Just a ferry (or bus ride) away is the Japanese food heaven that is Mitsuwa. It’s basically an enormous Japanese grocery store and food court on the waterfront in Edgewater, New Jersey. You’ll be instantly transported to Asia, from the plastic display food to the oh-so-familiar pastel packaging of Pocky and Shrimp Chips.
You can even buy Asian appliances ranging from rice cookers to vacuums (but not on Sunday because Bergen County’s Blue Law forbids the sale of electronics on Sundays for religious reasons). But ironically buying alcohol on Sunday is fine and there’s an aisle with more varieties of sake than I’ve ever seen. Many things in the store also come in cases.
The best part of this? It’s all so cheap. A typical meal in the food court costs between $6 to $8. Kastuhana specializes in udon noodle soup bowls, soba noodles and fried dishes, and all of the orders come with free hot tea. Check out Kayaba for grilled dishes. If you’re a fan of sushi, don’t fret, there’s a sushi bar. And for those with a sweet tooth, there’s a bakery and kiosks for desserts like green tea ice cream, black sesame fro-yo and red bean mochi.
Right now Mistuwa is celebrating its anniversary with food court specials, ranging from $5.00 for Sanuki Sando-Udon’s Tempura Udon and Inari Sushi Combo or Kayaba’s Katsu-don Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl which comes with soup and salad. For $6.00, you can get a Loin Katsu Set at Katushana or grab Kimchee Pasta (comes with salad, bread, drink and choice of dessert) at the Italian Tomato stand.
There’s always something to watch too. Once, a huge tuna was brought in, sliced and sold to eager customers in the middle of the food court. For less intense fare, watch them make your dessert–either red bean or vanilla-filled pastries at this shop:
Try to snag a seat by the window for a great view of Manhattan and the Hudson River. If you don’t live in the New York area, there’s good news–there are Mitsuwa locations in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Chicago.
To get to Mitsuwa, you can take the Mitsuwa shuttle bus from the Port Authority ($3 for adults, $2 for children and seniors), public bus from the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, or the NY Waterway Ferry to Edgewater (a 20 minute walk after disembarking).
595 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020