Hoboken, New Jersey has been highly touted for its record number of bars within a square mile, as well as its proximity to NYC. Many people are unaware that it is actually the location of the first baseball game (my apartment is somewhere in Right Field). While this is all great, the true essence of Hoboken lies within its delis.
What makes the delis so great here is the “Mutz.” For whatever reason, they refer to mozzarella here as Mutz. As an Italian American, I wasn’t really a fan of the butchered word, but after tasting how good it was, I gave in. I don’t know what is in the water here, but I can name several places that make it just as good as in the farms of Italy.
They even have a festival/competition each year called Mutzfest amongst all the local delis. It is just a day of eating all different types of mozzarella. I went to the event a year ago and probably ate the average person’s mozzarella consumption in one day. Most of the mozzarella I had already tasted before, but Toney Baloneys (a local gem for crazy and unique types of specialty pizza) had some interesting flavors. They had Chimichurri, Smoked Molasses, and Tuscan mutz. All three were solid choices. See pics below:
Aside from just mutz, some of the local sandwiches are amazing. Arguably one of the best and oldest delis in town is Fiore’s. They have the best all-around sandwiches in town. Their mutz has the perfect balance of milk and salt. The bread is very good too and comes as a long and thin loaf. I love how you can pick it out from the cabinet, so I always take the crispiest loaf. Also, the roasted red peppers are great. They are soaked in garlic though, so you definitely need mints after.
The best sandwich at Fiore’s is their Thursday and Saturday only Roast Beef special. This is seriously one of the best sandwiches you can ever have. You get fresh roast beef sliced with mutz, roasted red peppers, and gravy. The combination of the tender roast beef, moist mutz, and sweet peppers on the fresh loaf of bread is like heaven. I personally ask for light gravy though because they dip the meat and bread in a tray of it in the back. I heard one rather large man on the bus the other day rave about how he “loves the gravy just dripping down his arm.” Fiore’s gets a perfect 5 out of 5 from me. See pic below:
Another top deli is M&P Biancamano. I personally think they have the best mutz. It is large, soft, and fluffy. It is very unique compared to the standard piece of mozzarella. They also give a ton of meat on every sandwich for only around ten bucks. It is great when you are hungry or want to eat half now and half later. My only complaint is that their chicken cutlets are a little too cold and mushy sometimes. I love a good prosciutto or spicy soppressata sandwich from them. They get a 4.5 out of 5.0 from me. See pic below:
The last of the “Big Three” delis in Hoboken is Vito’s and Sons. Lately, I have been going to them a lot, even though they have longer lines than M&Ps. The sandwiches are of a normal size and everything is tasty. The bread is fresh, mutz is about as good as Fiore’s, and the chicken cutlets are the best. They also have a good pesto sauce and balsamic glaze. What sets them apart from the other delis though is their smoked mutz. I just recently found out that they smoke the mutz and the skin browns a bit to provide amazing flavor. Vito’s also gets a 4.5 out of 5.0.
I highly recommend all three of these delis. There are several others in town too that are above average, but they are all a level below the Big Three.