Home Food + Drink La Isla {Uptown}: An Intimate Cuban Dining Experience

La Isla {Uptown}: An Intimate Cuban Dining Experience

by Megan Joseph
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In 2015, La Isla opened its second Hoboken location at 25 12th Street. The 100-seat space is much larger than its downtown counterpart, but it’s just as cozy and the food is just as authentic and delicious. We’re taking you inside La Isla Uptown for a closer look at its noteworthy Cuban menu and the lively atmosphere you’ll experience along with it. Read on to find out all about what La Isla Uptown has to offer as an intimate Cuban dining experience.

la isla uptown

About the Chef

Chef and owner Omar Giner opened La Isla Uptown after the downtown restaurant’s long-term success. Critically acclaimed by the New York Times, Trip Advisor, and the Food Network, this location is just as authentic as the original. According to the owner, it aims for a similar setting that would be at home in South Beach.

la isla owner

{Photo credit: Sparrow Wine}

See More: Cuban Restaurants in Hoboken and Jersey City: 8 Must-Visit Spots

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Giner keeps his heritage and culinary training in mind to create fresh Cuban cuisine. He takes inspiration from growing up in his Cuban home, various Spanish eateries in northern New Jersey, and NYC’s Nuevo Latino restaurant scene.

Beer, Wine, + Spirits

la isla mojito

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The restaurant features a full bar with over 40 unique wines by the glass, original tropical cocktails, and great happy hour specials Tuesday-Friday. These specials include $5 mojitos and half-price wine by the glass, draft beer, and specialty cocktails.

la isla sangria

For those in the mood for something spicy, the Pineapple Habanero Mojito is a mix of Bacardi pineapple, a pineapple + habanero purée, and lemon-lime soda with cilantro + fresh lime. It has the kick you need to get your meal started and the bartender will make the libation as spicy or as mild as you’d like. For fruity beverage lovers, La Isla’s sangria pitcher is made with either white, red, or sparkling wine. It’s made with rose-water, prosecco, and various liquors depending on the wine.

Recently added all-day drink specials include $5 Mojito Monday, On Tap Tuesday for half-priced draft beer, Wine Wednesday for half-priced wine by the glass, and Two for Thursday where your second drink is free.

Apps, Apps, and More Apps

la isla menu

^ The Torta de Cangrejo

Get this – appetizers during happy hour at the bar are also $5. Some of our faves include the tacos de carne asada {with grilled churrasco, avocado, sriracha aioli}, queso frito {manchego crusted queso fresco with spicy piquillo aioli}, and the ceviche tropical {fish ceviche with tropical fruits}.

If you’re not there for happy hour, La Isla’s regular menu appetizers are just as mouth-watering. Start with the torta de cangrejo, which includes two jumbo lump crab cakes with sriracha, grilled corn salsa, and chipotle aioli. If you’re looking for a chips ‘n’ dip app, try a La Isla staple, the black bean hummus with plantain chips. It’s flavored with sesame tahini, lime juice, and olive oil.

The Main Course

la isla cubansandwich

{Photo credit: Sparrow Wine}

Once you’ve indulged in some starters, La Isla’s entrée list is extensive, but not overwhelming. For something light, check out the Cuban sandwich or the Espinaca y Remolacha salad {baby spinach, mango, avocado, blue cheese, and macadamia nuts all dressed in a champagne vinaigrette}.

la isla food

Some mouthwatering entrees include the pollo al ajillo con espinaca and the churrasco con chimichurri. The white wine garlic cream sauce with the chicken is addicting and the skirt steak is grilled to a delicious perfection.

la isla yuca 2

No menu, however, is complete without a selection of enticing sides. Most entrees come with your choice of two. We recommend the moros y cristianos {black beans and rice}, tostones con mojo {twice fried green plantains with garlic sauce}, or yuca which comes fried or boiled.

Read More: Rumba Cubana in Jersey City: A Taste of  Cuba in Hamilton Park

Dessert + Espresso

{Photo credit: Sparrow Wine}

Most importantly, don’t forget to end your meal with an espresso and delicious treat from La Isla’s dessert menu. Chef Giner started his culinary work as a pastry chef and guests consider his desserts some of his best creations. We recommend the coconut mango cheesecake or the flan de leche tradicional, a Cuban crème with caramel sauce, coconut, and a berry on top.

La Isla Uptown is the best spot for an upscale happy hour, date night, or pals’ night at the restaurant’s sprawling bar. Be sure to check out this Cuban masterpiece if you haven’t already.

You can make reservations at La Isla Uptown via phone at 201-659-6090. The restaurant also offers discounted parking to its guests at the covered garage next door, just ask the hostess for a voucher.


Mondays:  Dinner: 5:00PM-10:00 PM; Tuesday-Friday: Breakfast: 8:00AM -11:30AM, Lunch: 11:30AM-4:00PM, Dinner: 5:00PM-10:00PM; Saturday: Breakfast: 8:00AM-12:00 PM, Lunch: 12:00PM-4:00PM, Dinner: 5:00PM-10:00PM;Sunday: Brunch: 10:00AM-4:00PM, and Dinner: 5:00PM-9:00PM.

Have you been to La Isla Uptown yet? Do you have a favorite dish? Let us know in the comments!

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