NORTH BERGEN –
If you want all that South Beach Miami has to offer — excellent food, tremendous nightlife, incredible dancing — but don’t exactly have the means or the time to travel 1,500 miles south, fret not.
That’s because just a few miles away, in North Bergen right near the Hudson River, Sabor Latin Bistro has all South Beach has to offer [okay, their beaches aren’t there, but you get the point] at a much more affordable price.
Located on River Road, Sabor Latin Bistro, partly owned by Fernando Lopez, recently underwent a massive renovation. In addition to a much larger bar, the restaurant, which also serves as a catering hall, can hold as many as 250 patrons indoors and there’s also seating for up to 80 outdoor diners.
Lopez says the renovations were necessary because as word of mouth spread about the eatery, the restaurant needed more room to accommodate its expanding clientele.
“Initially, we were what I like to call a small gem,” Lopez said. “But when the demand grew, we knew we had to have a bigger space. And now we’re two times the size we once were.”
And extending the amount of space has led to more dancing. Every Friday and Saturday night, after patrons have a tremendous meal [we’ll get into the food shortly], they can hit the dance floor and move to Latino favorites, including Latin Jazz, modern salsa and old-school salsa.
“The demand was there, too,” Lopez said. “People were coming in to eat our great food, but there wasn’t enough space for dancing. Now there definitely is.”
Lopez says Sabor caters to all generations of people, but predominantly, you’ll find the crowd to include a lot of people in their 30s to their late 50s.
“Because of that, there’s a lot of energy in the place,” Lopez said. “It’s a very happening place. It’s SoBe on the Hudson. It’s lively. You come in, have a great meal, escape reality for a while and dance until 2 a.m.”
But before the dancing is the food.
Unlike many other Latino restaurants that have food from just one geographical location, Sabor’s cuisine is different. Instead, you’ll find all kinds of specialties, from the Caribbean to many parts of Latin America including Central and South America.
“Usually, it’s one or the other,” Lopez said. “But not with us. Our food is from all over the globe. And we take great pride in that.”
On the dinner menu, you’ll find anything from grilled skirt tacos, a Mexican favorite, to grilled shrimp to skirt steak. What’s more, outdoor diners enjoy views of New York City’s skyline off in the distance.
If it’s a banquet hall you’re looking for — be it for a wedding, a bar mitzvah or a First Communion — any special occasion, really — Sabor has the space for it. (For a crowd of 250, the guests would be required to rent the entire restaurant.)
So whether it’s a night out for a fantastic dinner, or if you have a desire to dance for hours on end or, if you’re looking for a great venue for a private party, Sabor will, indeed, bring South Beach right to you … in Hudson County. And you won’t have to even step foot on an airplane.
“There’s not much that we can’t do,” Lopez said. “We pride ourselves on knowing we’re a family-style establishment. People of all ages love it here, and we hope anyone who may not have heard about us before from outside the area will give us a try. They won’t be disappointed.”
Sabor Latin Bistro is located at 8809 River Road, North Bergen. Lunch is served Monday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dinner is served Monday to Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday brunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A Caribbean sunset menu is offered weekdays from 4 to 7:30 p.m. and a late-night menu is available Thursday to Saturday until 1 a.m. Happy Hour takes place Monday to Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.
For more information, call Sabor at 201-943-6366 or visit www.saborlatinbistro.com.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.