If you’re constantly going downtown in Jersey City or on Washington Street in Hoboken to eat, you’re actually missing out on some serious foodie gems in our Hudson County area. In Jersey City, there are some delicious spots that are off-the-beaten path and destined for a trip in themselves. In the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, it’s no different — while this area has seen a resurgence in food spots and new businesses opening, there are some classic food spots that deserve some attention, too. From Italian delis to delicious tacos to Malaysian food, here are five restaurants South of Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City worth a visit.
Space Pizza | 140 Ocean Avenue + 514 Ocean Avenue
This black-owned pizzeria stands out not only for its food but also its respect for the pizza-making tradition. Its team has a strong commitment to fresh ingredients and a passion for its dough recipe. The pizza has a crispy yet not ‘too dry’ crust, giving it a satisfying crunch. Try the Thai Chili wings — they’re a can’t-miss. Space Pizza has expanded to two locations, both on Ocean Avenue.
For the 514 Ocean Avenue location, take the light rail to Richard Street. For the 140 Ocean Avenue location, the light rail to Danforth Avenue. Both locations are also reachable by the 6 and 81 buses.
Mamak House | 250 NJ-440
Mamak House is a Malaysian restaurant that also serves Chinese and Thai food. This aligns, as Malaysian cuisine is influenced by both countries, but is uniquely its own vibrant cuisine with layered and complex flavors. Try the Roti Canai for a Southeast Asian style curry dip served with thin fry bread, or the Mango Sticky Rice made with glutinous rice, fresh mango, and coconut milk.
Mamak House is on Route 440 and has a parking lot or take the 80 bus to Danforth Avenue at West Side Avenue.
El Gallo de Oro | 360 Ocean Avenue
There are plenty of Mexican restaurants in Hudson County of all kinds, but few are really dedicated to authentic Mexican cuisine. El Gallo de Oro is one of the spots that elevates authentic Mexican in a relaxed setting. Order a few tacos with a side of elote (grilled corn on the cob slathered in a mayo cream sauce and garnished with chili powder, cheese, and lime) ahead of time online, and take your food to go. If you enjoy a no-frills experience, order some chilaquiles or tacos dorados, both of which *may* deserve a try freshly served.
Take the 81 or 6 bus to Ocean Avenue at Wade Street stop or take the light rail to Richard Street.
Carmine’s Italian Deli | 165 Mallory Avenue
View this post on Instagram
Carmine’s is a classic Italian-American deli, similar to what visitors would find on Arthur Ave in the Bronx. It feels like visitors have stepped into another place and time when entering (especially realizing it’s cash only). A go-to is the ever-popular cold cut sandwich on a fresh roll, and then debate on whether it’s called a hero or sub or hoagie (and if we’re going down the NJ rabbit hole, Taylor ham or pork roll). The deli also features Italian pasta and other hot items.
Take the 80 bus to the West Side Avenue at Union Street stop, the 1 bus to the Communipaw Avenue at Mallory Avenue, or take the light rail to the West Side Avenue station.
Neptune Bakery | 1612 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
There are two things to get at Neptune Bakery: the custard cups and the sans rival cake. The custard cups are similar to the Portuguese pastéis de nata. It’s a sweet, rich custard inside a cup of flakey layers of pastry. The sansrival cake is a Filipino cake with layers of buttercream, meringue, and chopped cashews. There are also other baked sans rival flavored items that round out this old-school bakery’s assortment of menu items.
Take the 10 or 119 bus to the JFK Boulevard at Winfield Avenue stop.