• Loquito {Hoboken’s First Lebanese-Inspired Taqueria} Opens on Washington Street

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    For the last two summers, a taco shop called Loquito set up a pop-up shop inside of O’Bagel on Washington Street. And the rest was history {+ major fandom} — plus a lot of good food in between. Today, Loquito has officially opened up its own flagship brick-and-mortar store in Hoboken and is bringing Lebanese-inspired tacos to town more than ever before.

    If you didn’t know, Loquito — now located at 217 Washington Street, the former home of Sauced — is also from the owner of O’Bagel. Hoboken’s Historic Preservation Committee heard an application for the restaurant’s signage back in June and ever since then, restoration has been moving along. Keep reading to learn all about Loquito, Hoboken’s first Lebanese-inspired taco spot now open on Washington Street. 

    loquitos tacos

    The Backstory

    loquito hoboken

    loquito owners

    Loquito’s tacos are inspired by Lebanese cuisine, and according to its official Instagram account, it claims to be the first-ever Lebanese-inspired taqueria. Chef Stephen El-Hassan is the man behind the menu — {he was the man behind the pop-up, too!} — and co-owner of O’Bagel. El-Hassan is also enlisting the help of his sister, Helengrace El-Hassan, and Sammy Abdo.

    See More: The Best Tacos in Hoboken and Jersey City

    Chef El-Hassan has served Man Vs. Food when the crew came to Hoboken to try out O’Bagel and is also an alumni of the Manhattan International Culinary Center. He has been featured on Food Network for his bagel creations {including the infamous Jumbo Bagel and Jumbo Pizza}.

    The Food

    loquitos dish 1

    So, what exactly is a Lebanese taqueria and what kind of food can patrons expect? Well, Loquito seems to put a Lebanese-style twist on each of their dishes. This includes shawarma meat, pan árabe {which is a bread a lot like pita}, and more. On the menu, you’ll also find various bowls, waffle fries, braised short ribs, and more.

    “Quality is everything to us,” the owners of Loquito explained in a recent Instagram post. “Every item on our menu is made in-house. Choose from healthy bowls, tacos, and flavorful sides.”

    Not to mention, Loquito is committed to making sure plant-based eaters have options, too. “For our vegan friends, besides our proteins, there is something perfect for you, too.”

    The menu will include bases {tacos, bowls — with a choice of brown rice, white rice, romaine lettuce}, proteins {pollo shawarma, kifta, avocado falafel, za’atar carnitas}, style {various dressings including a garlic lemon-dressed pico de Arabes, the Rojo with garlic and tahini mole, fresh pomegranate, fresh mint, etc}.

    Pricing

    They also added a sneak-peek of their prices, stating on Instagram that bowls start at $9.95, tacos at $4.95. We went today and can confirm — with various add-ons being extra.

    Read More: Los Cuernos in Jersey City: The Newest {+ Tastiest} Venture From Taqueria

    The Experience

    loquitos dish 2

    ^Today’s lunch from Loquito

    Loquito’s food has already been tried by a few on our team {Sidenote: #OMG it’s pretty damn good} — along with some local foodies, including @hashtagfoodpic. Stucchio wrote on IG, “Do I have your attention? TODAY IS OPENING DAY OF @eatloquito!!!! The team behind @obagel_family has taken on a new food adventure: a Lebanese inspired taqueria.”

    She continued, “If you’re in Hoboken today, stop by and taste the magic. I’m bummed I can’t make it in on opening day, so please get in there for me! Drop a comment if you’re as pumped as I am for this new spot and let me know what you try if you go!”

    Chef El-Hassan was also excited for today’s grand unveiling. Leading up to the taqueria’s opening, the chef has been posting pictures hyping people up for the big reveal. “When you find out you passed inspections!” he captioned a pic of himself smiling four days ago.

    He also revealed on IG three weeks ago that he plays favorites when it comes to his taco creations.

    “My favorite taco is the El Rojo – pollo shawarma or kifta with a tahini mole, fresh pomegranates, turmeric pickled onions, toasted sesame seeds, and Chiffonade mint.”

    We went by and got a taste of the new magic that is Loquito for lunch {though we knew it’d be great — as Stephen’s brainchild was a hit from the start, two years ago}. The space is small, but just what you need for a quick taco pick-me-up on any given day or night.  Safe to say, we’re excited that some unique cuisine is gracing the Mile Square. Welcome to the neighborhood!

    Are you planning on trying out Loquito? Let us know in the comments below!


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    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.