Having lived here for some time, I have a pretty good idea about where to get the best everything in Hudson County (Hoboken and Jersey City). This series will start with what is closest to home: Central Avenue in the Heights.
Central Avenue offers some of the best products at the best prices. From farm stands to dollar stores and many gems in between, here are my recommendations:
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Sweet Pineapple has the best selection of fruits and vegetables out of the six farm stands and two grocery stores on the block, hands down.
Young’s Farm has the best basil ever and an overall great selection of greenery. They win in best quality, quantity, and variety of vegetables and at lower prices than the competitors.
Singh Farm has a more limited, less appealing selection of fruits and vegetables. Their strength is their fabulous selection of Indian food and condiments, the best tasting and least expensive avocados, and again, the best tasting and least expensive fresh bread.
Central Ave. Farm often has things you cannot find elsewhere, such as out-of-season vegetables. Key for when I needed to make my asparagus recipe last week.
No men allowed! Perfect.
The Internet Cafe has plenty of computers, is usually not crowded, and the prices are dirt-cheap.
The Cleopatra Cafe has hookah. Nuff said.
I’ve had pizza everywhere on the East Coast, and almost every place in Manhattan. This is the best slice you can get outside of Italy. Instead of going for the regular pie-size slice, order a personal (it’s 12″ so share it) pie with vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Buon Appetito!
Los Tres Chilitos is authentic Mexican. The guacamole is one of the best around, but after that, do not order the tacos (I have a much better place for that in downtown JC). For mains, order the steak fajitas or any steak platter.
Real deal spot for fresh mozzarella and all of your Italian cured meats. I’ll be the first to admit that this place is intimidating, which is why they are losing business from me. Many big Italian men in a small area who talk and joke constantly and hit on everything with two legs just makes it just hard to shop here as a female. When I am feeling brave I decide what I need before I go in, run in there, pay, laugh at whatever shit comes out of their mouths, and run right back out.
Hands down, Goehrigs is the best bakery in Hudson county. I know that other places have bigger reputations. All the better. I don’t care if this gem keeps hidden as long as it stays in business. It’s authentically Italian American Try the mini cannoli (cannulicchi), the tarts, all of the pastries, any cookie you desire. You absolutely cannot go wrong with the death by chocolate brownies and oreo brownies. The only thing I don’t like is the frosting they use on the cupcakes, but many people like the super fluffy kind. Pictures of cakes below.
Dahlia’s makes homemade ice cream. Barely anyone makes ice cream anymore! Not only does Dahlia’s have innovative flavors and never fail to disappoint, they make homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches!
99¢ Gallery is awesome for makeup, arts & crafts supplies (they really have everything), party favors, gag gifts, gift wrap, shampoo, cow’s silk lotion, and Dove soap (the big bars are only $1 each; less than half the price at drugstores).
This is going to sound crazy, but for all of my antique jewelry and everything I can buy on the cheap that’s more modern, this place kills it when it comes to conversation pieces that are inexpensive.
99¢ Vision has the best sponges, $1 brand-name dishsoap, and tupperware. Basically, Vision is your go-to spot for kitchen supplies
Whenever you want to redecorate your place, Kennedy’s is the spot. Great for all linens and appliances for bedroom, bathroom, kitchen. Cleaning supplies and tools as well. Super cheap. Great Hello Kitty studded headphones and iPad cases. Also, it doesn’t hurt that they sell stockings, sandals, and—my most surprising purchase—a bedazzling sequined clubbing dress.