The Best of Montclair: Coffee Shops

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Published November 1, 2021
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The Montclarion
Paper Plane Coffee Co. offers both hot and cold varieties of their signature "weird science" lattes. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

Montclair, New Jersey is known for having delicious food. With the plethora of restaurants and places to choose from, it can be difficult to know what spots are worth paying more than $5 for a cup of coffee.

As a Montclair-area native, I have spent a lot of my college years trying out any and every new, local spot that pops up. Though many places tend to come and go just by the nature of high rent prices, and now, because of the challenges the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced upon businesses, there are still a few tried-and-true places I always recommend to people when they need a place to grab a cup of joe.

The Corner: 115 Grove St., Montclair

The Corner, which gets its name from its location, is my go-to breakfast, lunch and coffee shop. When in doubt, I know that here I will have a great meal and a delicious cup of coffee.

However, no matter the time you go, it will most likely be packed with other brunch-goers. The constant turnover of customers inside their business should be an indicator that it’s a popular spot and well worth the wait. I wouldn’t recommend bringing your laptop and trying to finish some work there, as they keep the flow of their customers timely.

Java Love: 49 Church St., Montclair

Java Love: 224 Bellevue Ave., Montclair

Java Love makes a delicious matcha latte and brownie. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

Java Love makes a delicious matcha latte and brownie.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

If you are looking for a cute and trendy spot where you might be able to get some work done, head over to Java Love. They have a range of coffees and teas to choose from and yummy treats to pair with your beverage.

If you just want to bring a friend and enjoy their company, you can do that too. Their outdoor seating lines Church Street, downtown. You can finish a term paper in their delightful restaurant while simultaneously supporting a women-owned, LGBTQ+ business as well.

Red Eye Cafe: 94 Walnut St., Montclair

The almond milk latte from Red Eye Coffee is mesmerizing with its warm frothy goodness. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

The almond milk latte from Red Eye Coffee is mesmerizing with its warm frothy goodness.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

Another great spot to tune out the world and accomplish your tasks is Red Eye Cafe on Walnut Street. You can grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. They have a variety of choices on their menu whether you are going for breakfast, lunch or brunch.

Paper Plane Coffee Co.: 194 Claremont Ave., Montclair

Paper Plane Coffee Co. celebrates Halloween with spooky-themed decor. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

Paper Plane Coffee Co. celebrates Halloween with spooky-themed decor.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

Paper Plane is new to the Montclair coffee shop scene but they seem to be sticking around. Opened in Montclair in 2019, Paper Plane has been able to make a name for itself. This small spot has a broad option of unique coffee flavors and tea from butter beer-themed coffee to Moka Cola, a bubbly cold brew.

You may not be able to sit and work to your heart’s desire, but you won’t want to because you’ll be too busy talking about your inventive and buzz-worthy drink.

Le Salbuen Cafe: 97 Walnut St., Montclair

Le Salbuen Cafe offers a European escape for many in Montclair. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

Le Salbuen Cafe offers a European escape for many in Montclair.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smolen

I may not be able to pronounce the name of this place, but I continually recommend this restaurant to everyone I know. It’s a small spot but does not lack in big flavor, big bites and a big menu. You can bring anyone you know and they will be sure to find a dish they like.

You can grab a coffee, a matcha-infused beverage or tea. They have both vegan and vegetarian dishes. With outdoor seating and indoor dining, you can enjoy this restaurant all year round.

By visiting these spots, you are supporting local businesses and keeping them alive, which is more important now than ever. Regardless of whether you need to buckle down and work for hours, hang out with one of your friends or just try a new drink on your commute, there is a shop in Montclair for everyone.

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