New Jersey’s Super Bowl Food Guide
New Jersey is hosting its first Super Bowl and hungry visitors who find themselves on this side of the Hudson are in for a treat. There’s no better place to eat well, cheaply. For a real taste of Jersey, skip the corporate hospitality tents and cruise ship hotels. Try some of the Garden State’s favorite ethnic food.
One of the benefits of living in the nation’s most densely populated state is food diversity that rivals any city in the country. Within a few miles of MetLife Stadium, in every direction, there are wonderful neighborhoods for ethnic cuisine. Head north on the NJ Turnpike for bulgogi and kimchi in Palisades Park; south for Portuguese cataplana, Brazilian pão de queijo and Spanish tapas in Newark‘s Ironbound, and biryani in Jersey City‘s Little India; east on Route 3 for Cuban lechón along Union City’s Bergenline Avenue; or west for shawarma in Paterson and ceviche in Passaic. These are just a few of the many food options. Of course, don’t forget to try some of the world’s best pizza, burgers, hot dogs and diners while you’re here.
Even if the Manhattan skyline is visible on the horizon, the first outdoor, cold weather Super Bowl XLVIII will kickoff in the swamps of Jersey. This is New Jersey’s Super Bowl after all (no matter how the event is marketed for television). If you are looking for excellent food, try some of these Jersey favorites, all less than 10 miles from the Meadowlands:
There are two iconic slider spots – Hackensack’s White Manna and Jersey City’s White Mana – within striking distance of the Meadowlands. Try Krug’s Tavern in Newark for a classic pub-style burger. Or go a little crazy and try a Brazilian burger or Peruvian sandwich.
358 River Street – Hackensack, NJ 07601
470 Tonnele Avenue – Jersey City, NJ 07307
282 Kearny Avenue – Kearny, NJ
288 Lafayette Street – Newark, NJ 07105
22 Broadway – Passaic, NJ 07055
Petite Soo Chow
Soup dumplings are the house specialty at this tiny Shanghainese spot.
607 Gorge Road – Cliffside Park, NJ 07010
Chow down on heaping plates of lechón, ropa vieja, and rabo de ternera (oxtail) at this Cuban cafeteria in New Jersey’s “Havana on the Hudson.”
4211 Park Avenue – Union City, NJ 07087
For a true Jersey diner experience head to the Tick Tock (open 24 hours) on Route 3 West in Clifton or Tops in East Newark. Order Disco Fries.
Pho Thai-Lao Kitchen
The husband and wife running the kitchen are from Laos and Thailand, respectively. The whole pickled fish is amazing.
219 Maywood Avenue – Maywood, NJ 07607
Arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice), ceviches and yuca with Huancaina sauce, and a full bar.
102 Kearny Avenue – Kearny, NJ 07032
If you want to start a long, heated conversation, ask a local about their favorite Jersey pizza joint. Too many to pick just one. Trust the judgment of Pete Genovese, one of the most knowledgable Jersey food writers. Check out his recommendations here.
Piast Meats & Provisions
The Packers didn’t make it out of the playoffs, but you can still enjoy homemade kielbasa and pierogi right here in Jersey.
1 Passaic Street – Garfield, NJ 07026
For abundant fresh Portuguese seafood, you can’t do better than Seabra’s in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood.
87 Madison Street – Newark, NJ 07105
Any of the rice noodle soups here, like beef or spicy pork phở are guaranteed to warm you up.
61 1/2 Belleville Avenue – Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Find these restaurants and more of New Jersey’s best ethnic food on the map at EthnicNJ.com.