There are so many excellent restaurants in Jersey City that make our mouths water as we walk past and get a whiff of the fragrant smells coming out of the kitchen. As of late, it feels as though many of these places are meant for a leisurely meal or date night and will cost you a pretty penny. While there are many many expensive meal offerings, there are also so many excellent eateries that are perfect for a quick, delicious bite (takeout or delivery), that won't charge you an arm and a leg.
This beloved Mediterranean joint is an oasis for healthy eaters that want a hearty, filling meal. Choose between a pita sandwich or a bowl filled with a base of grains, greens, or both, and your selection of a protein or two. You can't beat getting all this plus up to three spreads and unlimited toppings for under $12. Don't forget to try one of their fresh, sweet seasonal juices either!
Cheap or not, this family-run Korean restaurant is hands-down one of my favorite places downtown due to their fresh ingredients, big flavor, and lightning-fast delivery. An order of grease-free, crispy dumplings and any of the Bibim Rice bowls bursting with flavor will leave you full and with enough leftovers for the next day.
Smack dab in the middle of town, Gypsy Grill serves up traditional Egyptian fare made fresh daily. Some of their most popular and tasty dishes include the shawarma, kabob, and sesame-covered falafel, which comes in your choice of a pita sandwich, platter, or a box all under $10. Every option comes with pita and a side salad, but the hummus, baba gannouj, and fattush salad are perfect complements to your protein.
With this Hawaiian seafood dish sweeping the nation, it's no wonder Tidal Poke has been such a success and recently opened a second location on Grove Street. Using fresh and high-quality sustainably sourced ingredients, this eatery has suggested combinations of bowls or you can customize your own. If you're in more of a dessert mood, they also have amazing smoothie bowls that are sure to hit your sweet tooth.
This husband-and-wife-owned cafe is welcoming and warm from the moment you walk in. The signature Batata Suiça, a pan-fried potato pancake stuffed with a variety of fillings, is the perfect comfort food and a surprisingly filling meal. They have tons of other Brazilian specialties, too, that can be combined for a meal or added to the side of your batata, ranging from $9-$15.
What happens when a crepe food truck, a Korean food truck, and some Mexican classics join forces? The unexpected, but delicious fusion that is downtown's beloved Kraverie. The wide array of options makes this spot a go-to for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Every well-portioned dish is under $12, so we highly recommend trying the Kimchi Fried Rice and the Korean Crepe.
If you've lived in Jersey City for more than a hot minute, you already know about Taqueria. This basement joint might possibly make every list we post because yes, it's really that great, and it's also that cheap. They have over ten types of tacos at $3.75 a piece along with many other Mexican and "gringo" options. You also can't go wrong with their addictive guacamole.
Things the owners love to eat inspire the menu at this neighborhood café, therefore the menu offers a variety of items. Whether you're an omnivore, vegetarian, gluten-free, or vegan there's a little something for everyone. A bonus is that their flavorful breakfast, which includes Balthazar baked goods, is served all day. Nothing on the menu will set you back more than $12, so go ahead and add a fresh-pressed juice to your order.
Written by Sasha Kleinman
Born and raised in NJ, Sasha is a recent transplant to Jersey City and has become obsessed with everything the city has to offer. Sasha is a fashion copywriter by day, and die-hard Jane Do enthusiast and (vegetarian) foodie by night. When she's not stuffing her face at one of Chilltown's amazing restaurants, having a couple brewskis at the local brewery Departed Soles, or snuggling with your dog, Sasha is busy traveling the globe with camera (and fork) in hand. Follow her wide array of adventures @sksashafierce and @the_hungry_growlers!