My advice? Ride up to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, NJ and overwhelm yourself with Japanese treats right now. Mitsuwa is the largest, authentic Japanese market in the U.S. just a few miles north of Hoboken. A gem with ramen, bubble tea, onigiri (rice balls), and kaisen don (sushi bowls) right in our area! But be warned. It’s massive and often crowded. I think I may have figured out how to best enjoy this marvelous beast of market. Here are a few steps to navigating it:
Step 1: Eye the Supermarket
Upon entering, make a sharp right and walk along the wonders of the supermarket. Get a bearing on what you might buy later, starting with the produce section. Some of it…looks familiar. Other fruits and veggies…look slightly confusing.
As you wander the isles of high quality meats, sweet buns, fish eggs, cute candy, amazing looking sushi, and unidentifiable foods…keep track of the things you’d like to come back for. Because you have some eating to do first.
Step 2: Eye the food court and pounce on a table
The food court is AMAZING. Great quality Japanese cuisine from notable vendors at jaw dropping prices. The only downside is, it’s crowded and tough to nab a table. So if a table opens as you peruse the food stands…pounce on it like a hungry jungle cat.
Walk around the food court until something catches your eye. A big, big reminder is that most of these places are cash only. So…come prepared. Fortunately, just about all of the stands have fake food replicas so you can see exactly what you’re getting. YAY!
Step 3: Commit to a Vendor and Love Life
Here’s three food court vendors I recommend. First, the obligatory onigiri (rice ball) or two from Omusubi Gonbei. I like spicy tuna or salmon. Second, any kind of ramen from the famous Santouka Ramen. Third, the melt in your mouth squid and tuna kaisen don (sushi bowl) from Tsujita with a side of miso soup. See a picture of that beautiful combination right here.
You’ve now completed the 3 steps to happy at Mitsuwa Marketplace! Your stomach is full and you’ve seen more of the world. It is time to return to the supermarket or grab matcha ice cream or ride slowly back home…dreaming of rice and tempura and perfectly shaped candies.
Have you ever been here? Which is your favorite food vendor? Am I doing Mitsuwa all wrong? Give it up below!