• Bringin’ the Beach to Jersey City: A Visit to Surf City

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    There are some things that just can’t compare to the calmness of a beach getaway when you live near New York City, but if you think you need to drive all the way to the shore or {dare we say it} brave LIRR out to the Hamptons for a little fun in the sun, think again. Enjoy the sunshine at Surf City — an outdoor, beachy gem tucked away in the Paulus Hook neighborhood of Jersey City. Several members of HG frequent this spot often in the summer, and we’re sharing one of our visits with you below:

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    The Concept

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    Everyone knows that the beach traffic is a nightmare, so if you’re just looking for a place to relax outdoors {which sipping Miami Vices} and enjoy the beautiful weather without the woes of looking for a seat at Pier 13 in Hoboken, Surf City is a perfect pick. The location is spacious and the atmosphere welcoming — just down the road off Marin Boulevard in Jersey City.

    From the decor to the menu, Surf City is equipped with everything you need to soak up the sunshine and views of the city as boats pass by, deeming a pretty clutch waterfront scene in Jersey City.

    READ: The Best Outdoor Dining Spots in Jersey City

    The Space

    This surf-inspired outdoor bar is unique for the area in the sense that there is plenty of space for everyone to hang. Once passing through the entrance, there is the option to grab food, sit near the inside bar {and TVs = major plus during the World Cup} or head outdoors to the bar overlooking the marina and dip your toes in the sand. There is a designated waiter-service area if you’re looking to lounge in one spot for the day – otherwise, guests are welcome to stand around the main bar or around the firepit {yasss to summer bonfires}.

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    Surf City continues to expand its amenities, most recently opening a new adults-only area this year featuring sand beneath the tables, games including shuffleboard and giant Jenga, specialized waiter service, and a dedicated bar.

    The Menu

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    The no-frills menu of summertime staples is exactly what you’d expect from this tropical urban {making that a thing} spot. Items on executive chef Franco Robazetti’s menu include lobster rolls {which are VERY good}, seafood paella, lobster mac and cheese, grilled shrimp and hamburgers. If you don’t fear the fried, be sure to try the Fisherman’s platter which includes: fried calamari, fried shrimp, battered cod, and fries.

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    ^^ You just can’t go wrong with guac + chips 

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    ^^ A buttery, meaty lobster roll right by the water = YES PLZ

    Beyond the expected, Surf City has healthy menu options plus little stands that sell quick bites including fresh homemade guacamole with chips. As for drinks, they have an extensive variety of frozen drinks and cocktails plus over 75 craft beers on tap — all reasonably priced for the size, if we do say so ourselves.

    HG Real Talk: There are a lot of mixed reviews on the service at Surf City, but on a beautiful sunny day, there’s not much else to complain about.

    The Verdict

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    While there might be better quality seafood in the area, it’s all about the outdoor experience and Surf City provides everything needed for the perfect outdoor hangout. We’d recommend Surf City for large groups any day {there were even a few birthday parties when we went} — the space is large enough to accommodate all of your friends {+ any new friends you make throughout the day}.

    See More: A List of Dog-Friendly Beaches + Day Trips in New Jersey

    There are rumors that there is a strict dress code the later it gets {just call the # and listen to the voicemail for a lolz, there’s a strict “NO CAMO” policy}, but we did see a few bikinis with cover-ups during our daytime visit, so don’t be intimidated by Yelp reviews. Also, it’s very tricky to get someone on the phone at Surf City {and we understand why because the place is always poppin’ in the nice weather}, so we’ll save you the trouble by answering these popular questions — yes, they allow dogs, baby strollers, and kids until 9:00PM. On Saturdays, they have live music {typically starting at 4:00PM}, but definitely check their Facebook page for daily updates on activities and events weekly. 

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


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    Genna moved to Hoboken upon graduating from the University of Tennessee to start her Marketing career at HGTV, and is most currently at The Knot in downtown Manhattan. To Genna, there's nothing better than cheering on UT football, soaking in warm sunny weather on her balcony, and watching starry-skied movies on Pier 13. You may have spotted Genna as a customer associate at Anthropologie ...that is, when she's not doing Hot Yoga or punching bags at CKO! Most days, you can find Genna circling the Mile Square on an early morning run or attempting to justify her shopping habits along Washington Street.


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