Java jive: Snap to attention with a cup of fresh-roasted Ethiopian Sidamo or Jamaica Blue Mountain at Ahrre’s Coffee Roastery (104 Elm St, 908-232-7977), whose feisty motto is “Ahrre’s is fresher than theirs.”
Take a class: New Jersey Workshop for the Arts (150-152 E Broad St, 908-789-9696), with fourteen teaching studios and a recital hall, offers private and group lessons on all instruments and voice and is home to the Little Opera Company of New Jersey.
Feed your soul: Classic Thyme Cooking School (710 South Avenue West, 908-232-5445), at the back of the cook’s supply store of the same name, offers classes in topics ranging from tapas to cooking without a recipe.
Soothe your soul: The Kiehl’s store (132 E Broad St, 908-389-1719) offers its exclusive line of luxury body products.
When in Rome: Just try getting out of Roman Boutique (106 Elm St, 908-654-1658) without grabbing a jacket, bracelet, or other trinket. At the Leader Store (109 E Broad St, 908-233-5609), choose from a large array of well-priced sport clothes and equipment from swimsuits to cleats and lacrosse sticks.
Get outdoors: Echo Lake Park has fitness trails, a dog park, and hills for wintertime sledding. Mindowaskin Park (E Broad St, just off Mountain Avenue) is right downtown and small but very attractive, with paved paths, a playground, gazebo, and pond—a great place to go running, bring the kids, or just admire the scene, especially before or after a movie at the nearby 1920s-era Rialto (250 E Broad St, 908-232-1288), the front of which is distinguished by its original, restored art deco marquee.
Chow down: Join the hordes at the 1950s-style Chee Burger Chee Burger (251 North Ave West, 908-389-1100) for a mouthwatering half-pounder, shake, or egg cream.
Read a book: The Westfield Memorial Library (550 E Broad St, 908-789-4090) is unusually spacious and pleasant. And bring your laptop, because it’s gone wireless.
Like mom’s cooking, but better: Don’t miss Theresa’s (47 Elm St, 908-233-9133), where Italian specialties include polenta, ravioli, and veal scaloppine.
Treat your feet: Marathoners and weekend joggers can ogle the latest sneakers at the Westfield Running Co. (17 Elm St, 908-654-9900); the store also hosts group runs on Saturdays at 7 AM and 8 AM. For a wider variety of adult and children’s footwear, stop by Randal’s Shoes (82 Elm St, 908-232-3680), established in 1958, or Castle Bootery (52 Elm St, 908-233-7172), which specializes in children’s shoes. For designer shoes, head to Sole (107 Prospect St, 908-654-7800), which features Italian footwear from makers such as Daniele Tucci, Mario Bruni, and Pitti Oro.
Have a FE day: Check out the specialty sandwich board, homemade soups, and salads at FE Catering and Café (27 Elm St, 908-654-0045), a tiny place with bright-green walls where you’ll be lucky to get a table on weekends. The chicken cutlet with balsamic vinaigrette, lettuce, and tomato—served on a pita, baguette, or wrap—is excellent, as are the chicken soup and the hummus. Chocolate lovers should stroll down to the Chocolate Bar (112 Quimby St, 908-389-9000) for almond bark, biscotti, chocolate-covered Oreos and graham crackers, plus up to 24 flavors of gelato and sorbet.
Like mom’s cooking, but better: Don’t miss Theresa’s (47 Elm St, 908-233-9133), where Italian specialties include polenta, ravioli, and veal scallopini.
Not just for chocoholics: Stroll down to the Chocolate Bar (112 Quimby St, 908-389-9000), where you can choose from almond bark, biscotti, pizzelles, chocolate-covered oreos, and graham crackers, plus up to 24 flavors of gelato and sorbet.
Get it embroidered: At Embroidery! Baby (102 Quimby St, 908-233-1221), the motto is “We embroider anything!” The store will take on everything from caps and aprons to shirts and towels.
Knitters’ paradise: If you’re in search of yarn, knitting lessons, or accessories, stop by Knit-a-Bit (60 Elm St, second floor, 908-301-0053).
Small is beautiful: At Little Treasures (120-128 Broad St, 908-654-1315) you can find quality dollhouses and miniatures; the store also provides assembly and restoration services.
In bloom: Brighten up your day with from flowers from KaBloom (50 Elm St, 908-301-0003), designed like a European open-air market.
Put it in writing: At the Papery (62 Elm St, 908-928-1300), stock up on everything you need to become a perfect correspondent—pens, paper, cards, envelopes, and invitations.
Pamper yourself: At the family-friendly Westfield Hair Co. (110 Quimby St, 908-928-1901), get a pedicure, massage, facial, or haircut, and finish your day feeling and looking a whole lot better than when you woke up.
Hear an opera: The Little Opera Company (150-152 E Broad St, 908-789-9696), a division of the Westfield-based New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, performs operas with professionals singing the adult parts and local kids singing the chorus and small parts. This month, performances include Puccini’s La Bohème (March 4, 7:30 pm; March 5, 3 pm); in May the company performs Verdi’s La Traviata (May 11 and 12, 8 pm; May 13, 2 pm). Performances take place at the Roy Smith Theater at Union County College in Cranford ($30 adults, $15 seniors and students).
Save room for: Dessert at Bovella’s Pastry Shop (101-103 E Broad St, 908-232-4149), where they specialize in Italian pastries, cakes, and cookies. In business since 1949, the store prides itself on its macaroon cookies, topped with pignolis, walnuts, raspberry jelly, or other toppings.Click here to leave a comment