• Staycation Essentials: The Best Spots to Grab Tropical Drinks in Hoboken and Jersey City

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    Remember the days when you’d just be given a full week off to jump on a plane with your besties and escape to Panama City or Miami Beach for some Mid-March fun and debauchery? Those days may be long gone, but if you’re looking to re-live the glory days and toast the official start of spring, grab some friends and hit the town for a little faux-spring break fun {a staycation, if you will}. Here, we’ve collected the seven best places to grab tropical drinks in Hoboken and Jersey City. Even if you can’t actually make it to the beach, the beach will come to you.

    HOBOKEN

    La Isla Restaurant Uptown {25 12th St.}

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    It should come as no surprise that a restaurant literally called The Island could provide the tropical vacation experience {sans passport and sun} that both La Isla locations deliver {even though uptown is the only one with a liquor license — FYI}. A litany of specialty cocktails include mojitos, daiquiris {like the above Cuban Daiquiri Hemingway}, a Watermelon Cooler, and the La Isla Bonita {the ultimate island drink that mixes Bacardi dragonberry, Midori, triple sec, fresh pineapple, coconut and grenadine}. So go ahead, close your eyes and take a sip – no one will blame you if you actually think you’re on the beach for a minute.

    The Cuban {333 Washington St.}

    Looking for an authentic Carribean experience this side of Havana? Look no further than The Cuban. With a lively atmosphere, good music and a menu packed with Cuban standards and tasty cocktails {like passionfruit mojitos and sangria} this little spot on Washington will transport you to the island. Also, three words: Crab. Lump. Guacamole. Trust us, you’ll never want to go back to straight avocado guac again. Ever.

    Cadillac Cantina {80 River St.}

    Cadillac

    We’re not saying you have to go on a Wednesday night BUT we are saying that if you choose to go on a Wednesday night, you’ll find ½-priced specialty margaritas all night long. Oh, and being right across from the PATH, you may even be able to convince your friends from out of town {or across the river} to make the journey. They’ll be glad they did.

    Mikie Squared {616 Washington St.}

    While they may not have the same convincing get-away ambience and catchy tropical name as the other restaurants mentioned here, Mikie Squared’s cocktail list is extensive, well-made, and well-priced making it a triple “yes!” for us. Try the Tropical Bomb {a mixture of Captain Morgan, Malibu, Midori and juices} to get in the spring break spirit, or stop in on a Sunday for $10 sangria pitchers. They also have mimosa flights where you can taste test several types in one sitting.

    Baja Restaurant {104 14th St.}  

    A TexMex bar and restaurant that offers – we’re not kidding 32 Margarita flavors {including an avocado-flavored one — yes, it’s a thing} and freshly-made, mouthwatering guac to match, Baja Restaurant will not disappoint those looking for a happy hour escape.

    Pier 13 {1300 Sinatra Drive}

    The pier has long been an outdoor favorite, but nothing says vacay like a rum-coconut cocktail IN a coconut. Definitely limited availability so we can’t promise it’s available every time you’re there, but really, when you’re outside enjoying the sunshine and views — does it matter what type of drink is in your hand? Another Pro Tip: Try the Pier 13 sangria — it’s so good they’ve actually started to bottle and sell it.

    JERSEY CITY

    Cellar 335 {335 Newark Ave, Jersey City}  

    Basically an indoor tiki hut in the middle of Jersey City, this is a must for your stay-cation. Everything from the decorations {the walls are covered in graffiti and moss}, the drinks {all served in tropical-themed cups}, the food {try the ribs or the avocado fried rice} and the ambiance {a laid-back party atmosphere} are not to be missed on your local search for spring break.

    Orale Mexican Kitchen {341 Grove St, Jersey City}  

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    Stepping into Orale is like walking into a bar in the heart of Mexico during Dia de los Muertos: dimmed lights, bright colors, artwork and calacas lined walls, and a drink menu filled not only with tropical cocktails {although we’re partial to the Coco Beach and Orale Holmes}, but with an extensive tequila list, classic Mexican bottled beers and Micheladas. Oh, and if that didn’t convince you, they also have $3 Coronas and $5 margs during happy hour Monday through Saturday.

    Mathews Food and Drink {351 Grove Street}

    This American eatery boasts inventive cocktails {helloooo 80’s glam – complete with edible glitter}, but the drink that will definitely get you feeling the like you’re in the tropics is the Fo Swizzle – a mix of tequila, lychee, lime, coconut liqueur, homemade hot honey and served on ice with an umbrella and sunglasses. It’s literally like a light pina colada — we’re OBSESSED.

    Surf City {1 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City}

    When it comes to lobster rolls and Miami Vices + a view of the water with sand underneath your toes {literally}, Surf City is the place to be. This JC spot on the water offers a large area for hanging out with friends as well as an indoor area that resembles a boardwalk beach bar. You’ll be feeling like you’re DTS as soon as you walk in.

    See More: The Best Spots for Sangria in Hoboken


    Written by:

    A Jersey girl born and raised, Kelly moved from Hoboken to Weehawken a year and a half ago and loves exploring all of the history and hidden spots in her new city while still making frequent trips to her favorite spots in the Mile Square (because while she signed up for a new zip code, she definitely didn’t sign up for a life without Black Bear buffalo bites, sunsets at Pier 13 or Sunday football on Washington!). After graduating from the University of Maryland in 2011 with a degree in journalism, she spent five years as a style editor and now freelances on everything from fashion to finance. When she’s not working on her next story, you can usually find Kelly swimming at the Stevens pool, checking out new happy hour spots (bonus points always given for a spot with a view) or cheering on her Maryland Terrapins (Go Terps!).