Local Highlights

13 Must-Visit Jersey City Bars

TwitterPinterestFacebook

No matter where you live in Jersey City, you’re never too far from a bar. There is at least one bar in nearly every Jersey City neighborhood—save Country Village, but you can find some in adjacent Greenville—and, like the neighborhoods themselves, Jersey City bars each have their quirks. 

Whether you’re into craft cocktails, a killer wine list, beer taps as far as the eye can see, or keeping it casual at a dive bar, you can find it in Jersey City. In this list, we’ll go neighborhood-by-neighborhood to explore bars in Jersey City, NJ. 

If you haven’t already, pour yourself a drink for inspiration! 

Bergen-Lafayette

In addition to its copious green spaces, Bergen-Lafayette also boasts a quirky, abundant bar scene. Like other more low-key neighborhoods, if you go into any bar in Bergen-Lafayette more than once, you’ll be considered a regular—and you’ll probably recognize a few faces yourself. 

Luckily, this neighborhood’s walkable streets weave into a spider web of excellent bar-hopping opportunities. 

1. 902 Brewing Company

Named after the Hoboken apartment where it all started, 902 Brewing Company was founded by New Jersey natives.

  • 902 has been concocting grains and hops potions since 2012. 
  • With 16 rotating taps, you’d have to visit pretty regularly to try every brew in their arsenal. 
  • Their taproom on Pacific Avenue features views of Liberty State Park and the Manhattan skyline.

The atmosphere is only a boon to 902 Brewing’s brand. Even if the views were nonexistent and the atmosphere wasn’t up to snuff, we’d still recommend their downright delicious beers. 

2. O’Leary‘s Publick House

O’Leary’s keeps it simple, and sometimes that’s all you need. While it could never be described as swanky, the regulars and the bar staff wouldn’t want it any other way. Their minimalist decor and traditional wine, beer, and spirits offerings still make for an awesome bar experience. 

If you’re looking for a local vibe with plenty of heart, you won’t want to skip O’Leary’s. And don’t sleep on the food while you’re there—they make a perfect cheeseburger, and there’s no better companion for an ice-cold beer. 

3. The Light Rail Cafe

Come for the killer food and excellent cocktails, stay for the customer service and overall vibe. The Light Rail Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Jersey City and serves bar food, a selection of high-quality entrees, and dessert along with their cocktail slate. It’s the perfect restaurant for family dinner, date night, or a Friday afternoon happy hour. 

Best of all, their menu is available for brunch, and they’re nailing the mimosa game. Our favorite brunch combo includes:

  • A crispy calamari starter
  • A Caesar wrap
  • A whole bottle of champagne with a side of OJ for the table

What’s not to like?

The Heights

The diverse restaurant offerings and the green oasis of Reservoir #3 aren’t the only things to like about The Heights. Their bar scene is equal parts zany and classic, and if you’re looking for a unique bar experience without having to wade through crowds, look no further than this unassuming hot spot for Jersey City bars. 

4. Low Fidelity

A marriage of quirk and class, Low Fidelity is more than just a bar—it’s also an attitude. Low Fidelity’s downright refined cocktail menu paired with their equally-inspired pizza, sandwiches, and salads make for a bar experience you’ll want to repeat every weekend. 

There are a few dazzling elements that set Low Fidelity apart from the rest of the bars in Jersey City, NJ:

  • They offer two frozen cocktails (the Mezcal Paloma and the Missionary’s Downfall).
  • Their wine list caters to every taste. 
  • They have an excellent selection of both draft and canned beers. 

Despite the hip interiors (there’s even a branded stained glass window), Low Fidelity doesn’t take itself too seriously, and we love that. 

5. Fox & Crow

Fox & Crow is the height of cool. With interior and exterior aesthetics to die for, one can only expect the same from the menu. Fox & Crow delivers. 

Serving snacks, burgers, salads, and tacos, this joint had us hooked before we even discovered the brunch menu. While their cocktail menu may seem small compared to the beer and wine lists, the drinks are seasonal. Tried everything on the menu already? Come back in a few weeks for a brand-new list of signature libations. 

Historic Downtown

If there’s anywhere you’re going to find an awesome bar in Jersey City, it’s Historic Downtown. The highest-energy neighborhood in the city, the bar scene is packed with contenders for the must-visit list. 

If the low-key bars in Bergen-Lafayette and The Heights are too sleepy for you, Historic Downtown will be paradise. 

6. Lucky 7 Tavern

A lively local bar with a big personality, Lucky 7 Tavern is the pub for Jersey City locals looking for a memorable night. Their everyday special is more of a wake-up call than a nightcap: five-dollar PBR cans with a shot of bourbon. 

This is a great first stop on your bar-hopping adventure for those entertaining first-time visitors to Jersey City and looking to show them a good time, 

7. Barcade

If you’re looking for a rollicking good time in Historic Downtown Jersey City, look no further than Barcade.

  • Though arcade bars have been popping up nationwide, Barcade was one of the first.
  • After opening in 2004, they’ve added locations throughout the Northeast, bringing the winning combo of gaming and drinking to Jersey City and beyond. 

Challenge a stranger to a game of pinball, vow to best your own high score in Galaga, or try your hand at Joust. An ice-cold cocktail and a pocket full of arcade tokens are always a winning combination. 

8. Six26

If you’re looking for a party, Six26 is where you’ll find it. Their rooftop lounge is the perfect place to sing along during a drag show, dance your heart out to a hype DJ, or hoot and holler during drag king bingo. 

Anyone entering the lounge looking for a good time is guaranteed to find it. With daily drink specials, outstanding (and sometimes outlandish, like the Chill Town Blues) cocktails, Six26 is nailing both the high-energy atmosphere and high-quality menu. 

Greenville

After a bender in Historic Downtown, you may be seeking a return to a laid-back atmosphere. Greenville’s working-class environment is the perfect place to seek out a low-key watering hole, a quick bite, or a chat with a friendly bartender. 

9. Cherry’s Lounge

Cherry’s Lounge is a piece of Greenville history. This casual bar and eatery was founded and operated by Leroy Cherry until his passing in 2000 when the helm was passed to his wife, Mervel. A staple in the community and a locus of Black history, don’t be fooled by their unassuming exterior. Their incredible food and drinks will keep you coming back. 

For one of the best brunches in Jersey City, look no further than Cherry’s. Chicken and waffles to die for, grits that will transport you back to your hometown, and a grilled cheese sandwich to rule are just a few menu highlights.

Cherry’s Lounge is a perfect place for a date, a solo drink, or a family meal.

10. Brenda’s Place

If you’re new to Greenville looking to connect with the locals, you’ll find them sidling up to the bar at Brenda’s Place for delicious drinks and high-quality American cuisine. While their atmosphere is humble, Brenda’s is anything but a dive. 

The food is simply outstanding. With affordable prices and hungry-man portions, you won’t be able to resist ordering a plate when you stop by for a happy hour libation. A pro tip from the locals: don’t skip the Smothered Chicken Thursday special. 

Journal Square

The hip neighborhood of Journal Square offers plenty of must-do-activities, and exploring their bar scene should be at the top of your list. If you’ve just moved into the Nest by Common, you’ll quickly discover that you’ve landed in a hotbed of Jersey City bars. 

Whether you’re seeking a cocktail after a day at the Mana Contemporary Art Center or you’ve just stepped off the light rail after a long week of commuting, Journal Square has a watering hole that will strike your fancy. 

11. Grape Vine Tavern

For a busy social scene littered with locals and transplants alike, check out Grape Vine Tavern. Their ultra-casual, low-key atmosphere makes for a perfect first stop on your happy hour bar hop, and it’s a perfect place to meet up with friends for a drink in a red solo cup.

Their outdoor porch area is a charming blank slate waiting to be filled with spirited conversation. Open until 3:00 am, it’s a perfect locale for night owls. Whether you’re having your last nightcap or just getting the party started, Grape Vine Tavern is an excellent venue for rubbing elbows with locals. 

12. JSQ Lounge

Modern mixology finds a home among old-school decor at JSQ Lounge, a hip bar in Journal Square. Featuring stellar signature cocktails, ten-dollar favorite cocktails (like cosmos, margaritas, and Moscow mules), and an impressive beer list, this whimsical bar and restaurant never skimps on quality. 

For a locally-inspired cocktail, try the Square’s Revivor, a fruity gimlet-esque delicacy featuring Jersey City’s own Corgi Spirits gin. Pair any of their cocktails with their delicious wings for an unforgettable bar trip.

West Side

Long-time Jersey City residents know that there’s something for everyone in the West Side neighborhood, and the local bars are no exception. Stop by for a drink after a round at the Skyway Golf Course or a brisk stroll through Lincoln Park to chat with locals and kick back with a cocktail. 

13. New Park Tavern

For low-key food and drink, look no further than New Park Tavern. A local staple where you can catch an evening football game or chill on the outdoor patio, New Park Tavern is the place to go for West Side eats and cocktails. 

Their standard bar fare is far from ordinary, and newcomers to the West Side are guaranteed to add a New Park visit to their weekly schedule. 

Jersey City Bars Deliver More Than Food and Drinks

If you’re looking for bars in Jersey City, NJ, you’re in luck. A rooftop bar, sports bar, dive bar – you name it. From amazing cocktails to craft beer and bar bites, the city is teeming with options, and each neighborhood features a unique slate of watering holes and hip cocktail locales. 

Find your new favorite neighborhood haunt when you move into one of Common’s community-driven apartments across the country. With exclusive events, discounts to local and national brands, and great locations, you’ll always be steps away from the best places your city has to discover. Explore our homes in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and beyond.

Related posts: