Why Hoboken, New Jersey Is the ‘Most Walkable’ Cool Suburb in America

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Credit: Anne Ebeling/Apartment Therapy

Hoboken was chosen as one of Apartment Therapy’s Coolest Suburbs in America 2019. We showcased the burbs nationwide that offer the most when it comes to cultural activities, a sense of community, and simply a good quality of life. For more on how we define “cool” and what exactly counts as a suburb, check out our methodology here. To view Apartment Therapy’s other Coolest Suburbs in America 2019, head here.

Find someone who thinks there’s a suburb with a better view than Hoboken, and I’ll show you someone who has never been to Hoboken. Hoboken is affectionately called the Mile Square due to its small geographical size, but the burb packs a mighty punch, and is bursting with destination-worthy Italian food, endless events, and a serious dedication to hometown crooner Frank Sinatra. The suburb is a small, tight-knit community on the New Jersey waterfront, 10 minutes outside of Manhattan, and ranks 95 out of 100 in terms of walkability. Everything in Hoboken is within a single mile, and it boasts bike paths and parks galore.

For these reasons and more, Apartment Therapy awarded Hoboken its Class of 2019 Suburb Superlatives for “Most Walkable.” It’s a category with some tough competition, but Apartment Therapy arrived at the conclusion by examining results from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and cross-referencing with data from Walk Score.

Hoboken is also home to young professionals and families; has endless activities, including cultural festivals and galleries; and a huge pier with water activities, movies, a biergarten, and more.

Many residents in Hoboken have lived here for generations, and there’s also been an influx of new residents in the last 20 to 30 years, as families move out of New York City and Brooklyn looking for a more family-friendly lifestyle.

Editor’s note: There’s been some debate about Hoboken’s status as a suburb. Some decry the label, but it’s technically considered an “inner-suburb,” meaning it’s an older, more populated suburb of a metropolitan area. It’s also often referred to as a “commuter suburb.”

Median rent price:

$1,483, according to Census data.

Median house price:

$712,300, according to Zillow.

Price per square foot (compared to city):

$736 in Hoboken compared to $1,464 in Manhattan, according to Zillow.

Walkability score:

95, according to WalkScore.com.

Median household income:

$127,523, according to Census data.


55,131, according to Census data.

What the suburb is known for:

Credit: Anne Ebeling/Apartment Therapy

Why Hoboken deserves the Suburb Superlative of “Most Walkable:”

The burb has a standout Walk Score of 95. According to the site, residents and visitors can, on average, amble on over to an impressive 23 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops within five minutes. The Hoboken Waterfront spans from Jersey City to Weehawken along the Hudson River, and bike paths and parks abound. Start by Lackawanna Terminal and walk north toward Weehawken. There’s no better mode than on foot to stop to snap skyline photos by Pier A, Pier C, Sinatra Park, and uptown at Maxwell Park. Continue north past Pier 13, and you’re almost in Weehawken. JerseyBike Share is available throughout the city, if biking is your thing. Download the app and be anywhere in the burb within 10 minutes.

Hidden gem:

Fiore’s Delicatessen is an authentic, old-school Italian deli in the heart of Hoboken on Fourth and Adams streets. It doesn’t advertise, but there’s a line out of the door daily—especially on Thursdays and Saturdays, when their roast beef-and-mutz special is offered.

Place that makes you happy to live there:

Dom’s Bakery Grand, on Grand Street, which has been open for generations and produces much of the bread on local restaurants’ tables.

There’s also The Hoboken Historical Museum. This non-profit museum does so much to preserve the rich history of our community with seminars, exhibits, and events.

Favorite activity for families:

Walk to the waterfront Piers A and C and take in the views. (Plus play on the playgrounds all around town!)

Favorite hangout for young professionals:

The Madison Bar & Grill on 14th and Washington streets is a great local joint for networking and meeting new people.

Favorite place to catch a movie:

Bow Tie Cinemas on 14th Street.

Favorite teen hangout:

Church Square Park. There are basketball courts and playgrounds and the library is close by.

Favorite outdoor lounge spot:

Check out Pier 13, which has a waterfront biergarten filled with food trucks and a backdrop of the city skyline, or City Bistro’s rooftop, which has a frosé (frozen rosé) machine and great vibes.

Favorite date spot:

Grand Vin is a sweet and sophisticated spot for date night, complete with adorable rustic decor and a wine selection galore.

Average commute/traffic report:

Hoboken is known for having parking issues, and the New Jersey Transit is not the most reliable form of transportation, but Hoboken is still a transportation hub. It’s a 10- to 15-minute PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) train ride into NYC, depending on where you’re going. Hoboken’s 126 bus goes directly into Port Authority and the New York Waterway ferry travels across the water to Manhattan in about 10 to 12 minutes.

Commuters primarily utilize public transport for commuting into New York City and cars for commuting to other areas of New Jersey. Within Hoboken, residents can ride the Hop shuttle bus, which has three routes throughout Hoboken and was recently made free for all residents to use. On a good day, you can get into New York City in 10 minutes. On a bad day, well, it’s an @NJTRANSIT Twitter nightmare, we’ll just say that.

Favorite local bookstore:

Favorite place to get coffee:

At Empire Coffee & Tea, walk in and smell the coffee, including a variety of open-air beans that you can take to go. Or head to Black Rail Coffee for an off-the-beaten path space to work, with free Wi-Fi and a delicious turkey sandwich.

Favorite bar for when you want to be around people:

Favorite alone spot:

The lookout on the Stevens Institute of Technology campus, overlooking the waterfront.

Favorite free cultural activity to take part in:

Concerts in Sinatra Park during the summer—including Guitar Bar’s annual event, where residents attempt to beat the world record for the most guitarists playing one song. Residents bring instruments and play along. It’s quite a sight and sound.

Signature food:  

“Mutz” (mozzarella) from one of the many Italian delis. Take an Italian deli mutz tour if you have time. And if you’re in Hoboken in January, try to get tickets to the annual Mutzfest, and sample them all at once.

Favorite boutique:

Mint Market on First Street for party attire, Alba Boutique for sleek looks, and One Sol uptown for athleisure.

Favorite bike trails/parks/outdoor activites:

The uptown waterfront by Maxwell Place has an all-volunteer organization called the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, which offers free kayaking for locals on summer weekends.

Favorite spot for an Instagram:

Court Street’s cobblestone streets.

Favorite brunch:

At Anthony David’s, order the coconut French toast and bring your own Champagne to combine with freshly-squeezed orange juice for the most delicious mimosas.

Favorite free activity:

Playing pickleball, a sport that combines tennis, badminton, and table tennis, in the northwest pop-up park.

Favorite grocery store:

Organic Basic Food offers quality products and produce.

Favorite place for a workout:

Jane DO’s trampoline class or Work It Out’s “next stop strong” class.

Favorite place to take an out-of-towner:

Antique Bar & Bakery, a newly-reopened bar and restaurant that put an eclectic, vintage spin on Antique Bakery, Frank Sinatra’s favorite bakery growing up. The spot has next-level food and emphasizes mixology.

Worst place to find parking and easiest place to find parking:

River Street. As crowded as Washington Street gets, you can usually find a spot, if you have a few minutes. The suburb also has several parking decks with inexpensive parking and offers a $5 visitor pass for all-day parking, if purchased by a resident. If you’d prefer to bike, there’s a wonderful bike share program, available all around the burb.

What the neighbors say:

“Even though it’s less than a mile outside one of the biggest metropolises in the world, Hoboken has a neighborhood feel I haven’t experienced anywhere else. Knowing you’re a few blocks, max, from your favorite bars, restaurants, and friends feels almost nostalgic, yet exciting at the same time.” — Maggie Joest, resident of three years.

“My family goes back in Hoboken four generations, my son being the fifth! Hoboken has changed a lot, but never lost that hometown feel. I can still walk down a block and know at least three people. [I’m] happy my son is following my footsteps in the public schools here the way I did, and my parents before me. I welcome most of the changes and am so proud to be a resident. As a chef, I love all of the culinary options. I love being able to walk down Washington Street and enjoy food from around the world.” — Casey Repetti, lifelong Hoboken resident

“I love Hoboken for many reasons, but of these, the most important ones are the sense of community, the ease of accessibility, and BYOB restaurants. I’ve been attending the same boutique fitness studio for about 10 months now, and in those 10 months I’ve made great friendships, gotten in the best shape of my life, and have been known to say ‘That was the best hour of my day.’ Accessibility to the city and to places to eat and drink are important, especially since our days are hectic. It’s nice to know I can pick up dinner on my walk or go out and meet a friend for a quick drink.” — Danielle Rubino, resident for six years.

“I moved to Hoboken in July from New York City. I regret not moving sooner! The community, walkability, and small town feel with conveniences is like nothing else I have ever experienced. Walking down Washington Street is like Sesame Street, as you always see a familiar face. It’s like the picture books with the school, post office, bank, grocery store, restaurant, parks, [and a] swimming pool all within blocks of each other. Where else does that exist?” —Sari Lisch, resident for nine months.

“Hoboken is a town that has something for everyone. It encompasses many people [and] professionals from all walks of life, and with each passing year and all of the improved infrastructure, is becoming a place where quality of life is on the upswing, and people want to put down roots and build a life.” —Marikay Fish, resident for 17 years.

Favorite annual event:

Saint Ann Italian Festival, a festival and feast more than 100 years old, started by the San Giacomo immigrants in Hoboken, and famous for its mouth-watering zeppoles and deeply-rooted Italian culture.

What I miss about the city living in a suburb:

There’s not much to miss. We get a view of New York City, which is only a 10-minute public transportation ride away. We have access to all the bars, restaurants, and shops we could ever need, with a quaint neighborhood feel.

What I never miss about the city:

The hectic buses, cabs, and loud noises. And the subway!

Credit: Courtesy of Washington General Store

Favorite local home store:

Washington General Store is chock-full of gift items and home decor. Uptown, there’s Luna Rosa, which houses all the bedding and interior decor you’d ever need.

Favorite local garden store:

Beethoven’s Veranda. They do weddings and the plant selection during the spring and summer is top notch.

Favorite local diner:

Malibu Diner for a number of reasons, two of which are that the diner has parking and is open 24 hours a day! If you’re out at the bars and want something downtown, Spa Restaurant is where it’s at. Chicken fingers and sweet potato fries FTW.

Favorite neighborhood for yard sales:

Garden or Bloomfield streets. They’re primarily apartment sales, but you can take a peek inside the brownstones while you’re shopping. Castle Point Terrace and Hudson Street have incredible houses and brownstones.

Favorite dog park:

Shipyard Dog Park, because as soon as your pup is done playing, you can walk to the food trucks on Pier 13 for a snack. Amanda Bananas usually has dog-friendly ice-cream treats, too.

Favorite salon/spa:

Two01 Hair for color and cut, owned by a lifelong Hoboken resident, Ashley Branda. EC Beauty Studio and Spa for facials and spa treatments, owned by Erica Cerpa. Between the two beauty mavens, they keep half of Hoboken looking fresh.

Credit: Courtesy of Joshua Scott

Favorite resale and antique store:

Hoboken Modern is a vintage shop located uptown with great furniture. Downtown, check out Vintage on 1st, an authentic, community-focused vintage shop with eclectic and stylish pieces.

Why do you think your suburb is cool?

Hoboken needs no selling—it is the coolest spot in New Jersey for a variety of reasons. If a bar or restaurant is crowded, just walk down the block. If you’re into Italian food, you could eat three meals a day at different spots for a month and still not try everything. And of course, our views of New York City are unparalleled.

There’s a reason Frank Sinatra sang “New York, New York.” It wasn’t because he was living in the city, but rather, because he was looking at it, from Hoboken.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

With her grandparents owning businesses in Hudson County, Jennifer Tripucka had been familiar with Hoboken for forever, but when she moved to the Mile Square after college almost a decade ago, she finally realized the true beauty and charm of the city that holds Frank Sinatra so dear. Seven years ago, she started a website called Hoboken Girl, a lifestyle blog covering local businesses and unique spots that made the Hudson County area special. She took the website full time in 2017, and has curated a team of 20 local writers who share local content through Hoboken Girl’s site and social media channels @HobokenGirlBlog.