbès

A ceramic crock with stewed chicken topped with a preserved lemon slice.
Chicken tajine at Barbes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

On a quiet corner among stately townhouses, with flower-bedecked outdoor seating areas, Barbes is a classic French bistro, offering a combination of Moroccan and Parisian fare. Sure there are mussels, a salade Nicoise, and steak frites, but diners will also find tajines, couscous, triangular briwats, and the pillow-shaped chicken pastry called pastilla, prettily criss-crossed with cinnamon and powdered sugar, for the sweetest main courses around.

A ceramic crock with stewed chicken topped with a preserved lemon slice.
Chicken tajine at Barbes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

M & P Biancamano

Cold hero C: ham, cappicola, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mozzarella
Cold hero C: ham, cappicola, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mozzarella
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

M & P Biancomano is one of at least six delis in Hoboken that make their own fresh mozzarella, affectionately known as “mutz” (though you’ll sound foolish using that term if you don’t hail from Hoboken). Eat your hero at the cheery indoor dining area or at the outside tables if weather allows. The list posted above the prep counter — over which salamis and hams hang — runs to 55 hot and cold heroes. On your first visit, get one of the lettered ones, which feature multiple Italian cold cuts.

Cold hero C: ham, cappicola, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mozzarella
Cold hero C: ham, cappicola, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and mozzarella
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ali Baba

Babaganoush blob with a salad on the side, and pitas in a separate basket.
Babaganoush platter.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ali Baba, open since 1983, has long been a beacon of Middle Eastern fare right on Hoboken’s main drag. A palm tree mural covers one wall, an oud (similar to a lute) hangs from the ceiling, and an open kitchen allows you to watch kebabs being grilled, bread dips being mashed, and generous platters assembled. Vegetarian pita sandwiches are a particular bargain, which is an economic triumph given the comfort of the premises. Lamb and chicken entrees and pilafs also prevail.

Babaganoush blob with a salad on the side, and pitas in a separate basket.
Babaganoush platter.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Benny Tudino's

A slice of pizza next to a dollar bill to show size.
Benny Tudino’s giant slice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Founded in 1938, Benny Tudino’s is one of Hoboken’s oldest pizzerias. The fixtures inside are well worn, with pizza ovens in front and wood-clad dining room up a few steps in the rear. Tudino’s has survived all these years partly because of a gimmick — its slices are humongous, enough to easily make a big doughy meal, and the cheese flows like a raging stream at winter’s end. Pizzerias often pull this oversized slice trick in DC’s Adams Morgan, but rarely venture this far north.

A slice of pizza next to a dollar bill to show size.
Benny Tudino’s giant slice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dom's Bakery Grand

A round thick red pizza in a box, charred in spots.
Dom’s legendary tomato focaccia.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

At one time, Hoboken’s most famous baked good was tomato focaccia, a thick, red-sauced flatbread something like a pizza, but also something like a round bread, and one with many potential uses — including just putting it in the oven topped with some of Hoboken’s famous mozzarella. Descended from a long line of focaccia bakeries, Dom’s is the last one standing, and worth visiting from anywhere in the metropolitan area. Other Italian breads and pastries also for sale.

A round thick red pizza in a box, charred in spots.
Dom’s legendary tomato focaccia.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fiore's House of Quality

A sandwich cut in half with sliced beef dripping and big wad of white cheese.
Hoboken’s iconic roast beef, mutz, and gravy hero, at Fiore’s House of Quality.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Italian deli founded in 1913 is perhaps the most famous purveyor of the fabled roast beef and mutz hero, a gravy-drenched wonder only available on Thursdays and Saturdays. But other days bring other delights, and this being Hoboken, the mozzarella is made fresh in store every day. There’s no seating, but the sandwiches are so good, you won’t have time to sit as you wolf them down. A distinguished selection of Italian groceries to take home is also available.

A sandwich cut in half with sliced beef dripping and big wad of white cheese.
Hoboken’s iconic roast beef, mutz, and gravy hero, at Fiore’s House of Quality.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Old German Bakery

Half-moon apple turnover and rectangular apple strudel, crusts glistening.
Apple turnover and apple strudel.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Old German Bakery is not really very old at all, but it has nailed the classic European pastries with an emphasis on Teutonic and fruit-bearing varieties— though a few are savory. The apple strudel comes in individual servings, with a flaky crust and sweet filling. Turnovers heavily encrusted with granular sugar, black forest cakes, crumb cakes, and rye and pumpernickel breads are also recommended. Seating provided, making it a good place for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Half-moon apple turnover and rectangular apple strudel, crusts glistening.
Apple turnover and apple strudel.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

House of 'Que

Hot dog eclipsed in its bun with several sloppy ingredients, held aloft by a hand.
All-beef hot dogs come with several toppings.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This handsome casual restaurant with massive amounts of seating indoors and outdoors offers spectacular views of the Hudson River, and is a great destination for beer and cable sports. Though the barbecue itself is sometimes just so-so, the drinking snacks are often fabulous. The burgers are big and smoky, the hot dogs sluiced with smoked brisket chili, crema, and pico de gallo, served with decent french fries (tuck a few in the bun for a spectacular meal). Nachos, wings, and mac and cheese are also above average for a bro-y hang of this sort.

Hot dog eclipsed in its bun with several sloppy ingredients, held aloft by a hand.
All-beef hot dogs come with several toppings.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Halifax

Two skin on fish fillets sticking out of a dark broth in a bowl.
Blue cod in smoked shellfish broth.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Specializing in seafood, with plenty of modern American brasserie fare thrown in — such as clam chowder, chorizo flatbread, multiple raw bar selections, corn agnolotti, and smoked chicken — Halifax is Hoboken’s most ambitious restaurant. Located in the W Hotel, the dining room offers views of the Manhattan skyline. For dessert, don’t miss the freshly fried apple fritters with maple sauce.

Two skin on fish fillets sticking out of a dark broth in a bowl.
Blue cod in smoked shellfish broth.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Antique Bar & Bakery

A storefront with arched entrances seen from a side angle, with a green curbside structure in front.
Antique Bar & Bakery.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This handsome restaurant has retained much of the appeal of the century-old bakery it came to occupy. The centerpiece is a giant coal-burning oven that operates at temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but instead of turning out pizzas, it roasts pastas, steaks, casseroles, vegetables, and the occasional dessert (including a celebrated bread pudding). Focaccia and other breads mirror the bakery’s historic output.

A storefront with arched entrances seen from a side angle, with a green curbside structure in front.
Antique Bar & Bakery.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Empanadas Cafe

A crescent pie with beef written in block letters along the side.
Beef empanada from Empanadas Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

While most empanadas around here can be identified as Dominican, Spanish, Central American, or Colombian, the version at Empanadas Cafe is staunchly Argentine: Flaky baked crescents with a braided spine and no sign of greasiness. Yet, they are far from austere, with a rich filling that in the signature beef pie runs to ground meat, green olives, eggs, and onions, with a spicy orange dipping sauce served on the side. Many other fillings available, some international in outlook.

A crescent pie with beef written in block letters along the side.
Beef empanada from Empanadas Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

La Isla

Shredded roast pork with a dome of yellow rice on the side.
Lechon asado.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This splendid Cuban diner — with prices below what you’d expect given the quality of the food you’ll find on a stretch of the Hudson sometimes called Little Havana. The pressed sandwiches are a particularly good deal, of which pan con bistec is a local favorite. But also consider the voluminous blue plate specials varying by day, which include the pulled and seasoned pork roast lechon asado.

Shredded roast pork with a dome of yellow rice on the side.
Lechon asado.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Satay

Rice, boiled eggs, and chicken curry.
Nasi lemak at Satay.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The days when New York City had a ready supply of good Malaysian restaurants is long gone, and this Hoboken holdover seems like a throwback to that era. The L-shaped interior is compact, clad in bamboo, and extremely comfortable, and a nifty lunch special attracts a crowd. The regular menu is expansive and doesn’t pull its flavor punches, as I found recently when I enjoyed the classic nasi lemak, featuring fragrant coconut rice with curry chicken and various condiments.

Rice, boiled eggs, and chicken curry.
Nasi lemak at Satay.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Curry Up Now