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“Great Food, But Nightclub Atmosphere”
Review of Azucar - CLOSED

Azucar
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Newport Waterfront
Transit: PATH train stop is Newport Lightrail stop is Newport/Pavonia
Description: In the booming Newport area of Jersey City, Azucar offers an escape from the surrounding corporate jungle to the carefree world of 1950s Havana. Inside, robust palm trees and Cuban nostalgia set the scene for a tropical getaway. On Thurs-Sat nights, a live band or DJ in the lounge plays all varieties of Latin music and engages guests to show off their dance moves or relax while enjoying flavorful mojitos. The center of attention is the traditional Cuban cuisine, prepared expertly by Vazquez and his loyal staff. Vazquez's attention to detail and authenticity result in dishes that make his mother proud. Upstairs is the only smoking lounge in Hudson County, a cozy enclave with dark wood paneling, deep couches, a full bar and cigar humidor, and tables for dominos and chess. Also available are a VIP room and a private party space. In season, the outdoor patio offers views of nearby Manhattan. Although you can't enter Cuba legally, a trip to Azucar certainly comes close.
Darfur, Sudan via Charlotte, NC, USA
Level Contributor
164 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Great Food, But Nightclub Atmosphere”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

The food at Azucar was really exciting. It's difficult to find decent Cuban food outside of the city, and this was authentic enough. The appetizers were a decent size and the variety of taste was really good. The mojo sauce for the pork was exquisite. The sangria was a bit watered down, but I guess that's not really a Cuban specialty, huh? Maybe try something with rum!
However, be prepared for a noisy, noisy evening! I understand that the restaurant turns into a nightclub after hours on weekends; however, is it necessary to pipe the nightclub music into the eating section? And it was LOUD! Screaming over food is not a good thing - even if it's good food.
It was not as loud and chaotic as Montclair's Cuban Pete, but it's on the same level.
But again, the food was worth the effort, so, maybe I'll try it again, but earlier - before the music revs up!!!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Amnesty1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Red Bank, NJ
Level Contributor
30 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Maravilloso !”
Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

My wife was born in Cuba and is always looking for Cuban restaurants to try. She heard about Azucar from her hairdresser who also happens to be Cuban. This past Saturday we decided to take our son to Azucar to celebrate his birthday. I was skeptical at first. I was not thrilled with the idea of driving from Red Bank up to Jersey City just for Cuban food. I gotta admit, it was well worth the drive. Oh yeah, parking is free too.
We had the Tipicos Antojos Cubanos and Cuban Guacamole as our Tapas. Wow! Everything was excellent. A three tiered tower of Shrimp wrapped in bacon, tamal, croquettes, yuca frittata, Masitas, empanadas. The guacamole had a spicy component that gave it a peppy taste. These two items would make a full meal for two people. We were wondering if we had ordered too much. We still had our main courses coming. My wife had her favorite, Ropa Vieja and loved it. My son had the El Nacional which is a bacon wrapped filet mignon. He said it was outstanding. I had to be different so I ordered the 'El Cubanos Grande'. This is the Cuban sandwich that beat Bobby Flay's on an episode of Throwdown. After eating it, I know why Bobby got beat. It was the best Cuban Sandwich that I have had. We finished up by sharing one regular flan and one coconut flan. They far exceeded my expectations. There is a cigar lounge upstairs and outside but, we were so full we had to take a walk. The location is perfect for an after dinner stroll along the promenade and marina overlooking the Hudson and NY skyline.
All in all, I highly recommend this restaurant experience!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank SteveMcBride_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Excellent food and excellent service!! We will definitely be back. Better than some of the NYC restaurants!!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Julie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Best Cuban restaurant in town”
Reviewed April 2, 2013

This is a favorite date night spot for my husband and me. Neither of us has yet had a meal that wasn't wonderful. The portions are extremely generous, so plan on taking some home unless you bring a big appetite. The service has always been very good, too.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank springdove42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England, USA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“New to me cuisine well done”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Pleasant service, quick, ample food. Restaurant food in NYC can be SOOOOOOOOO expensive. But this was so good, we went back two times. Cuban cuisine is new to me, but a delightful change. The mussels and garlic shrimp were amazing. Loved the beans and rice. Coconut flan...yum. Dinner each night was about $100 including two drinks, dinner, and tip. Too expensive for my blood on a regualr basis, so we ate light for breakfast, skipped lunch, and splurged for dinner. Back next time we return to JC.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Persille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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