Alcohol tourism is a serious industry. Jersey City may not be wine country, but in just the past four years, it has become home to a craft brewery and a distillery, and another brewery is on the way.
Make your way into Cellar 335 at any point in the year and you’re bound to see a difference in several variations of tiki vibe: During the holidays a sign outside will say “sleighs and leighs,” and the interior will be decked with all the boughs of holly people expect during the holidays; during the summer the vibrant smells and flavors of cocktails that you’d enjoy while sitting on a beach in Honolulu fill the space. However, no matter what time of year hungry and thirsty customers come to the restaurant, the one thing that they can rely on is an experience.
In almost every neighborhood there’s a spot that showcases the best of flavor and preparation, a culinary gem. For me, a restaurant qualifies as a “neighborhood” gem when it’s not widely known outside its environs; when, despite its modesty, its food and flavors can compete with anyone’s; and when you are made to feel welcome the minute you walk through the door. I consider these restaurants neighborhood gems: