I tried every coffee shop in Ridgewood: Here’s how it went

The gallery wall at Ridgewood Coffee Company.

The gallery wall at Ridgewood Coffee Company.

by Naomi Bashan, Social Media Manager

I’m not the only one who feels the homogeneity and boredom of suburbia. At some point, we’ve all run out of things to do. Small town life, big town dreams. Do you feel small-town fatigue here? Have no fear, there’s another small town right around the bend. (They’re everywhere…Welcome to North Jersey!) I’ve curated a list of the best coffee places in Ridgewood by category. Get out there and live your best aesthetic-coffee-drinker life!

Best Value Overall: Ridgewood Coffee Company 

Right across from Raymond’s is Ridgewood Coffee Company: the absolute best coffee shop in our area. I tried two of their specialty coffees: the Nutella latte and the Almond Joy latte. They were both delicious, not too sweet and not too bitter. The place itself has exceptional music and a great atmosphere: they have paintings for sale hung up! This is definitely a must-visit coffee location!

Yummiest Organic Treats: American Bulldog Coffee Roasters

American Bulldog Coffee Roasters is the go-to place for organic foods. Most notable are the alternative milk options: if you aren’t a cow’s milk lover, they’ve got you covered! I had their cold brew with almond milk, and it was a tad bit watery, but what they might lack in coffee American Bulldog Coffee makes up for with their array of treats. Behind the register is an inviting display of muffins and scones; be sure to check out their vegan options!

Greatest Place for a Coffee Date: Dea European Cafe

Dea European Cafe is the perfect setting for a cozy coffee date. It’s a smaller place, providing the perfect intimate atmosphere to grab a cuppa. The place itself has only 5 tables, each seating two. I ordered a chai latte and it knocked my socks off: it was perfectly sweet and smooth. Also, they have exquisite desserts! I ordered their lobster claw (a crisp croissant filled with bittersweet chocolate and pastry cream) and it was excellent.

Greatest Instagram Photo Opportunity: Rey Sol Coffee

In one word, Rey Sol Coffee is very California. The place itself has bright pink and yellow accents, with vines and plants littering the tables and the walls. Everywhere you look is a very ‘LA’ photo opportunity. The staff is really friendly and will opt to recommend their specialty s’mores latte. Personally, I prefer their mango-agave lemonade. It captures a perfect mango sweetness, but continues to include a nice bite of lemony- bitterness. One thing to note about Rey Sol is that it’s usually pretty crowded, so snap a photo, grab a drink (or one of their sweets) and go!

Best Place to Study: Pierre and Michel Authentic French Bakery RW Location

The Ridgewood Pierre and Michel location is large and spacious. They have a large array of mouth-watering desserts, my favorite being the strawberry tart, which is perfectly candied with just a slight tartness. Also, they make a mean Cafe Mocha (a chocolate flavored latte). Pierre and Michel is perfect for studying; there are several couches, benches, and tables arranged.

Top Pastry Shop: Sook Pastry

When it comes to pastries in the area, you can’t get any better than Sook. This pastry shop perfectly captures the French taste profile. Doubling as a chocolatier next door, Sook makes chocolate in-house, as well as fresh bread and crepes. They make a solid cup of coffee, but if you’re looking for the best cup, try a different place on the list. My personal Sook favorite is the fruit eclair, but truly any pastry on the menu will blow your mind!

I’m not giving up on small-town living yet, and neither should you. Maybe when the Glen Rock small-town blues kick in, caffeine is the best medicine. Shaking things up, visiting our Ridgewood neighbors might be just enough for me. Get out there and get caffeinated!