As I have mentioned previously, I recently moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, a small city located on the opposite side of the Hudson River from Manhattan. In the brief time that I have lived in Hoboken, my roommates and I have already begun searching for the best bagel in town.
The Little Grocery serves up bagels in two locations, uptown on Washington Street and downtown on Jefferson Street. We took ourselves to the downtown location just a few blocks from our place.
While we don’t think that we’ve found the best bagel just yet, The Little Grocery does serve up a good breakfast sandwich on a mediocre bagel. The spot serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, but it seems that it is most popular for breakfast and brunch.
Omelettes, quiche, brioche French toast, and pastries are all on offer, but as I said, I was hunting for a solid breakfast sandwich and The Little Grocery boasts “Hoboken’s best egg sandwich.” So, I ordered a Jersey classic: Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese on a sesame bagel. The sandwich is great, but would do far better on the croissants served at the cafe.
What sets The Little Grocery apart from other small cafes in the area is the true nature of the neighborhood spot. Two middle-aged women, who also likely own the joint, are the ones cooking each day right behind the counter.
The Little Grocery doesn’t serve alcohol, but they do serve all sorts of coffee. What adds to the homey feel of this cafe is their coffee promotion. Patrons who frequent the quaint joint can purchase a kitschy mug, initial the bottom, and hang it on the restaurant’s shelf. Those who do so can return, take their mug off the shelf, and enjoy bottomless hot coffee for as long as they please each day.
If The Little Grocery’s approach to daily coffee doesn’t add enough to the comfortable, home-away-from-home vibe, the rest of the place might. As I touched upon, the service is lovely. After ordering at the counter, patrons can either watch their food as it is prepared, or they can take a seat inside or outside on the patio and wait to be served.
Look, the bagel is forgettable, yes, but the overall vibe of this cafe is comfortable enough that it’s worth trying everything else on the menu. If you’re on the run and can’t afford to sit and stay awhile, The Little Grocery even offers “home cooked dinners to go.” Hey, if I can’t get a homemade meal from my mom, one from the ladies at The Little Grocery seems like the next best thing.