Jersey City may well be one of the country’s best-kept secrets. As the second-most populated city in New Jersey after Newark, Jersey City is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from New York City. Indeed, it’s considered part of the NYC metro area and has trains that take you back and forth to the city every day. But you don’t have to head to the city every time you want to find something fun to do when there’s so much to see right in Jersey City.
Jersey City is one of the most diverse cities in the country and you’ll benefit from this blending of cultures when you live here. From fabulous Bangladeshi food at Koral Kitchen to Mexican food that’s to die for at Orale Mexican Kitchen, there’s a lot to love in this melting pot of a town (and that’s just the food, for starters.)
In Jersey City you’ll also find Nest by Common, our first Jersey City building, located in Journal Square, the heart of some of Jersey City’s diverse charm. Named for the headquarters of the Jersey Journal, the newspaper that had its headquarters there from 1911 to 2013, it’s a bustling, busy neighborhood at all hours of the day.
Journal Square is best known as the city’s transit hub, with the JSQ train station located just steps from your door to make commuting to New York City possible and quick. But there’s more than just transportation waiting outside your door. Read on to learn more about some of the delightful spots in Journal Square that are within walking distance of your home at Nest by Common.
The Farmer’s Market
Journal Square has an active farmer’s market that’s set up twice a week for you to get fresh, local fruits and vegetables. This market has been a staple of the community for more than 20 years but they sell more than just fruits and vegetables: it’s also a home for artisans and crafters of all types to sell their wares.
More formally called the Journal Square Green Market, it operates Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 am until 8 pm. You’ll find food vendors there, too, so it’s a great place to pick up a fresh lunch or dinner created by local entrepreneurs.
If you’ve been to the PATH station (also called the JSQ Transportation Center), you may have already walked by Emma’s without knowing what it was. It’s a full-fledged restaurant right in the middle of the transportation center. Formerly home to PJ Ryan Squared, this historic spot has hosted businesses since it was the original site of the Latham House in the early 1920s.
Today, Emma’s represents a thriving new addition to the restaurant scene in Journal Square, offering inventive takes on Southern-inspired fare. Locals rave about the chicken and waffles and the brisket sandwich, either of which is fabulous whether you dine in or choose to get it for takeout.
Philippine Bread House
Got a carb craving? Take your cash and head to Philippine Bread House, which has been a neighborhood staple for decades. It’s a pastry-lover’s dream, offering a variety of Filipino sweets and specialties like ensaymadas, which are brioche breads covered with fresh butter, sugar, and cheese.
You can get custom cakes made to order with ingredients like purple yam or coconut. Everything here is made from scratch with fresh ingredients and you’ll taste the freshness in every bite. If you want more of a meal in addition to your dessert, you can stop for dinner first at the cafe next door and get Filipino comfort food like fresh fish with vegetables or adobo pork.
Mana Contemporary is an artists’ exhibition space in a former tobacco warehouse. This provides an edgy, urban feel to a great venue for artists of all types to showcase their work. You can stop in to view the many exhibits on any day from 3:30 pm to 5 pm.
But also be aware that Mana Warehouse hosts regular events, from artist receptions to Saturday night gatherings. One of the neatest things about this space is that you can view all the projects currently in the works and watch the art-making process on all seven floors.
If you’ve craving authentic Indian food, you can’t go wrong with Rasoi. Featuring Indian classics like chicken tikka masala and samosas, Rasoi also offers delicious vegetarian dishes like chana deli and saag paneer.
You might want to get your meal to go during the days of COVID, but Rasoi also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet for a budget-friendly $10.99. The buffet is a great way to try all the fresh Indian dishes that you’re curious about — maybe you’ll even find a new favorite.
Make sure to stop by the statue of baseball great and native Jackie Robinson while you’re walking through Journal Square and appreciate just how many people have called Journal Square their home.