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About Hat City Kitchen
At the corner of Valley and Forest streets, (459 Valley) in the shadow of Our Lady of the Valley Church, HAT CITY KITCHEN is a new restaurant in an old building with a new vibe.
"Our emphasis is on quality and integrity. We offer American Comfort foods with an influence from the south and New Orleans or, as we say Creosoul. By focusing on a simple menu, we have the ability to perfect an artisanal process, creating the best food imaginable. We have created an experience that has broad appeal to families,traditional food lovers and critical Epicureans at an affordable price."
All profits from Hat City Kitchen go to support revitalization of the Valley neighborhood; true to Orange's history as a small city where culture and commerce meet in the street. Hat City Kitchen is a happy collaboration of art, urban planning, food and music, playing for the neighbors late into the night.
Orange, NJ 07050
American, Creole / Cajun / Southern
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday: 2:30pm - 9:00pm, Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
Hat City Kitchen is a speakeasy-style restaurant and live music venue. We opened in mid-January 2010 to showcase artists like blues guitarist Billy Hector, Al Gold another regional favorite as well as nationally known artists and guitar icons such as Leslie West of Mountain. Our fall season is almost fully booked with local, regional and nationally known artists, ranging in genre from jazz, blues, rock, acoustic as well as larger orchestras. We showcase CD release parties and other special events.
Please note: seating in stage area subject to a cover and minimum for live events.
There is adequate street parking as well as our exclusive use of the Church lot diagonally across from the restaurant.
Highland Avenue Station NJ Transit
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Dancing, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
We offer large group menus starting at $20 dollars per person plus tax and gratuity. These are family style three course meals and great for sharing. Please see our website for party packages for details.
Hat City Kitchen Ratings and Reviews
I arrived announcing that I had a reservation.
The young lady offered a table nearest the stage although my reservation clearly stated I wanted to be furthest from the stage and near the ladies restroom.
I told her I wanted to be further away from the stage, so she gave a table further away.
However, there was a horrible draft from window and it didn't seem as those there was any heat being given.
I told my server that I was freezing and wanted to move my table.
There was a table available, which she said was a reserved table and it had to be for the 6 prople.
This is not true because the table I had the very same table only the week before!
Anyway, I ended up moving to another table that still exposed me to the draft, so I was cold all night.
And, the table the server refused me remained empty the entire night. I know this because I was there until closing @2AM.
Thinking about it now, I saw several people with their coats on throughout the show, so apparently they were cold as well.
The day after a significant snowfall and temperatures well below freezing, one is well within their right to expect heat.
There are so many really nice employees there, which is the major draw for returning.
Still, improvements are in order.
I have been there 3 times in the last w weeks.
2 of the 3 times I had some unpleasant experiences.
That is not a good ratio.
I love the place and would simply like to have one flawless experience.
Also, there were many times throughout the show were the noise levels from the bar area outvolumed the band. Not cool!
It is not my intention to extend a poor light on this establishment.
I am simply giving truthful account of my experiences.
I travel quite a distance to patronize Hat City Kitchen, so it should be obvious that I want to lend to it's success.
My friends and I have come to Hat City Kitchen to see Micheala McClain several times. The food and the service are always exceptional. The servers are always on point refilling drinks and are super friendly and solicitous without being a constant presence. I have recommended Hat City to several friends and plan to go there again in the near future.
We went for the music. It's a really cool spot for sure. Great beer and drink menu. Food was ok - not great or outstanding. My mac n cheese came with the top cheese layer cold... The food service is super slow - don't go hungry. I would go back for the music and a drink but eat somewhere else.
The noise coming from the other room was excessive, the sliding glass door was wide open although was cold outside, and even after I closed it, it was still cold in the room. The server brought me the wrong appetizer (it was one that someone else had ordered). She also brought the wrong side dish to my husband. She also overcharged for the side dish. My food was extremely spicy and I can't eat spicy food. The menu did not indicate that those items were spicy. The food took a long time to come. The server told us that it was her first day and ours was her first table.
Enter through the bar. There's seating by the stage and the main dining room is up a couple of steps. It's quite a loud place when the band is playing What we like is that they serve past 11 pm, after the band stops and the place 'quiets' down a little. The food is a step or two above the casual surroundings. Service is friendly.
food was hot but just ok. not great! paying for sides wasn't great either. the black eyed peas were straight outta the can. not a drop of seasoning! rubs could've cooked a Lil longer. not impressed. gumbo watery not enough okra & shellfish. if I return, I'll stick to easy appetizers. Maybe then we wonb disappointed. loved the look of the place.
There appeared to only be one waitperson the night we were there. She was wonderful in every way except she had too many people to serve, and no help. When you could get her attention, you got everything you asked for, but the food was slow in coming; unusual from our other times there, but disappointing just the same
Great find! Hat city restaurant is cozy but has a vibrant vibe about it. The food is your usual comfort food with a twist. The menu has a good mix of your traditional southern cooking like the Cajun catfish fritters to the smoky BBQ ribs. Carribean cooking is also quite evident. The place is easy and laid back. Pricing is reasonable and in big portions! The servers are great looking and very attentive! I will surely be back again. Keep up the good work!
Going to a concert at the NJPAC, looked for a place to eat, and was happy to find this place! The locals come in, exchange pleasantries and sit at the bar. But, everyone orders food! No one is there to just drink. The gumbo (soup) was excellent. My wife's fried chicken and ribs platter was out of this world, and I don't usually eat fried chicken or order ribs! I enjoyed a perfect fried chicken breast.
I brought my husband here for date night. While I did enjoy the live music it was very loud and made it a challenge to talk at dinner. As for the dinner itself, I did enjoy the cajun theme but some dishes were more successful than others. I would order the gumbo again for sure. But the BBQ Shrimp and grits were a no for me.
My wife and I and two other couples went to Hat City Kitchen for the first time for dinner and to listen to the band. We had a a lot of fun. Had a NYC downtown small club vibe to it. An eclectic miss of people, young, middle-age and older, some dressed nice and others very casual. The place is a a bit small and seating is tight. Also a bit grungy, but it fits. You definitely want to sit in the main dining area by the stage if you want to fully enjoy the music, but be forewarned it is loud and makes it difficult to hold a conversation. You can sit in an adjacent room and you can still hear the music, but can't see the band. Only drawback was the food. The entrees were mediocre at best. The fried chicken was almost tasteless and very heavily battered I also tried the jambalaya and thought it was bland. The appetizers were better. The po-boy sliders were the best. I would go back to enjoy the music and just stick to appetizers and drinks. Perhaps the po-boy sandwich would be a better choice next time.
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