Exploring Jersey City: The Bergen-Lafayette Neighborhood

Written by:

Bergen-Lafayette is an area of Jersey City that’s considered a hidden gem and is quickly gaining popularity as the new hot spot. Bergen-Lafayette {Bela for short} is made up of different neighborhoods and lies west-southwest of Downtown and Liberty State Park. Like most areas in the city, this neighborhood is popping up with lots of shops, restaurants, bars, and new places to explore. Keep reading for a guide to explore the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood in Jersey City. 

bergen lafayette

Eat + Drink

Here are a few of the best local spots to dine at in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood.

Pinwheel Garden {318 Communipaw Avenue}

pinwheel garden

If you’re looking for a cozy spot with delicious Asian-American inspired comfort food, look no further than Pinwheel Garden. Pinwheel Garden offers a variety of dumplings, noodles, and Asian-inspired dishes that highlight quality local and seasonal ingredients. Their popular dishes include a savory trinity ramen {made with grass-fed beef, pasture-raised Berkshire pork, and free-range chicken} and many vegan options like the delicious coconut curry with tofu. BYOB is encouraged and note, this spot is closed on Sundays and Mondays. 

Mordi’s Sandwich Shop {320 Communipaw Avenue}

If you’re in the mood for a quick bite, large portions, and fresh sandwiches made to order, Mordi’s Sandwich Shop is the go-to spot. This popular shop offers signature schnitzel sandwiches {option of fresh chicken or eggplant}, falafel, Greek salads, and pita sandwiches. Their most popular items include the Americano sub and chicken parm sub, packed with fresh ingredients, home-made sauce, and bursting with flavor. Mordi’s is open seven days a week.

Martha’s {308 Pacific Avenue}

When looking for some quick and delicious take-out, Martha’s is the place to go. Martha’s is the spot for quick grab-and-go delicious breakfast sandwiches, salads, juicy burgers, omelets, and much more. Martha’s also delivers and is a great option for when you crave comfort food, without leaving your home. Martha’s is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.

Harry’s Daughter {339 Communipaw Avenue}

When you need an escape to the Caribbean but can’t afford a plane ticket, Harry’s Daughter is the bar to check out for amazing dinner and drinks. The island vibe is felt as soon as you walk into the bar, with beautiful eye-popping palm leaf wallpaper and an elegant wood bar. Their Caribbean inspired menu features popular dishes like jerk chicken, peri peri shrimp, roti, and other recipes inspired by the islands. Their popular rum punch is also a must-try, full of tropical flavors that will make you feel like you’re sipping drinks on the beach. Harry’s Daughter is open seven days a week.

O’Leary’s Publik House {788 Garfield Avenue}

If you’re looking for an all-American bar with an old-school Jersey City vibe, O’Leary’s is a hidden gem and a staple in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood. This easy-going and laid back establishment offers daily drink and food specials. They are known for their juicy burgers and other delectable options such as fried pickles, sandwiches packed with flavor, and desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. This bar is a firefighter-owned establishment and its decor + vibe is reflective of the police and firefighters who are integral parts of the community. This spot is open seven days a week.

Corgi Spirits {1 Distillery Drive}

If you enjoy handcrafted spirits and cocktails that are locally made, head over to Corgi Spirits. Corgi Spirit’s is Jersey City’s first distillery and they meticulously hand-craft gin, whiskey, and vodka. The space is reminiscent of a speakeasy, and the bar serves up signature cocktails made with their Pembroke Gin, Earl Grey Gin, and Saddlecoat Vodka. Corgi Spirits is closed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

The Grind Coffee Shop {360 Communipaw Avenue}

the grind coffee jersey city

If you’re a coffee aficionado, The Grind Shop is the spot to check out. This chic and hip coffee shop serves up La Colombe Coffee and offers a range of delicious savory and sweet treats. The staff is warm and welcoming and makes every customer feel like a regular. The Grind Coffee Shop is also great if you’re looking for a co-working space or simply somewhere to escape during the day. The Grind is open seven days a week.

See More: The Grind Coffee Shop: Bergen-Lafayette’s Go-To Coffee Spot

Hooked JC {467 Communipaw Avenue}

When you’re craving fresh seafood and a laid back vibe, Hooked JC is the place to go. This neighborhood seafood shack is adorned with vintage décor and offers daily catches that include porgy, fluke, pollock, dogfish, and many other options. This spot offers large po’boys, salads, and platters, and has a variety of protein options offered grilled, blackened, or fried. They also serve fresh scallops, crab cakes, lobster rolls, chicken, and vegetarian options. They are open seven days a week and encourage their customers to BYOB.

Plant Base {370 Pacific Avenue}

If sustainability, environmentally conscious living, and vegan options are your thing, Plant Base is the place to shop. Plant Base offers delicious vegan fare and aims to educate customers on how to reduce their carbon footprint. This 100% vegan market and restaurant is also zero waste, and shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable containers and bags. Their plant-based menu includes fresh made daily menu items like tacos, mac and cheese, chili, pasta, cornbread, and vegan desserts. It is open seven days a week.

Light Rail Café {237 Randolph Avenue}

light rail cafe

When you’re in the mood for a cozy corner spot to pop in to after work, the Light Rail Café is a perfect choice. This restaurant serves up lunch and dinner and offers menu items such as pizza, wings, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, and wraps. Grab some food + drinks, or order delivery, as it is open seven days a week and is located right off the Garfield light rail stop.

Mexican Taco Truck {parked between 390-392 Communipaw Avenue}

If you’re craving authentic Mexican food, look no further than the local Mexican Taco Truck parked on Communipaw Avenue. The food truck offers mouth-watering beef, chicken, and lengua tacos. The truck is open Thursday-Sunday from 4:00PM-12:00AM, and is a local favorite.

Shopping + Experiences

his area of Jersey City has more to do than just eat. Check out local places to shop and things to do around the area. 

Covetables {372 Pacific Avenue}

covetables inside

Covetables is the go-to spot for all your retail and art needs in Bela. The gallery and retail store features artwork from 42 artists, 22 of which are local to Jersey City. The store also has an eclectic variety of retail items such as couches, handcrafted coffee tables, pillows, glass wear, tote bags, greetings cards, and much more. One of the featured artists in the store is local ceramic artist Beth DiCara, whose studio is right around the corner at 11 Monitor Street {Evening Star Studio}. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

Strictly CBD {394 Communipaw Avenue}

When you’re feeling stressed from the pressures of daily life, make sure to stop by Strictly CBD for all your hemp and CBD {cannabidiol} needs. Strictly CBD is one of Bergen-Lafayette’s newest spots, providing a large range of CBD and hemp products, tinctures, edibles, salves, lotion, coffee, and pet products. The store also serves as a co-working space, with complimentary Wi-Fi. Customers can stop in, relax, and learn about the benefits of adding CBD products into their daily routine to help reduce stress, pain, and anxiety. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

Deep Space Gallery {77 Cornelison Avenue}

Deep Space Gallery is a fine-art gallery that features monthly shows from different artists around Jersey-City. They have a new exhibition every month with pieces at a range of price points. Deep Space Gallery also has small artworks and objects for sale in their gallery, including art prints, small paintings, drawings, art zines, and photo books. It is open seven days a week by appointment only.    

Read More: How to Volunteer at Liberty Humane Society {Jersey City}

Liberty Humane Society {235 Jersey City Boulevard}

When you’re on the hunt to adopt a furry companion, make sure you stop by the Liberty Humane Society. They are an open admission shelter and take in strays from Jersey City, Hoboken, and Bayonne {day or night}, as well as provide vaccinations, microchips, medical exams, and prepare dogs and cats for adoption. They are the first place to bring a low-cost spay and neuter clinic to Hudson County. The Liberty Humane Society also offers volunteer opportunities for locals that want to help and give back. Liberty Humane Society is open seven days a week.

The Dojo JC Music Studio {90 Forrest Street}

If you want a place to jam out, take music lessons, or record your album or podcast, look no further than The Dojo JC {run by a JC native}. The Dojo JC is a music studio that offers music lessons on the guitar, bass, piano, and drums. They also produce, record vocals, mix music, and record podcasts and commercials. The studio offers workshops that teach industry recording software. It is open seven days a week by appointment only.

Luna de Papel {321 Communipaw Avenue}

luna de papel

Head to Luna de Papel if you’re looking for a kid-friendly spot with indoor activities, art classes, and after school programs. Luna de Papel is a handcrafting art studio that offers handcrafting and DIY classes and workshops for adults and children. They also host events in their beautiful space for birthday parties and community gatherings. It is closed on Saturday and Sunday.  

Pucheto Rustic {726 Grand Street}

If rustic decor and upcycled furniture is your style, Pucheto Rustic is the place to shop for your home decor needs. This new addition to the neighborhood sells rustic style handmade furniture and home items. The store also has rustic style pillows, vases, wall art, homemade candles, lamps, and much more. Pucheto Rustic is also open on Sundays.  

Taproot Organics {511 Communipaw Avenue}

If you’re in the mood for some self-care and chemical-free skincare products, Taproot Organics is the go-to shop for all your gifting needs. The store features handmade shampoos, soaps, candles, mud masks, body butters, face scrubs, and other beauty products. All Taproot Organic products are made using organic ingredients and all-natural products. They also carry a line of high-quality CBD products. Taproot is open seven days a week.   

Elite Gym {517 Communipaw Avenue}

If you want a challenging workout, a sense of community, and a no-frills environment, Elite Gym has you covered. Elite Gym offers an open gym, CrossFit, personal training, and Olympic weightlifting options. They have a free class trial for new customers and offer month to month classes without any long-term contracts. Elite Gym is open seven days a week.

Liberty Science Center {222 Jersey City Boulevard}

liberty science center

The Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum and learning center that attracts tourists from all around the state. The new Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and Liberty Science Center Giant Dome Theater is the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. The LSC also has exhibitions, films, and interactive shows. It is open seven days a week.

Sightseeing

There’s also a ton of beautiful things to see in Bela. Discover some gorgeous sightseeing spots below. 

Liberty State Park {200 Morris Pesin Drive}

liberty state park

Liberty State Park is a green oasis in the middle of Jersey City and is home to many tourist attractions. The historic Central Railroad of New Jersey sits prominently at the north end of the park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975. Liberty State Park also features the “Empty Sky” 911 Memorial that honors the memory of the 749 people who lived in New Jersey that lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. The park is a great place to picnic, bike, and take in the beautiful views of the New York City skyline across the Hudson River. Visitors can enjoy fine dining at Liberty House or Maritime Parc, both with stunning views of NYC. If you’re visiting the Statue of Liberty and Liberty State Park, make sure to also check out the Liberty Park Cafe & Diner for delicious and affordable eats. Liberty State Park is also the only location in New Jersey with Ferry services to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. 

Check out our other guides to JC neighborhoods including Hamilton Park, Van Vorst Park, Paulus Hook, and The Heights and stay tuned for more tips on exploring Jersey City. 

Have you been to one of these amazing places in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood yet? Let us know in the comments! 

Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

We release new episodes every Tuesday!


Written by:

Evelyn is a born and raised Jersey Girl and is a local influencer {@thefoundrygirljc} in Jersey City. She has a degree in marketing and business from Syracuse University, and currently works freelancing in social media. She has lived in both Hoboken and Jersey City and is very committed to supporting local businesses and being a local resource to all her friends and neighbors. She is an animal {dog} lover and claims to know more animals in Jersey City than people {really}. When she is not freelancing, she can be found hanging out with friends at local spots in Bergen-Lafayette and attending social and networking events in Jersey City and Hoboken.