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  • Exploring Jersey City: The Village Neighborhood

    With these April showers lingering into the May flowers, it’s important to maximize your adventuring on those sunny days. Now that you’ve had some fun exploring Jersey City by checking out the Van Vorst Park, Hamilton Park, and Paulus Hook neighborhoods, it’s time we visited The Village, right around the corner from these other great locations.

    History

    The Village, once deemed the “Little Italy” of JC, is home to exciting new restaurants, shops, and experiences, but this “village” in JC also remains loyal to its old-school roots and downhome establishments. The Village is bounded by Sixth Street, Christopher Columbus Drive, Coles Street, and the Turnpike Extension, and is as tiny as it is mighty. With a park and neighborhood association all its own, don’t let this little section of JC fool you — there’s so much to explore!

    Eating and Drinking

    Madame Claude Bis {390 4th Street}

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    If you’re looking for a little slice of France right here in NJ, run, don’t walk, to Madame Claude’s Bis. Open Tuesday through Sunday, with a special brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday, you’re sure to find something sweet, savory, and tres tres bien. Every Tuesday and Thursday night from 7:30pm until closing they have a live jazz band, and Madame Claude’s occasionally offers an exclusive dinner series at their establishment. The restaurant focuses on all the wonderful things France has to offer — food, music, and wine — so how could we go wrong. But be prepared, they’re closed Mondays.

    Cellar 335 {335 Newark Avenue}

    If French food isn’t really your style, head on over to Cellar 335 and enjoy a slice of tiki heaven! With fancy fun tiki cocktails and Asian American dishes, you really can’t go wrong at this hip restaurant. Full of colorful and spicy dishes on their menu, your taste buds will thank you from your first sip to last bite. Don’t miss out on this yummy exoctic hot spot the next time you’re in The Village section of JC. Closed Monday and limited menu on Sunday.

    Read more: Cellar 335’s Tiki-style Cocktails are Pretty Much the Most Instagram-worthy Drinks EVER

    Third & Vine {353 3rd Street}

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    This cheese and wine tavern serves up small plates, cheese, and seasonal produce, with wine, beer, cocktails, and hard cider to boot. If you’re not looking for a heavy meal and love a European flare, swing by Third & Vine. With a daily selection of deviled eggs and hot cheese sandwiches {aka – grilled cheeses of all types}, you’ll satisfy most any craving at Third & Vine. Closed on Mondays, no brunch.

    Cafe Batata {382 2nd Street}

    You should head to Café Batata if you’re in the mood for tasty, stick-to-your-ribs Brazilian food. Known for their speciality dish, batata suíça {a potato pancake type fried fritter stuffed with meat and/or vegetables}, and it is DELICIOUS. If fried potatoes aren’t your thing, Café Batata still has many wonderful food options {including gluten-free choices}, such as paninis, soups, salads, and various custard treats. If you can’t get to the brick and mortar location, you can always order their tasty food on GrubHub.

    Tea NJ {262 Newark Ave}  

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    If you’re looking for a cafe with vegetarian and vegan health food options {and a vast selection of teas}, Tea NJ is a great place to visit. This little gem feels warm and friendly from the moment you enter the restaurant, and with great food from breakfast through dinner {and free wifi}, you may never want to leave. If you’re in the mood for sweets, don’t forget to try their vegan Oreo cake — it’s amaaazing. Open seven days a week.

    Gia Gelato & Cafe {281 Newark Avenue}

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    When you’re in the mood for an Italian dessert but can’t get to the mainland, head on over to Gia Gelato & Cafe. The gelato at this shop is really very tasty, and they use all natural ingredients and no additional additives in their gelato recipes. If you’re looking to have a meal before your gelato, you can easily find something tasty on their breakfast {served all day long} and lunch menus. A family friendly establishment, you’ll have a great time over at Gia’s any day of the week because they’re open all seven days.

    Antique Bakery {279 Newark Avenue}

    Sometimes you just need a great piece of bread {and by piece, we mean loaf}, and the Antique Bakery can help you with that. This Antique Bakery was previously a mainstay in Hoboken for over 100 years before relocating to Newark Avenue in Jersey City just last year. With deliciously made Italian bread, foccacia, sandwiches, and cookies to boot, you really can’t go wrong. Though this little gem is not for the gluten-free, it’s a tasty treat worth checking out. Open seven days a week. PS: They still deliver fresh bread to the Antique Bar & Bakery in Hoboken daily!

    Shopping/Experiences

    DeCarlos Bespoke {411 Monmouth Street}

    If there’s a man in your life who needs a very special handmade suit, bring him to DeCarlos for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. At DeCarlos, the eponymous Mr. DeCarlos Morse will handcraft a suit a la James Bond. DeCarlos also does general tailoring {and not just for men}, but his specialty is suits with style and class. When you walk into this tiny shop you feel as if you’ve stumbled upon a tiny town in England and DeCarlos is your friendly and irreplaceable tailor. Open Tuesday through Saturday.

    Modern Sage {351 2nd Street}

    When things get stressful, it’s always nice to have a place to relax, and Modern Sage can help you with that problem. From healing sessions, meditation classes, spiritual coachings, massages, and relaxation products including crystals and organic chocolate, Modern Sage is dedicated to making you feel better. Do you have too much tension in your life? This lovely store can help you work through it organically. Modern Sage also offers organic products and candles that make great gifts for a loved one or yourself. Closed Monday.

    Read more: Modern Sage: A Spiritual + Wellness Boutique

    Jersey City Art School {313 3rd Street}

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    If you need an artistic outlet or just generally enjoy arts and crafts, Jersey City Art School can provide you with an opportunity to express yourself through art and design. The school focuses on painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry making, digital photography, watercolor, figure drawing, and animation, while also providing studio space for local artists to work, and sometimes exhibiting their creations. With several locations in JC, there are countless class options for both kids and adults available on any given week. Next time you’re inspired to try your hand at Picasso, head on over Jersey City Art School.

    Zahara Day Spa {403 Monmouth Street}

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    Sometimes a girl just needs a spa day, and fortunately, Zahara Day Spa can happily fill that need for you. Offering hydrating anti-aging body wraps, facials, massages, waxing, and more, this tiny spa has all of the amenities you could dream of. At Zahara, you immediately feel comfortable and relaxed, while the helpful staff adds to the general calm of the spa. Next time you’re in need of a little TLC, check out Zahara Day Spa. Closed Mondays.

    JC Barre Studio {419 Monmouth Street}  

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    If you’re looking to invest some sweat equity, JC Barre is a great place to visit. This little studio is extremely welcoming with its helpful staff and clean appearance. Though most of the movements you will experience in the class are “small,” do not be fooled — JC Barre will have you sweating today and sore tomorrow. With offers such as Bridal Boot Camp, Barre & Bachelorette, and Mommy & Me, JC Barre really has sometime to offer for everyone. Book a class today!

    Casa Mona {277 Newark Avenue}

    A recent addition to the downtown JC area, Casa Mona is a beautiful home decor and flower shop. Carrying elegant arrangements of flowers and succulents, there is something here for everyone on your list, including yourself. The store not only carries flowers, but has great housewarming gifts {with a flare for style} as well. If you can’t get to the brick and mortar location, feel free to check out Casa Mona’s chic Instagram account here. AND if you’re lacking your caffeine fix, Casa Mona also serves coffee!

    Sightseeing

    Mary Benson Park  

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    Across the street from the Dr. Michael Conti School {or Elementary School #5} sits the Mary Benson Park on Newark avenue. Named after Mary Benson, a benefactor of JC in the early 1900s, the park has several baseball fields, playgrounds, and other fun activities for the family. During the summer months, family and friends gather to watch baseball games, hold parties, or just enjoy the sunshine. Don’t miss out on this lovely park the next time you’re in the Village section of JC.

    St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church {457 Monmouth Street}  

    Built in 1892, this historic church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. In the late 1800s, Jersey City’s population was predominately Polish. With no church to attend in their own language, Polish families had to take the ferry into New York City just to attend mass. As a result, this beautiful church was built to accommodate the growing Polish population. Even today, mass is held in Polish, Latin, and English, and this building stands as a testament to the ever-changing and growing JC community.

    Check out our other guides to JC neighborhoods including Hamilton Park, Van Vorst Park, and Paulus Hook, and stay tuned for more tips on exploring Jersey City. Tag us in your travels on Instagram @HobokenGirlBlog or #hobokengirl. Where’s your favorite spot to explore in JC?


    Written by:

    Carianne is a loud-and-proud Jersey Girl. She moved to Hoboken in 2012, and what began as a stopover in this tiny urban town has turned into 4 years of exciting adventures. She works in NYC during the week, but during those free hours of the day you’ll find her seeking out a new fitness class, trying a challenging ( and clean-eating) recipe, or running around Hoboken and JC in search of new experiences. However, Carianne’s favorite activity is snuggling her fluffy Shih-Tzu companion, Fig Newton, at home with her husband.


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