Our Favorite Downtowns: Haddonfield

Locally-owned businesses and a well-preserved historic district make visiting Haddonfield a pleasant endeavor.

Haddy, a life-sized Hadrosaurus statue, commemorates the discovery of the dinosaur in Haddonfield.
Haddy, a life-sized Hadrosaurus statue, commemorates the discovery of the dinosaur.
Photo by Ron Wyatt

When Julie Beddingfield decided to leave her gig as an environmental lawyer to launch Inkwood Books, there was no question about location. She opened her bookstore this spring on Kings Highway, Haddonfield’s main shopping artery. “It’s a vibrant downtown with a good demographic,” she says. “And it is near three coffeehouses. It takes a lot of caffeine to run a business.”

It’s not unusual for Haddonfield businesses to be locally owned. Mary Burke owns one of those coffeehouses, Jersey Java & Tea, where you can get your caffeine fix in the outdoor garden. Mitch Gorshin, a California transplant and son of actor Frank Gorshin (the Riddler in Batman), can walk a mile from his home to Gorshin Trading Post, an upmarket men’s accessories and gear store.

Nearby malls had stripped Haddonfield of some of its lustre when, in the 1990s, the town created a downtown business association and passed a historic district ordinance. “It made preservation and services more standard, and people viewed downtown as a pleasant, tree-lined place to shop,” says then mayor Jack Tarditi. “We have restaurants, coffee shops, specialty clothing, antiques and unique jewelry,” he says. “It is not only for residents, but for strollers from everywhere.”

WHERE TO EAT: The Little Tuna, a white-tablecloth seafood spot, and Cross Culture, an upscale Indian restaurant, both have outdoor seating in warm weather. Fuji, a NJM Top 25, for creative sushi and tempura; the British Chip Shop for authentic pub fare; the Picket Fence for afternoon tea; or Gracie’s for water ice and ice cream. It’s all BYO.

WHERE TO SHOP: Check out Six on East for one-of-a-kind dresses and accessories; Richard Bennett for top-line men’s clothing; the Owl’s Tale for estate jewelry; Happy Hippo for vintage and modern toys; A Taste of Olive for (you guessed it) olive oils and balsamic vinegars; and Hooked for fine yarn.

DON’T MISS: Haddy—likely the only life-size dinosaur sculpture rampant in a Jersey town. Haddy commemorates the 1858 discovery in Haddonfield of a remarkably complete Hadrosaurus fossil.

THEN AGAIN: Street parking is limited, but the nearby PATCO station has plenty on weekends.

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