Two of our favorite local businesses are teaming up for a series of tastings. Jersey Wine & Spirits and Scale Fish Market will host a Spanish Wine & Seafood Tapas night on Wednesday, October 5. The event will be held at Scale, which is located at 45 Coles Street.
There will be a 6pm-7pm tasting and a 7:30pm-8:30pm tasting. Each tasting will cost $79.99/per person. (Tickets can be purchased online). Keep in mind that the event is standing room with countertop space to use.
Whether you’re nursing a hangover or looking for the ultimate pancake stack, we’ve created a list of restaurants offering the best brunch in Jersey City right now. These hand-picked spots are taking Bennies and pancakes to the next level. Generous portions, a laid-back atmosphere, and reasonable prices make these eateries our top spots for your weekend feasts. From BYOB spot Cafe Alyce to long-time staple Skinner’s Loft — here are our picks for the best brunch in Jersey City 2022.
Best Brunch in Jersey City
Strong coffee, a welcoming staff, and delicious food are what make Sam AM a contender for best brunch in Jersey City. Their menu ranges from a Cuban sandwich to the “Weekender” (pictured), which includes two eggs, potatoes, toast, and your choice of bacon, sausage, or vegan sausage. It’s the stuff brunch dreams are made of. Just make note, the place gets busy and the outdoor tables are first come, first served for to-go meals only (no table service). 112 Morris (Menu)
Enjoy brunch any time of the day at newly-opened Cafe Alyce. Located in the former Medical Center Luncheonette space, the new BYOB restaurant is offering hearty, made-from-scratch meals that range from a delicious shrimp and grits entree to a bulgogi beef breakfast skillet. Staff are extremely attentive and the vibe is casual and welcoming. Brunch in Jersey City simply doesn’t get better than this. 641 Montgomery (Menu)
Ani Ramen Jersey City recently kicked off its new brunch specials. For $16, you get a bento box with creamy corn mazemen, fried egg, grilled pork belly, potato croquette, ani salad, and chili charred edamame. You can also add brunch bao buns to your order: chicken katsu ($6), grass-fed burger ($7) or brisket bao bun ($8). It’s an affordable — and tasty — way to get brunch in Jersey City. 218 Newark Avenue (Menu)
The Kitchen Step
Kick off your weekend eats at The Kitchen Step, which makes our list of the best brunch spots in Jersey City. Executive chef Ryan DePersio is dishing out modern, American classics with a seasonal, locally-driven menu. Among our favorite dishes are the breakfast burrito (perfect for this mornings when you need a hearty meal), croissant French toast, and the eggs benedict (pictured with smoked salmon). 500 Jersey Avenue (Menu)
Give your weekend brunch a southern twist at Mathews. The neighborhood eatery offers a nice mix of healthy and indulgent dishes that range from a house-made beet and red bean veggie burger to chicken and waffles. We recommend the excellent Sweet Potato & Andouille sausage hash (pictured above) as well as the lemon ricotta pancakes. The pancakes are oversized and fluffy, which makes them great for sharing with friends. 351 Grove (Menu)
From Cuban sandwiches to scrambled egg platters, Unica Cafe is one of the best brunch spots in Jersey City. If you’re particularly hungry, Unica is generous with its portions and most brunch/lunch options are in the sub-$10 range. Their pastries are equally delicious, including their mini cakes. 454 Central Avenue (Menu)
This quaint cafe offers a Mediterranean take on brunch with dishes like çilbir (Turkish-style poached eggs with labneh) and soujouk with feta (Turkish beef sausage with feta). Even brunch staples like avocado toast (pictured) come dusted with za’atar, a Mediterranean spice blend. Also, make sure to save room for their pastries, which are among our favorite in town. 270 Grand (Menu)
If you’re idea of a laid back brunch involves live jazz, the Franklin Social is the place to be. The restaurant typically offers live jazz on Sundays alongside a steady roster of brunch classics like smoked salmon Benedict (pictured), French toast, and a veggie Reuben. For $25, you can also enjoy a bottomless brunch. Cheers to that! 292 Barrow (Menu)
Just steps away from the Grove Street PATH station you’ll find Roman Nose, one of our favorite brunch spots in Jersey City. The Italian restaurant relaunched its brunch service earlier this year and it’s already earned a spot on our list. Our recommended dish is the beautifully rustic Uova in Purgatorio (eggs in purgatory), which consists of three baked eggs in Roman Nose’s “Sunday Sauce” with pecorino romano and served with rustic bread. 125 Newark Avenue (Menu)
Maggie’s Farm Espresso
Healthy and delicious is the name of the game at Maggie’s Farm Espresso. Named after a Bob Dylan song, the Australian-inspired cafe offers locally sourced and organic eats. The menu includes items like a toasted breakfast wrap with spicy Aussie relish, Bircher muesli (soaked overnight), and our favorite — the ricotta and fig toast. The cafe can get busy on weekend mornings, but the vibe is always welcoming and relaxed. 88 Morgan (Menu)
Gaia & Loki
For a healthy take on brunch, you’ll want to head to vegetarian restaurant Gaia & Loki. The BYOB eatery not only features live jazz on Sundays, but if you’re lucky — you’ll also get to sample new apps and dishes straight from the kitchen. The Gaia Platter is our pick for best power brunch. It includes roasted tomatoes, potatoes, mushroom, and kale, with fresh avocado. You can also add an imitation egg, sausage, or fresh berries. Quick note: brunch starts at 2pm on Saturdays, but it’s available from 11am to 2pm on Sundays. 346 Grove (Menu)
Eira Cafe Mercearia
For a taste of Portugal, you’ll want to head to Eira Mercearia. Owned by chef and restaurateur Michael Casalinho of Broa, Eira offers everything from Portuguese caldos to a phenomenal Portuguese cod burger. The cafe also offers plenty of sweet treats like Portuguese croissants and their signature pastel de nata (egg custard). They’ve recently added BYOB dinners (on select nights) which you can sign up for via their IG account. 24 Mercer (Instagram)
Whether you’re craving a fluffy stack of ricotta pancakes or a hearty plate of huevos rancheros, the excellent brunch menu at The Franklin has something for everyone. The menu seems simple — divvied up into eggs, salads, and sandwiches — but it’s extremely satisfying. We especially love it for including plenty of vegetarian-friendly salads. Heads up: the restaurant is BYOB, so if it’s a boozy brunch you’re after, you’ll want to walk a few blocks to Riverview Wine (43 Bowers) and pick up a bottle. 159 New York Avenue (Menu)
Latham House & Emma’s
One of Jersey City’s top restaurants is also one of our favorite spots for brunch. We’re talking none other than Latham House — home of the Rabbi’s Revenge, an epic sandwich stacked with slices of house-smoked corn beef. Latham House also offers one of the best chilaquiles dishes we’ve had in Jersey City. Meanwhile egg lovers need to try the restaurant’s gargantuan ridiculous egg sandwich (pictured). If you live near JSQ, we also recommend sister restaurant Emma’s JSQ. 299 Marin Boulevard (Menu)
We admit: Amelia’s $4 mimosas/bellinis are a huge reason to visit the Paulus Hook restaurant, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t stay for the food. They offer all the staples you could want — pancakes, omelettes, French toast — as well as some harder to find items like a lobster hash with eggs and their excellent chicken and waffles. The latter is fried to perfection offering the perfect balance of crunchy chicken skin and juicy chicken meat. You can wash it all down with their epic brunch cocktail menu that offers $4 drinks (full size) or $8 double-size drinks. 187 Warren (Menu)
This Heights classic is as eclectic and creative as its menu. Unique eats include the Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos, a trio of spicy tacos served with purple cabbage and gorgonzola crema. We also love the golden-colored Tofu Scramble (pictured), a healthy and unique alternative to your everyday omelette. Make sure to order one of their house-made juices, like the refreshing watermelon mint juice. 38 Congress Street (Menu)
For the ultimate comfort food experience, you must try brunch at Martha’s. The tiny eatery is our top budget pick with generous portions that’ll fill you up without leaving a hole in your wallet. Favorites include Martha’s 10-slice Taylor ham and cheese sandwich (pictured) as well as their fried catfish platter served over grits. 308 Pacific Avenue (Menu)
With its Bohemian-inspired decor and generous food portions, Skinner’s Loft is high on our list of best brunch in Jersey City. The restaurant nails all the basics like omelettes, pancakes, and breakfast burritos. Bonus points for their friendly service and fun soundtrack, which can range from an Irish folk song to Tito Puente. 146 Newark Avenue (Menu)
Yes, the tacos at Taqueria-owned restaurant Los Cuernos are some of the best around, but take our word when we say you’ll want to skip them and opt for some of the restaurant’s more classic brunch options. The chilaquiles verdes, for instance, are excellent. The lightly fried strips of corn tortilla are drizzled in salsa verde and served with crema and queso fresco. Meanwhile, the queso fundido is served in a smoldering skillet with sizzling Oaxaca cheese topped with chorizo or poblano peppers. 499 Washington Boulevard (Instagram)
For a healthy take on brunch, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a tastier spot than Frankie. The Australian-inspired restaurant offers a wide selection of fresh juices and smoothies with names like “The Hangover Helper.” However, it’s the food that’ll have you coming back. Favorites include the Crab Scramble (pictured), a delicious mix of scrambled eggs with crab meat, peanuts, and sprouts. If you like smoked salmon, the “Full Aussie” is a must. The hearty entree includes eggs, smoked salmon, avocado, and sourdough. 264 Grove Street (Menu)
Best Brunch in Jersey City — Our Picks
Sam AM 112 Morris Street (Menu)
Cafe Alyce at 641 Montgomery (Menu)
Ani Ramen 218 Newark Avenue (Menu)
The Kitchen Step 500 Jersey Avenue (Menu)
Mathews 351 Grove (Menu)
Unica Cafe 454 Central (Menu)
Cafe Dolma 270 Grand (Menu)
Franklin Social 292 Barrow (Menu)
Roman Nose at 125 Newark Avenue (Menu)
Maggie’s Farm Espresso at 88 Morgan (Menu)
Gaia & Loki at 346 Grove (Menu)
Eira Mercearia at 24 Mercer (Instagram)
The Franklin at 159 New York Avenue (Menu)
Latham House at 299 Marin Boulevard (Menu)
Amelia’s Bistro at 187 Warren (Menu)
The Cliff at 38 Congress Street (Menu)
Martha’s at 308 Pacific Avenue (Menu)
Skinner’s Loft at 146 Newark Avenue (Menu)
Los Cuernos at 499 Washington Boulevard (Instagram)
Frankie at 264 Grove Street (Menu)
Sweeping changes are coming to Journal Square. In addition to the new Pompidou Jersey City and Loews Theater, the Jersey City Council has voted to lease the Van Wagenen House — also known as The Apple Tree House — to the Museum of Jersey City History (MJCH). Located at 298 Academy Street, the new building will be called the Museum of Jersey City History at Apple Tree House.
“The Apple Tree House embodies Jersey City’s rich history and diverse communities, which is why it was our priority to restore the historical landmark as part of our broader efforts to bring Journal Square back to life as the premier destination for arts and culture,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
The first floor of the Museum of Jersey City History at Apple Tree House will host permanent historical exhibits highlighting different aspects of Jersey City’s history. The level above it will feature rotating Jersey City-themed historical exhibitions.
History of The Apple Tree House
The Apple Tree House was built in 1740 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s named after the apple tree under which General George Washington dined with French Major General Marquis De Lafayette in 1779 to strategically plan for battle against the British during the Revolutionary War. Following construction, the historic landmark was reopened to the public in 2017.
“For years, we fought to restore the Apple Tree House and find a permanent place where we not only preserve Jersey City’s historical significance but also where residents and visitors can learn about the key role our City has played in our nation’s history,” said Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano.
Since being restored and reopened in 2017, the house has hosted various community events, history exhibitions, family programming, educational lectures, and tours. You can check out the Apple Tree House website for upcoming events.
Downtowner by Darke Pines is back! After closing its doors earlier this year, Downtowner has returned, albeit with a revamped menu. In place of its sandwich menu — which you can now find at neighboring Darke Pines — Downtowner is now focused on specialty foods, treats, serving pieces, and all things needed to help you host your next get together.
Located at 9 Erie Street, the shop carries small-batch, artisanal foods from brands like Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, Rustic Bakery, Ghia, Brins Jams, Maldon Salt, and Atelier Saucier. You’ll also find some of their house-made specials like the Downtowner Rice Krispy Treats.
Downtowner by Darke Pines is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1pm to 7pm. Make sure to follow them on Instagram to see what’s new at the shop.
Two new local bakeries recently opened in the Heights. Babka Bailout and Boomerang Bites now share a space at 476 Central Avenue.
Babka Bailout began during the height of the pandemic as a fundraiser for owner Michal Prevor’s housekeeper. Money made from babka sales went to pay Prevor’s housekeeper’s rent. The fundraiser became a family affair for the Hoboken resident as customers quickly took a liking to Prevor’s baked goods. Flavors include Nutella, dulce de leche, brie/guava, and ube Nutella Oreo, among others. Today, Babka Bailout also offers a menu of babka balls, rugelach, and challah. (You can also find Babka Bailout treats in other parts of Jersey City like Cangiano’s in Hamilton Park).
Sharing the space with Babka Bailout is Boomerang Bites. The artisanal bakery serves up bite-sized Aussie treats or “slices.” Owner Andrea Rizvi, who was born and raised in Australia, bakes slices made of passion fruit, raspberry coconut, sweet chocolate caramel, and nut caramel. Boomerang Bites also makes Anzac biscuits, which were created by women during WWI to survive the long postal journey to their loved ones on the frontlines. The biscuit itself is a mix of syrup, oats, flour, butter, and sugar in a chewy, oaty mix. Rizvi also donates at least 20% of profits to educational causes.
Kick off the first weekend of fall at the 12th Annual Hamilton Park BBQ. Or cheer on runners as they race the annual Newport Half Marathon. All that and more happening in Jersey City this weekend.
What:The Brooklyners at Fox & Crow When: Thursday, September 29 from 8pm to 10:30pm Where: 594 Palisade Avenue
Reggae band The Brooklyners will perform at Fox & Crow tonight. Admission is $10/pp.
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What:4th Annual Pierfest by Exchange Place Alliance When: Friday, September 23 from 6pm to 9pm Where: J. Owen Grundy Park
The Exchange Place Alliance’s 4th annual Pierfest brings world-class Latin jazz, dance instruction, and food to the waterfront. Tonight the show will feature Silvano Monasterios Trio (6pm) and Karen Joseph Mambocha (7:30pm)
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What: Newport Half Marathon When: Saturday, September 24 at 8:30am Where: Newport Green
It’s time for downtown’s premier race. The Newport Half takes runners through parts of downtown Jersey City, the waterfront, and Liberty State Park. A post-race celebration will be held at Newport Green.
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What:Oktoberfest at Zeppelin Hall When: Saturday, September 24 through October 23 Where: 88 Liberty View Drive
Oktoberfest is back at Zeppelin Hall. Enjoy Oktoberfest brews, live bands, and more through October 23.
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What: Smorgasburg Jersey City When: Saturday, September 24 from 11am to 6pm Where: Harborside Plaza & Hudson Street (behind Smorgasbar)
Smorgasburg is back at Harborside for another season of eats. The outdoor market will offer food from numerous vendors including Cake Jars, Carlitos Barbecue Taqueria, and more. The market will operate every Saturday. Admission is free and there will be various outdoor dining options throughout Harborside JC.
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What: Hamilton Park 12th Annual BBQ Festival When: Saturday, September 24 from 12pm to 8pm Where: Hamilton Park
Back for its 12th year, the Hamilton Park BBQ Festival is a day-long party showcasing the area’s best barbecue eats. Food vendors will include Hamilton Pork, The Hamilton Inn, Red White & Que Smokehouse, and more. Plus, don’t forget dessert by Milk, Sugar, Love.
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What:McGinley Square Live Music Series When: Saturday, September 24 from 1pm to 3pm Where: Intersection of Bergen Avenue & Montgomery
The McGinley Square Live Music Series returns this weekend with a free, outdoor performance by Son de Tres.
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What: Música y Ritmos: Latin American Music Series at Nimbus When: Saturday, September 24 at 5pm Where: 329 Warren Street
Música y Ritmos is a Latin American Music Series presented by Nimbus and Segunda Quimbamba. The free event will feature — held at the Nimbus Arts Center — will feature live performances, a salsa lesson, and open dance floor.
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What:The Jack Breslin Trio at Fox & Crow When: Saturday, September 24 from 8pm to 10pm Where: 594 Palisade Avenue
Raised in Massachusetts, but currently residing in Jersey City, Jack Breslin will bring a night of jazz to Fox & Crow. Admission is $10/pp.
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What: Movie Night at Dullboy When: Sunday, September 25 Where: 364 Grove Street
Every Sunday night, Dullboy will be screening a movie in its patio. The movie will begin at 8pm. Make sure to give them a follow on Instagram to find out what movie they’ll show.
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What: Water Lantern Festival When: Sunday, September 25 from 4pm to 9pm Where: 1 Audrey Zapp Drive (Liberty State Park)
The New York Water Lantern Festival is back for a day full of food and festivities. Tickets — which start at $25/pp — include admission to the festival, a floating water lantern, and wristband. Note that Saturday evening is sold out.