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Is New York City really the land of opportunities? Absolutely! There is an opportunity to enjoy a quaint little town called Hoboken just west of the Big Apple. After living here for a few years now and traveling extensively here for 10 years before that, I’ve seen a lot in this magical city and still feel like I have a world left to discover.
Manhattan, and all the other 4 boroughs are truly something special. ANYBODY that visits this city instantaneously feels the power it has. But there is a pretty unique gem found across the Hudson River in this beautiful town called Hoboken, NJ. Spare your dirty jersey comments, if you’re traveling to New York and have already exhausted the common tourist traps or just want a different experience, hop on the path train for a 10 minute ride into a town you won’t regret.
I mean check out this view…tell me it’s not the most amazing skyline of Manhattan you’ve seen.
In terms of it’s offerings, there’s definitely no shortage of it in the “Mile Square”. Whether it’s your hunger, your keen eye to detail or your attentive hearing that brings you into this town, you’ll find an assortment of activities to keep you busy.
Eating Your Way Through Hoboken
Though some would claim the only thing to do in Hoboken is to drink and eat, I don’t necessarily find any faults in such behavior. With the myriad number of restaurants that seem to be popping up daily, choosing which one to go to sate your hunger can seem like a daunting task. My personal favorites happen to fall along the waterfront because, well, the view:
- Union Hall – friendly staff, good atmosphere and incredible food. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu considering the chef is a winner of The Food Network’s Chopped , my personal favorites are the mac and cheese bites and meatballs.
- Ainsworth – another one of my favorites and if you’ve been to one of their many other locations in Manhattan, you’ll get the same feel. Plus, you might just run into the Manzo brothers.
- Del Frisco’s Grille – with over 20 locations throughout the states, the view from the Hoboken location is by far one of the best.
- Halifax – located in the iconic W Hotel , this is the place to go to if you’re feeling extra classy and have a taste bud for farm-fresh food.
- Blue Eyes – Hoboken is filled with some of the greatest Italian restaurants and although I wouldn’t consider Blue Eyes the best, it’s definitely a great place to sit outside, drink a few (or a lot of ) glasses of wine and ponder life.
These places are a must if you’re visiting in the summer – it’s a perfect place to grab a drink, bask in the sun and soak in the beauty of the Big Apple across the Hudson River.
If the options seem overwhelming, there’s no better alternative than leaving it to the experts – Jersey Girl Food Tours, ran by Alessia & Janis, both locals with a hungry appetite and insatiable passion for introducing others to New Jersey culinary, offer an assortment of tours throughout Jersey City & Hoboken to cater to anyone visiting!
Shopping Your Way Through Hoboken
One of my many appreciations for Hoboken is all it’s hidden gems. Although it’s only one square mile, this town is jam packed with unique shops, positioned to cure anyone’s shopping fever. Personally, I hate shopping mainstream. To me, looking like the other thousands of people that just stepped out of a Zara catalogue never intrigued me. I suppose, I appreciate people’s individualism, which is why I love stumbling upon some of Hoboken’s greatest boutiques.
- Kanibal & Co – Though technically in Jersey City, this lifestyle boutique carries an assortment of refurbished vintage furniture, apparel and rare collection of goods, perfectly suited for a gift or a memory of your trip. Plus they partner with local artists to host various events and classes throughout the year.
- Peper & Parlor – Because you can literally find a little bit of everything here.
- Dear Hannah – a moderately priced boutique for bohemian wanderluster. Other boutiques for the fashionista in us all include M int Market , Alba boutique , Dor l’Dor , No 18 Boutique .
- Hudson Paperie – I know I’m not the only one that still sends handwritten letters out. From full wedding invitation services to office tchotchkes, there’s really a lot of unique finds here. You’ll wound up going in for a “Thank You” card and walking out with a pet gift for a furry legged creature you don’t have.
Dancing and Singing Your Way Through Hoboken
I have never met one single person that said they don’t like music. In fact, without music, our world wouldn’t be the way it is. And whatever preference you may have, there’s definitely something that will fit your style in the greater New York area. For a city that is home to Frank Sinatra, Hoboken knows it’s music.
In fact, there’s a legendary gem that provides an environment similar to the likes of Mercury Lounge, Brooklyn Bowl and Gramercy Theatre. Coming in third in Rolling Stone’s Venues that Rock , Maxwells Tavern is the perfect place for a dinner and a show any time of the week. Whether it’s a new band on Friday night or open mic night on Tuesday, you’ll appreciate all the talented artists on the other side of the Hudson. The club was important to emerging 1980’s and 1990’s trends and considering bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Smashing Pumpkins, the Strokes, Matt Nathanson, Rufus Wainwright and so much more performed here. You might just have a preview of the next “big thing”.
If you don’t make it to Maxwells Tavern, you absolutely must go to Willie McBrides. In fact, some of the best bands in the area play on Fridays and Saturdays and with free limo rides, you don’t want to miss this place! And because the 90’s were by far the best music decade in history, if you happen to be in Hoboken or New York area while The Nerds are playing, you owe it to yourself to check it out. In fact, you’d be committing a form of suicide if you miss them.
Self-proclaimed music fanatics, Northern Soul offers another option to feed the soul in many different ways. Whether it’s food, drinks or music that brings you here, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll find music infused in just about anywhere in Hoboken. Although it’s commonly mis-cited as the city with the most bars per capita, you can still pretty much find at least one bar on each corner and each of those establishments offer something pretty much any day of the week:
Music has the power to change the world and as society, we often don’t even realize it’s all around us. One of the most prestigious recording studios, Water Music Recorders , serves as a home to artists such as Beyonce, David Mathews Band, Taking Back Sunday, R. Kelly, Ryan Adams and so much more. As Frank Sinatra once said “alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy” so enjoying an adult libation while listening to good tunes should be on everyone’s agenda when visiting Hoboken.
Visiting the New York City area?
- Explore Manhattan in New York After Five
- Enjoy Broadway and Time’s Square in New York’s Midtown After Five
- Go further south to New York’s Financial District After Five
- Take a trip to New York’s capital in Albany After Five