Home Food + DrinkCoffee Exploring Jersey City: The Bergen-Lafayette Neighborhood

Exploring Jersey City: The Bergen-Lafayette Neighborhood

by Evelyn Ibarra
Attain Medspa
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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, New Jersey.

bergen lafayette

Eat + Drink

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

Bon Vivant | 295 Johnston Avenue

For an intimate, lowkey vibe, this bakeshop has a unique ambiance where all kinds of pastries, tea, and coffee can be enjoyed. Hailing from New York City, this spot came to Bergen-Layfayette in 2022. A notable pastry is the Créme Glacé, which is an ice cream-inspired dessert.

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Read More: Things to Do in Jersey City Heights

Cafe Lafayette | 74 Maple Street

cafe lafayette

When it comes to breakfast, lunch, or brunch options, Cafe Lafayette has a selection of options. There is The Lafayette — inspired by the spot’s name — a sandwich made with bacon, egg, hash brown, and cheese. For sweet and salty cravings, the chicken + waffles is a must-try, made with fried chicken thighs, and waffles, and topped with Mike’s hot honey.

Carolyn’s Soul Food | 76 Orient Avenue

carolyns soul food jersey city

There’s no need to travel far away if craving Southern food in Hudson County — Carolyn’s has just what you need. With origins back to 2008, this locale serves up mac + cheese, chicken wings, shrimp with fries, and oxtail for a Southern food fix.

Harry’s Daughter | 4072 339 Communipaw Avenue

harrys daughter jersey city

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, 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.

La Brujeria | 590 Grand Street

If craving Mexican food, La Brujeria is a spot that serves classic Mexican dishes like Tamales that come in flavors like rajas, verde, and mole. The dish can be paired with a hot drink from the menu like Arroz con Leche (rice with milk) or a Champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate). Tacos at La Brujeria shouldn’t be skipped — options include Lamb Birria Tacos or Suadero Tacos (beef brisket).

Left Bank Burger Bar (Coming Soon) | 194 Pine Street


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Left Bank Burger Bar is coming soon to downtown Jersey City. Back in May 2023, HG reported that the spot was making its way to the Bergen-Lafayette area. Although it is not open as of September 2023, residents will be able to enjoy all kinds of classic burgers when it officially opens.

Light Rail Café | 237 Randolph Avenue

light rail cafe

When you’re in the mood for a cozy corner spot to pop into 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.

Mordi’s Sandwich Shop | 320 Communipaw Avenue

mordi sandwich shop

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, homemade sauce, and bursting with flavor. Mordi’s is open every day except Sundays.

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.

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 the 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 this spot is open seven days a week.

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 freshly made daily menu items like tacos, mac and cheese, chili, pasta, cornbread, and vegan desserts. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12PM-8:30PM.

Samurai Sushi | 467 Communipaw Avenue


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This beloved East Rutherford spot made its way to the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood in Jersey City. It took over where Hooked JC was once located at 467 Communipaw Avenue. Customers will notice lanterns and string lights placed when walking inside, making it a unique dining experience. Its menu features steamed buns, ramen hot dishes, and salads.

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.

The Factory Restaurant + Lounge | 451 Communipaw Avenue

Located near Berry Lane Park, The Factory is found at the corner of Communipaw Avenue. This eatery is known for classic American dishes like burgers, as well as unique dishes like Buffalo Calamari — made with fried calamari, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese crumble. Although there is a lot of food to enjoy here, the restaurant also hosts various events like Paint + Sip, Brunch Sundays with live music, and more.

Shopping + Experiences

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

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 to their daily routine to help reduce stress, pain, and anxiety. It is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

Deep Space Gallery | 77 Cornelison Avenue


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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.

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 who want to help and give back. Liberty Humane Society is open seven days a week.

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 are 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 closed on Sundays.

Taproot Organics | 511 Communipaw Avenue

taproot organics outside

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 butter, 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.

Chilltown Fitness | 517 Communipaw Avenue

If you want improved energy and better health, Chilltown Fitness has you covered. The spot offers CrossFit, HIIT, personal training, group training, and more. 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 on Saturdays and Sundays.

RPM Raceway | 99 Caven Point Road


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For some fun after a day of exploring, RPM Raceway is a spot suitable for all ages. The spot has an indoor go-kart track to race on. VR battles, arcade games, and bowling are just some of the other activities to try out here. Craft cocktails, local brews, and food are served too, if hungry after all that racing.

See More: How to Spend a Day in Upper Montclair


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.

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