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Cape Liberty (Elizabeth) NJ Restaurant Recommendations?


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I'm booked on the Oasis out of Cape Liberty in May 2021.  Magic 8 balls says: "who the hell knows?" when asked if we'll have a vaccine generally available by then.

So, putting on my hopeful optimist's cap... assuming this thing actually sails:

Anyone got restaurant recommendations?  I'll be staying (again, optimist) at the Courtyard in Elizabeth, NJ.  It looks like there is are a bunch of Portuguese and Spanish restaurants nearby that look enticing.

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When we stayed at Embassy Suites in Elizabeth, NJ (it's right next to the Courtyard) we ate at iHOP lol.  Probably not the recommendation you were looking for though.  I was not a fan of that area, lack of good dining options was one of the reasons.  We prefer Manhattan and just make the trip to Bayonne the following day.  I was also entertaining the idea (although now it's been cancelled) of staying in Jersey City instead for better pre-cruise dining and entertainment options.

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2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

When we stayed at Embassy Suites in Elizabeth, NJ (it's right next to the Courtyard) we ate at iHOP lol.  Probably not the recommendation you were looking for though.  I was not a fan of that area, lack of good dining options was one of the reasons.  We prefer Manhattan and just make the trip to Bayonne the following day.  I was also entertaining the idea (although now it's been cancelled) of staying in Jersey City instead for better pre-cruise dining and entertainment options.

IHOP doesn’t sound like a bad start to embarkation morning!  We cruise from Port Liberty in June and pancakes sound good to me!

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9 minutes ago, FoxboroCruiser said:

IHOP doesn’t sound like a bad start to embarkation morning!  We cruise from Port Liberty in June and pancakes sound good to me!

Well... do you want pancakes or good pancakes? Because IHOP (here in NJ at least) has gone way downhill from what I remember having as a kid in the 70s and 80s. Last time I had IHOP was probably 5 years ago and it was awful. Lead sinkers with no flavor at all, toppings that were just glop, and overall a lousy and unsatisfying meal.

There are far better pancake places in many spots in NJ, just none I'm aware of in Elizabeth / Newark / Jersey City / Hoboken. Original Pancake House on Route 10 in Whippany, or Country Pancake House in Ridgewood, are stellar and (in normal times) have lines out the door.

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3 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

When we stayed at Embassy Suites in Elizabeth, NJ (it's right next to the Courtyard) we ate at iHOP lol.  Probably not the recommendation you were looking for though.  I was not a fan of that area, lack of good dining options was one of the reasons.  We prefer Manhattan and just make the trip to Bayonne the following day.  I was also entertaining the idea (although now it's been cancelled) of staying in Jersey City instead for better pre-cruise dining and entertainment options.

LOL.  An IHOP Swedish crepe combo is one of my secret guilty pleasures. 

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No specific recommendation from experience, but when in Jersey, look for Jersey Diners. I know that they are a dying breed, but they still do exist.  Look for 24/7 (before the pandemic) joints. Two that pop up on a quick search are the Broadway Diner and the Liberty Diner. I would suggest this over IHOP.

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13 minutes ago, MrB said:

No specific recommendation from experience, but when in Jersey, look for Jersey Diners. I know that they are a dying breed, but they still do exist.  Look for 24/7 (before the pandemic) joints. Two that pop up on a quick search are the Broadway Diner and the Liberty Diner. I would suggest this over IHOP.

Definitely agree to look for a diner. They are fantastic for any meal, and a staple of Jersey.

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2 hours ago, MrB said:

No specific recommendation from experience, but when in Jersey, look for Jersey Diners. I know that they are a dying breed, but they still do exist.  Look for 24/7 (before the pandemic) joints. Two that pop up on a quick search are the Broadway Diner and the Liberty Diner. I would suggest this over IHOP.

As a long-time Jersey resident, I couldn't agree with this sentiment any more if I tried!  I have no idea how IHOPs even survive here to be perfectly honest (but they do, so they must be doing something right!).  As an aside, the Liberty Diner that shows up in a local search for Elizabeth is probably the "diner" in Terminal B at EWR.  A diner in name only.

An alternate choice, if you're looking for a quick breakfast, you can also look for pretty much any local bagel shop in the area.  Not only will any bagel shop in that area have to do pretty good bagels just to survive (standards for them are pretty high in the NY/NJ area!), they'll also certainly serve the "Official Breakfast Sandwich of NJ", the Taylor Ham (Pork Roll), Egg and Cheese, otherwise known as a T-E-C (or the P-E-C).  Personally I like mine on a Kaiser with pepper and hot sauce, but you can have yours customized how ever you like, and you'll be on the road in under 10 mins.  There are also options over in Bayonne including Everything Bagels & Deli on 22nd, which I can vouch for from experience.  

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18 minutes ago, USCG Teacher said:

Not only will any bagel shop in that area have to do pretty good bagels just to survive (standards for them are pretty high in the NY/NJ area!), they'll also certainly serve the "Official Breakfast Sandwich of NJ", the Taylor Ham (Pork Roll), Egg and Cheese, otherwise known as a T-E-C (or the P-E-C).

I prefer the "Unofficial Breakfast Sandwich of NJ" -- smoked salmon (ideally belly lox), cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and capers. Personal preference is on a poppy seed bagel, but just about any standard (proper) bagel variety works with that.

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

I prefer the "Unofficial Breakfast Sandwich of NJ" -- smoked salmon (ideally belly lox), cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and capers. Personal preference is on a poppy seed bagel, but just about any standard (proper) bagel variety works with that.

An excellent choice as well. 👍  I hate raw onions, so I hold the red onion, but have it on an onion bagel...

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19 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Country Pancake House in Ridgewood, are stellar and (in normal times) have lines out the door.

100% correct, fantastic full stack. Can be long lines. IHOP on RT 17 used to be pretty good, not anymore. Goldberg´s bagels in Hasbrouck Heights has been a staple for our embarkation breakfast for yrs. We stay in up there pre cruise. If you want a giant meal try Harolds in the Quality in in Lyndhurst. Had a tuna melt there a few yrs ago and it would have fed a family of 4. Worlds largest pickle bar. Lol

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