A curved-glass case is the only thing that separates salivating customers from Brothers display of french and italian pastries, which include whipped-cream pies, cookies, danishes, and two sizes of cannolis. The store's fresh baked loafs of garlic, brioche, and rye bread, however, perch proudly on open racks, ready to encase sandwich meats, warm butter, or mouthwatering restaurant reviews. The intermingling smells of sweet and savory treats culled from natural, preservative-free ingredients represent a 35-year-old tradition at Brothers Quality Bakery. Custom sculpture cakes are the cherry on top of the baked goods sundae, and the Brothers Quality staff pile layers of fondant and icing upon their red velvet and chocolate masterpieces to create designs such ladybugs for birthday parties, corsets for bachelorette parties, and snowmen for holiday events.
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 167 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.
Harvest Table specializes in fresh farmhouse fare that, according to the New York Times, “calls to mind a just-picked bounty.” Customers gather around the counter—a long table designed, built, and sanded by the father of owner Carissa Borraggine—adding to the restaurant’s homey feel. Behind the counter, Carissa's team crafts sandwiches, salads, and smoothies based on customers' create-your-own inventions or house recipes.
Sandwiches include a club with crisp bacon and house-roasted turkey stacked between three slices of eight-grain bread. Salad-wise, shrimp, grilled pineapple, and sesame-ginger dressing flavor the High Thai'd, whereas Cajun chicken and tangy mango dressing add kick to the Aztec. Fruit smoothies like the Peach Sunrise—a blend of peaches, strawberries, honey, and soymilk—act as healthy dessert options. Patrons can round out meals with Harvest Table's generous selection of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
Sweet Retreat Boutique's palate-popular bakers curb relentless sweet-tooth cravings with made-from-scratch cupcakes and whole cakes that have flaunted such flavors as red velvet, carrot, and pineapple cream cheese. The shop's imaginative cake designers work closely with clients to assemble custom cakes that commemorate special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and the end of century-long thumb wars. Premade cakes in a variety of sizes come in round and square shapes, and proudly don top-shelf ingredients and layers of tasty frosting.
NY Bagel Cafe & Deli's kitchen bakes its bagels fresh every day, fueling a savory expansion to locations across seven states. At the Newark site, a glass case displays doughy circles infused with ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes and blueberries. Patrons can opt to decorate their bagels or the eatery's pumpkin-colored walls with cream-cheese spreads flavored with scallions, bacon, and strawberries. In addition, deli sandwiches enfold Boar's Head–brand meats and cheeses in italian bread, wraps, or rolls.
Considered one of New Jersey’s best kept secrets by NJ Channel 12 and celebrating its 50th anniversary, DiPaolo Bros. Bakery has helped placate Newark’s passion for fresh-baked goods since 1961. Load up on leavened loaves from a lineup that features panella ($1.85 small, $2.65 large), ciabatta ($1.99 small, $3.49 large), and French ($1.55 small, $1.99 large) and Italian rolls both round and long ($0.40). Patrons looking for traditional Italian specialties find a 40-year-old cannoli cream recipe clamoring for attention ($1.25 small, $2.25 large) and chewy pignoli cookies fresh from their pine-nut shower, a topping more palatable than honey-flavored hair gel ($16.99 per pound). Additionally, a collection of cakes ($15.99 for 7”, $99.95 for full sheet) helps to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, dental cleanings, grandma’s senior prom, or any of life’s other little pleasures.