There are SO many reasons to go to Montclair.

From the art museum to the Wellmont Theatre to the awesome parks. BUT we are a food publication, so, obviously, the main reason we want you to go there is for, you guessed it, the food! 

For starters: Montclair is a town in North Jersey, only about a 15-minute drive from Seton Hall's South Orange campus. It definitely has a more urban feel and is filled with so much culture and life. Here you can find foods from all around the world, tons of different shops, and A LOT of things to do!

Here's a list of a 6 must try spots in Montclair: 

1. Raymond's  

I mean, if you haven't been to Raymond's, have you really had brunch in North Jersey? Just kidding. BUT, Raymond's is probably the most popular brunch spot in this area. Located on Church Street, they are a ~trend setter~ in outdoor dining, as they had outdoor seating in pre-pandemic times, which is something that I've always liked. They have amazing breakfast and lunch food. Some of their must try items are the French toast and the Belgian style hot chocolate. 

#SpoonTip: Upgrade your hot chocolate with their homemade marshmallow. It is definitely something you don't want to miss. 

Brooke Harrington

2. Leone's 

Located on Park Street, just a block up from Raymond's, Leone's is a traditional Italian restaurant with drool worthy chicken parm and mouthwatering penne vodka. They also serve up some great brick-oven pizza! Leone's has a great atmosphere, awesome service, and that comforting Italian restaurant feel. It is also BYOB, but if you forget to BYO, you can order wine right from your table! Leone's partners with a liquor store down the street to deliver perfect wine pairings with all of their delicious options. A must-try item from here is their Calamari Arrabiata. This dish puts a twist on the typical appetizer by serving it up with hot peppers and dousing it in balsamic vinegar. This gives it the perfect kick to - as Emeril would say - "kick it up a notch!"

Brooke Harrington

3. Cuban Pete's 

Cuban Pete's is the perfect restaurant for celebrations. When you walk down the alley to enter the restaurant, you are transported into a tropical oasis, complete with palm trees, waiters in fedoras, and LOTS of sangria. Many people know Cuban Pete's for their fun atmosphere and their BYO option, where you bring your own wine and they mix it up into a perfect sangria. I think, though, people sleep on Cuban Pete's food options. If you are looking to have a more family style meal, their tapas are to die for. I would definitely suggest the goat cheese fritters! The entrees also help Cuban Pete's stand out. They serve up traditional Cuban Style meals. The coconut rice is absolutely outstanding and is something I go back for time and time again. 

I did mention celebrations -- something AWESOME about Cuban Pete's is that the waiters will play the bongos and congas when its your birthday! Definitely draws attention to your table, BUT it just adds to the fun atmosphere. 

P.S. Learn how to make your own sangria here! 


Did someone say rooftop bar? Its true, Montclair's first rooftop bar is finally here. On top of the MC Hotel, Alto has amazing views of the New York City skyline. They serve up some boujee house cocktails, all delicious and refreshing. This is a great spot to grab a drink with friends or go on a date. The views are the best in this area. 

#SpoonTip: Catch the sunset at Alto for some amazing golden hour photos :) 

Brooke Harrington

5. Ani Ramen

If you've never tried ramen (real ramen, not the microwavable kind), then Ani Ramen is the place to do it. They serve up quality, hand-rolled noodles with perfect broth pairings. There is also a location in Maplewood, right near the South Orange campus! I would personally suggest starting out with their pork belly bao buns and then try the chef's special Ani Ramen. 

6. Diesel & Duke

About two years ago I began a quest to find the best cheeseburger in the area. It didn't take me long before I stumbled upon Diesel & Duke. And surely enough, my quest ended. Diesel & Duke's burgers are unmatched. They focus on quality, delicious burgers. And for them it's all in the toppings and sauce. The Standard Burger, I would say, is the best cheeseburger in the area. The garlic aioli takes this burger from zero to hero. Pair that with their cajun fries and you'll be in foodie heaven!

Brooke Harrington

And that's it from me folks! As you can see, Montclair has some awesome places to go try - and it is definitely worth the ride from campus!