Before it became the set of one of the most polarizing television series finales of all time, Holsten's was a classic diner and ice cream parlor. Now, it still serves its homemade ice cream and house specials—two burgers, made with beef chopped that day—but camera flashes aren't uncommon, especially near one particular booth. People who sit there tend to order onion rings, because that's what Tony Soprano ordered just before the show ended.
The staff doesn't mind the extra attention that The Sopranos fanbase showers on their restaurant. In fact, they sell T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, "The Final Episode." But they also stay true to their roots, whipping up diner fare from BLTs to grilled cheese and double-decker club sandwiches. The dessert menu features ice cream in flavors such as vanilla, black raspberry, and butter pecan, all of which can be piled atop brownies or bananas to make a sundae. There's also homemade candy, including truffles, assorted chocolates, and seasonal sweets more appetizing than autumn leaves dipped in honey.
A handwritten menu adorned with images of banana splits and cherry-topped milkshakes helps customers navigate a freezer of more than 20 hand-churned and soft-serve flavors served in dishes, waffle bowls, or sugar or dipped waffle cones. Ice cream can be devoured plain or topped with a variety of accoutrements such as nuts, sprinkles, chocolate fudge, and gummy candies. Super Scoop Ice Cream Parlor also offers cupcakes, coffee, fruit smoothies with protein, and free WiFi.
Since 1848, Applegate Farm has existed under many guises, but its purpose has always remained the same: to provide fresh dairy products for local families. Originally home to the Sitger family and their golden guernsey milk, the farm has changed hands several times since the late 1800s and survived through the Civil War, both World Wars, and all six Star Wars. It experimented with its first ice-cream cone in the late 1920s under the guidance of owner Julian Tinkham, who also had the good foresight to preserve the farm's historic structures so that future generations could visit the 19th-century farmhouse that once helped slaves to freedom or count the number of tiles in an authentic 1919 tile silo—one of only three built in the state.
Since then, the farm has expanded and operates under the current leadership of the Street family, who hold themselves to the same dedication to quality that has sustained the dairy for more than 164 years. The range of ice-cream flavors changes seasonally but usually includes at least 63 distinctive varieties ranging from orange pineapple and toasted almond to vanilla peanut butter and Graham Central Station—which won top prize at the New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival. No-sugar-added and dairy-free treats, like apple cider donuts, can also be found in scoopable form, along with ice-cream cakes, ice-cream pies, and ice-cream sandwiches.
It's always flattering when your dessert is the party's favorite. Carousel Cakes—and its bite-size offshoot, Cupcakes by Carousel—knows this feeling well. The bakeries' creative confections have received commendations from every corner of the media, from Time Out New York and InStyle to The View and, perhaps most notably, Oprah, who featured their red-velvet cake in O Magazine and named their blue-velvet cake one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2012. "Gayle fell hard for this blue velvet cake with cream cheese icing and sugar snowflakes," the media icon gushed. "Just add coffee, milk, or a flute of champagne." The treats also sweeten meals at more than 1000 restaurants, including Zabar's and the American Museum of Natural History in New York and Aldo & Gianni Ristorante and Sear Restaurant in Closter, New Jersey.
As a sister company to the family bakery that Martin Lefkowitz opened in 1965, Cupcakes by Carousel specializes in handheld versions of the treats that won all this acclaim. Besides a mini adaptation of the famous red-velvet cake, the staff creates confections such as the Curious George—a vanilla cake filled with banana custard and topped with peanut butter buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache—and its version of Hostess’s Pink Snowball. All the shop's cakes and pies are certified kosher, and staff can even fill up glasses with swirls of their famous frostings and toppings for clients who like their cupcakes sans cake. Cupcakes by Carousel also lends its hand in local communities. Recently, the Englewood shop raised money for girls' education in developing nations through the nonprofit organization She's The First.