There’s a growing concern in some circles that Hoboken is losing the food arms race with neighboring Jersey City. For decades Hoboken could sneer at their much larger neighbor, but in recent years Jersey City has been upping their game considerably, and downtown JC now offers a pretty spectacular range of restaurants. Some folks feel like Hoboken isn’t on quite the same level, with far too many bro-friendly bars offering the same sorts of menus opening and not enough interesting alternatives.
Well, as if in direct response to such worries, we now have Greek from Greece, a new bakery and lunch spot with a 100% authentic Greek flavor. Much more than a marketing gimmick, GFG is the real deal, launched and operated by a group of Greeks whose baking pedigree goes back generations. The menu is heavily slanted towards traditional Greek desserts, drinks, and pastries, but also offers more Americanized fare.
Greek from Greece is located at 221 River Street, otherwise known as the new Pearson building. It’s huge; walking in you get the sense of space, of airiness, which combined with the distinctly Euro-modern design style makes you feel like you’ve left Hoboken behind (there are plans to have outdoor seating this summer as well, which will be delightful). There’s a ton of seating, and a ton of food on display, but the ordering system could use some tweaking; a number of people have complained that it’s not immediately obvious that you have to call someone over to help you with the desserts.
Whether or not you’re familiar with Greek cuisine, you’re in for a treat. For those who know their baklava from their galaktoboureko, the consensus among Hoboken’s Greek community is that GFG is authentic, which means it is the only place in town to get real Greek food. If you don’t know your spanakopita from your bougatsa, then consider this an opportunity to learn a little something. Everything is made fresh and (so far) is absolutely delicious.
And while you’re there, for goodness sake have the coffee. Greek coffee will definitely wake you up in the morning, and it’s delicious as well. The frappe and freddo espresso or freddo cappuccino are perfect for the warmer months, and offer a divine alternative from the normal coffee options in town.
They also offer lunch (keep in mind the kitchen closes at 5pm) in the form of soups, salads, sandwiches, and, of course, savory Greek pastries and pies.
The whole place has a great atmosphere, and if (as many have noted over on Yelp!) the prices aren’t exactly tiny, the quality of the food justifies it. This is a perfect spot to stop in and fuel up on your way to the PATH, or a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat. You’ll hear quite a bit of Greek being spoken by both the staff and the patrons, so you can sit with your Greek coffee and imagine, for a moment, that you’ve traveled to Athens or some quaint fishing village and you’re just enjoying a bite before heading to you next adventure. Even if your next adventure is the 10AM all-hands meeting at work.