10 Delicious Jersey City Food Joints Under $5
The Jersey City culinary scene is unmatched for its rich, diverse options of restaurants that regularly top every “best in Jersey” lists. While a three-course meal and a flaming cocktail at Cellar 335 or a New York Times-approved pie from Razza are undoubtedly amazing, luckily Jersey City is also full of much more casual, low-priced options that don’t compromise on taste or authenticity. Here are 10 options in Jersey City that offer food under $5 are sure to please your stomach and your wallet when searching for cheap eats in JC.
The hand-rolled, fresh-baked infamous bagels at Wonder Bagels are no local secret, having won plenty of “best of” awards that inform the daily lines out the doors of its five Jersey City locations, but those titles are well-earned and, luckily, don’t reflect on the price. For just $3.50 for any one of NJ’s best bagels with cream cheese, you can’t go wrong with starting your morning with any flavor here.
Location: 517 Jersey Ave.; 331 Central Ave.; 729 Bergen Ave.; 431 Danforth Ave.; 433 Sip Ave. with additional locations in Bayonne
Where to find the closest, best, and cheapest (in that order) Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich is imbued in the soul of every New Jerseyan. In Jersey City, you’ll find this classic in all its no-frills glory at Dixon Deli for just $4. You’ll even have a dollar leftover to splurge on adding extra meat for double the Taylor Ham for an extra good start to the day.
Location: 358 Varick St.
Once you get past tee-heeing about the name of the local incrediBalls food truck, you’ll find a menu of truly incredible, large meatballs, including classic Italian meatballs with tomato sauce, Swedish meatballs with gravy that save you a ride to Ikea in Elizabeth, and spicy Báhn Mi meatballs over a bed of pickled carrots. There’s also a vegan option for non-meat ball lovers. Try any two with a potato roll for $5.
Location: Follow @incrediballsfoodtruck on Facebook for daily location; often found at Corgi Spirits and Hudson and Grand St.
Sad desk lunches are a thing of the past. The cozy, unassuming eatery, Ibby’s Falafel, on Grove Street is hiding a big and satisfying secret. Choose from any one of Ibby’s Classic Veggie sandwiches, including the Baba Ghanoush, Foul Madammes, Stuffed Grape Leaves, or “Famous Falafel” sandwiches, to get a piping hot envelope of spiced goodness along with a side salad and tahini sauce for under $4.50.
Location: 303 Grove St.
The fried chicken wars are raging on, and although Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A are all over the news, true fried chicken sandwich fans know not to sleep on the classic sandwich from Filipino favorite Jollibee. At just $4.49, nothing about the sandwich tastes like fast food, from the nonuniform, ultra-crispy exterior that stars in multiple ASMR videos for good reason, to the juicy, seasoned dark meat hidden inside.
Location: 393 Danforth Ave.
The best bang for your buck (or, in this case, fiver) is a slice at Jersey City newcomer –– Tony Baloney, known for making pizza “not for the faint of heart.” Most of the wild slices feature five or more ingredients, like the 10-meat behemoth Casino Carnivore, Sh#tfaced Chicken with beer battered chicken breast and homemade honey stout bbq sauce, and Ay Dio Mio-Mac with extra cheesy macaroni and cheese heaped on top, and all cost under $5, with some of them more extreme slices coming out to $6.57.
Location: 363 Grove St. with additional locations in Atlantic City, Hoboken, and Long Branch
The authentically golden, flaky pastry dough and perfectly seasoned meat inside the Jamaican patties from Golden Krust are the perfect grab-and-go snack or lunch, with just one or two able to satisfy the desire for delicious Caribbean street food. Patty flavors include spicy beef, chicken, jerk chicken, shrimp, veggie, all ranging from $2.35-2.68 each.
Location: 2860 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Simple, spicy, and super busy, Taqueria Downtown is as well-known for its tacos as it is for the lines of people permanently stationed outside the tiny eatery during the evening taco rush on Grove St. It’s busy for a good reason – their no frills, authentic tacos are some of the best in the city and priced perfectly at just $3.75-$4.01 each. Unlike other places that slather on sauce or go overboard on toppings, these tacos need nothing more than a squeeze of lime to satisfy any craving.
Location: 236 Grove St.
$2.25 starts chicken emp – 3.00 premium
At the aptly named O’LaLa Empanadas, there’s a delicious, crispy pastry pocket to fit all tastes and budgets, from the traditional beef, chicken, and cheese options for just $2.50, to the premium and supreme collections of unusual flavors that are worth a second, third, and fourth try for $3.50-$4.00; these include the Greek Goddess filled with spinach and cream cheese, El Coqui with roast pork and sweet plantains, and The Aztec with spicy shrimp and chipotle sauce. There are even warm dessert options for $3.50, so no matter what time of day or mood you’re in, O’LaLa has you, and your wallet, covered.
Location: 600 Communipaw Ave.
For more than 50 years, Torico has been serving the Jersey City community some of NJ’s best ice cream. From hard scoops and soft serve, to sorbets and Italian ice with flavors ranging from the typical to the unusual (avocado or bubble gum ice cream, anyone?), everything is made with all-natural ingredients – all 65+ flavors – and served year-round. All soft serve sizes cost under $5, while kiddie and regular sizes run $3.89-$4.92. Or dig into a slice of homemade ice cream cake for $4.50 even if it isn’t your birthday.
Location: 20 Erie St.