Home Food + Drink Cangiano’s, An Italian Market in the Heart of Jersey City’s Hamilton Park

Cangiano’s, An Italian Market in the Heart of Jersey City’s Hamilton Park

by Nicole Gittleman
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New Jersey isn’t naive to good Italian food. From pizza to pasta to antipasti and more, those who grew up in the Garden State likely consumed more tomatoes, basil, garlic, and mozzarella than those who grew up outside of the tri-state area. It’s no surprise that there are so many delicious Italian bakeries, delis, pizza places, and bistros in Hoboken and Jersey City to choose from. Back in spring 2020, at the start of the pandemic, a special Italian market called Cangiano’s opened up near Hamilton Park and became immediately beloved by locals at its 225 Pavonia Avenue storefront. Read on for more about Cangiano’s in Jersey City and a dive into the shop’s incredible variety of Italian specialties, pre-prepared foods, and market goods.

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A Community Market

In the fall of 2019, Norman Bonoan, Cosmo Cangiano, and Vincent Vallely opened a wildly successful sandwich shop in the Hamilton Square Courtyard named Cangiano’s whichwas a prelude to their next entrepreneurial move in Jersey City. Enter: Cangiano’s, an Italian specialties shop nestled on the corner of Erie Street and Pavonia Avenue, just a block off of Hamilton Park.

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Norman Bonoan and Cosmo Cangiano’s grandparents opened the first Cangiano’s in Brooklyn in 1919. SILVERMAN Building helped the partners bring their shared vision for the physical space to life.

When Cangiano’s opening was first announced in April 2020, during the height of the coronavirus, on Instagram, the team was very clear to customers that this was a soft, semi-rushed opening. At a time when many in Jersey City were struggling to get groceries from big box stores and delivery services that were backed up due to high demand, Cangiano’s was a slice of Italian heaven.

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The store, at first, had limited hours, restricted customers to 10 at a time, and had a limited selection of standard grocery items and Italian fare.

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Fast forward to November 2020, and it was clear that Cangiano’s certainly didn’t let a global pandemic stop them from finding continued success. In fact, the spot did the neighborhood some real good opening when they did. Cosmo Cangiano recalls, “It was something we felt we needed to do because at the time it was difficult for people to get food and we wanted to be there for the neighborhood.”

The reaction from residents who live near Hamilton Park has been extremely positive since, especially since there are not many grocery stores within tight proximity to the park. The partners told The Hoboken Girl back in 2021 that they have certainly, and thankfully, kept very busy since they opened.

 


Mangia! Cangiano’s Specialties

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One of the reasons why this market is so magnificent: You can do your full week’s grocery shopping at Cangiano’s — they have fresh bread, bagels, imported meats, sandwiches and cold cuts, cookies, pastries, coffee and espresso, drinks, fresh mozzarella, and cheeses from around the world at the market, among other items.

While many cafés in the area serve brunch fare and close in the later afternoon, Cangiano’s has options for locals hungry for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In the morning, the marketplace serves fresh coffee, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches to order.

When the afternoon hits, you’d be wise to hit the Cangiano sandwich counter. Sandwiches are piled high with prosciutto, eggplant, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, pesto, fresh ham, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, provolone, mortadella, grilled chicken, and more on a picture-perfect roll.

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Not in the mood for a hero? Cangiano’s has a hot food section with options that change daily. There’s usually an eggplant parmigiana and chicken cutlet option — classics. Towards the late afternoon, prior to the dinner rush, Cangiano’s swaps in some dinner-worthy meals like prime steaks, pork chops, fresh Alaskan salmon, and homemade sausage that’s made in-house daily.

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On top of the hot bar, Cangiano’s has an impressive array of cheese, including homemade mozzarella which they make over four times a day, pending demand. The store imports cheese and charcuterie from all over the world, serves up dozens of styles of home-baked bread and pastries, curates dried and canned goods (i.e. pasta and sauces) to shop from, and also has standard groceries like milk, eggs, and produce, among other items.

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Cosmo Cangiano’s favorite part of the store? The dessert case. It’s pretty hard to leave the market without scooping up an order of the homemade tiramisu. Not to fear gluten-free readers, Cangiano’s also touts a great gluten-free variety of pasta and desserts from Italy, locally made.

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See More: Mercado: A Portuguese Marketplace Concept in Montclair

The family behind the Italian marketplace is so grateful to have found a community to call home in Hamilton Park, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cangiano’s hopes to be a mainstay for quite some time and looks forward to continuing to serve Jersey City.

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Visit Cangiano’s website, catering menu, or find the daily menu on its online ordering site. Follow Cangiano’s on Instagram at @cangianosjerseycity. The market is open Monday through Friday from 7AM to 7PM, on Saturdays from 8AM to 6PM and on Sundays from 8AM to 4PM.

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