Hoboken, New Jersey may not be on your radar, but it has a fascinating history and hosts a lot of historic firsts in the grand scheme of American culture.
For example, the first baseball game was played in Hoboken, the first brewery was built in Hoboken, and the world-famous cultural icon Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken.
Today, Hoboken is still a Northeastern cultural gem, located right across the Hudson River from Manhattan, with excellent waterfront activities, parks, and restaurants.
Like New York, Hoboken has a wide array of cultural influences in its restaurant scene. On my most recent trip, I got to explore Hoboken’s culinary diversity by sampling meals and dining experiences at various restaurants.
Read on to explore my list of the best restaurants in Hoboken, all distinct and delicious. If you’re wondering where to eat in Hoboken, you can’t go wrong with any of the excellent restaurant options on my list.
Best Restaurants in Hoboken New Jersey
In keeping with Hoboken’s historical significance, I’ll start with the Elysian Café, which is the oldest restaurant and bar in Hoboken, dating to 1895. The interior has conserved its elaborate carved gold-plated ceilings and all wood bar and furniture. It’s a time capsule, period piece experience that makes for a memorable atmosphere.
The Elysian’s menu is a French Bistro-style steakhouse and seafood menu with an extensive wine and beer list along with a cocktail bar. I recommend the ultra-decadent poutine with truffled fries, duck confit, cheese curds, and foie gras gravy. For the main course, it doesn’t get more classic French than steak Frites with thyme butter.
Amanda’s is a Hoboken favorite, serving new American and Argentinian fusion cuisine for over 25 years. The atmosphere is comfortable and lively, with live music to serenade a delicious meal. They serve lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends.
Argentinian cuisine is meat-heavy with a strong Italian influence, so the menu has a lot of pasta and Italian flavors. My favorite dishes at Amanda’s are the potato croquettes with roasted garlic aioli, the grilled Argentinian sausage with chimichurri, and the chicken cutlet Napolitana with prosciutto, mozzarella, and tomato sauce over penne pasta.
Grand Vin Kitchen and Bar
The Grand Vin Kitchen and Bar is a high-end fine dining restaurant in a beautifully designed space with giant windows and an industrial-chic mix of brick and wood walls and flooring with a wall of hanging plants and a trellised ceiling covered in vines. Using locally sourced ingredients, their menu is a multi-course smorgasbord of Italian-influenced antipasti, pasta, decadent meat and seafood dishes, and classic desserts.
I would start with the fried calamari bruschetta as the first plate, then the sprout salad with brussels sprouts, apple, pecans, bacon and shaved parmesan cheese in a mango vinaigrette. You can get a small plate of pasta so that you can save room for the main course or make the pasta a large order. I skipped the main course and ordered the House made ravioli, stuffed with sundried tomatoes and four kinds of cheese in a light mascarpone tomato sauce. I’ve never been happier with my decision.
Augustino’s is a cozy and casual classic Italian restaurant with all the traditional favorites. The staff treats you like family, and the brick-walled interior with blown glass chandeliers, white tablecloths, and small tables summons a ‘50s gangster movie feel. If you ask a local where to find the best no-frills Italian food in Hoboken, they will undoubtedly recommend Augustino’s.
Augustino’s has all the classic Italian favorites like veal parmesan, lasagna, and Italian-style pork chops. TO start, I would go with the stuffed artichokes with garlic olive oil, and breadcrumbs. I recommend the Lobster tails Diablo with clams and mussels over linguine as a main pasta dish.
Located a few blocks from Elysian Park’s waterfront, Margherita’s is another small, quaint classic Italian kitchen that has been serving house-made pasta, pizza, and cheese since 1993. They have a great cocktail bar and weekly specials that use seasonally available fresh ingredients from the land and sea.
Their pizzas are fabulous and are a great option as an appetizer or shareable happy hour snack. I like the Truffle Honey Fig Pizza with ricotta, fontina, black mission figs, arugula, truffle honey, and white balsamic. As for fresh house-made pasta, I’d stick with their spectacular Pappardelle Bolognese which has ground beef, veal, and pork with dollops of ricotta that add an irresistible creaminess.
Olivia’s is a hip, fun, high-end Mediterranean and Latin-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar in a cute industrial chic interior. The cocktails are spectacular and engineered by a craft mixologist that puts on a show as he mixes each drink. There’s even an entire Mocktails menu so kids or non-drinkers can appreciate and savor the art of mixology.
The menu is an interesting combination of Mediterranean and Mexican dishes and flavors, with amazing guacamole and equally amazing three-bean hummus. I also recommend the filet mignon taquitos with homemade tortillas, rajas, and guacamole, sprinkled with cotija cheese.
Del Frisco’s Grille
Located right on the waterfront with great views of the Manhattan skyline, Del Frisco’s Grille is a lively and energetic bar and grill featuring innovative New American cuisine. They have a large outdoor patio to enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets over the water. Del Frisco’s has won many prestigious awards such as Open Table’s top 100 hottest bars in the US and the Diner’s choice award.
Del Frisco’s deviled eggs with truffle chive vinaigrette are some of my favorite appetizers. I often have them alongside a jumbo lump crab cake with cajun lobster sauce instead of ordering a main course. If you want an excellent steak, I recommend Del Frisco’s USDA Prime ribeye with bleu cheese butter.
Sorellina Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
Meaning “little sister” in Italian, Sorellina is owned and operated by an award-winning sommelier and younger sister herself. Sorellina’s impressive wine list has won four consecutive Awards of Excellence by Wine Spectator, and the stunning Italian family-style menu makes it all the better. All dishes are classic family recipes made with homemade pasta, using locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
I would recommend going with a group of family and friends so you can sample as many superb dishes as possible. The roasted carrots with arugula pesto, labneh, and sunflower seed brittle and the veal and ricotta meatballs are wonderful antipasti. The cacio e pepe conchiglie with milk braised pork and the braised short rib farfalle are my recommendations for pasta, although you can’t go wrong with any of them.
For a fish dish, I recommend the grilled branzino with polenta fresca, squash and corn succotash, and vincotto.
Sirenetta Seafood & Raw Bar
Meaning “little mermaid” in Italian, Sirenetta Seafood and Raw Bar is the newest creation of restaurateur and sommelier Gabi Lombardi who also happens to be the owner of Sorrelina, another favorite on my list. Sirenetta is right across the street from Sorrelina! Sirenetta focuses mainly on seafood, both raw and cooked, using Italian recipes and cooking methods.
The wine, beer, and cocktail menu is as stunning as you would expect from an accomplished sommelier restaurant owner, and the menu uses the freshest catches of shellfish and fish in their dishes, cooked-or not- to perfection. From the raw bar, I would try the seafood tower. For seafood pasta, I recommend the squid ink linguine with black pepper, shrimp, and prosciutto with agrodolce sauce or the pappardelle alla vodka with fried oysters and pistachio.
With over 20 years as a treasured Italian Bistro, Cucina Saporito is a family-friendly and intimate restaurant with excellent service. Cucina Saporito has one of the more extensive pasta and baked pasta offerings of any Italian restaurant on my list, and they also accommodate vegans with vegan cheese and coconut milk cream options.
I recommend their bucatini alla “giulia” which is fried eggplant, tomato sauces, and ricotta over house-made pasta, the classic basil pesto pasta, and the meat lasagne.
Otto Strada is a casual, BYOB Italian pizzeria, restaurant, bakery, and espresso bar. Everything from their pizza to their over-the-top brunches is not only delicious but affordable and hearty. They offer New Jersey-style pizza as well as square pan thick Sicilian pizza, my personal favorite. They even have a brunch pizza menu with creations like the Tartufo e uova with fresh mozzarella, crimini mushrooms, poached eggs, pecorino, truffle oil, Parmigiano, and fresh basil.
Pizza is their strong suit, and it’s hard to pick just one specialty pie, so I’ll pick a red and a white pizza for you to try. For red, I recommend the Porco Piccante with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, hot sausage, hot Italian peppers, chili oil, ricotta, fresh basil, and olive oil drizzle.
For the white pizza, I recommend the Lemon and Smashed Burrata Pie with fresh mozzarella, roasted lemon slices, arugula, smashed burrata, black pepper, and pecorino romano with an olive oil drizzle.
Hudson Tavern is a classic American bar and grill named for the street on which it runs. They have a great cozy indoor sports bar setting and an even nicer outdoor patio lined with trees and large-bulbed lights with a great view of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River just a few blocks away. They have nightly specials, featuring different world comfort foods like Chicken Pot Pie Night on Wednesdays or Fish n Chips on Sundays.
Hudson Tavern’s menu has salads, sandwiches, bar food appetizers, pasta, and meat-heavy entrees. Since it’s a tavern, your best bet would be to try one of their giant 10. Oz burgers with the classic accompaniments and a hefty helping of sweet potato wedges or steak cut fries.
Antique Bar & Bakery
If you’re looking for a unique, extravagant, and utterly delectable dining experience, look no further than the Antique bar & Bakery, a quirky theme bar, and restaurant inside an old 1920s impeccably preserved bakery. Both stylistically and product-wise the bakery is top-notch as they make and sell fresh bread daily. The food is Italian, Latin, new American, and bar fare on steroids.
All meals revolve around their 1000-degree coal-burning oven that pumps out the most incredible bread and baked dishes you’ll ever taste. Every meal comes in family-sized quantities, so you better arrive with a crowd. I started with the Antique meatball with grilled buttered bread and ricotta and followed it with the bone-in oven-baked orange chicken with smashed red potatoes and roasted beets with honey goat cheese.
Bin 14 is a high-end wine bar, serving Italian tapas in a modern industrial-chic space with a lively atmosphere for couples and young professionals. They also have a plant-filled enclosed skylit patio that stays cool during the summer and warm during the winter. The interior’s marble-top bar lines with table settings and modern wooden chairs for the ultimate wine bar and tapas experience.
They have nightly specials and a selection of differently seasoned and loaded fries. I recommend going on a Monday to take advantage of the burger Monday special because the Angus Beef Bin Burgers on brioche buns with thick hand-cut fries are to die for.
Blue Eyes Restaurant
Located right on the water and the famous Sinatra Drive, Blue Eyes Restaurant is an Italian café, eatery, and Neapolitan pizzeria. The partially covered outdoor waterfront seating makes Blue Eyes a prime destination for al fresco dining and the best views of the River and the Manhattan Skyline. They pride themselves on having an imported wood-burning oven from Naples to deliver the most authentic Neapolitan pizza in Hoboken.
Other than pizza, they have a full menu of Italian pasta, antipasti, meat, and fish dishes. Still, I recommend their perfectly bubbly Neapolitan pizzas. Their four-cheese pizza with Mozzarella, mascarpone, gorgonzola, and parmesan is savory bliss.
Apulia Hoboken is a fine-dining Italian restaurant on Hoboken’s beautiful waterfront. They have an enormous wood-fired oven to bake their Neapolitan pizzas and their fresh in-house pasta. You can order from their perfectly curated menu of antipasti, salads, pasta, and pizza, or choose the chef’s table meal, consisting of the chef’s selection of specialty dishes.
I recommend splitting a pizza for the table, namely, the D.O.P. with Apulian tomato, fiordilatte, aged prosciutto di parma, parmigiano Reggiano, arugula, basil and olive oil. For a deliciously fresh seafood pasta dish, I recommend the Cavatelli alle cozze with mussels, cherry tomato, chili pepper, garlic, basil, and olive oil.
Another long-standing Hoboken haunt, Anthony David’s started as a corner grocery with gourmet epicurean items that quickly turned into a gourmet trattoria with brunch seven days a week, evening snacks and wine, and fancy modern Italian dinners. Chef Anthony Pino uses locally sourced produce, meat, dairy, and fish for all his beautifully presented creations.
With brunch every day, I recommend heading over to Anthony David’s for a lazy mid-morning meal. Their burrata frittata and thickly sliced Challah French toast with nutmeg, vanilla, and coconut butter are fantastic.
Chango Kitchen is a Latin American restaurant serving traditional Mexican, Caribbean, and Argentinian dishes in a simple yet elegant presentation. Chango Kitchen is family-friendly and budget-friendly with an extensive and diverse menu of small bites, Mofongos, tamales, sandwiches, and main plates.
Whether you’re in the mood for Cuban plantain tostones, Mexican enchiladas or mole tamales, or a full Argentinian Churrasco, you’ll find it at Chango.
Il Tavolo di Palmisano
Il Tavolo di Palmisano means Palmisano’s table in Italian and receives the name for the Palmisano family whose three siblings are the owners, chefs, and administrators of this high-end Italian bistro. They’ve recently opened the Clinton Street location in a lovely industrial-chic exposed brick dining room with classic Italian frescos hanging on the walls.
The presentation at Il Tavolo di Palmisano makes a work of art out of each dish that is almost too stunning to eat. I recommend the eggplant casserole, consisting of breaded eggplant layered with tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and fresh mozzarella topped with lemon basil ricotta.
If you want a pasta dish, I recommend the short rib ragu with boneless short ribs simmered in tomato sauce and tossed with orecchiette pasta with a topping of lemon basil ricotta and a drizzle of pesto.
City Bistro is a three-story restaurant, lounge, and rooftop bar in uptown Hoboken one block from the water. You can expect a spectacular happy hour and late-night views of the Manhattan skyline along with top-notch artisanal cocktails and contemporary Italian American eats.
I recommend ordering various small plates to enjoy with a tasty cocktail. Their hanger steak crostinis with goat cheese and chimichurri and fire-cracker shrimp with Chili aioli are excellent. Wood-fired pizza offerings are a diverse and creative mix. My favorite is the Drunken pizza with vodka sauce, veal and pork meatballs, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, and pecorino.
Hoboken’s restaurants carry an eclectic mix of delicious food that has something for every taste and budget. Reflecting a deep Italian American culinary and cultural influence, you’ll find many variations of classic Italian food, each with its special signature.
You’ll also find many other new American, fusion, and contemporary restaurants offering creative innovations and lively atmospheres. Whatever you’re craving for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’re sure to find it on my list of the best restaurants in Hoboken.
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