List of Everyone’s Favorite Restaurants in Montclair

If you’ve been in or around north, NJ, you’ve probably heard of Montclair. Twelve miles west of Manhattan, the town is lined with boutique shops, cafes and an array of restaurants with different cuisines. I live in Montclair and have went to most of the restaurants, one too many times and know what some of the best food is. There is literally a restaurant for everyone in Montclair, so I am sharing a restaurant which would be each of your loved ones’ favorites.

Sister’s favorite: Montclair Social Club

One of the “chic-est” restaurants in Montclair. From the street, you can spot this place by their movie marquee. The decor is minimal but very classy and artsy. They have a full bar, which has my favorite cocktail in town ” My Love’s Gone” which is infused with cod brew coffee. Their food is phenomenal, everything from mushroom risotto, to lobster roll, to butcher style meat. I’ve been there a few times, and some of my favorite dishes is their deviled eggs (they aren’t just regular deviled eggs) and their burger which was insanely juicy and melts in your mouth. They have a stage that features live bands that play jazz, blues, soul, and classic rock n roll.

Bestfriend’s favorite: The Crosby

The Crosby is one of the most popular bars and restaurants in Montclair. I would say their main attraction is their bar, as most restaurants in Montclair do not have liquor licenses. They have fun, pretty drinks – like drinks with flowers in them and froze. Their food is pretty good too, they have everything from chicken and waffles, to grilled salmon, to cauliflower pizza.  The modern, yet rustic ambiance is gorgeous and it is a great place to hang out at night and get some drinks with your friends.

Parent’s favorite: Vanillamore

Eating at Vanillamore is like being a kid in a candy shop. Vanillamore is a desert based restaurant and some of their dishes are rich chocolate charcuterie, smores flights, and an array of sweet treats. They also have a savory section if sweet isn’t your thing (are there REALLY people out there that don’t like sweets?). They have an excellent brunch which I highly recommend as well, but they are BYOB if you want to make the brunch boozy.

Boyfriend’s favorite: Fresca da Franco

Fresco da Franco is a trendy Italian restaurant located on Church Street. The decor inside is modern and artsy, but sitting outside in the midst of all the plant decor they have, is the best. It makes you feel like you aren’t in a New Jersey suburb. They are BYOB, and if you run out, or forget drinks, they have a liquor store deliver the drinks right to your table. Their food is some of the best Italian food I’ve had in this area. Although the decor is trendy and modern, the food itself is the “good ole stuff” – the owner’s mother hand makes the meatballs. Their imported burrata or eggplant stack is the perfect starter. They have an array of pasta or meat and seafood dishes, my favorite is the the homemade lobster linguine.

Grandparent’s favorite: Jack’s Seafood

The restaurant is lined with lobster crates, and all things sea related. They have all types of seafood, but are mostly known for their lobster. The lobster Mac and cheese is amazing and one of the best I’ve had, there is huge chunks of lobster (like whole claws) and the Mac is seasoned well. Their lobster rolls are also delicious, they serve them two ways, hot or cold – I always get the hot way on buttered bread. The restaurant is very family friendly and definitely has the best, freshest seafood in town.


Coworker’s favorite: Mishmish Cafe

Mishmish is a tiny Mediterranean restaurant, specializing in hummus, falafel, shawarma, shakshukas, lamb, and roasted chicken. I have been there several times, and have tried many of their dishes. For starters, their hummus is an absolute must – it is incredibly creamy and served with warm, fresh, pita. Their chicken shwarma hummus bowls is one of my favorite dishes they have. It is topped with perfectly seasoned chicken shawarma, tahini, chickpeas, cabbage salad which comes with a side of  warm pita bread.

My favorite: Samba Montclair

By far my favorite restaurant in Montclair, it is a true hidden gem. It is a Brazilian small hole in the wall type of restaurant so make a reservation if you want a seat. They have the warm, cheesy Brazilian bread which is freshly made, and I can make that my meal alone.  The best dish there is the Camarao na Morgana which is a carved acorn filled with creamy squash, shrimp, Parmesan cheese and topped with fried potato crisps. The sauce is rich and creamy with tender, luscious shrimp and topped with crispy potatoes to give it another element of texture. It is a homey, family vibe in the restaurant and the service is excellent. Samba is absolutely amazing, just give it a try!

Have you been to any of these? Let me know your favorite restaurant in Montclair!


Finding Francesca



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