How to Spend a Day in Little India, Jersey City

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There are a lot of great things about India — the food, culture, languages and of course the warm, welcoming people. The rich cultural heritage combined with the vibrancy of diversity makes it a special place to visit, and luckily, all of this can be experienced in ‘Little India’ — which is just a few steps away from the Journal Square PATH station in Jersey City. Read along as Risha, our Team HG contributor originally from India, shares how to spend a few hours eating, shopping, and exploring the Little India area of Jersey City.

little india jersey city

Where To Eat 

One of the things associated with India is spicy food. It has long been known for its famous spices and mouth-watering dishes, and there are one too many appetizing options available in the area depending on what particular cuisine you’re looking for. Here are a few of our favorites + noteworthy spots:

Bikanervala {815 Newark Avenue}

Each state in India is famous for its own cuisine and a visit to Bikanervala will make it possible to try every lip-smacking dish. They have a variety of sweet, savory, and spicy options to choose from, the highlight being the ‘Chole Bhature’ which is a combination of chana masala served with fried bread and onions on the side. The perfect complement to this spicy dish is the ‘Mal Pua’ which is a sweet fried pancake made with flour, sugar and topped with condensed milk and cardamom.

Chennai Dosa Express {2986 John F. Kennedy Boulevard}

Dosa is without a doubt, the epitome of South Indian food. A dosa is a thin pancake or crepe made with lentils and rice. It is usually stuffed with mashed potatoes cooked in masala and served with colorful chutney on the side. It tastes best when hot, and the crispiness of the first bite is sure to make the experience of trying it totally worth it!

Curry On {765 Newark Avenue}

Curry On

Enjoy Indian cuisine at this intimate eatery that features biryani, curry dishes, and other classics for dining-in, takeout, and delivery. Doubling as a lounge, this a go-to spot to enjoy a night out with friends.

Deccan Spice {771 Newark Avenue}

Deccan Spice

One of the staples and must-try on the menu is the ‘Deccan Special Biryani’. It is a rich and flavorful layered Indian dish made with rice, meat, and a whole lot of Indian spices. It takes a good amount of time to make and is worth every bite.

Read More: A Guide to Indian Food in Hoboken + Jersey City

EggMania {14 Liberty Avenue}

EggMania

{Photo credit: @eggmania}

EggMania, as the name represents, is a specialized restaurant for Egg Delicacies. Combining the health and nutritional benefits with spices and flavors from India, their menu is quite delectable. Menu highlights are egg bhurji — scrambled eggs with veggies and masala, angoori fry — sliced eggs topped with sunny-side-up over omelet combo with rich white gray, and boil tikka — sliced boiled eggs in buttery tomato-based gravy with a strong flavor of garlic and chilly.

Hot Breads {808 Newark Avenue}

India is popularly known for its street food vendors who serve up some of the most appetizing snacks you could ask for. The Pani Puri is a must-try and takes the taste buds on a journey to heaven. The crisp fried dough (puri) is stuffed with potatoes, sprouts and dipped in spicy tangy water and sweet chutney. While this is enough reason to visit, Hot Breads has an entire station dedicated just to this and serves around 8 varieties of tangy flavors {pani} to choose from.

Paratha Junction {779 Newark Avenue}

Paratha Junction

{Photo credit: @parathajunctionjc}

Naan is great, but a hot paratha topped with ghee is absolutely dreamy. A paratha is a type of flatbread that is rolled out multiple times and often stuffed with flavorful vegetables. The famous ones are Aloo paratha, Gobhi {Cauliflower} paratha, and for all the cheese-lovers, there’s a chilli cheese paratha. It is often topped with a delicious load of butter and served alongside a bowl of yoghurt, that acts as a dipping sauce.

Rajbhog Sweets {812 Newark Avenue}

No meal is complete without dessert, especially when Indian cuisine offers a variety of options to dig into. Many Indian desserts are fried and made with ghee, condensed milk, and sugar as the main base and combined with other ingredients depending on what part of India the sweet originates from. Rajbhog Sweets has a range of items to choose from, and don’t be surprised if you end up ordering almost everything.

Samosa Paradise {804 Newark Avenue}

Samosa Paradise

{Photo credit: Samosa Paradise}

As the name suggests, this place is a true foodie paradise. When the spice of a samosa needs to be neutralized with a tinge of sweetness, be sure to try their colorful orange jalebis {a sweet Indian dish made with flour, sugar, ghee, and saffron}. The menu is reasonably priced and they also offer ‘small samosa chat trays’ that serve as a perfect appetizer when hosting.

Sapthagiri Taste Of India {737 Newark Avenue}

sapthagiri-jersey-city

Sapthagiri’s menu boasts an exclusive array of meals from all parts of India, and this purely vegetarian restaurant is dedicated to bringing spices and culture to the plate. They are particularly famous for their South-Indian menu which comprises dosa, idly, pongal and upma. The South Indian Thali is a great way to try a small portion of all the varieties they have to offer.

Szechuan Mirchi {850 Newark Avenue}

Szechuan Mirchi

{Photo credit: Szechuan Mirchi}

There’s Chinese food and Indian food. Fun fact: there is also Indo-Chinese food which is a merger of ingredients like soy sauce and vinegar with garlic, ginger, and chile peppers used to create unique dishes with amped-up flavors. The menu is totally drool-worthy and the food brings with it a burst of unique flavors.

Where To Shop

Grocery Shopping in Little India is a unique experience by itself. From packaged foods to frozen snacks, it is a true treat for the eyes and palate.

Apna Bazaar {2975 John F. Kennedy Boulevard}

This grocery chain makes it easy to stock up on party snacks, healthy food options, and binge-worthy munchies.

Patel Brothers {780-782 Newark Avenue}

Patel Brothers

{Photo credit: Patel Brothers}

They have a wide variety of authentic regional ingredients and strive to reconnect people with the familiar flavor of India. Must-haves in the cart: frozen mini samosa, frozen aloo paratha, ready-to-eat Indian curries, variety of naan {garlic, onion, butter} and all the items from the snacks section.

See More: The Best Indian Food Restaurants in Hoboken, Jersey City, + Beyond

Sunanda Kumar – Indian Clothing + Jewelry {11 Liberty Avenue}

Sunanda Kumar

{Photo credit: Sunanda Kumar}

India is known for its celebrations, weddings, and fashion. This is a small store bringing in a little bit of everything from all parts of the region. They sell basic kurtis {tunics} palazzo sets, and small to heavy bridal wear.  There’s also fashion jewelry {both gold and silver} that can be paired with any Indian or western outfit.

Religious Temples

Indian religions, especially the Hindu faith, offer numerous Gods and Goddesses to seek blessings from. A visit to these temples offers an insight into Indian culture and a lot of good vibes to carry forward.

Govinda Sanskar Center {783 Newark Avenue}

As per Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna has several names, and Govinda is one of them. He is the God of compassion, tenderness, love and widely revered among Indian divinities. The temple is centrally located in Journal Square and is worth visiting when in the area.

Hanuman Ji Temple {781 Newark Avenue}

Ramayana is a Sanskrit epic of ancient India, and in that Lord Hanuman is one of the most fascinating characters. Hanuman is known as the wind God and several yogic philosophies worship him for his strength and energy. Devotees often turn to him during times of uncertainty and seek blessings for better times ahead.

Sri Satyanarayan Dham {3035 John F Kennedy Boulevard}

Sri Satyanarayan Dham is an Indian temple that has all the Hindu lords and deities. The temple performs an Arti {ceremony of lights} at 7PM every day and Sai aarti every Thursday.

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Written by:

Originally from India, in search of a place she could call home, Risha finally found her space in Home Sweet Hoboken. She currently works in advertising in New York City and loves to write about mindfulness and positivity. Her happiness lies in her morning routine - catching a sunrise at Maxwell Park, yoga by the pier followed by a hot cup of Joe before kickstarting the day. She equally loves her happy hours and can be found sipping a beer (or a few more) around the local spots. Her guilty pleasure is Garlic Naan and a big bowl of frozen yogurt enjoyed by the skyline.