Today’s Hoboken City Guide comes from Louise Gale, an artist, writer and creative entrepreneur living in Hoboken, New Jersey. Louise authors the blog Dream, Inspire, Create and the Big Dreams, Small Wonders e-course, a site that helps others “live their dreams out loud.” Louise is British born and after living in Australia and traveling to other continents, she finally decided to make the town of Hoboken home to her creative life. Today she shares with us the wonders that make up this hip town across the Hudson River from New York City! Thanks, Louise, for this wonderful guide! — Stephanie
CLICK HERE for the full guide after the jump!
Welcome to Hoboken. A vibrant New Jersey town just a hop, skip and jump over the river from Manhattan. Hoboken was made famous as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra, the filming location of the Marlon Brando movie On The Waterfront and the music venue “Maxwell’s” where Bruce Springsteen filmed the video for “Glory Days.”
Hoboken is also the town of many firsts, including inventions like freeze-dried coffee, bubble wrap and ice cream, as well as the first organized baseball game and the first brewery. It boasts the most bars and restaurants in one square mile of its town’s boundaries, and the indie/designer/art scene is on its way up due to many artists and musicians living here. It is also home of the infamous Cake Boss from the Lifetime show.
If you get the chance to leave the hustle and of bustle of NYC, take the PATH train or ferry to spend an afternoon browsing the local boutiques, sipping a drink and admiring the gorgeous view of Manhattan as you stroll along the tree-lined waterfront.
Here are just a handful of great places I would take you if you were to visit. Whether you are into vintage stores, signs, brownstone buildings or just want to discover a new town, Hoboken is a lovely place to visit year-round. Each section is sorted into Downtown/Uptown, so if time is limited, you can plan your visit accordingly. For a walking tour of all the historical sights, visit the Hoboken Historical Museum.
O Mistress Mine — Vintage clothing and jewelry, established in 1969, is a treasure trove for designers, stylists, performers, students and collectors. 211 Bloomfield St. (between 2nd & 3rd Streets)
Hoboken Antiques — This is a small, intimate store with furniture, costume jewelry, silver platters and a wonderful selection of bone-china teacups and saucers painted with flowers. 511 Washington St (between 5th & 6th)
MackeyBlue — Fun one-of-a-kind vintage items. 1200 Washington St. Store #E. 12th St (between Washington & Bloomfield)
Home, Gifts and Stationery — Downtown
Luxe — A modern apothecary store that also carries a lovely range of handmade jewelry by American artists and designers. They are always very inventive with their window displays, so pop by to check it out. 158 First Street (between Bloomfield & Garden)
Guitar Bar — You can’t fail to notice the large picture of Frank Sinatra as you pass this store. Hosting a huge range of vintage and new guitars, basses, keyboards and other stringed instruments. Also offering lessons. 160 First Street. (between Bloomfield & Garden)
William Howard Home — Gorgeous small homeware gift store. 138 Park Ave (corner of 2nd street)
Zin Home — Specializing in distinctive furniture, hand-woven rugs from around the world, hand blown glass lamps and lanterns. 257 First Street. (between Park & Willow)
Yes I Do Invitations & Gifts — Some lovely handmade cards and Vera Bradley paper to die for. 312 Washington St. (between 3rd & 4th)
Symposia Bookstore — The only bookstore currently in Hoboken. You will find tables of vintage, bargain books outside and window displays that spark a smile. Check out the website for book clubs, poetry readings and lots of other great events. 510 Washington Street.
Home, Gifts and Stationery — Uptown
Baskets of Distinction — This store run by mom and daughter offers customized gift baskets filled with high-quality items, as well as balloons, cards, dolls and baby items. 1102 Washington Street.
Clothing, Kids & Maternity Boutiques — Downtown
Air Studios Boutique — The walls are lined with framed covers of Bazaar, and the high ceilings and vintage decor add to the feeling of luxury. Named “Best in Fashion Boutiques” by New Jersey Life magazine in 2009, you can find vintage and classic clothing, jewelry and accessories. 55 First Street. (between Hudson & Washington)
Bellie and Katrina — A boutique clothing store dedicated to moms and kids. You’ll find wonderfully chic maternity clothing to keep moms-to-be feeling hip, along with a line of young boys and girls clothing. 159 4th St (between Washington & Bloomfield)
KC Kids — Bills itself as the one and only children’s retail, resale and consignment boutique in Hoboken. 463 Fifth St, Hoboken (between Adams & Jefferson)
Jessie James — This store offers everything for professional women in the office, on a date and out at a party. The back wall is covered with cutouts from poetry books; a funky chandelier throws soft lighting into the mix. 503 Washington Street
Beau Brummel — A trendy men’s store. This one’s for the boys! 504 Washington Street
Bella Ro — You can find lots of clothes in unique, colorful patterns here. The building alone is worth a visit with its theatre style façade, and balconies. 521 Washington Street (between 5th & 6th)
Clothing, Kids & Maternity Boutiques — Uptown
Ciao Belly — Boutique featuring affordable, hip maternity wear, fashionable children’s duds, and plenty of unique gifts and accessories. 730 Washington St. (between 7th & 8th)
Homeslice Décor — Love checking out the displays in this store that has a funky eclectic collection of clothing, shoes, purses, design objects, home decorations and jewelry. 1030 Washington Street (between 10th & 11th)
Food & Drink — Downtown
Scotland Yard — With vintage signs and an old English Red Telephone box outside, you cant miss this place with its live “jam” sessions and funky blues music. 72 Hudson Street
Clam Broth House — Originally founded in 1899 and re-established in 2010, the Clam Broth House is open once again as Hoboken’s most iconic destination. Check out the cool sign on the roof. 36-42 Newark Street. (between Hudson & Washington)
Bagel Smashery — For a different way to have your bagel, the smashery will “smash” it for you. Expect lines of hungover people craving carbs on a Sunday morning. 153 First Street (between Bloomfield & Garden)
Northern Soul — Rotates art on the walls from local NJ artists every month. 557 First Street (between Madison & Monroe)
La Isla — A family-owned 50s luncheonette-style Cuban restaurant. You will often find a line every weekend during brunch hours. Amazing mouthwatering menu. BYOB. 104 Washington (between 1st & 2nd)
Brass Rail — A fusion of old charm and modern chic, also offering an amazing prix fix menu all week. 135 Washington Street (corner of 2nd)
Arthur’s Tavern — Old fashioned burgers and steaks at this traditional neighborhood tavern. 237 Washington Street (between 2nd and 3rd)
The Chandelier Room at the W Hotel — Take your date here for colorful cocktails and a great view of the Manhattan skyline. 255 River Street (between 2nd & 3rd)
Cucharamama — Artisanal South American cooking. You will be blown away by the freestanding wood-burning oven in the centre of the space, the caipirinhas and oversized vibrant art on the wall. 233 Clinton Street (corner of 3rd street)
Trinity — Waterfront hangout. Great menu and good bar for sports and mingling. They host a quiz every Tuesday and there are some good views of Manhattan from the bar area. 306 Sinatra Drive (between 3rd & 4th)
The Quays — Wonderful Irish/American fused menu at this nautical-inspired restaurant overlooking the water and Manhattan. 310 Sinatra Drive (between 3rd & 4th)
3Forty Grill — Another stunning waterfront venue, with a fabulous menu. Well-known for its seafood and raw bar selection. They do a great prix fix brunch deal on the weekend. 340 Sinatra Drive (between 3rd & 4th)
Hoboken Gourmet Company — Cool spot for lunch or brunch. Pop in to sample the homemade quiche and view the photography on the walls. 423 Washington Street (between 4th & 5th)
Court Street — One of Hoboken’s oldest family-owned restaurants; they offer warm, local, friendly service, lobster fest on Wednesday nights year-round and legendary private wine-tasting events. 61 Sixth Street (between Hudson & Washington)
Food & Drink —Uptown
Amanda’s — You feel like you are in a friend’s dining room or library here with the quaint décor and friendly staff. They do a great early bird prix fix meal. 908 Washington Street (between 9th & 10th)
Maxwell’s — The original music venue to present local and touring indie-rock bands before they hit it big. They have an intimate show space in the back of the restaurant area. A must-go for live music in Hoboken. Springsteen filmed his video for “Glory Days” here. Try the extensive tasty Americana menu before seeing the show. 1039 Washington Street (corner of 11th). Cross over the street to see the baseball monument and metal bases on each corner of the streets at Washington & 11th.
Anthony David’s — A yummy gourmet food market and restaurant. BYOB and enjoy the amazing menu. One to save for a special occasion. 111 Tenth Street (@Bloomfield St.)
Elysian Café — Offers a French bistro-style menu. It’s the oldest continually operated bar/restaurant in Hoboken. Opened originally as Dillenger & Jeffson’s in 1895, it continued through prohibition as an ice cream parlor and as a hair salon. 1001 Tenth Street (corner of Washington)
Dino and Harry’s Steakhouse — Vintage details such as the 150-year-old clock, stained glass windows, the tiled floor, live piano, and an endless oak bar make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Also used to film scenes in the movies On The Waterfront and City Hall. 163 Fourteenth Street (corner of Park Ave)
Carpe Diem — A great local bar to meet friendly people. “Hello Stranger, Goodbye Friend” is their motto. They have a warming fireplace and the walls were hand-painted/sculpted by local sculpture artist Maximilian Pelzmann. 1405 Grand Street (corner of 14th St.)
For more bars and restaurants, visit eatdrinkHoboken.com.
Coffee, Cupcakes and Chocolate — Downtown
Carlo’s Bakery — The home of the infamous Cake Boss, shown on the Lifetime Channel. Get there early on weekends and holidays. 95 Washington Street (between Newark & First)
Pauline’s Chocolates — Everything imaginable covered in chocolate! Peanuts, pretzels, marshmallows — even potato chips — covered in light, dark, medium, or whatever type of chocolate. 207 Jefferson Street (between 2nd & 3rd)
Empire Coffee & Tea — There’s a buzz of hipsters and creatives hovering around this corner shop as well as a constant stream of artists, musicians, day-jobbers, freelancers, web designers and bankers sipping cups o’ Joe. 338 Bloomfield Street
The Candy Shoppe — Puts huge smiles on a child’s face while bringing adults back to their youth. 59 Fourth Street (between Hudson & Washington)
Sweet — Mouth-watering mini- and regular-sized cupcakes. Also serves other sweet things and great coffee. Check out the wonderful tree illustration on the back wall. 343 Garden Street (between 3rd & 4th)
Crumbs — Cupcakes galore and a super little café to sit in and watch the world go by. 409 Washington Street (between 4th & 5th)
Maroon — Try their bubble tea, mangle and green tea. Also provides some yummy breakfast rolls if you are on the run. 638 Willow Ave (corner of 7th)
Art, Craft Supplies & Galleries
Paul Vincent Studios — Photography studio and local art gallery. Set on attracting and featuring artists in Hoboken and Jersey City, this gallery hosts some of the best, funkiest parties in Hoboken. 49 Harrison Street (between Newark and Observer Highway)
Neumann Leather Building — Home to a wide range of artists and their studios. 300 Observer Highway
Patricia’s Yarns — This shop has a wide selection of specialty yarns, pattern books and classes for beginners and advanced knitters. 107 Fourth Street (between Washington & Bloomfield)
M. Avery Designs — Also home of the Hoboken Handmade Collective. If you love fabric, this is the place to visit. They also host classes and socials and offer open studios for use of their sewing machines. All items in the store are handmade and gorgeous. 266, 7th Street (at the corner of Willow Ave.)
Monroe Centre for the Arts — Five floors of artists’ studios, music, theatre and much more. Check out Open Studio Tours and the list of businesses to visit. 720 Monroe Street (between 7th & 8th)
The Crop Shop — This scrapbooking boutique has an extensive range of papers, products and cool scrapbooking supplies. Classes and scrapbooking socials are also held on a regular basis. Studio E504, Monroe Arts Centre, 720 Monroe Street (between 7th & 8th)
Bama Gallery — Showing work from local artists. 946 Bloomfield Street (corner of 10th)
Rotating Galleries — Hosting rotating works of art on a monthly basis and showing in empty storefronts, this venture seeks to get local artists more exposure, showing approximately 30 on each rotation. Currently at 1317 Willow Ave. 2nd Floor (between 13th & 14th)
Hoboken Historical Museum — Visit the museum for some educational exhibitions of the local area. There is also a mezzanine level where a different artist exhibits each month. They also offer talks, performances and other great events to learn about the Hoboken area. 1301 Hudson Street (between 13th & 14th)
Galerie Attienette — By appointment only. This gallery has a wide range of highly acclaimed exhibits. 2 Fourteenth Street, Suite 805
Places to Stay
W Hotel — Swanky hotel on Hoboken waterfront, recently opened in 2009. This is the only hotel in Hoboken’s square mile. 225 River Street (corner of 3rd street)
Nearby hotels can be found in Weehawken and Jersey City.