Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

El Flamboyan is now Iluminada Cafe in Hoboken

Since we’ve “leveled up” our cooking status at home to that of “Professional Chef,” restaurants have faded far to the back of our minds.

Hence, we didn’t notice El Flamboyan at 10th & Willow has become Iluminada. Same phone number and all.

Iluminada Cafe Hoboken NJ - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

Description: Classic Spanish cuisine, Daily specials, cafeteria style dining area, affordable. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sandwiches, Stew, Seafood, Soup, Café con leche – Free Delivery (Local), Catering
Address: 1000 Willow Ave, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone: (201) 653-5567,(201) 653-1067

Historical updates below…

El Flamboyan Hoboken – for sale

1/20/2015 Update:

Say it ain’t so! El Flamboyan Restaurant at 10th & Willow is now for sale.

El Flamboyan Hoboken NJ for sale - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

Visit El Flamboyan before they’re gone!

Not sure how long the sale will take (I believe they’re also selling the building in the back, which is on the same lot) – but you ought to check it out before they’re gone!

As Hoboken411 reader Mike succinctly pointed out:

“If folks in Hoboken never tried this place, it is a hidden treasure. Well prepared Puerto Rican/Dominican meal. Well done. Pork chop is very moist and flavorful. Pork Mofango is amazing. The best of all, it’s very cheap compared to most places in Hoboken. We will miss this place. We came here few days a week for years. This is the only truly authenticate Spanish place left in Hoboken – otherwise you have to walk up the hill to The Heights. Sad day to see it go!”

Seriously! At the rate we’re going, we’ll have the same cookie-cutter assortment of businesses every four blocks.

El Flamboyan Restaurant Hoboken NJ

9/17/2010 Update:

El Flamboyan Restaurant 1000 Willow Avenue Hoboken NJ Cuban - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}


El Flamboyan Hoboken Review

2/23/2007 Update:

Today’s lunch review comes from the extremely popular El Flamboyan restaurant. All night long you see that fruity delivery car all over Hoboken. The reason why is because it’s good and it’s very cheap.

My friend and I stopped in around 1:30pm (after the High School lunch crowd was done.) Grabbed a booth and checked the Menu out. On top of the usual items, they also have daily specials each week. The interior was basic and plain. Counter, cooler, tables.

flamboyan interiorcs - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

I’ll make this quick. I ordered a chicken sandwich (with bacon – $4.25) and an beef empanada ($1). My friend got the 1/2 chicken (with rice & beans – $6) and a potato ball ($1.25).

The chicken sandwich was tasty. Homestyle-cooked roasted or grilled chicken with lots of flavor. Excellent portion size for the money.

flaboyan chicken sandwichcs - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

The empanada was ok, I’ve had much better (like at the now-defunct Melina’s Pizza). But for a buck, you can’t go wrong. The adobo seasoning was obvious however, and still haven’t de-puffed from the MSG overload.

flamboyan empanadacs - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

My friend also enjoyed her chicken dish. It was a giant portion of meat, along with a big plate of yellow rice and a bowl of watery beans. I didn’t care for the beans too much, but I suppose you could always mix them with the rice for added effect. The potato ball was essentially empanada meat inside a fried potato shell. Not bad, but I found it to be rather bland. But hey, that’s why salt and pepper are on the table.

flamboyan half chickencs - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}
flamboyan yellow ricecs - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}
flamboyan potato ballcs - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

Hey, it’s not a fancy restaurant, but for $15 bucks including two snapples, it’s a bargain to say the least. And you won’t be suffering from hunger afterward. In fact, several of the town’s homeless individuals have been know to frequent the place sporadically to pick up something with the little money they managed to scrounge up. So they’re doing good for the less fortunate in our community as well.

Give it a shot! If you don’t like the interior, just order take out. Good Cheap Grub!

Old Photo from 2007

El Flamboyan - Iluminada Cafe {old Flamboyan}

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 4:54 pm


I thought I saw a sign promoting the eviction of Hispanics…..please tell me you don’t vote or drive….scary!

Friday, January 23, 2015 3:43 pm

Looks as though with the large and continuing number of Latino evictions accomplished by the Hoboken administration the restaurant will have lost its strong customer base.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 8:34 pm

Good Ropa Viejo! Oh darn, I hope they will still serve. Rumba makes it on a thursday and I find it quite authentic.

Friday, September 17, 2010 7:31 pm

A much needed alternative to over-priced places. That, plus Oscar’s Groceries which is also less expensive for drinks than the 24 hour place up the road.

Reply to  NorthKrissy
Sunday, September 19, 2010 8:30 pm

Awesome place. Biggest problem is trying to overcome your intense craving for this food on the way home after you pick it up. I find that ordering a cafe con leche to sip on the way home helps overcome this “problem”. Then again I also have almost no self-control when it comes to dishes like Ropa Viejo (my personal favorite here).[quote comment=”197567″]A much needed alternative to over-priced places. That, plus Oscar’s Groceries which is also less expensive for drinks than the 24 hour place up the road.[/quote]

Monday, February 26, 2007 2:05 pm

I lived next door for 5 years and never once had an urge to even buy a snapple there

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