Whether you’re looking for an alternative to the hustle and bustle (and high housing prices) of Manhattan or your interest is piqued by New Jersey’s charms, Jersey City has something for everyone.
Conveniently nestled between Newark and The Big Apple, Jersey City’s seven neighborhoods each embody a unique mood, pace, and lifestyle. From the best Jersey City restaurants and must-visit Jersey City bars to waterfront parks and historic buildings, these neighborhoods have it all. It’s no secret why residents love them.
In our guide to Jersey City neighborhoods, we’ll explore the perks of each locale. Our goal: to help you narrow down your shortlist of the best neighborhoods in Jersey City. Let’s begin our journey through the tree-lined streets, emerald green parks, and scrumptious restaurants that the city has to offer.
Our first stop is Bergen-Lafayette. If walkable streets, copious parks, and a diverse restaurant scene are your jam, Bergen-Lafayette will become your favorite of the Jersey City neighborhoods.
Bergen-Lafayette features several centrally-located parks:
- Berry Lane Park
- Arlington Park
- Lafayette Park
- Bergen Hill Park
- Gateway Field
Lafayette Park is particularly picturesque, and with local coffee spot The Grind Shop just two blocks away, it’s the perfect locale for an evening stroll, a morning jog, or a Saturday afternoon picnic.
While Bergen-Lafayette already has the park scene on lock, Jersey City is also turning the Fairmount Triangle, a green space bisected by busy streets, into a mid-city sanctuary for kids and adults alike.1
In addition to its scenic charm, Bergen-Lafayette doesn’t skimp on gustatory experiences.
- Light Rail Cafe, Harry’s Daughter, and The Factory are just a few of the neighborhood’s dining staples.
- If you’re a craft beer aficionado, check out 902 Brewing Company, which is conveniently located right across the street from the Pacific Avenue-Carteret Avenue bus stop.
Just a short light rail ride away from Liberty State Park, Bergen-Lafayette is a peaceful, quaint neighborhood in Jersey City that would make an excellent home for young professionals, foodies, and park-lovers alike.
For a healthy dose of charm and quirk, look no further than The Heights. Nestled between Victorian residences and fire escape-clad brick buildings you’ll find scrumptious restaurants and picturesque parks.
- If you’re a lover of the outdoors, you’ll find a home away from home at the Jersey City Reservoir, a fixture of The Heights. A hidden gem in the center of The Heights, nature took over Jersey City Reservoir #3 after it was discontinued for drinking water use over two decades ago. Now, the reservoir teems with trees and wildlife, and it offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.2
- Right across the street from Reservoir #3 is another Heights gem: Pershing Park. After grabbing a sandwich from Andrea Salumeria (a long-standing deli less than a block away) or an empanada from Noches de Colombia (a restaurant on the corner of Manhattan and Central), enjoy a tree-lined walk through the Heights’ most well-loved park.
For views of the Hudson and the Manhattan skyline, head to the Riverview-Fisk Park observation deck. If you’re ambitious, wake up early, watch the sun come up, and experience one of the most tranquil and meditative experiences this Jersey City neighborhood has to offer. You can even explore Jersey City’s neighboring area, Hoboken, not very far from The Heights.
Historic Downtown Jersey City is a shrine to all things red brick. The intersection of Newark and Jersey Avenues is a window into the daily hustle and bustle of this Jersey City neighborhood, and exploring Newark Avenue east of Jersey Avenue will introduce you to excellent eateries.
Historic Downtown Jersey City is a foodie’s dream. If you’re looking for food in the Historic Downtown area, you’ll have no trouble finding:
- Mexican food
- Indian cuisine
- Korean fare
And if you think Historic Downtown’s penchant for a fast pace would deprive it of charm, think again. A testament to the soul of the downtown neighborhood is the Brunswick Community Garden, a haven for pollinators, urban farmers, and neighborhood cats alike.3
Speaking of green spaces, Hamilton Park, located in Weehawken, is a beloved, must-visit spot in Historic Downtown with a view of the Hudson River. A playground, a splash pad, a dog park, and stone-paved paths, this park will make you fall in love with this neighborhood. Conveniently located near bus stops and a bike-sharing station, this park is accessible and embodies the electric atmosphere of Historic Downtown.
New architecture and the brick buildings of yore tango in Journal Square are where the Historic Downtown energy takes a chill pill. The intersection of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Newark Avenue is teeming with restaurants, businesses, and people, but Journal Square residents wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Mana Contemporary Art Center is one of the cultural centerpieces of this Jersey City neighborhood. With locations in Chicago and Miami, the organization takes root in unique renovated spaces, and their gallery in Journal Square is no different. What appears to be an old brick industrial building on the outside is an altar to all things contemporary art inside.4
Another innovative space in Journal Square is the Hudson County Community College Park, a triangular space studded with railings, shrubs, and Jersey City’s signature red brick accents. An ideal place for enjoying a cup of coffee on a sunny winter morning, this communal space is a perfect perch for people-watchers.
Greenville is a walkable neighborhood mostly populated with families, but its low-key vibe lies in stark contrast to the more high-strung Jersey City neighborhoods.
- Greenville is home to the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center, a community gathering space, cultural center, and educational hub for people throughout Greenville. If you’re looking for a neighborhood with community engagement, you’ll find it in Greenville.
- Just a few blocks away from the Mary McLeod Bethune Center is Audubon Park, featuring sports courts, walking paths, large trees, and benches for enjoying a sack lunch or takeout from a nearby restaurant. New Carmen’s Restaurant and El Sol Del Caribe are two nearby eateries providing both dine-in and takeout opportunities for locals.
- Columbia Park is another gem of Greenville, an oasis of shade trees and walking paths smack-dab in the middle of the neighborhood. Surrounded by residences, the park serves as an idyllic backdrop to residential life.
In addition to an excellent array of parks, Greenville hosts New Jersey City University and its series of awe-inspiring buildings. If you’re moving to Jersey City looking for a neighborhood with diverse food choices, an easy-going and family-friendly atmosphere, and a potential for continuing education, Greenville is calling your name.
Country Village is Greenville’s next-door neighbor. Featuring views of the Newark Bay, proximity to major New Jersey thoroughfares, and charming cottage-inspired residences, this neighborhood is a secluded and peaceful escape from city life.
For commuters heading to Newark or Staten Island, Country Village makes a perfect place to lay your head at night, convene with friends after a long workweek, and enjoy the peace of your own space. 440 is right in your backyard, making car travel a breeze.
While Country Village affords peace and quiet that isn’t guaranteed in other Jersey City neighborhoods, proximity to Greenville ensures that residents can find excitement and community nearby. Plus, the attractions of other neighborhoods are easily accessible via the Jersey Turnpike.
If you’re seeking a combination of the perfect location, a quiet and peaceful home, and commuting opportunities, Country Village could be one of the Jersey City neighborhoods you’d like to call home.
Perched next to the Hackensack River is the West Side neighborhood with leafy trees, quaint residences, and a stunning local park.
The West Side is a snapshot of America: houses come in all shapes and sizes, there are various large-scale employers (like Imperial Dade, a nationwide supplier of cleaning products) and recreation opportunities abound.
- The Skyway Golf Course is a nine-hole course with views of the Hackensack River and the Manhattan skyline. Situated between Lincoln Park and a manufacturing district, the course is as unsuspecting as it is beautiful.
- Lincoln Park itself is a sprawling green space featuring sports fields, a dog park, a sparkling fountain, and more. Spend enough time in Lincoln Park, and you could easily forget that you’re within spitting distance of Manhattan.
For people who want to leave city life behind at the end of the workday, the West Side could be the perfect Jersey City neighborhood.
Jersey City Neighborhoods: What’s Not to Like?
Whether you’re charmed by the peace of The West Side and Country Village, the community-centered atmosphere of Greenville, the fast pace of Journal Square and Historic Downtown, or the green spaces of Bergen-Lafayette and The Heights, Jersey City’s diverse neighborhoods deliver something for every lifestyle.
If you need access to Manhattan, Newark, or Staten Island for work but you’re seeking a more singular locale, look no further than Jersey City. It’s the perfect location for commuters, whether you hop on the light rail or brave the Holland Tunnel for your daily journey into the office.
Why overpay for housing, furniture, utilities, and necessities when you can become a Common member? Explore our stunning residences and find your new home today.
- City of Jersey City. Mayor Fulop Breaks Ground on $200k Transformation of Bergen-Lafayette Park to Increase Recreational Space and Safety for Local Residents. https://jerseycitynj.gov/news/pressreleases2021/mayorbreaksgroundonbergenlafayettepark
- Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance. About Reservoir #3. https://www.jcreservoir.org/about-reservoir-3/
- Brunswick Community Garden. About. https://www.brunswickcommunitygarden.org/about
- The Mana Contemporary Art Center. Mission. https://www.manacontemporary.com/about/vision/