Home Culture Peruvian + Italian Fusion Restaurant ‘Ragazzo’ Opens in The Heights

Peruvian + Italian Fusion Restaurant ‘Ragazzo’ Opens in The Heights

by Diana Cooper
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Ragazzo Restaurant, an Italian and Peruvian eatery, recently opened in The Heights in Jersey City. Ragazzo is more than a fusion restaurant — it’s a partnership between a mom from Peru who loves to cook and an Italian man from a popular pizzeria in town. Read on to learn more about Ragazzo Restaurant, located at 3417 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

ragazzo pizza exterior jersey city

Coming to The Heights

Ragazzo took over Pizza City’s former spot at 3417 John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City. The new owners are Angelle Lara, her son Joseph Lara, and Hugo, who previously worked as the head chef at Renato’s Pizza Masters in The Heights.

Angelle moved to the US from Peru eight years ago. She started working at another restaurant in Union City where she gained a lot of experience as a restaurateur before opening Ragazzo.

“She’s always had faith in her cooking and she always had this dream of wanting to open up a business. A lot of people believed in her food and she went around looking for a location. That’s basically how we created Ragazzo because she came to me with an idea and I believed in her and pushed her to fulfill her dream,” Joseph, who handles a lot of the inner workings of the restaurant, told The Hoboken Girl.

“Hugo specializes in strictly Italian food and so a lot of people told him he should open up his own restaurant, he should expand his dishes more. So my mom and him have similarities and they’re like, ‘You know what? Why don’t we create an Italian, Peruvian restaurant and try to put the best of both worlds in one location?’” he added.

ragazzo pizza peruvian restaurant

(Photo credit: Ragazzo Restaurant Facebook)

Ragazzo officially opened on Black Friday on November 26th, 2021. And it operates with a lot of teamwork from one family, in addition to Hugo. “My mother’s the head chef and I work the front doing the tables, picking up the phone calls. My stepdad works on the pizza,” Joseph said.

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About the Menu

The family-owned business has something for everyone on its menu. For Italian lovers, there are the typical mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, mussels, clams, buffalo wings, and so forth. For Peruvian lovers, there are tostones (mashed plantains), maduros (sweet plantains), yuca frita (fried cassava), and salchipapa ragazzo (fries mixed with fried sausage, chicken, and egg).

For the main course, there is a wide variety of vegetarian, chicken, pork, and seafood platters as well as Peruvian dishes to add to the mix. Patrons can also order pizza pies, pasta, hot and cold sandwiches, soups, and salads.

ragazzo causa de pollo app

Causa de Pollo, a traditional appetizer in the Peruvian culture

(Photo credit: Ragazzo Restaurant Facebook)

Ragazzo’s specialty fusion dishes include tortellini a la Huancaina con churrasco (tortellini in a creamy cheese sauce with skirt steak), causa limena con pollo Frances (yellow whipped potatoes with chicken Francese), and chaufa con Camarones al ajillo (Peruvian style rice and shrimp scampi).

“We provide a lot of home-cooked meals for everyone that’s either local or anyone that’s outside of the area. The Peruvians and Italians make their sauces by hand and that’s something similar the two countries do on their pasta,” Joseph shared. “We have a lot of different plates that bring an amazing amount of flavors with every bite you take. Believe me, it’s like an unbelievable sensation that you have.”

ragazzo restaurant heights jersey city

(Photo credit: Ragazzo Restaurant Facebook)

See More: ‘Something New’ at Ruthie’s Bar-B-Q & Pizza in Montclair

Check Out Ragazzo

Ragazzo Restaurant can’t be missed since it takes up a large space on the corner of Lincoln Street and John F. Kennedy Blvd and has a bright red storefront banner, a flag of Peru, and the flag of Italy hanging outside the windows.

“We’ve been doing pretty well since when we opened. Thankfully, customers have been giving us a lot of good feedback which has been amazing the pizza, our appetizers, the plates… everything!” Joseph added. “We just want to hit more people outside of Hudson County. We really want people to try this food. It’s kind of like when you go over to your friend’s house and your friend’s mom makes you some food, that’s how we want you to feel.”

ragazzo restaurant inside

Ragazzo is open seven days a week from 10AM until 10PM. There is no website at the moment but the menu is available on most delivery apps. For more information, follow Ragazzo on Instagram.

Stay in the know with @thehobokengirl on Instagram and TikTok.

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