Home Food + Drink Vito’s + Son Italian Deli in Hoboken

Vito’s + Son Italian Deli in Hoboken

by Michele
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You probably know Vito’s + Son Italian Deli {more affectionately known as Vito’s} in Hoboken as home to some of the best mutz in the area. Now, if you’re wondering what “mutz” is, A) you’re probably new to the area and we welcome you, and B) here’s the HG definition: mutz {/moo ts/}: a NY + NJ slang for the Italian cheese known to the rest of the world as mozzarella. While Vito’s homemade mutz is internationally renowned and shipped throughout the US {and even to Italy!}, this Hoboken classic hasn’t lasted in Hoboken for over 30 years on cheese alone. We stopped in to chat with the Vito’s team, try the food, and meet the man behind the mutz.

^Vito and his famous mutz

Vito’s has been sitting at 806 Washington St. in Hoboken since 1986 {which is longer than some of our readers have been on this earth}. Born and raised in Hoboken, Vito has been in the deli business since he was 14 and started his very own place over 30 years ago with his mother as his first head chef. He laughs telling this part of the story because as he says, “I’ve got three guys back there now and they still can’t keep up with her.” Many of the items on the menu are her original signature recipes, including the zucchini fritters, eggplant rollatini, and the “to die for meatballs” {more on those later}. Vito now has his sons working behind the counter, along with one of his son’s best friends from kindergarten {their class pic hangs by the register}.

^Vito and his mom in the middle  

Read more: The 7 Stages of Mutzfest Feelings in Hoboken

Aside from their famous mutz, Vito’s is also known for their sandwiches. Their most popular version is — you guessed it — The Vito {with ham, salami, lettuce, tomatoes, Italian dressing, hot or sweet peppers, and of course mutz}. Guillermo behind the counter loves himself some sandwich making and prides himself on the perfect assembly and presentation of ingredients. Call it a sub, hero, hoagie, or sammy, with bread brought in from the best bakeries in Hoboken, the ones at Vito’s hit the Italian sandwich spot.

And remember when we told you about Mom’s “to die for meatballs”? Apparently, more than a few people came in and said, “these meatballs are to die for!” Thus, the name stuck. In that same way, their pasta salads are now known as “life changing” {and after trying the Italian pasta salad and the buffalo chicken pasta salad, we can’t say we disagree}. Because Vito’s uses fresh ingredients and incorporates authentic Italian flavors, they find no reason to complicate perfection. Though they started as a small deli only, they now also cater throughout the tri-state area. As Vito chuckled, “We’ve got million-dollar houses in New Jersey that nobody cooks in! That’s where we come in.”

The pasta salad THO.

Read more: 9 Italian Restaurants for Pasta in Hoboken

When you ask Vito what makes his deli different than the rest, he’ll tell you it’s because they’ve kept true to their beginnings, but have also evolved with the ever-changing landscape of the Hoboken community. They now make menu items such as turkey and vegetarian meatballs and jar their own sauces, but still sell old-school imported goods that you can only find in authentic Italian markets. And while they keep their staples on the menu, they have new additions continuously. If Vito tastes a dish somewhere that he likes, he’ll recreate it in his own way and include it at his deli.

It takes more than great sandwiches and famous cheese to be a Hoboken classic. Perhaps it has more to do with being deeply woven into the fabric of our community, and Vito makes it a priority to give back and to participate heavily in Hoboken events {among them, of course, being Mutzfest}. During our visit, a customer came in and greeted the staff with a warm hello and a hearty handshake. Vito knew him by name, knew his order, and of course he needed to get some mutz. As he left the store, he smiled and said, “I feel like I’m home for a moment.” If you’re longing for all the old school Italian feels you’re looking for, stop in to Vito’s + Son Italian Deli at 8th + Wash — and don’t forget to try the pasta salad… we’re not saying it will change your life, but it just might.

Have you been to Vito’s? What’s your go-to order?

Stay tuned for our next “Behind the Mutz” feature with another Italian deli, coming soon.

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