When in Princeton, go to Hoagie Haven
In a town engulfed within the refined taste of elegance and prestige, Princeton, New Jersey has become known more for its small town culture than just the elite university that immerses the main streets of Nassau Street and Washington Road. Hidden within the Ivy League’s atmosphere is one of the true gems to come out of New Jersey. This wondrous little eatery is known as Hoagie Haven.
For any self-respecting New Jerseyan, the greasy late-night food stop has always been Hoagie Haven. It is an iconic symbol and a somewhat rite of passage when visiting New Jersey and continues to personify its status with each and every bite. Birthed in the early 1970s, Hoagie Haven has become the go-to stop for many late night inebriated individuals. The spotty fluorescent lights, lack of seating, and old school signs may worry unknown customers, but the large crowd and heavenly aroma should set some reassurance that you are in the right place.
Now, while the exterior aesthetics may not impress anyone except a college student, the food itself is a throwback of a true Jersey sandwich. For New Yorkers, they are known for their pizza. For Philadelphians, they are known for their cheesesteaks. But for New Jerseyans, they are known for their sandwiches. With comical names such as the Heart Stop or the Phat Lady, each hoagie provides a delicious combination of fries, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, and a variation of artery clogging meats and sauces such as a cheesesteak that will blow your mind away. This super greasy novelty sandwich first started off at Rutgers University, but has now made its way to the Ivy League town as one of the best selling and best tasting sandwich shops in the nation.
One other positive to point out is both the quickness of the service and the low cost ‘bang for your buck’ deal you are getting for this heavenly delight. While the lines may seem long, they staff is well aware of the hungry customers that are in demand for their sandwiches. Usual wait time is between 5 to 15 minutes, even with a big crowd. Just make sure you have cash at hand. Though the service may be fast, their antiquated payment system of ‘cash only’ has of course hindered the speediness of its logistics.
Bare in mind, this is not a five star restaurant. What you pay for is what you get. The real thing that you are getting is the overall experience that Hoagie Haven has to offer. The only other place that you can find this type of service is in New Brunswick where you can find a variation of these ‘fat sandwiches.’
So if you ever find yourself in New Jersey and are looking for a quick and delectable meal, check out Hoagie Haven in Princeton.
Originally published at geoffreybyruch.org.