Newarks Ironbound: More Than Great Restaurants New Jersey Business Magazine

ironbound newark

While Newark has never been decreed an epicurean destination, these inhabitants have given the area a reputation for serving authentic cuisine reminiscent of the homelands of its residents. When Oliveira is asked what brings people to the neighborhood, he answers without hesitation. “It used to be only Brazilian and Portuguese restaurants, but now you come down here and you can get pretty much any kind of food.” Boasting a sign that reads “Newark’s First more hints Gastro Pub,” Bello’s Pub recently got a facelift that gave its facade a more appealing and modern look. The Ironbound is a corner of Newark bursting with a collection of restaurants, sandwich shops, and bakeries that are brick-and-mortar homages to the local immigrant culture. From traditional family-owned restaurants to late-night sandwich and pastry shops, Ironbound is a food haven for both the traditional diner and the new-age food enthusiast.

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with warm churros served with a cup of silky melted chocolate for dipping. Whether you opt for a burger or a plate of clams, both Seabra’s and Hamburgao put you within a 10-minute walk of Nasto’s Old World Desserts. The old-school ice cream establishment goes beyond what an average scoop shop offers here they make classic Italian desserts like tartufo, spumoni, and reginetta too. In the warmer months, the line stretches out of the shop and down the block, but the wait is well worth it. Order a scoop of guava, banana, or my favorite sweet corn ice cream and walk over to Independence Park to soak up some sun. While many neighborhoods in Newark have been on the decline for several decades, Ironbound has remained virtually unaffected by years of deindustrialization that have negatively impacted the rest of the city.

ironbound newark

In the Ironbound, BCDC (the city’s economic development arm) has worked to attract new businesses and encourage existing companies to expand and grow. The most visible symbols of this investment, like Panasonic’s new North American headquarters and Prudential’s new office tower under construction at the site of the iconic S. Klein Department Store on Broad Street, are helping to transform the city’s historic downtown skyline. Newark’s Ironbound District in the city’s East Ward is seeing unprecedented activity as well.

Just a short walk down Ferry Street from Fornos, Adega Grill’s elegant dining room is perfect for an intimate Portuguese- and Spanish-inspired dinner for two. Its moody lighting, stone archways, and grapevine over here murals make the space feel like a downright vacation. Choose from a variety of appetizers (if you eat shrimp, my favorite is the garlicky camarones al ajillo), and finish with one of the many Portuguese mains.

In addition, a $3.5-million investment, part of an integrated commercial corridor revitalization strategy, has added curb appeal through streetscape improvements on Ferry Street, an ongoing program to enhance the Ironbound’s key commercial super fast reply thoroughfare. According to data collected by the Newark Office of the Urban Enterprise Zone Program, that investment has helped stimulate more than $30 million in private investment along Ferry Street over the last five years.

He expects the success of these projects to encourage other developers and stimulate even greater demand, with activity increasing downtown and spreading further into the adjacent Ironbound District. Because overnight visitors spend more than twice as much as day trippers, new hotels under construction and in the planning stages in Newark’s downtown and Ironbound will have a major economic impact as tourists eat at local restaurants and shop at retail stores. As the area continues to grow in popularity, the blueprint of the neighborhood has quickly started to change, morphing it into a modernized community with a more contemporary vibe the direct result of a spike in redevelopment in the area. Red Bulls Arena and an improved PATH station in nearby Harrison, along with Newark’s state-of-the-art Prudential Center, bring hundreds of people into the Ironbound as visitors. For locals, one of the most eye-catching improvements is the creation of Riverbank Park a bright orange boardwalk along the Passaic River dotted with playing fields. These changes have created a buzz that has brought with in younger, trendier residents and visitors in search of a more eclectic variety of food.

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