The Ongoing Coffee Explosion in Hoboken
Hoboken’s a fairly young, go-getting town; our median age is just 31. So it’s no wonder we’re a coffee-swilling bunch. Not only does Hoboken support no less than three Starbucks, we also have six Dunkin’ Donuts, plus a bunch of long-time local coffee shops, like the fabulous Empire Coffee and Tea on Bloomfield. So you’d think the town has the whole coffee thing on lock-down.And yet, in recent years coffee shops seem to have become the new go-to small business for people to start up. For a while it was realtors, then burger joints, and now a wave of coffee is swamping our little city. Which isn’t a bad thing—more choice is always good! It’s just noticeable. Here’s a short list of all the new places you can get your caffeine on in Hoboken, most of which have opened in the last few years—or will in the next few weeks.
(9th & Jackson)Open for about 2 years now, Black Rail sits on Jackson Street (right next to the Light Rail), and offers some truly interesting snacks (the sandwiches are always creative and delicious). It’s a big space, in a quiet corner, giving it a peaceful, easygoing atmosphere that the folks in the immediate neighborhood seem to love.
(1 Newark Street)Opened in 2014, this is the tiniest coffee shop is also blasting tunes more or less all day and night, without a single seat. This makes it the ideal spot to grab some joe on your way to work, as it is never filled with people and everyone just pops in and out, order in hand. The coffee gets consistent raves, too.
(55 1st Street)Yes, The Roost is a coffee shop ... inside a men’s boutique clothing store. Or is it the other way around? It’s very confusing. Stop by at 55 1st Street and see what you think.
(409 Washington Street)Just a week or so away from its official opening, this Australian-style cafe will offer coffee and snacks in the old Crumb’s Cupcakes location between 4th and 5th on Washington Street. What does “Australian-style cafe” mean, exactly? No one is certain, but the good news is we’ll find out soon.
(1002 Washington Street)Inspired to take action after the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010, Maryanne Fike and her friends and family went to that country to help in any way they could. Maryanne was subsequently inspired to fund her continuing efforts to help the Haitian people by opening the bwè kafe in 2013, which partially sources its coffee from Haiti and donates some of its profits to that country’s continuing recovery as well. As anyone who’s ever been there knows, it’s a cozy community spot with a great Wifi signal. Sit there long enough and you’ll meet every single one of your neighbors.
(1001 Madison Street)Just opened in 2016, this small space is the very definition of cozy. Prices are in line with most of the other coffee shops around, and there are enough snacks on hand to get you through a morning. Check out the “science” coffee drip stand, where coffee is slowly brewing (and we mean slowly).
(Bloomfield & 14th Street)This spot on 14th Street has had a little trouble keeping businesses open, including a previous coffee incarnation (Red Lion Coffee), but City of Saints, which has a bunch of other locations, seems to be holding their own. The coffee is excellent, but it’s a bit pricier than some other spots. The baked goods aren’t done on premises but are definitely excellent all around.
(638 Willow Avenue & 1119 Jefferson Street)Maroon opened on Willow Avenue in 2009, and later opened a second location on Jefferson Street. Offering a lot of specialty coffees and teas—all poured and served up with a charming lack of mechanization or efficiency—plus a ton of great treats baked right there on the premises (meaning there is often a line of impatiently hungry folks waiting for muffins in the mornings), Maroon is a nifty little neighborhood spot where people who live nearby can be found reading the newspaper early in the morning, sipping their beverage of choice.
One thing’s for sure—you’ll never have to walk far for a cup of coffee in Hoboken. And we’ll take coffee shops over another cell phone store—any day.