Jersey Girls Food Tours, @JGFoodTours: Where to Eat in Jersey CityJersey Girls Food Tours, @JGFoodTours: Where to Eat in Jersey City http://teamue.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/12814797_1030557403649795_5557327174463693244_n.jpg 750 497 Emilie http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/11508f46fcb311d28382b7ccd76b6b98?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Written by: Allesia Aron, Co-Founder of Jersey Girls Food Tours
I am not a winter person. I hate the cold. As the weather starts warming up, I am constantly fighting between being skinny or eating the mouth-watering taco or Soppressata pizza (Don’t worry, Ill tell you where you can find them). It’s hard not to want to go out and explore new places to eat and drink! The weather might not be as warm as we’d like it to be by end of April, but we’ve curated a few spots that might inspire you to explore a few new places around Jersey City – both indoors and outdoors. Be warned, these might not help you squeeze into that hot new bikini you just got from Victoria’s Secret, but your significant other will love you anyway (especially after they try some of this amazing food!).
Seasonal Menus at Porta, Orale, and Razza
While it should be a staple that restaurants always use seasonal and local produce and ingredients, that isn’t always the case. My three go-to’s for the best quality ingredients and seasonal menus are Porta, Orale, and Razza, and they just happen to all be in close walking distance of each other.
Orale is a Mexican-fusion restaurant right by the Grove Street PATH. Aside from making the strongest and tastiest margaritas in town, their menu offers a unique twist on Mexican cuisine.
The Barbacoa Pork Nachos: these are not your average nachos. If Orale puts nachos on the menu, they are going to be epic. Don’t you hate when you eat through the first layer of cheesy nachos and the ones at the bottom have no toppings left? The worst. But not at Orale. Each layer of chips has a healthy serving of smoked gouda (not cheddar!), house made BBQ pork, yellow habanero salsa, black beans, raddish, crema and pico de gallo. Nacho overload.
I’m a big guacamole fan. Orale offers a guacamole trio sampler and you can choose from over 9 different types of Guacamole. Recently added was the Doriloco. If you’ve been to LA or Mexico City, you may have heard this word, which kind of translates to “Crazy Dorito.” Bodegas would cut open the Dorito bags and throw in all sorts of crazy ingredients; grated carrots, jicama, cucumber, pickled pork rinds, peanuts, jellied candies, lime juice, chili powder, and swirls of several kinds of fruity syrup and hot sauce. Naturally, Orale had to somehow incorporate this into their Guacamole line-up. The Doriloco guac has doritos, fresh fruit and hot sauce. Don’t knock it til you try it! I tried it this weekend at Boozy Brunch. Oh, and boozy brunch: twenty-five dollars for brunch open bar. You’ve been warned. Let’s just say Monday was a blur.
Other Top Picks:
The pork belly tacos! Suvee-cooked pork belly, aka slow cooked for 18 hours, and then crisped to perfection, served with pickled red onions. THIS is where to eat an amazing taco.
If you are a tequila fan, they have a great selection of tequilas, including my favorite, 1800 Coconut.
Asbury Park is my favorite shore town so when I heard Porta was opening in Jersey City, outdoor fun definitely came to mind. This old department store turned industrial, Napoleon-style pizza joint, spans from Columbus Drive to Newark Ave, and so does the rooftop, which hosts two large bars. Coming this summer, you’ll be able to order not just small bites, but their delicious pizzas too up on the rooftop. It does get pretty packed on the weekends so I prefer dining during the week. Enjoy live music on certain weekdays under the soft-lit Edison string light bulbs.
Spring Betty pizza – creamed goat cheese and spinach béchamel, thyme, and garlic. This pie is definitely something different. I find it to be a lot lighter and a great option for Spring weather even if you’re craving pizza!
Tyrion Clamister – (any GoT fans?!) A ton of flavor and a bit creamy. Baby clams, bacon, Vidalia onion, lemon, parsley, olive oil, breadcrumbs.
14 and a half – I mentioned that I would tell you where to get the best Soppressata pizza. This is it. A little spicy, a lotta cheesy, all delicious. San Marzano tomatoes, homemade mozzarella, homemade ricotta, hot soppressata, Calalbrian chiles, oregano, and EVOO.
Wash it down with Lambrusco.
Razza Pizza Artigianale
Chef Dan Richer is a James Beard nominated chef, a master bread maker and very serious about pizza. I dare to admit I am not a tomato sauce fan, yet I find myself asking for a side of tomato sauce (no, he doesn’t use Italian san marzanos here!) to dip my crusts in when I eat at Razza.
A Must-Order This Spring
Maple Bacon Pie at Razza is back! If you are a big fan of savory with a touch of sweet and smoky, this is the pie for you.
Rooftop Dining/Outdoor Dining
There are so many great rooftop and outdoor bars in Jersey City. Skinner’s Loft has a quaint and intimate rooftop that is great for date night. If you’re looking for a little bit more fun with a big group (and possibly pretzels and pizza), check out the Zeppelin Hall Bier Garden or Porta. The people watching from outside of Left Bank Burger Bar is second to none along with almost everywhere on NEWARK AVE! Take a stroll in pedestrian plaza in between stops to soak up some sun and work off all that beer you’re drinking! There is no shortage of options for outdoor seating so if one spot is full, your’e sure to find a spot next door or close by.
Food Tours with Jersey Girls Food Girls
Can’t decide on which amazing restaurant to try first? Try them all and more on a Jersey Girls Food Tour. Yes, this is totally a shameless plug but you can thank me after you experience a tour! Five to six restaurants, along with drink pairings, meeting chefs and owners, learning about the city and eateries we visit, and a pretty damn awesome tour guide. Especially if you’re new to the area, this is the best way to learn and appreciate this great city we live in. And no, you don’t just have to be a Jersey girl to take a tour. Don’t take my word for it though. Go here, and I’ll see you on a tour, or buy someone a gift certificate to a tour. We’ll even make the gift card pretty for you.
About the Author: Alessia is co-founder of Jersey Girls Food Tours based in Jersey City, NJ. When she’s not running food tours, she’s planning her next vacation for herself or others, a service she recently introduced through the business. Her favorite destination, so far, is Colombia and hopes to expand tours to South America in the future!