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Johnny Pepperoni Gets A Visit from the Drunken Polar Bear – Two Paws Up!

Editor’s Intro: The Drunken Polar Bear recently paid a visit to Johnny Pepperoni in Hoboken. TheBoken.com has to be honest that when we first heard of the name Johnny Pepperoni we kidded that it sounded like a 70′s porn star. All kidding aside just about all the feedback about the food in the place is excellent. Even City Council President Ravi Bhalla remarked on the quality of food at the restaurant. Here goes with the review from the Drunken Polar Bear. The Drunken Polar bear recently injured one of his paws recently on Sunday morning seal hunt but is now back writing for TheBoken.

Johnny Pepperoni Italian American Kitchen Hoboken

Address: 219 11th Street (and Park Ave.)

Phone: (201) 850-1533

Website: http://johnnypepperoni.com/more.php

Wait…Johnny Pepperoni’s isn’t a bar.  Correct – this polar bear is going to broaden his horizons and toss in some bite size (pun intended!) restaurant reviews from time to time.  Because let’s face it, you need some food in your stomach before hitting the bars.  First on the list – Johnny Pepperoni’s.  Snowflake (the girlfriend) and I had a Friday night dinner there a few weeks back.

First Impression

After a few cocktails down the street at Turtle Club (yum) we walked over to Johnny Pepperoni’s for a late dinner around 9.  I always liked the location on 11th and Park when it was the bar TJ’s (I think) because the bar was very open and had windows on both sides.  I was glad to see JP’s kept the same basic architecture.  Even at 9 the place was full much to our surprise and we had to wait 20-30 minutes for our table which I didn’t think was going to be fun.  I was wrong.  The hostess guided us to the kitchen bar, opened our bottle of wine and even asked us if we wanted to pick on apps.  We waited, but it was super cool to be able to hang out right by the wide open kitchen and see how they make everything.

Interior and Stuff

Johnny P’s is a fun and cozy place.  The brickwork on the outside has been spruced up and the inside truly looks like an Italian place with checkered table cloths, pizza stands and of course the kitchen.  The kitchen is open and right there for everyone to see the cooks tossing pizza and everyone buzzing around.  In my opinion it’s always good to see how you’re food is made.  JP’s has a simple setup – about 12-15 tables and a bar that seats about 8-10.  Simple, but you’re not crammed in.

The Food

Johnny P’s is a BYO place, a rarity in Hoboken as I don’t think there is more than 3-4 total which is great.  Show up with a bottle of wine and you’re in for a good night.  We kept our order simple – an antipasti platter to start as an app and then we split a custom pizza of sweet sausage and garlic.  The antipasti was a generous helping of prosciutto, soppressata, fresh mozzarella, olives, fried peppers, and grilled garlic bread (the best) and was excellent.  The pizza which was 6 slices was the perfect size to split for 2 people and was tasty and made with fresh ingredients.  If I were to go back again, we saw them make a desert pizza which was heavily focused on Nutella.  Super yum.

The Service

Short and sweet here – the service was very good.  While we were waiting the man I guess was the head chef/manager (he was directing traffic) was really nice to us, opened our bottle of wine and even chatted with us a bit.  We ate at the bar and the bartender was polite and quick with refilling drinks or bringing out the food.  Couldn’t find a flaw at all.


We were pleasantly surprised with Johnny P’s.  As a BYO place it was already a good choice, but the food, service, atmosphere and overall experience was great for a date night (or if you’re out with a group of friends).  In my new rating system, Johnny Pepperoni’s gets a very good four and a half pepperonis (out of 5).

Any restaurants you readers want us to review next?

The Drunken Polar Bear.


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Johnny Pepperoni Gets A Visit from the Drunken Polar Bear - Two Paws Up!, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

About Drunken Polar Bear

Drunken Polar Bear is a native New Yorker, Hoboken resident of 5 years and a bar enthusiast. Following 3 years as a collegiate bartender pouring drafts and wickedly named shots he migrated to the mile square for its great people, good food and plethora of bars. Having spent time examining the bars of California, the Midwest, the South, London, Dublin and Barcelona he brings barroom expertise to help you find your favorite local watering hole.


  1. Clearly you need to go there on a Friday night when all the parents bring their kids. It's like a Chuck-E-Cheese with kids screaming at the top of their lungs.

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    Comment by Meep — February 3, 2012 @ 5:42 PM

  2. There are kids in Hoboken? Holy F! Wait you mean these parents actually take their kids out to restaurants in town and these little kids make noise? Breaking news numb nuts

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    Comment by Breaking News — February 4, 2012 @ 7:35 PM

  3. I enjoyed this place, but I still miss Ted & Joe's.

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    Comment by homeworld — February 7, 2012 @ 8:47 AM

  4. Lot more than 3 or 4 byo places in Hoboken. Just to name off some others: Dozzinos, Piri Piri, both Charritos, any sushi/Asian place without a liquor license, Napolis, the new Italian place by the movie theater… Im sure I am missing a bunch others

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    Comment by Anon — February 7, 2012 @ 1:38 PM

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