Hoboken, make room for Koro Koro’s awesome rice balls

Here at InsideJersey.com we are blessed to work in an office smack dab in the middle of one of the most vibrant foodie scenes in the state: downtown Jersey City. One of our go-to lunch spots is the Koro Koro Rice Ball Cafe on Jersey Avenue. Mostly a take-out joint (there are just a couple of tables and bar stools), this storefront shop has us in heaven a few times a week with their unique Japanese style onigiri or rice balls (vegan and gluten-free), wasabi-pineapple cole slaw, plus exotic teas, homemade soups and ice cream from Milk Sugar Love. The Koro Koro food truck is a staple at food and street fairs around Hudson County and beyond.

So we were more than a little distressed to hear that the location will be closing soon due to structural repairs for a damaged foundation. But Jersey City’s (temporary) loss is Hoboken’s gain: the restaurant plans to open a location there soon at 201 Washington Street, owner Vincenzo Bove tells OMJ. He hopes to have the new location up and running by February. The Hoboken location is permanent, and the Jersey City location will be back in action in 8 or 9 months after the construction is completed.

“We’re definitely going to come back to Jersey City, it is our hometown,” he told me.

The rice ball menu includes traditional favorites and cool fillings like Italian sausage, Indian vegan and Cuban.

Back to the rice balls for a moment. They really are more like rice triangles and the restaurant describes them as “stuffed with a wide variety of cooked fillings served with or without nori or seaweed paper.  We serve rice balls with our favorite Japanese fillings as well as some fillings inspired by our favorite rice dishes from around the world. Why not? The rice ball is inherently just as versatile as the sandwich and even better tasting! We prepare them warm and made to order for the ultimate comfort food experience.” Prepare to be slightly confused with how to take off the plastic but there is a YouTube video playing on a loop in the store that will guide you step by step. The delicious warm, steamy flavors to come are worth it!

We’ll keep you updated about the location and timing of the Hoboken opening and Jersey City closing, but in the meantime hurry over to 538 Jersey Avenue or follow them on Facebook for food truck locations, and don’t forget to try their Mexican hot chocolate, which Jersey City Eats just named as some of the best in town.