If you’ve been around Hoboken for a while you might think of Moran’s as a fine Irish pub off the park in the middle of Hoboken—a great place to grab some beers and maybe watch a game. If you haven’t been paying attention you might not have noticed the subtle reinvention Moran’s underwent a little more than two years ago, introducing a solid menu to their offerings. Suddenly, Moran’s is more than just a classic bar with a rich history of serving its community, it’s a place to get a great lunch, dinner—and brunch, where Moran’s is really killing it. Brunch being the New Black in Hoboken’s dining arena, that should push Moran’s back to the top of your “must try” (or retry) list.
If you’re like me, Moran’s kind of got lost a bit over the last few years what with all the new craft-beer bars and eateries opening up (based on the crowds there every evening and weekend, they did not miss me one bit). That had nothing to do with Moran’s atmosphere, which has always been friendly and comfortable, with the classic woody interior and Irish pub touches.
Walking into Moran’s for a beer and a bite is like walking into your neighborhood bar even if you live ten blocks away. Opened in 1989 by an Irish immigrant named Len Hehir, Moran’s has been a mainstay of Hoboken’s pub culture ever since. In 2016 they debuted a menu created by Chef Vinicio Lantigua, taking the classics of Irish pub food and transforming them into something new and exciting; like the Gaelic Steak, cooked with Irish whiskey, or the Irish Poutine with curry sauce. It’s the perfect way to modernize the pub menu, if you ask me: Familiar offerings with fantastic twists that surprise.
Brunch has gotten Moran’s a lot of attention—and for good reason. From the Full Irish Breakfast to the sausage and biscuits, it’s one of the best brunches in town, and you can get a nice tea service there as well, which is an awesome touch for brunch. You can also get some classic hangover cures like a Harvey Wallbanger or an Irish Coffee, which is also an awesome touch for brunch.
But Moran’s will always be first and foremost a bar for me, and it remains a great one. Their list of draft beers is short, but solid—Guinness (of course), Brooklyn Lager, Lagunitas IPA, the Sweetwater 420 Pale Ale, Yuengling, Blue Moon, Sam Adams Seasonal, and Coors Light for the kids. They also offer some bottled beers. Their wine list is similarly short and utilitarian—but we’re in a pub, after all. Moran’s is in the business of being a great evening out, not necessarily forging new ground in the culinary or craft beer sector.
My advice? Next time you want a casual meal with a few drinks or you’re craving a true brunch experience, head to the corner of Fifth Street and Garden Street. Try the nachos—they’re delicious.