Abbey’s Pub & Grill (not to be confused with O’Abbey’s, which is on the West Side and a place I have not yet visited) is an unpretentious spot on the corner of Monmouth and 4th. Downtown can be…downtown. But I like this spot because it’s not.
I first discovered Abbey’s when looking for a hookah bar in Hudson County. Not only is it one of the few hookah bars around (stop reading if you’re judgy), it is also a smoker’s heaven: they allow smoking inside by the bar area and even sell cigarettes (for shame!).
I love it because it has the raw feel of a true dive; it’s totally not trying to be anything but itself. Check your cooler-than-thou attitude at the door and relax. If you’ve ever been to Sophie’s in Alphabet City or Automatic Slims in Meatpacking, you know what I mean. And this is a notch up. Everyone is welcome in the diverse crowd drawn to this spot. I promise you will make friends here.
You have your standard bar stuff: pool table, music, karoake nights, big TVs. Drinks are stiff, food is as expected, and both are priced well.
I had a quesadilla and nachos here last year, both of which were delish for downtown dive food. Here are some recent eats:
I ordered the steak sandwich as it comes: Sliced skirt steak (I wasn’t questioned about meat temperature, and I didn’t ask because I figured it was, indeed, pre-prepped and frozen, but no worries) with mushrooms, onions, cheddar, and fries. This picture does not capture the sandwich’s appeal or give its size justice. I only got through a quarter of it. Seriously. This sandwich fed me four meals—one at the restaurant and three that I made from the leftovers—because gourmet be gone, it was great.
My dining companion ordered a burger with shrooms and cheddar, which he devoured in about 3 minutes. His meat was cooked to order, and clearly hit the spot.
You would never expect a decent bathroom in this bar, but alas! The Bathroom Sink needs its own shoutout:
Isn’t it just gorgeous?
Abbey’s is an all-around win for a casual night. The servers are friendly, and the patrons are even more warm and inviting. Having the option to chill in peace with your companions, or the guarantee to make friends the moment you wait at the bar or on the bathroom line—that’s just luxury.
Smoke and mirrors,