Situated on the west side of Newark Bay that empties out into the Atlantic ocean, Downtown Elizabeth
attracts many visitors and residents for its proximity to New York City and access to major highways.
The downtown area of Elizabeth, commonly referred to as Elizabeth Town or Old Elizabeth, serves as a transportation and commerce hub for thousands of people. Many residents who work in New York City find living in Downtown Elizabeth not only convenient but also cost-effective. Although some older colonial-style homes
have been removed to make way for updated modern apartment buildings, beautiful homes in the area still attract families. In addition, several colleges and universities located in and around Downtown Elizabeth draw a younger academic crowd to the neighborhood.
Schools in Downtown Elizabeth
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
Elizabeth Avenue stands as the center of many establishments in the downtown area. Manolo's Restaurant located close to Newark Bay on the eastern side of Downtown Elizabeth
serves authentic Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine like no other. The restaurant provides both family-style and banquet-style service as well as private dining with reservations for large or special parties. The restaurant serves classic dishes such as roasted peppers with crab and sole in lemon butter sauce.
Those in the mood for authentic Mexican food shouldn't miss La Cabana. Located in the heart of Downtown Elizabeth on Elizabeth Avenue, the restaurant serves traditional northern Mexican dishes such as piping hot steak or chicken fajitas and enchiladas with homemade guacamole. The restaurant also caters for businesses and private parties. A menu for the kids and fair prices make the restaurant especially appealing to families.
For a fun night of drinks and dancing, locals recommend Mojito Lounge and Restaurant, a popular establishment featuring authentic Cuban cuisine, music and best of all, signature Mojitos. Kick off the weekend with "Starter Fridays" at the lounge, where you can enjoy happy hour and all-night drink specials and dance the night away to the hottest tunes spun by DJ Cachimbo.
History & Culture
Downtown Elizabeth has been labeled the most diverse part of the whole city. Also known as the home of the Singer Manufacturing Company, maker of Singer sewing machines, Downtown Elizabeth has been a central hub for commerce dating all the way back to the mid-17th century.
Liberty Hall Museum on the north side of Downtown Elizabeth finds itself inside a Victorian-style mansion built in 1777. Here children and families come for special events on holidays. The museum takes donations in place of an entry fee.
You can see the neighborhood's diversity through the many ethnic festivals and parades it holds throughout the year. The Elizabeth Latin Carnival every September attracts crowds of more than 250,000 people. The Sunday before Memorial Day, the neighborhood also hosts Tour de Elizabeth, an annual bike tour of the whole city.
Downtown Elizabeth sits in a prime location surrounded by several major highways including Interstates 95 and 295 that run north and south to New York and beyond. The Garden State Parkway sits just to the west of Downtown Elizabeth providing easy access to other areas of New Jersey and outside the state, and Interstate 78 runs just north of Downtown Elizabeth to take folks into Jersey City and lower Manhattan. Newark Liberty International Airport, right on the edge of Downtown Elizabeth, makes national and international travel very easy. Because of excellent road system, many residents choose to drive their own vehicles as their main mode of transportation.
Many find Uber very efficient when going to the airport or traveling inside the city. Those who don't want to spend as much can call taxi cabs for rides anywhere inside the city or to surrounding neighborhoods.
With no bike lanes on the roads in Downtown Elizabeth, bikers should be careful riding in the street, as the downtown area can get somewhat lively during work hours. Crosswalks on the corners make Downtown Elizabeth safe for pedestrians.
The cost of living in Downtown Elizabeth runs below the national average and the New Jersey State average. A moderate one-bedroom
apartment costs $949 per month on average. Gas prices in the neighborhood run about 10 percent below the national average.
A regular domestic beer in the city starts at around $4 and specialty or craft brews start at around $8 or $9 per pint.
Downtown Elizabeth offers shopping options that include favored chain grocers and retailers, plus plenty of boutiques for those looking for something a little more unique. The Unique Thrift Store found right in the center of town is one such place where the locals come to find a bargain. Peruse gently used clothing, books, accessories and more, and save a buck in the process.
Sol Boutique, located on Elizabeth Avenue, finds itself closer to the center of Downtown Elizabeth and features women's accessories and modern-style clothing and fashions.
Jeannette Boutique, also located on Elizabeth Avenue, sells upscale children's apparel and accessories that are affordable and durable enough for everyday wear. The store sees many visitors, including local residents who love the array of styles and very helpful staff.
Downtown Elizabeth has many grocery store options including Eagle's Supermarket, which sits in the center of Downtown Elizabeth on Elizabeth Avenue, and Super Stop and Shop on Newark Avenue. Elizabeth Avenue Farmers Market, held at Union Square, opens from June through November.
Downtown Elizabeth has scores of parks and playgrounds for children. Mattano Park located on Elizabethtown Plaza features a modern and safe playground for children as well as a water splash pad for hot summer days. The park also has baseball fields as well as the Elizabeth River running through the middle of it.
The river connects to another recreation area a little farther north. Elizabeth River Parkway features two different playgrounds for children as well as sports fields and basketball and tennis courts. Many people come here to go fishing and play in the water during the summer. Some older folks frequent the park's shuffleboard court.
Sheridan and Coldwell Parks are located in the center of Downtown Elizabeth and provide quick access to playground equipment for children and families. All parks are free of cost and allow leashed dogs.