• Exploring Jersey City: The Heights

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    The nights are getting cool, and pretty soon the leaves will start turning those beautiful fall hues. You know what that means — adventure time! Late summer and early autumn make the perfect time to explore a new neighborhood. We’ve taken you on a brief tour of the Van Vorst Park, Paulus Hook, Village, and Hamilton Park neighborhoods. So now, let’s take a look inside The Jersey City Heights.

    History

    Like most of Jersey City and the surrounding area, The Heights in JC was part of the New Netherlands complex in the 1700s. The Heights later became an independent municipality called Hudson City, and only became part of Jersey City in 1869. As the neighborhood was originally settled by the the Dutch West India Company — predominantly the Van Vorst family in the early 18th century — many historic buildings still remain. The oldest house in Hudson county, a Van Vorst family home built in 1742 and located on Palisade Avenue, is a reminder of the history The Heights carries into the present day.

    Read more: 10 Facts You Might Not Know About JC

    Eating and Drinking

    Modcup Cafe {479 Palisade Avenue}

    If you’re in the mood for a tasty, artisanal, made-to-order caffeinated beverage, Modcup Cafe should be your first stop in The Heights. This Modcup is one of 4 locations {including the retro Modcup truck} serving amazingly aromatic and delicious coffee. This tiny shop is always jam-packed with caffeine seeking loyal customers, so there will be a line when you get there. Don’t worry! The friendly people and great coffee are worth the wait. Open seven days a week.

    Fox and Crow {594 Palisade Avenue}

    When you’re dreaming of that down-home Brooklyn vibe but live in JC, the Fox and Crow pub and music joint is what you need. You won’t have trouble finding this establishment when you see the brightly painted exterior, though the inside of the bar has a much calmer and rustic feel. The food at the Fox and Crow is simple and tasty, with an alternative menu for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re looking to hear some live music, the Fox and Crow has a secondary space where live music is played almost every night – check the website for featured acts. Open seven days a week.

    Read more: Your Guide to Live Music in Hoboken + JC this August

    The Hutton {225 Hutton Street}

    This welcoming gastropub is just what the doctor ordered. The Hutton has just about anything you might want on their tasty menu. From juicy steaks and shellfish to heart-healthy vegan options, you won’t be disappointed the next time you enjoy a meal at this restaurant. If you’re looking for lighter fare, The Hutton also has a bar menu {food included} with an extensive list of cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits. Open every day of the week and serving brunch on the weekends, you may never want to cook at home again with The Hutton as a food option in your neighborhood.

    Ozu Foods {106 Hutton Street}

    Read More: The Best Sushi in Hoboken and Jersey City {According to Your Mood}

    When the weather is hot and you’re thinking about future beach days, a refreshing Japanese meal might be exactly what you’re craving. Ozu Foods is a tiny shop with limited seating but delicious food. With countless bento box and poke bowl options, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy. If you don’t want to try to dine at the restaurant, you can easily order online. Everything on the menu is healthy and fresh, so you can’t go wrong! Closed Sunday and Monday.

    Dulce De Leche Bakery {376 Central Avenue}

    These Argentinian desserts and delights have only been gracing NJ since 2007, but we can’t imagine a time when we couldn’t get our churro fix. The Heights location of Dulce De Leche opened in 2016, and it has been a hit ever since. Serving up desserts, custom cakes, sandwiches, tartas and more, there really is something for everyone on your list. This location is open, bright, and spacious, but it’s always full of happy customers {and a long line}. Don’t let the wait stop you from trying Dulce De Leche, because it’s absolutely worth taking a little extra time to enjoy a slice of Argentina. Open seven days a week.

    Congress Station {589 Palisade Avenue}

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    If you’re the kind of person who can’t start their day without a jolt of caffeine or a classic Jersey breakfast sandwich, head on over to Congress Station. Well known for serving the sought-after Intelligentsia Coffee and both tasty and healthy treats, there are so many great options to pick whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or just want a place to relax. Like most places in the area, the shop is fairly small, but the people that work there are warm and welcoming, so it’s worth getting cozy. Open seven days a week.

    Corkscrew Bar {61 Congress Street}

    The Corkscrew Bar is the exactly the kind of establishment you can head to when the game is on or you’re looking for a simple and tasty brunch on the weekends. A homey spot with a down-home feel, you don’t need any frills to enjoy yourself with family and friends here. With an extensive beer and cocktail list and classic bar food {think burgers, wings etc.}, you’ll find something yummy on all of their menus. A fun classic on the weekend brunch menu is chicken + waffles — well worth ordering at least once. Open seven days a week.

    Bang Cookies Factory {1183 Summit Avenue}

    Sometimes that sweet tooth takes over and you have to have a sugar fix. When that happens, Bang Cookies Factory is the place to go. Offering cookies baked to order with all organic ingredients, these cookies are a slice of heaven. The factory on Summit Avenue is not a brick and mortar store, just a factory, but you can pick up your cookie orders there or have them delivered to your house for free. If you need your cookie fix multiple times a month, you can subscribe to Bang Cookie Factory and they will bring you homemade cookies on repeat {ammmmmaaazing}.

    Read more: The Best Spots for Chocolate Chip Cookies in Hoboken + JC

    Choc-O-Pain {Palisade Avenue}

    This coffee shop meets bakery is the place to go if you’re looking for a cup of joe with a side of Zen. Choc-O-Pain finally has opened its location in the Heights {after being temporarily housed at 942 Summit last year} — and now residents and visitors can enjoy croissants, petit kouigns, and tartes without having to travel east. BONUS: Free wifi!

    The Cliff {38 Congress Street}

    The last time we visited this new addition to The Heights was in April, but we want to talk about it one more time. This healthy Icelandic coffee shop is a must do for coffee and vegetable lovers alike. Touting wholesome food and killer coffee, The Cliff is exactly what it says and serves breakfast, lunch, and brunch. The rustic boho chic feel at The Cliff makes you want to stay a while, but if you can’t you can always take your healthy meal to go.

    Shopping/Things to do

    Riverview Farmer’s Market/Riverview Park {Riverview Park}

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    Read More: A Guide to Farmers Markets in Hoboken, Jersey City, and JC Heights

    One of the best ways to spend a sunny weekend day is at a local farmer’s market, and The Heights is hopping with options. The Riverview Farmers Market located in — you guessed it — Riverview park is a great place to experience a bit of nature with a side of city. This market is open every Sunday from 10AM until 3PM from now until the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Every Sunday, the market has countless vendors carrying local farm foods, tasty treats to go, natural skin remedies, clothing, merchandise, and more. For a full list of vendors, you can always check the website here. And don’t miss out on the extra activities at the farmer’s market that include Yoga in the Heights {see below}, jazz music, cooking demos, and so much more.

    Yoga in the Heights {317 Central Avenue}

    When the hustle and bustle is too much to handle, there’s nothing like taking a great yoga class to stretch the body and relax the mind. At Yoga in the Heights, that goal is easily accomplished. This roomy studio offers wonderful class options from yoga basics to intensive flow yoga to meditation. Yoga in the Heights prides itself on being a community, and it really is just that. A weekly participant at the Riverview Farmers Market on Sundays, it’s great to have yoga both indoors and outside when the weather is nice. The studio also offers massage, acupuncture, and reiki sessions, so go ahead and treat yo’self. Open seven days a week.

    The Nail Loft {389 Central Avenue}

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    Sometimes a girl just needs a mani-pedi, and The Nail Loft is more than happy to help you with that. This spacious salon is exactly what the doctor ordered. The interior of The Nail Loft is clean and welcoming with great decorations and pretty accent chairs. You can get a mani-pedi for $30 and the rest of the services are equally affordable. The salon is usually fairly busy, so be sure to call and make an appointment online before you go.

    Leonard Gordon Park {3305 John F Kennedy Boulevard}

    Leonard Gordon Park, also known as Mosquito Park, is another lovely green space to visit in The Heights section of JC. The park is well known for two famous sculptures of a buffalo and a bear by the artist Solon Hannibal Borglum {1868-1922}. The park is a great place to spend a summer day or walk through on a cool evening with many of the establishments listed above only a short walk away!

    Pershing Field Park/Community Center {201 Central Avenue}

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    This gem is one of the largest parks in JC with nearly 13.5 acres of land available to the community. The park is named after General John J. Pershing, a famous general from World War I. The park area was used as a military training ground during the war, and the name serves as a nod to its history. There is a beautiful arch when you enter the park, which is a reconstruction of a wall from the Fourth Regiment Armory that was destroyed in 1927. Beyond the great history that this park holds, Pershing Field also has several playgrounds, a public pool, and an ice skating rink. And if that weren’t enough, the park establishment provides swimming, fitness, scuba, skating, and art classes.

     

    What is your favorite place in The Heights? Tell us about it in the comments and tag us in your pics on IG @HobokenGirlBlog or #HobokenGirl!

     


    Written by:

    Carianne is a loud-and-proud Jersey Girl. She moved to Hoboken in 2012, and what began as a stopover in this tiny urban town has turned into 4 years of exciting adventures. She works in NYC during the week, but during those free hours of the day you’ll find her seeking out a new fitness class, trying a challenging ( and clean-eating) recipe, or running around Hoboken and JC in search of new experiences. However, Carianne’s favorite activity is snuggling her fluffy Shih-Tzu companion, Fig Newton, at home with her husband.


    4 comments

    • Carianne,

      Thanks for posting picture of Jersey City Reservoir #3- it is part of the complex at Pershing Field that allows fishing on most weekdays and weekends during the spring, summer and fall. It is also preserved by Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance. The reservoir at one time was where drinking water was stored for JC and it is also historically significant because it was the first place in the world that helped supply chlorinated water to a city.

      Reply
    • You forgot to mention that the Heights is already home to an ethnically diverse working-class population whose businesses have been there long before these stores existed. Heights is way more than a place for rich youth to explore and exploit.

      Reply
    • In all fairness, this post explores new developments in The Heights more than it does the community. While the businesses you’ve listed are great, it’s a pretty one-sided perspective on The Heights. The Heights is diverse, with a strong population of latinos/latinas, yet there isn’t one business representative of that on your list?

      Please use your platform to shed light on communities as a whole. Here are some, but not all, of the great businesses in The Heights.

      – Los Tres Chilitos
      – Gino’s Pizzeria
      – El Sabroso
      – Rumba’s Cafe
      – Andrea Salumeria
      – Dark Side of the Moo Cafe

      Reply

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