Frankie + Ava’s: Hoboken’s Cozy Italian Restaurant on Washington

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Washington Street is busy — that is a fact. Bustling stores, busy restaurants, and heavy traffic are hard not to find on Wash. But, nestled a stone’s throw away from the busy hustle and bustle of the thoroughfare is a cozy, family-owned Italian eatery called Frankie + Ava’s, located at 208 Washington Street. This restaurant is known for its diverse menu, filled with hearty and healthy options for all to enjoy. Team HG had the opportunity to sit down and chat with owner Frank DiGiacomo to learn about the history of his restaurant as well as what the menu has to offer. 

Frank’s Roots in the Industry

{Photo credit: @frankieandavas}

Frank is certainly not new to the restaurant industry, after owning Frank Anthony’s Gourmet Italian in Verona for 15 years. He decided that his next venture would be to open up shop in the city he and his family have called home since 1996 — Hoboken. Frank and his wife, Jill have two children, Frankie and Ava, now 15 and 12, who are the inspiration behind the restaurant’s name. Frank, although not a trained chef, attended culinary school under the direction of some very influential figures in his life — his grandparents and his mom. With their guidance and recipes, Frank learned the ins and outs of Italian cuisine with influence from their hometowns in Naples and Sicily. 

Read More: The Best Spots for Gnocchi in Hoboken + Jersey City

The Menu

frankie avas hoboken

{Photo credit: @frankieandavas}

The menu at Frankie + Ava’s is filled with many different options, including sandwiches, salads, pasta, and more savory options. This menu has been long-standing since its opening in 2015, but Frank is planning on adding more to it soon. “We are hoping to change things up as we want to do more sit down dining,” Frank explained. “I was always more of a grab-and-go kind of person but we are working on developing some new stuff, especially for the new dine-in situation we currently have.” 

And while everything on the menu is drool-worthy, Frank certainly picked out quite a few dishes loved by all who visit. “The Frankie D is a huge hit with customers,” boasted Frank, stuffed with chicken cutlet, eggplant, roasted sweet peppers, hot soppressata, and fresh mozzarella. Other favorites include The Zecki {chicken cutlet, prosciutto, fresh homemade mozzarella, roasted peppers, arugula, and balsamic}, The Zarrillo {chicken cutlet, fresh homemade mozzarella, bruschetta, arugula, and balsamic}, and the Buffalo Chicken Balls, which he created with inspiration from a recipe he saw on The Food Network. 

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It’s pretty much a fact that all great restaurants have a secret, hidden menu and, well, if you know, then you know! You won’t find this on the menu but it is a must-try: — chicken parm with vodka sauce. This twist on an otherwise classic dish is everything you would imagine – savory, flavorful, and dripping in deliciousness. Another hidden gem on the menu is the Sunday Sauce {sauce drenched baby back ribs, meatballs, and sausage over your choice of pasta}, which is only featured at certain times. Ultimately, Frankie + Ava’s is really able to make anything or change the recipe to fit your needs. “If we have it, we can adapt it. We can do anything, really,” Frank told us. 

The Impact of COVID-19

Now, with the current dining situation in NJ due to COVID, Frankie + Ava’s will be making some modifications to meet the needs of its guests. Outdoor seating is available and is serving the community every day of the week from 11:00AM-8:00PM. Additionally, the restaurant is also open for takeout and pickup. Frank and his team ask that you please respect social distancing guidelines and wear a mask upon entering the restaurant. Frank is truly grateful for the support from the local community and is looking forward to welcoming more guests in the near future.

Have you tried Frankie and Ava’s cuisine yet? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hoboken homeowner and lover of all things local, Danielle made her home in the Mile Square City nearly six years ago. Danielle is a second grade teacher by day; after hours, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up a a new recipe or grabbing a bite to eat with her husband and friends. Danielle is the try-er and buyer of all things beauty and loves finding a good deal. Shopping on Washington, interior decorating, and riding her Peloton are just a few of Danielle's favorite things. Oh, and did we mention her undying love for the New York Yankees?