From Italy to Hoboken: Alessio’s, The Mile Square’s Newest Italian Cafe

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 Coffee, pizza, and gelato, the trifecta of champions. That and so many more authentic Italian dishes, drinks, and desserts are being served at Hoboken’s newest pizzeria + cafe addition — which you may or may not have heard about — Alessio’s, located at 539 Park Avenue in the Mile Square. Owned by a native Italian, this new spot is worth a visit, if not for the pizza, definitely for the gelato.

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The Journey to Opening Alessio’s

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While Alessio’s has been open and operating for three months, just before COVID-19 restrictions began, it’s worth mentioning as it quietly crept into the Hoboken food scene.

Luca Infantino, born and raised in Italy for 25 years, moved to the United States in 2011 to work for the Italian Embassy in conjunction with the United Nations in NYC. Initially, Luca lived in Weehawken but tells us fondly he “became a Hoboken resident by adoption.” 

Not long after falling in love with Hoboken, he paved his way in the fashion industry for many years until he finally chose to pursue his passion for the food service industry. Quality food was always an interest and priority for Luca, even before opening a restaurant. 

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I am not a chef but I enjoy being in the kitchen learning and paying attention to the quality and authenticity of the food we make. That is my mantra,” he told Hoboken Girl.

With plenty of bustling towns to start a business, Luca was drawn to the familiarity of the Mile Square. “I am fascinated with Hoboken and the energy that this small city has. In Hoboken, I feel I am back in Italy, and I miss my country less when I am in Hoboken,” Luca shared nostalgically.

Read More: A Look Into MOJO Coffee Company, Opening in Hoboken on 6/3

Alessio’s pizzeria and cafe is Luca’s initiation into the industry, but he is confident that it will become a staple in town. “This is my first time running a restaurant, but I had experience in the field in Italy where my friends run something similar.” Luca shares, “I helped them a lot with operations, marketing, and more.” 

The Name Alessio

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Like his 20-month-old son who is “full of energy and vitality,” Luca felt having a restaurant was the same — so naturally, he chose the same name. “Having a restaurant is challenging and you need to treat it like a baby. That’s why having the name of my baby on the door gives me the motivation and the responsibility of always trying and doing my best for the restaurant.”

What separates Alessio’s from other pizzerias and cafes in town? The authentic Italian products and the real-feel of an Italian cafe. “I am buying the best products on the market, more costly and with less margin, but I strongly believe that Hoboken residents are a kind of sophisticated customer that is looking for the real deal, the real quality, and the real authenticity,” he said. “I am proud to say I have the best coffee on the market, coming directly from Italy, a small Sicilian roastery.”

The Alessio’s Menu

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Luca was quite excited to showcase all of his premium quality products with the community, but with the timing of COVID-19 and his opening, Alessio’s is just scraping by — much like other businesses around the area who have been stopped in their tracks and forced to rethink operations and approach. 

I wanted to apologize to every customer that comes into my store during this time of COVID-19 because I cannot provide the full menu and or open full hours. Right now, the staff is limited, and I am taking the opportunity to spend the downtime to enjoy more time with my son and my amazing wife, Stefania,” he said. 

As of right now, Alessio’s is open for pick up and delivery on Grubhub, Seamless, and UberEats. Normally, breakfast is available all day, with bagels sourced from a local bakery, egg sandwiches, omelets, and croissant sandwiches. If we’re being honest, the menu is quite impressive in its full capacity. Coffees including hot brew, iced coffee, espresso, frappes, cappuccinos, mochaccinos, macchiatos, and lattes are just a few of the drinks. Additionally, there is hot tea, smoothies, shakes, and hot chocolate.

On the food side,  there are Italian croissants, muffins, banana nut bread, cookies, and waffles. Luca truly brought a taste of Italy to his Hoboken bakery by serving up traditional Italian pastries like bombolone {Italian doughnuts, mini chocolate bombolones, and sfogliatella aka lobster tail}. 

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On the lunch side, the paninis are already a hit, and customers can build-your-own freshly-pressed panini in-store or online, or opt for a meatball parm sandwich, vegan burger, or the Alessio’s Burger — an 8 oz beef patty, lettuce, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, mortadella on a ciabatta bread served with fries. 

Luca recommends trying the breakfast sandwiches and paninis above all else. “I buy cold cuts and cheese from a high-end gourmet Italian food company called Ferrarini. With the help of a real Hoboken resident from Molfetta, we make our fresh mozzarella in house. He has made mozzarella for the past 40 years at the most famous delis in Hoboken. We now have this person on the team, and I am very happy about it.”

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American classics like chicken wings, fries, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and chicken fingers are available in addition to a few salad options including Caesar, Caprese, and a garden salad. 

For an Italian eatery to be considered complete, pizza and gelato must be on the menu. Aside from the staple pizza pies such as plain cheese and pepperoni, there is margherita, broccoli and sausage, veggie, white, buffalo, a meatball pie, roasted pork loin and artichoke, fried pizza — and even a Nutella pie. Sicilians, Calzones, and pasta dishes like baked ziti, lasagna, penne alla vodka, and gnocchi sorrentina {potato gnocchi made with fresh mozzarella, marinara, Parmigiano cheese cooked in the oven} are also available and not to be missed.

See More: Black Rail Coffee in Hoboken: A Delicious Café Off-the-Beaten Path

Last but certainly not least, the gelato is flown in from the Umbrian region’s capital Perugia, Italy, and is an absolute must-try. Tiramisu, hazelnut, Sicilian lemon, salted caramel, cherry vanilla, and Sicilian pistachio are among the selection, and if you’re in the mood for something more decadent, opt for the Affogato al Caffe {gelato flavor of your choice with an espresso shot, waffle crisp, and whipped cream} or Affogato alla Nutella {gelato flavor of your choice with Nutella and whipped cream}. 

In the gluten-free department, Alessio’s even serves GF carrot cake.

Luca explains, “We aren’t too fancy like other places, as I like to focus more on the customer experience and the food, rather than the appearance,” noting that the atmosphere is more of a quick and cozy casual vibe that is “less than fancy,” as he puts it. But let us tell you that it is just as charming, airy, and well-designed as any small cafe in Italy.

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With a spacious sidewalk space that wraps around the side of the building and a baby-blue Vespa in mint condition parked directly in front of the cafe for customers to admire as they walk past,  Luca told us he is looking forward to setting up outdoor seating for customers.“With the nice outdoor space that can fit more than 20 people, I was planning a brand new brunch and dinner menu, as well as promotions and events that would bring and keep the community happy and delighted with us. Hopefully, we can have a grand opening by mid-June or July.” 

We can’t wait for Alessio’s to showcase its full menu to the public and, of course, enjoy quality gelato while sitting — socially distanced, of course — outside the cafe on a hot summer’s day. Welcome to the neighborhood, Alessio’s!

What will you be trying at Alessio’s? Let us know in the comments!

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Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square and part-time in Jersey City. Through playing softball for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.


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