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Best Downtown Coffee Shops in Hoboken

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Last time I was awake and caffeinated enough, I discussed the best coffee shops in Uptown Hoboken, which is pretty sparse and quiet when it comes to businesses (at least compared to everything sub-7th Street). Now I find myself as awake as I’ll ever be, so it’s time to talk about where to get that desperately-needed cup of Joe when you’re downtown.

Empire Tea & Coffee

First up is Empire Tea & Coffee on Bloomfield and 4th Street. Named the best coffee in New Jersey by Inside Jersey Magazine a few years ago, I can remember when it used to be on Washington Street, and I followed it to Bloomfield along with half the population of the city. Not only is it great coffee, served up just about any way you like it, it’s also just a great space, filled with beans and tea leaves and implements and books and so much stuff to look at it’s amazing. The one downside? Being right across the street from the school means it’s not always a great place to sit and contemplate, and there’s a lack of hang out space, especially in the cold weather when sitting outside isn’t fun.

Bean Vault Coffee

Next, consider searching out Bean Vault Coffee on Newark Street. Tiny, comfortable, and right near the PATH so it’s ideal for grabbing a cuppa before commuting in earnest, this place serves Toby’s Estate coffee, a small-batch roaster in Brooklyn that makes some seriously delicious coffee. They'll grind to your instructions, too, and they offer up a large selection of locally made snacks.

Hoboken Hothouse

Further up and further in – located, in fact, in a veritable coffee desert that makes me wonder how people who live back there function, is Hoboken Hothouse on Monroe and 2nd which is, yes, not mainly a coffee shop – it’s main business is home decor and gardening stuff. But in the back is a lovely little café area (where they sometimes have live music) where you can get some seriously delicious Italian coffee and snacks. While you might not bother to travel back there if you don’t live nearby (unless you want to hear some free music one night) if you’re passing by, check it out.

The Hoboken Gourmet Company

Next up is The Hoboken Gourmet Company on Washington between 4th and 5th. This adorable spot serves a pretty wide menu – but also has coffee down cold (or, er, hot) and is a great place to warm up in the cold weather or hang out in the warmer times. Their coffee is really, really good and the staff there can usually accommodate your preferences no matter what they are – plus, the menu is good throughout the day, and the space is always lively and comfortable. Stop next time you’re bustling down Washington. Those are our favorites – what are yours? Let us know the hidden gems we’re missing here in town.

Aspen Café

Finally, we have one of the best secrets in Hoboken - a true insider's spot located above the Aspen Market (formerly Garden of Eden). You may not have noticed the stairs just past the checkout lines leading upstairs, but if you take them you'll find yourself in a cute little café space offering coffee, tea, sandwiches, and a place to sit and relax. Pro tip: Get your salad or hot lunch from their buffet downstairs and bring it up to sit in peace and quiet. During bad weather, that's a great way to spend a lunch hour!

CHOC O PAIN

Over on First Street there's a slice of pure civilization in a chaotic world, and that slice is Choc O Pain. Serving delicious La Colombe coffee, a selection of decadent pastries as well as a pretty tasty menu of vegan items that even the biggest carnivore will enjoy, this is a quiet, clean spot with free WiFi, fresh flowers on the tables, and friendly, knowledgeable staff that know how to make all the coffee drinks you like. One caveat is that the prices here are a bit higher than some other places, but are well worth for the experience and service you get.

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