mike squared chicken feature

Hoboken’s {Healthy Alternatives} to Your Favorite Bar Foods

It is SO easy to walk into several Hoboken bars, sniff the air and say “ahhhhhh” as you inhale the smell of fried foods in all their glory. If I personally get one whiff of buffalo sauce, there’s a good chance I’m looking to find who ordered the wings. Everyone has their “cheat” days, but what about the other 6 days of the week? While nothing tastes quite like fried, you can get pretty close with some of the alternatives Hoboken bars and restaurants have to offer!

Fried Chicken vs Grilled Chicken

mikie squared grilled chicken wrap

At Mikie Squared there are a variety of options for chicken – on a sandwich, wrap, or even a salad. Try “Alyssa’s ‘Everyday’ Chicken Wrap”: grilled chicken with avocado, salsa, romaine lettuce, homemade chipotle mayo and Monterey Jack cheddar. I’ve never met a wrap or sandwich (or salad) at Mikie Squared that I didn’t like. Opt for their sweet potato fries as a side, or order salad on the side to give yourself extra healthy brownie points.


Fried Wings vs Coal-Fired Wings

urband coalhouse wings

Instead of your regular fried chicken wings, which you can find pretty much anywhere in Hoboken, Urban Coalhouse offers coal-fired wings. You can’t compare to that hot-out-of-the-oven taste. Plus, they’re topped with onions, which are a vegetable! No-brainer.


Mozzarella Sticks vs Fresh Mutz

tony boloneys hoboken

Mozzarella sticks are such a comfort food for many. Who doesn’t remember being a kid and thinking that a fried cheese stick was the best thing ever? (Especially dipped in sauce.) Lucky for us, there are a plethora of places that offer and even COMPETE every year in the fresh mutz arena. Give Tony Boloney’s a try, especially since they have a variety of flavors to choose from. And if it’s your cheat day, why not dip into some of their fried mozz sticks to take you back to the good ol’ days (when calories didn’t count).


Fried Calamari vs Stuffed Calamari (or Seafood Salad)

leo's stuffed calamari

Image: www.leosgrandevous.com/

Fried calamari: another bar-food favorite. You can find calamari on just about every menu in town, but what you CAN’T find on every menu is STUFFED calamari. Where can you find it? Leo’s Grandevous. It’s even covered with sauce, if you’re the type that likes to dipped your fried squid. Also check out their seafood salad if you’re feeling like you want to mix things up. Squid quo pro.


Fried Popcorn Shrimp vs Hot Oil Shrimp

antique bakery hot oil shrimp dirty lemon

As a seafood lover, shrimp comes up pretty high on my list of favorite foods. I’ve had all kinds – fried popcorn shrimp, buffalo shrimp, even bacon-wrapped shrimp. But I’ve never had anything that tastes like the Hot Oil Shrimp with Dirty Lemon at Antique Bakery. You rip their heads off, chow down, and just when you think the dish is over, you realize you have a piece of oven-baked Italian bread to sop up all of the oil and lemon that your shrimp were swimming in. It’s the dish that keeps on giving.


French Fries vs Baked Fries

turtle club pork sliders fries

Image: Yelp

Shoestring, boardwalk, sweet potato, steak, poutine… did I forget one? Sooooo many types of fries to come by. All delicious in their own way, but all prepared in the same way – fried. If you want to have a sandwich and fries without feeling bad about finishing them, check out Turtle Club, where baked fries are served with all of their sandwiches.


Bonus Menu: The Lighter Side @ Biggie’s

biggie's lighter side chicken


In the past month, your favorite clam bar has rolled out a new healthy choice menu, dubbed “The Lighter Side”. Here you can find fare such as sautéed calamari, a grilled shrimp platter, and even grilled chicken fingers that will make you forget fried chicken exists!

Written by Amanda Eitzen

Amanda has been living in Hoboken since 2013 and fancies herself a Hoboken guru; generously imposing her bar and restaurant opinions on friends and strangers who never ask for it.  If you don’t see her at happy hour, she’s marketing software, sweating in some sort of fitness routine, or chowing down on delicious, yet healthy, foods. Follow @411fitlife to see what she’s up to besides grabbing drinks around town.