15 NJ Coffee Shops That Aren’t Starbucks

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Being a great coffee shop isn’t just about the quality of your beans. It’s about those extra touches that leave a lasting impression which is woven into the fabric of a community’s daily cup o’ joe. Free Wi-Fi, strawberry Nutella paninis, or the perfect microfoam go a long way in our book. Since caffeine is, like, necessary to fuel up for another day of #NJMOM life, we rounded up 15 of the best coffee shops in New Jersey that will do more than just perk you up.

15 Coffee Shops in New Jersey That Are More Than Your Regular Cup

nj coffee shop

Bwè Kafe. via

1. Bwè Kafe

A coffee house with a conscience? That’s Bwè Kafe in Hoboken. A portion of proceeds from each cup of joe sold at the cafe goes to Love for Haiti/The Ark Project, a nonprofit (founded by Bwè Kafe owner Maryanne Fike) that helps fund higher education for children in Haiti. Keeping true to their commitment to Haiti, all coffee blends served here contain delicious Haitian beans, bursting with unique notes and fresh flavors you won’t get anywhere else. Bonus? They get their roasts exclusively from La Colombe, based in Philly and who sources its coffee from farms around the world – including Haiti – using direct trade practices, so you can feel good knowing that your coffee addiction is doing a world of good for Haitian farmers and youth. What’s more, the exposed white brick walls, pine tables, and generous window lighting make for the perfect situation to ‘gram your latte art.
1002 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ

nj coffee shop

Grover’s Mill Coffee House. via

2. Grover’s Mill Coffee House

Grover’s Mill Coffee House is West Windsor’s Martian invasion themed-shrine to the historic radio drama, “War of the Worlds.” In it, aliens landed in the Jersey farmlands of Grover’s Mill near woods, a pond, and a red barn – just like the real 250-year-old Quaker-built barn that actually exists in town. Inspired by this classic Martian lore and American nostalgia, Grover’s Mill Coffee House is eclectic in vibe – a giant oil painting of aliens shooting down the Grover’s Mill barn spans an entire wall; there is a vintage radio next to the bagel case, alien masks adorning the walls, and memorabilia like framed posters and copies of re-broadcasts. In between pandering to stories about little green men, they’re also well-known for Thursday open night mics, and of course, whipping up out-of-this-world, aromatic coffees with names like Over the Moon and Milky Way Malt that are guaranteed to bring you right back down to earth once you catch a whiff.
295 Princeton Hightstown Rd., West Windsor, NJ

nj coffee shop

The Warehouse Cafe. via

3. The Warehouse Cafe

This coffee shop is so beautiful, we kinda want to move in. City loft-meets-Joshua Treehouse, the vibe at The Warehouse Cafe will give you a coffee house experience like no other. Located in Jersey City, this spot offers gorgeous natural light, potted greenery, and the best Japanese-style iced organic coffee and wildflower honey latte in town. On a nice day, you’ll also love soaking it up in their outdoor space while hipster-watching in downtown Jersey City.
140 Bay St., Jersey City, NJ 07302

Rook Coffee Roasters. via

4. Rook Coffee Roasters

Known for its hipster vibes, strong coffee, and signature black crow logo, Rook Coffee Roasters first opened in 2010 and quickly built a cult following of millennials and coffee connoisseurs. There are now 11 (yes, 11!) Rook Coffee Roasters in Monmouth County, with a 12th store set to open this summer outside of the county in Point Pleasant. All of the Rook Coffee locations strive to inspire genuine, human connections through the Rook experience – coffee that is meticulously selected, roasted, brewed and tasted, always pushing for the perfect product.
Various locations throughout Monmouth County, please click here

nj coffee shop

Coffee Corral. via

5. Coffee Corral

Brazil Cerrado – earthy and nutty, an excellent choice for someone looking to explore the darker side. Hawaiian Kona Makapueo – a coffee so smooth it’s like lying on a beach, under a palm tree (because we need that sunny image in our head right now). You can’t go wrong with either cup of joe when you sip at Coffee Corral in Red Bank. With a charming wood and brick red exterior that resembles a livestock corral and accents like horseshoe door pulls, this coffee shop is seriously appealing to our equestrian dreams. It also helps that they have a light menu which includes things like strawberry Nutella paninis and cinnamon buns, just saying. On a nice day, take your drink outside and grab a seat at one of the wooden tables outside on the grassy area.
177 Dr. James Parker Blvd., Red Bank, NJ

Asbury Park Roastery. via

6. Asbury Park Roastery

This small coffee roasting company in Asbury Park opened in February 2007 and will get you in the mood to rise and grind. Asbury Park Roastery specializes in selling freshly roasted coffee, primarily fair trade and organic, to retail and wholesale customers. They also offer a line of fine-quality, organic loose leaf teas, as well as accessories and confections. There are two locations; the original roasting shop is at 803 Second Avenue, and the second is a boardwalk cafe at 1300 Ocean Avenue in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall – go for a cup of java, stay for the stunning view of the ocean.
803 Second Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ
1300 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ

nj coffee shop

Factory Fuel Co. via

7. Factory Fuel Co.

Fuel up with your daily #FactoryFuel. Located inside a historic former pottery factory from the 1930s (Stangl ring a bell?), this fairly young coffee house that opened in 2014 is not your average joe. It sits under the same roof with a local music venue, art gallery, yoga studio and year-round farmer’s market. Inside you’ll find an enormous brick pottery kiln with wraparound interior seating surrounded by a wraparound counter, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass garage doors. Factory Fuel Co. serves a full range of espresso-based and brewed Counter Culture coffees, chais and teas, and fresh-out-of-the-oven pastries. It’s also a hub for the creative community, hosting open mic nights, storytelling sessions and more – so you can get your coffee fix while espresso-ing the written word.
2 Stangl Rd., Flemington, NJ

nj coffee shop

Small World Coffee. via

8. Small World Coffee

Right in the hub of a vibrant college town with a diverse downtown, get ready to percolate at Small World Coffee in Princeton. There are two locations downtown with different perks – on Witherspoon Street, you can enjoy live music on Saturday nights by local bands such as Princeton Bluegrass Jam and Darla Rich Quartet; on Nassau Street, you will be immersed in local artist exhibits throughout the café. And of course, at Small World Coffee, the beans are the means – in fact, their own roaster is 5 miles up the road in Rocky Hill and they’ve invented a name to describe their perfect roast: the East Coast Roast. It’s roasted to the peak of the second pop, precisely the point that yields the most complexity; dark enough to enhance the body, but not so dark as to obliterate the subtler notes and acidities. Sounds like a perfect cup o’ joe to us.
14 Witherspoon St., Princeton, NJ 08542
254 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ 08542

Booskerdoo Coffee. via

9. Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co.

This coffee shop – or rather, roasting titan – is a household name over at the Jersey Shore. With a main HQ and café in Asbury Park, two other original locations in Fair Haven and Monmouth Beach, and a new opening in Holmdel, it’s safe to say Booskerdoo is woven into the everyday life of residents everywhere in Monmouth County. All coffee is roasted to order and you can watch them do it right at their Asbury Park location, which is modern, bright and spacious inside. (We love the white subway tile walls and cheery red espresso machine!) Booskerdoo rotates their single origin offerings every three to five months, and right now they’re featuring Ethiopia Limu Kebena Kossa Natural Organic (a buttery body with berry notes) and Honduras Tutule Las Flores (a light roast, super smooth and sweet). You won’t want to miss out on this!
1321A Memorial Drive, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Bean Vault Coffee. via

10. Bean Vault Coffee

Come and try a handcrafted sea salt caramel latte at Bean Vault Coffee in Hoboken – you will thank us a latte later! Jokes aside, we love local businesses with a good story. Bean Vault Coffee is inside a historic building from the 1880s which was originally used as a bank. One of the bank’s vaults – hence the business namesake – can be seen behind the coffee shop’s counter. This coffee shop is so cozy and inviting inside, you’ll forget that you only popped in to grab a cup of joe. (Which, by the way, is artisanal single-origin coffee that is roasted and consumed within two weeks – meaning each cup is super fresh!)
1 Newark St., Hoboken, NJ 07030

nj coffee shop

The Treehouse. via

11. The Treehouse

Come hang with us at the treehouse (it’s code for “sneak away from the kids for a hot minute”). At The Treehouse Coffee Shop & Café in Audobon, you will feel the nature vibes. The ambiance inside is flush with organic colors, artsy trees painted on the walls, and inspirational quotes to pump you up along with your daily cup of coffee. This mom-and-pop shop is a comfy, friendly place to be. Even cooler is their focus on home-grown and local: The Treehouse hosts a CSA and they grow a small garden which produces seasonal veggies for the cafe. They also compost some of their grinds that are used in the garden! Don’t forget to try their homemade vegan mayonnaise and NJ blueberry jam.
120 West Merchant St., Audubon, NJ

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Greene’s Beans. via

12. Greene’s Beans

Need a “third place” somewhere in between home and work? Head to Greene’s Beans in Hackettstown or Sparta, and you will enjoy a comfortable, home-like ambiance where you can relax, drink, and think. The café’s exposed brick walls are lined with colorful accessories for purchase like French presses, coffee grinders, handmade ceramic and bone china mugs. Greene’s Beans focuses on roasting single origin coffees, roasted to its optimal level, allowing it to display its unique “gout de terroir” – basically, you can taste all the characteristics of where it was grown, which makes it pretty freakin’ perfect. Don’t forget to try a nitrogen-infused cold brew!
313 High St., Hackettstown, NJ 07840
31 Theatre Center, Sparta, NJ 07871

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Koffeewagon Roasters. via

13. Koffeewagon Roasters

Stop by this rustic and eclectic coffee shop in Hasbrouck Heights and linger over a steamy cup of java around a communal table. You can admire the artwork that lines the walls, which was created from reclaimed wood found after Hurricane Sandy and constructed by a local artist. Koffeewagon Roasters specializes in the pour over brewing method and cold brew coffee on tap, including an all-natural coconut-infused cold brew. All coffee here is roasted in small batches, which enhances the flavor and quality of ingredients. While you’re here, try the housemade crepes and pick up a bottle of Koffeewagon Raw – their all natural liquid gold, made in-house with only turbinado sugar and water, the perfect addition to any cup o’ joe.
155 Route 17 South, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

nj coffee shop

Perk Up Cafe. via

14. Perk Up Café

Put a little pep in your step when you head to Perk Up Café in Bayonne. Now, this one is definitely more than “just a coffee shop” – it’s a full-fledged café serving up amazing fare ranging from griddle selections to soups and sandwiches to crab cake dinners – and their coffees are just as big and bold as their food. Like that hot pink Strawberry Shortcake frappe with whip cream ribbon mounds bigger than your head. We also love that they use Kobrick Coffee, a local certified organic roasting facility committed to purchasing coffees from sustainable farms. Their coffees are Direct Trade, Fair Trade, Certified Organic, and Rainforest Alliance certified. Perk Up Café is a neat, little space with a little book nook area and brings in the crowds with live music nights.
317 Broadway, Bayonne, NJ 07002

15. Coffee Surf Co.

For whatever reason you chose to stay up too late last night (bedtime shenanigans with the kids, late night laundry party or whatevs), Coffee Surf Co. has got what it takes to keep you going today. This family-owned micro roaster specializes in nitro cold brew kegs and cans, and has three convenient locations – you guessed it – by the shore in Toms River, Sea Bright and Belmar. They use the highest quality selected green beans from growing regions within some of the world’s most exotic surfing locations (think: Hawaii, Indonesia, etc). Coffee is roasted using convection and refractory heat, which yields an even and consistent roast to unlock the complex flavors. But you don’t have to be a hard-core surfer or adventurer to enjoy the caffeine fix here (although it helps a little so you don’t look totally ironic when you’re holding a cup with a coffee sleeve boldly printed with “Sweat. Coffee. Surf.”) Which, let’s face it, isn’t really all that different from #momlife, are we right? Try a signature Surf Nitro Cold Brew or an Iced Coconut Dream Latte – you won’t be mad!
803 Ocean Ave., Belmar, NJ 07719
1136 Ocean Ave., Sea Bright, NJ 07760
224 Rt. 37 East, Toms River, NJ 08753

Where’s your daily fix in New Jersey? Let us know in the comments if we missed your fave coffee shop in NJ!


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About Author

Mom to three boys under age six, Jamie is a creative spirit who prefers wildflowers to roses, and is a self-proclaimed Chinese food snob (because nothing is as good as Mom and Dad’s). When she and her husband are not throwing darts on a map to pick their next family destination (hence how they’ve landed in Russia, Iceland and Malta), she enjoys wandering around at home on Princeton’s ivy-covered campus. She’s obsessed with things that have a good story and is a sucker for good packaging (read: hoarder for pretty candles).

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