Must-Eat Editor Picks: Jersey City Food Under $5
In a city that is constantly growing with shiny new restaurants, it becomes harder and harder to get flavorful food to fill your belly for under $5. As someone who is always on the lookout for authentic food at a good deal, I decided to gather a few of my favorite Jersey City meal-on-a-budget finds and share them. I’ll take you on a tour of JC where you can get the most bang for your buck all while trying some incredible eateries you didn’t know were right around the corner. From the unmarked food truck in Greenville to the empanadas in Bergen-Lafayette to the hotdogs in JSQ, it’s time to dive in and find everything under $5 in Jersey City!
Tax and tip not included.
Miss America Diner – Disco Fries – $5.00
Bring me a plate piled high with fries, gravy and cheese and let’s just call it a day. Check out my video food feature on Miss America Diner and see their Disco Fries up close and personal!
Lou’s Restaurant – Breakfast Platter – $4.25 (cash only)
2 eggs with home fries, coffee and toast. Delicious food with huge portions and all the old-school JC diner vibes. They take orders fast so when they come asking, BE READY!
Gus Breakfast & Lunch Food Truck – Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese on a Roll – $3.00 (cash only)
Gus has been running the food truck parked in front of NJCU in Greenville for 35 years. There’s no name or fancy graphics on this truck, you just know when you walk up you will be greeted with smiles and a “what can I get ya?”. Since the Everything Jersey City office is not far from Gus and his trusty truck, I am a very frequent customer.
Mordi Sandwich Shop – Veggie Toast (Vegetarian) – $4.00
Tired of your avo toast regimen? Try Mordi’s Veggie Toast with cream cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sumac pickled red onions, parsley and everything bagel seasoning on rye bread. Shake it up!
Carolyn’s Soul Food – Sticky Wings & Onion Rings – $5.00
If you live in JC and love soul food then you’ve heard of Carolyn’s home cooked food at a great price. They have a $5 menu to choose from so you can stay in your budget and still eat well. No one is going hungry at Carolyns.
O’ Lala Empanada – El Coqi Empanada – $2.75
I have never met an empanada from O’Lala that I did not devour happily, but if I had to choose my favorite it would be the El Coqi. Filled with roasted pork and sweet plantains. Another top contender would also be the Rhythm and Blues which is filled with mac and cheese! They make them fresh so call ahead of time to pick them up.
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Taste of the Caribbean – Curry Potato with Dahl Puri (Vegetarian) – $4.50
This incredible roti spot is the perfect stop in the westside for carribean treats and drinks. Check out my insta highlight to see their food and don’t forget your Kola Champagne!
Thanh Huong – Bahn Mi Thit Cha – $5.00
Bahn mi sandwiches have gotten pretty skimpy in many of the more well known spots in JC. Over at Thanh Huong you will find an authentic bahn mi that will really fill you up at a price that is more than reasonable. I can’t express this enough, biggest and most satisfying bahn mi I’ve had in a while.
Carmines Deli – Pasta Fagioli (Monday special) – $5.00
Check out Carmines Deli on a Monday for their special of the day, PASTA FAGIOLI! This hearty Italian soup will fill you up and make all your mama mia worries melt away.
Wonder Bagel (Vegetarian) – $4.75
To be honest, I love all the Wonder Bagel locations in Jersey City, but it’s worth mentioning the Westside WB customer service is really stellar. They always remember your face, order and even the last conversation you might have had at the register. My go to order: Everything Bagel with Tofu Cream Cheese. Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it!
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Boulevard Drinks – Hot Dog – $2.15
2 chili cheese dogs and an orange drink, please! Many assumptions can be made as to what my favorite food is in this world and they’re probably all wrong. It’s hot dogs through and through and Boulevard Drinks delivers the dog that gets the job done.
Eggmania – Masala Omelette (Vegetarian) – $3.99
You’ve never had such a tasty omelette packed with so much spice and flavor. A mix of egg with onions, tomatoes and chilies, also known as “The Desi Omelet”, is sure to fulfill the craving for something out of the ordinary.
Red Ribbon Bakery – Halo Halo (Drink/Dessert) – $4.99
A combination of shaved ice with sweetened beans, fruits and leche flan custard topped with mango whipped cream. This classic Phillipino drink reminds me a lot of the Korean Bingsu I grew up with. Simply divine.
The Halal Cart – Chicken Gyro Sandwich – $3.99
As much as I love a traditional lamb gyro, the chicken gyro at The Halal Cart has been my go-to since day one. Seasoned chicken, fresh veggies and a fluffy pita is where it’s at. If it ain’t broke…
King Szechuan Palace – Wontons in Chili Sauce – $5.00
What seems to be your typical chinese take out place is actually full of traditional Szechuan food if you look deeper into the menu or talk to the people behind the counter. Among my favorites from here are the steamed wontons that have been tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. No dipping required.
Dulce De Leche – Egg and Cheese on Croissant – $3.75
This Argentinian bakery and cafe offers delectable pastries that would make any person a little weak in the knees, but did you know their breakfast sandwiches are plentiful and under $5 too?
White Mana – Mana Burger – $1.12
These little slider size burgers have been around for over 80 years. A plain burger starts off at just $1.12, but if you want to go for gold try the double bacon cheese burgers for $2.94 each. How many should you order? 1 Mana burger equals out to about 2 white castle burgers in the belly. You do the math.
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Bob White Counter – Buffalo Chicken Biscuit – $4.95
Thinking about this actually makes my mouth water. As a girl raised in the south, I like to think I know my chicken and biscuits. Bob White delivers a buttery biscuit that doesn’t disintegrate while you’re trying to enjoy it. And the chicken is perfectly cooked with just the right amount of crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Spice it up by getting the buffalo version or keep it traditional with the plain crispy chicken and honey!
Ramen Green – Small Juicy Fried Chicken Bowl + Rice – $3.75 + $1.50
This Japanese style fried chicken is terrific. I know I went over my $5 budget by $0.25 here but I believe the addition of white rice is worth it to make this an amply satisfying meal. You can find Green Ramen inside 99 Ranch Supermarket.
Koro Koro – Rice Balls – $ 3.75
For me, this is more of a savory snack on-the-go. It won’t fill me up but it is the perfect bang for my buck when it comes to satisfaction and flavor. Big surprise, I love the spicy salmon with kimchi, garlic chili and mayo.
Pecoraro Antique Bakery – Peperoni Motz Roll – $5.00
What I truly love is sharing my great food finds with others. So when I’m on my way to someone’s house and to need to bring something to contribute to a dinner party or gathering I will grab a few rolls in various flavors. Shop local and help others experience your favorite foods.
Jersey City is filled with the most amazing flavors and cultures. I hope this list will nudge you to try new places, explore your city and taste the humbly delicious food Jersey City has to offer. You can find many of my favorite local eats at @LesEatsMore and in my Local JC Eats Highlight. For more Everything Jersey City food features check us out on YouTube.com!