Hoboken residents are no strangers to Italian cuisine. Hoboken has a long history of welcoming in Italian-Americans who have built up businesses, including authentic restaurants, making the Mile Square City a hotspot for Italian food. While most people are very familiar with the different pastas and meat dishes that are seen in Italian restaurants, there is one dish that can often go overlooked. Arancini, sometimes just referred to as rice balls, hail from Sicily. Today, these crispy, golden-brown treats are found all over Italy and are a very popular street food. Crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside, arancini are balls of rice stuffed with meats, cheeses, or vegetables, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep fried. Filling combinations often include ragú meat sauce and tomato sauce, mozzarella and prosciutto, provola cheese and peas, or even ‘norma-style’ with eggplant. Read on to see where to get arancini in Hoboken.
Anthony David’s | 953 Bloomfield Street
(Photo credit: @anthonydavids_)
Just off the beaten path, Anthony David’s offers immaculate vibes all year round. With a cozy interior during the winter and a large outdoor setup in the summer, this is a beloved local spot that’s great for enjoying a meal with friends and loved ones. The arancini is a delicious dish made with taleggio cheese and spicy tomato sauce, making for an extra creamy filling and a real treat for your taste buds.
Antique Bar & Bakery | 122 Willow Avenue
Next time you are enjoying some apps and drinks with friends in this homey restaurant, don’t skip out on the arancini. Antique Bar & Bakery never disappoints with its small plates — and the rice balls are no exception. Its take on arancini includes pesto, mozzarella, and tomato aioli.
Cafe Michelina | 423 Bloomfield Street
(Photo credit: @cafemichelina)
Cafe Michelina is known for its authentic comfort dishes. Located in the heart of Hoboken just one block off Washington, Cafe Michelina can make all of your Italian daydreams come true. Some even claim these are the best rice balls in town. While it isn’t a menu regular, when eating at Cafe Michelina, it’s always a treat to find out that arancini is being served as the day’s special. Get them while you can, because they go quickly.
Dolce & Salato | 1101 Grand Street
(Photo credit: @dolceandsalato_hoboken)
It may be easy to get distracted by the endless options of sweet treats and coffees available at Dolce and Salato, but the savory choices are just as awesome. The arancini is filled with spinach, provolone, mozzarella, and saffron. Whether it’s an appetizer or a quick lunch, these are guaranteed to satisfy your arancini craving.
Grand Vin | 500 Grand Street
Grand Vin features Italian-New-American fusion that is worth the wait for a table. The wine bar in midtown Hoboken has a high-scale menu with familiar favorites and must-try new dishes. Of course, this Italian hotspot has its own unique take on arancini — which is stuffed with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, pesto cream sauce, and topped with shaved parmesan. It also has mini carbonara arancini with pancetta, parsley, and pecorino cheese. We’re hungry just thinking about it.
Johnny Pepperoni | 219 11th Street
(Photo credit: @johnnypepps)
Johnny Pepperoni is the ideal spot to relax, catch up with friends, and enjoy a slice while uptown — but there’s more to Johnny Pepperoni than just pepperoni pizza. It offers arancini with arborio rice, prosciutto, fontina, and tomato sauce.
Napoli’s | 1118 Washington Street + 133 Clinton Street
(Photo credit: @napolishoboken)
Napoli’s has an expansive menu with everything you could imagine to get from a pizzeria — including arancini. These rice balls are simple and delicious. They’re served smothered in marinara sauce and will give the perfect first bite crunch.
One12 | 112 Willow Avenue
(Photo credit: @one12hoboken)
As one of Hoboken’s newer restaurants on the scene, One12, is a must-visit local spot. The restaurant serves all of your favorite Italian and American foods, including salads, sandwiches, pastas, and of course, arancini. One12 has four different types of arancini on the menu: Classic (with tomato meat sauce, green peas, and mozzarella); Basil Pesto (with basil, fresh mozzarella, and sharp provolone); Rapini (with broccoli rabe, sundried tomato, and gorgonzola cheese); and Porchetta (slow roasted pork, fennel, onion, and provolone cheese).
Rosticeria da Gigi | 916 Washington Street
Next time you are walking down Washington and are in need of a quick bite, Rosticeria da Gigi is the move. Whether ordering a sandwich or a hearty pasta dish, the side of the rice balls filled with fresh mozzarella and ground beef and served on top of a pool of tomato sauce are super satisfying. Each side plate comes with 2 small rice balls, which are ideal for sharing.
San Giuseppe | 1320 Adams Street
(Photo credit: @sg_hoboken)
San Giuseppe is a family-owned Italian restaurant located uptown in a small shopping center on Adams Street. It has a free parking lot for customers and is famous for its chicken burrata dish — but that doesn’t mean you should skip a plate of the homemade arancini, which is served all year round.
Sorellina | 1036 Washington Street
(Photo credit: @sorellinahoboken)
Sorellina takes traditional Italian food and puts a twist on it. Sorellina’s sweet corn arancini dish has shrimp, applewood smoked bacon, and polenta sauce. Sorellina’s relaxing, upscale atmosphere is the ideal backdrop while crunching into a perfectly made rice ball, and, of course, also sipping on some of the award-winning wines.
Vito’s Deli | 806 Washington Street
(Photo credit: @vitosdelihoboken)
Vito’s Deli serves up more than just delicious sandwiches. It sticks to its Italian roots by making the arancini with cheese, cheddar, and bacon or prosciutto. These golden beauties are only available at Vito’s on weekends — so get them while they’re hot and in stock!
Zack’s Oak Bar & Restaurant | 232 Willow Avenue
Zack’s Oak Bar, located downtown on Willow Avenue, is an American restaurant with some great Italian dishes included on the menu. It keeps the arancini traditional but makes it extra cheesy, making for a super gooey middle to contrast the crunchy exterior. These arancini can be paired with any of Zack’s delicious dishes, whether or not they’re Italian.