For most of the 20th century, Hoboken, NJ was primarily an Italian-American enclave. Like many other Northeast industrial cities, Hoboken fell on hard times from the 1950s forward, losing over half its population, until late-century gentrification took root. Throughout it all, some of the classic Italian bakeries and delis, such as Fiore’s, survived, and others, like Dom’s bakery, sprouted with the city’s rebirth, carrying on this Hudson River city’s Italian heritage. In the latter category is Vito’s Deli, one of Hoboken’s premier sandwich makers.

Washington Street is Hoboken's main drag, where you'll find just about anything you want to eat, from sushi to chicken tikka masala, along with a disturbing number of branches of national chains. Vito's Deli is one of a kind.

Washington Street is Hoboken’s main drag, where you’ll find just about anything you want to eat, from sushi to chicken tikka masala, along with a disturbing number of branches of national chains. Vito’s Deli is one of a kind.

Like any Hoboken Italian deli that takes itself seriously, Vito’s makes their own mozzarella, and that creamy, delicate cheese finds its way onto most of the sandwiches they construct. And like Fiore’s a few blocks away, Vito’s uses Dom’s excellent loaves for their heroes, although their posted sandwich menu is far more wide-ranging.

The Sinatra features sopressatta, salami, sun-dried tomatoes, and (of course) that mutz, with a choice of spreads (options include roasted pepper and garlic, Kalamata olive, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomato, and porcini mushroom), but by no means are all the heroes Italio-centric. For instance, something called Steven’s Duck hero features turkey, roast beef, cheddar, horseradish dressing, and peppers (no duck). You can even get yourself a good old Jersey Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast.

We wanted to try something that would show off Vito’s mozzerella in the best light, so we went with a Parma prosciutto, fresh mutz, and fresh basil hero. As the sandwich maker went to work, we perused shelves stocked with anchovies, canned tomato products, and olives galore. Both fresh mutz fans and prosciutto fans well know that the two ingredients play off each other beautifully inside a muscular loaf, especially with sweet mozzarella of this quality. Vito’s sandwich is extraordinary.

We’re looking forward to future expeditions across Vito’s menu and, in particular, we have our eyes trained on a breakfast ham, mutz, onions, and peppers omelet hero, as well as a simple mutz, roasted pepper, and basil hero.

Note that, while there is no seating inside Vito’s, in the warmer months they put some tables and chairs out front for enjoying their salads and sandwiches.

806 Washington Street
Hoboken NJ 07030
Vito’s Deli’s Website
Vito’s Deli on Facebook

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BEST THING TO EAT: Prosciutto and fresh mutz hero