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 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 can also be found in scoopable form, along with ice-cream cakes, ice-cream pies, ice-cream sandwich breads, and other things that are best when sliced.
Each day, Sweet Avenue Bake Shop’s chefs whip up dozens upon dozens of classic and gourmet egg-, dairy-, and cholesterol-free cupcake creations. The daily changing menu features at least 12 artistic creations at any given time. Classic cupped combinations, such as vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, are spruced up and named after hairstyles, including Dark Side of the Moon ($2.50). Special cupcakes, such as the coffee-liqueur-soaked tiramisu and the red berry-filled sangria ($3.50 each), conduct entire orchestras of flavors in odes to beautiful incisors.
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.
A multidisciplinary cultural development center, GainVille specializes in language lessons for children but also offers classes for adults, ESL classes, and academic support, including educational-placement programs, counseling, and tutoring. A teaching staff of native Spanish, Italian, French, Mandarin, and Arabic speakers leads immersive sessions that not only cover grammar and vocabulary but also delve into the art, history, cuisine, and famous yo-yoists of the regions where each respective language is spoken. To fill up on brain food before or after class, students can head down to the café for some healthy international cuisine.
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.