A Guide to McGinley Square in Jersey City

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McGinley Square is an area of Jersey City that is quickly gaining popularity as a hotspot and is also considered the heart of Jersey City. Located near the middle of the city, south of Journal Square, the “square” itself is at the intersection of two of the city’s major thoroughfares, Montgomery Street and Bergen Avenue. This neighborhood is quickly burgeoning with lots of shops, restaurants, bars — and new places to explore. The McGinley Square Special Improvement District has also helped in boosting this neighborhood, creating a weekly pop-up Pedestrian Plaza on weekends. Keep reading for a guide to exploring the McGinley Square in Jersey City — and make sure to bookmark this for your next adventure.

Eat + Drink

Here are a few of the best spots for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery in the McGinley Square neighborhood.

ITA Italian Kitchen {682 Bergen Avenue}

ita italian kitchen jersey city

{Photo credit: @itajerseycity}

If you are looking for a cozy spot with delicious Italian fare, look no further than ITA Italian Kitchen which recently opened in the area right before the pandemic. ITA offers a variety of pizzas, pasta, and classic Italian dishes, as well as a full bar. The restaurant has gluten-free and vegan options. It is closed on Mondays and opens for dine-in and takeout and delivery. Read more here.

Carvao BBQ {686 Bergen Avenue}

carvao bbq jersey city

{Photo credit: @carvaobbq}

Right next door to ITA Italian Kitchen is its sister restaurant, Carvao BBQ. Carvao is an open-pit BBQ spot and bar and the spot to enjoy wings, ribs, burgers {vegan option available}, steaks, sandwiches, and a selection of seafood. If supporting your favorite sports team is your thing, this is the spot to grab a bit and a drink and enjoy games played on its 13flat-screen TVs. Carvao is closed on Mondays and open for dine-in and takeout and delivery.

Champs Chics and Waffles {688 Bergen Avenue}

champs chics waffles jersey city

{Photo credit: @chics4sale}

When you are looking for some quick and delicious takeout, Champs Chics and Waffles is the spot to try! This new restaurant opened right after the pandemic hit and has been wowing the neighborhood with its creative spin on traditional chicken and waffles. The savory Wake + Bake features bacon egg and cheese between two warm waffles, while the sweet Nana is a warm waffle with Nutella and banana. Try one of the chicken and waffle sandwiches with Champs’ signature sauce, fries, and mac and cheese. This spot is closed on Mondays and open for takeout and delivery.

Astor Bar + Grill {725 Montgomery Street}

astor bar and grill jersey city

{Photo credit: @astorbar}

If you are looking for an old-fashioned neighborhood mainstay, Astor Bar + Grill is the spot to check out. This local neighborhood bar + grill pairs American sandwiches and platters with beer and cocktails. Astor offers wings, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and much more. Astor also has an extensive list of daily specials. It is closed on Mondays and open for dine-in and takeout and delivery.

McGinley Square Pub {755 Montgomery Street}

mcgineley square pub jersey city

{Photo credit: @mcginley_square_pub}

McGinley Square Pub is the spot to get vintage craft beer, happy hour specials, and great bites. This pub offers traditional bar appetizers like jalapeno poppers, wings, and drunken mac n’ cheese poppers {yum!}. The menu also has Angus burgers, veggie burgers, and sausage and pepper onion patties. This local also has bar pies and “snacks” such as hot dogs, pork roll egg and cheese sandwiches, and Jamaican beef patty {yes those are under snacks}. Grab a drink or a mojito quarantine to go {also available in mango, guava, and passion fruit}. McGinley Square Pub is open seven days a week and is open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.

Read More: Best Salad Spots in Jersey City, According to Locals

Wonder Bagels {729 Bergen Avenue}

wonder bagels jersey city

{Photo credit: @wonderbagels729}

This popular spot has several locations in Jersey City and has been serving up fresh daily bagels for 30 years. Wonder Bagels offers breakfast sandwiches with options for eggs, Taylor ham, wonder wrap, steak and egg wraps, and omelets. The bagel selection and combinations are endless, with a variety of fresh cream cheese, and bagels can be chosen for any of their sandwiches. The locale also has gourmet salads sandwiches, paninis, burgers, fresh Boar’s Head sandwiches, quesadillas, and more. It is open daily until 4:00PM and offers take out, delivery, and catering.

Crema {1 Duncan Avenue}

crema jersey city

If you enjoy freshly made ice cream, delicious coffee, breakfast sandwiches, brunch, and pastries, then Crema is the spot to check out! This cozy corner shop serves up a selection of coffees such as espressos and lattes and offers a range of delicious sweet treats such as macaroons, muffins, and other fresh-baked pastries. Crema has a variety of traditional ice cream flavors {with vegan options too}. It also serves up a wide selection of artisanal toasts like braised brisket with caramelized onions, red wine, and scallions or vegan toasts with eggplant pepper spread, cucumbers, tomatoes, radish, and olive oil. Crema is open seven days a week and is open for takeout and delivery.

Tlaloc Taqueria {713 Bergen Avenue}

When you’re craving authentic Mexican food, Tlaloc Taqueria is the spot to check out in McGinley Square. This cash-only cozy spot offers traditional dishes such as soups, tortas, burritos, tostadas, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, and much more. It also serves traditional Mexican desserts such as Arroz con Leche and flan. Tlaloc is open seven days a week for takeout.

Prince of Pizza {763 Bergen Avenue}

prince of pizza jersey city

{Photo credit: @princeofpizza}

This popular pizza spot is family-owned-and-operated since 1967. Its extensive menu offers traditional {onions, peppers, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese} and chicken Florentine pizza {chicken cutlets, cherry tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil aioli} to name a few. This eatery also offers traditional appetizers like wings, garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, and soups, salads, heroes, and paninis. The extensive menu also has deluxe burgers, wraps, seafood, desserts, and much more. It is open seven days a week for takeout and delivery.

Our Hero’s Sandwich Shop {785 Bergen Avenue}

This popular family-owned, and operated sandwich shop specializes in fine meats and fresh bread and has been in the neighborhood for more than thirty years. Heroes and salads are available at this old-school cash-only spot and they have a wide variety of toppings to make the sandwich possibilities endless. This spot is a popular one among locals and Our Hero’s has kept their traditional sandwiches and prices consistent throughout the years. They are closed on Sundays and are currently doing takeout only.

Rinconcito Copaneco {15 Jordan Avenue}

riconcito copaneco jersey city

{Photo credit: Rinconcito Copaneco}

When you are craving authentic Honduran food, look no further than Rinconcito Copaneco in McGinley Square. This Honduran spot is as authentic as it gets, with the menu entirely in Spanish. It offers traditional Honduran breakfast baleadas {think flour tortillas filled with fried red beans, eggs, meat, and queso cream}. Rinconcito also offers traditional pupusas {griddle cake or flatbread}, enchiladas, tacos, pasteles {like empanadas}, carne asada {grilled beef}, seafood, grilled chicken and much more. It is open seven days a week for takeout.

Alex Sazon Restaurant {749 Bergen Avenue}

alex-sazon restaurant jersey city

{Photo credit: @alexsazonrestaurant}

This Dominican spot is the newest addition to McGinley Square. It opened at the end of July and offers traditional Dominican food. The breakfast options include mashed plantains, yuca, green bananas, mashed potatoes, sausage, and omelets. Alex Sazon is also serving up Dominican-style sandwiches with fried pork chops, skirt steak, fried chicken, and additional Dominican staples. The menu also includes soups, salads, seafood, and traditional Dominican style rice and sides. It is open seven days a week for takeout.

Guerrero Restaurant {6 Jordan Avenue}

guerrero restaurant jersey city

{Photo credit: @guerrerorestuarantjc}

If you’re craving authentic Mexican food, look no further than Guerrero Restaurant in McGinley Square. At Guerrero, you can find authentic tacos, burritos, nachos, fajitas, tortas, soups, quesadillas, and much more Mexican fare. This family-owned business will make you feel like you are transported to Mexico with the restaurant’s traditional dishes and friendly staff. Guerrero Restaurant is open seven days a week for takeout.

Coconut Latin Grill {681 Montgomery Street}

coconut latin grill jersey city

[Photo credit: @coconutlatingrill}

When you need an escape to the Caribbean and are craving Dominican-Caribbean style eats, Coconut Latin Grill is the spot to check out. The most popular items include mashed plantains with salami, egg or cheese, curry shrimp mango, and coconut, Cuban sandwiches, and BBQ ribs. Guests can enjoy Caribbean-style breakfast, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, all with a Latin-Caribbean twist. This locale also serves up several types of mofongo, a Puerto Rican dish with fried plantains that are picked green, fried, then mashed with salt, garlic, broth, and olive oil. Coconut Latin grill also offers up a variety of desserts, shakes, natural juices, and much more. It is open seven days a week for takeout and delivery.

3 Coffee Beans {658 Montgomery Street}

Family-owned and operated since 2009, this authentic Mexican spot offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and prides itself on using local natural ingredients and making every meal feel like Mom’s home cooking. It serves up guacamole, tortas, a variety of pasta, burritos, quesadillas, and fajitas. It is closed on Sundays and offers takeout, delivery, and catering.

Chicken Delight {731 Montgomery Street}

chicken delight jersey city

{Photo credit: Chicken Delight}

If you are looking for no-frills, real-deal fried chicken, this popular spot in McGinley Square is the place to go. Chicken Delight has been offering their chicken, ribs, and pizza since 1965 and calls itself. The Best Chicken Jersey City.” The traditional “Chicken Delight” includes four pieces of juicy fresh chicken, French fries, potatoes, and a dinner roll. The combo meals combine options of fried chicken, BBQ ribs, shrimp, clams, wings, and a combination of options for their customers. It is open seven days a week for takeout and delivery.

See More: Best Spots for Oysters in Hoboken, Jersey City + Beyond

Panda House Restaurant {735 Montgomery Street}

When you are craving Chinese food, Panda House is the spot to go in McGinley Square. This spot is known for its good prices, fresh food, and friendly customer service. The extensive menu features American dishes, appetizers, soup, rice, lo mein, egg foo young, chow-mein, moo-shu, chicken, beef, seafood, and much more.

New Wang Wang {715 Bergen Avenue}

For a quick bite, authentic Chinese, and affordable prices, New Wang Wang is ideal. Traditional specials include chicken with broccoli in a garlic sauce, shrimp lo mein, fried dumplings, BBQ spareribs, beef with broccoli, and many more options, including a large selection of lunch specials. It is open seven days a week for takeout.

Shopping

This area of Jersey City has more to do than just eat and drink. Check out local places to shop and things to do around McGinley Square.

Jersey City Bicycle Company {687 Montgomery Street}

jersey city bicycle company

{Photo credit: @jcbicycleco}

If you are looking for a one-stop bicycle shop, Jersey City Bicycle Company is the spot go-to for all things biking. Jersey City Bicycle Company is a focused bicycle repair shop specializing in single-speed, fixed gear, commuter, delivery, and children’s bikes. The store can also custom order high-end bicycles, along with all cycling-related accessories by over 4,000 vendors and companies.

Lee Sims Chocolate {743 Bergen Avenue}

lee simons chocolate

{Photo credit: @leesimschocolates}

This popular chocolatier is owned and managed by the fourth generation of the same family and is still located in the charming retail storefront where the business started many years ago in McGinley Square. Lee Sims offers an assortment of traditional handmade chocolates, as well as customizable orders such as chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzels, and chocolate covered banana pops.

Village Pop Tattoo Body Piercing Smoke Shop {761 Bergen Avenue}

village pop tattoo body piercing smoke shop

{Photo credit: @villagepoptattoo761}

If you’re looking for a spot to get a tattoo or piercing, this tattoo and piercing salon is the spot to go in McGinley Square! It offers top quality tattoos and piercings from their resident tattoo artists and piercers. It is open seven days a week.

The Clearport {759 Bergen Avenue}

the clear port jersey city

[Photo credit: @theclrport}

The Clear Port is a conceptual retail experience 30,000 feet above the clouds, in McGinley Square. This retail store looks like an airport and its slogan is “wear you get fly,” carrying a lot of contemporary brands and streetwear labels. The Clear Port carries men, women, and children’s clothing, and is a full family boutique and experience.

Toy + Gameland {757 Bergen Avenue}

toy gameland jersey city

{Photo credit: @toyandgameland}

When you are looking for the latest video games, toys, and accessories, Toy + Gameland is your one-stop-shop. It’s a perfect place to get a gift for your next kid’s birthday party or your favorite gamer, and open seven days a week.

H. Schoenberg {744 Bergen Avenue}

Open since 1895, H. Schoenberg is the oldest pawnshop in Jersey City. You can check them out when you need extra cash to pay bills, go on vacation, or make a large purchase. It also sells and repairs jewelry. It is closed on Sundays.

Read More: The Best Açaí Bowls Found in Jersey City

Hudson Florist {741 Bergen Avenue}

hudson florist jersey city

{Photo credit: @hudsonflorist}

When you want the freshest bloom for your special occasion or a loved one, Hudson Florist is a good pick. It also provides flower delivery to the surrounding areas like Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Secaucus, Union City, and West New York. It is closed on Sundays.

JC Pet-Topia {729A Bergen Avenue}

jc pet topia

{Photo credit: @jcpettopia}

This women-owned pet shop is McGinley Square’s newest business to open in August. JC Pet-Topia carries pet food, treats, accessories, and supplies for pets — and of course, is dog-friendly. Licensed groomers are also coming to join their team in the near future.

Experiences + Noteworthy Locales

This area of Jersey City also has a lot of history and local experiences to explore.

Saint Peter’s University {2641 John F. Kennedy Boulevard}

saint peters prep jersey city

{Photo credit: @saintpetersuniversity}

Saint Peter’s University, located in McGinley Square, is a private Jesuit university in Jersey City. It was founded as Saint Peter’s College in 1872 by the Society of Jesus. It offers over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 2,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students.

St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church {800 Bergen Avenue}

This Roman Catholic church was born in the early 1900s out of the Irish Catholic community which developed to the south of Journal Square. The parish was founded by around 300 Irish trolly conductors and operators and was established in 1912. St. Aedan’s became part of Saint Peter’s University and came under the care of the Society of Jesus. The surrounding high schools, Hudson Catholic Regional High School and Saint Dominic’s High School also use this church for monthly mass and graduations.

Old Bergen Church {1 Highland Avenue}

The Old Bergen Church is a historic church established in 1660 in what was the Dutch colony of New Netherland, and it is the oldest continuous religious congregation in what is today the State of New Jersey. The congregation is jointly affiliated with the Reformed Church in America and the Presbyterian Church. The church was placed on The National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

WomenRising {270 Fairmont Avenue}

womens rising jersey city

{Photo credit: @womenrisinginc}

Women Rising is a non-profit organization empowering women and families in Hudson County. It has been helping individuals in need of jobs, safety from domestic violence, and freedom from homelessness for the last 115 years.  Learn more about WomenRising here.

Beauty + Fitness

Here are some of the best beauty and fitness spots in the McGinley Square area.

Imago Beauty Group {673 Bergen Avenue}

imago beauty group jersey city

{Photo credit: @imagobeauty}

This Aveda hair salon is in the heart of McGinley Square and specializes in women’s haircuts, color, style, balayage, body waves, conditioning treatments, and demi shine. It also specializes in men’s haircuts and color.

Monique’s Techniques {124 Storms Avenue}

moniques techniques jersey city

{Photo credit: @moniquestechniques}

Monique’s Techniques is a full-service beautify salon whose mission is to provide Itsclients with an exceptional experience. The salon prides itself on offering professional beauty care that caters to every personal style. It is committed to delivering the highest level of service to a culture that thrives on diversity. Monique also has a hair salon at Christ Hospital in Jersey City where she gives free hair replacement to men, women, and kids who lose their hair to cancer, alopecia, lupus, and tragedies that cause hair loss.

See More: The Best Meatball Spots in Hoboken and Jersey City

Lisa’s Hairzone {699 Bergen Avenue}

Lisa’s Hairzone has been in the business for 28 years and won the 2019 McGinley Square Favorite Business Award last year. It specializes in haircuts, wraps, waves, roller sets, relaxers, deep conditioners, hair color, and also has a professional barber on staff.

FROhaus: A Salon for Textured Hair {693 Bergen Avenue}

frohaus jersey city

{Photo credit: @thefrohaus}

FROhaus is committed to providing a relaxing environment, safer heat styling, knowledgeable natural hair care, and professional guidance to help clients reach their optimal hair health and length. It is open Wednesday through Saturday by appointment only.

Four Fitness JC {667 Montgomery Street}

four fitness jersey city

{Photo credit: @fourfitnessjc}

Four Fitness is a full-service gym in McGinley Square offering group classes, personal training, functional training, and an open gym. Due to the current pandemic, it is currently offering one on one personal training classes only for now.

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Written by:

Evelyn is a born and raised Jersey Girl and is a local influencer {@thefoundrygirljc} in Jersey City. She has a degree in marketing and business from Syracuse University, and currently works freelancing in social media. She has lived in both Hoboken and Jersey City and is very committed to supporting local businesses and being a local resource to all her friends and neighbors. She is an animal {dog} lover and claims to know more animals in Jersey City than people {really}. When she is not freelancing, she can be found hanging out with friends at local spots in Bergen-Lafayette and attending social and networking events in Jersey City and Hoboken.