Montclair, New Jersey
A mere 20 miles outside of New York City, Montclair is often referred to as the Upper West Side of New Jersey. Nestled on the side of the Watchung Mountains, this town is known for its historic architecture and districts, where the homes are predominately colonial, victorian and tudor in style. This vibrant town is very family friendly, yet still maintains a hip, city vibe. The downtown area is centered on Bloomfield Avenue where you can find a number of antique, jewelry, clothing, shoe, toy and other charming shops. One of the most appealing features of Montclair is it’s eclectic and delicious range of cafes and restaurants. Some of the many cuisines available include Greek, French, Ethiopian, Cuban, Caribbean, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, Chinese, Thai, and Indian. There are also a number of pizzerias and coffee shops if you’re in the mood for something quick. Montclair is also home to the historic Wellmont Theatre, the Montclair Operetta Theatre, local movie theatres, art galleries and the internationally recognized Montclair Art Museum. With it’s three main walkable areas: Downtown, Midtown, and Upper Montclair, this is a town that gives off a “local” feel, while simultaneously offering shops, services and restaurants with the quality and convenience comparable to what you would find in New York City.
Montclair is on the New Jersey Transit Montclair-Boonton train line. Montclair has 6 different train stations for your commute into the city. Bay Street, Walnut Street, Watchung Upper Montclair, Mountain Ave and Montclair Heights. Depending on where you live your commute could be anywhere from 30-50 minutes. Bay street is the only station that operates on the weekend. Check out NJ Transit for schedules.
Elementary School (Kindergarten – 5th Grade)
- BRADFORD – University Magnet
- CHARLES H. BULLOCK – Environmental Science
- EDGEMONT – Montessori
- NORTHEAST – Global Studies
- WATCHUNG – Science and Technology
- NISHUANE – Gifted and Talented (K-2 only)
- HILLSIDE – Gifted and Talented (3-5 only)
Middle School (6th – 8th Grades)
- GLENFIELD – Visual and Performing Arts
- MOUNT HEBRON – the “STEM” magnet (science, technology, engineering and math)
- RENAISSANCE at RAND – Liberal Arts
High School (9th – 12th Grades)
- The Montclair Kimberly Academy (Pre-K through 12th Grade)
- Immaculate Conception High School
- Montclair Cooperative School (Pre-K through 8th Grade)
- St. Cassian School (Pre-K through 8th Grade)
- Lacordaire Academy (Co-ed: Pre-School through 8th Grade, Girls Only: 9th – 12th Grades)
Family & Kids
Families will never run out of things to do in Montclair which offers a wide range of activities to occupy and enrich our kids.
- Geyer Family YMCA – activities and classes of all kinds specifically for kids aged 6mo. to 12yrs
- The Little Gym – Serious Fun! Developmental Gymnastics for Kids.
- Music Together of Montclair – Innovative music and movement program for children.
- Kidville – Classes and Birthday Parties
- Montclair Recreation – 18 Public Parks, 3 Public Pools, Tennis Courts and an ice skating rink!
- Montclair Public Library – 2 Branches! A valuable resource with activities for kids, families and seniors.
- Montclair Art Museum – American and Native American art, exhibitions, and educational programs.
- L3 Academy – http://13-academy.com – STEM enrichment classes + birthday parties
Montclair has some terrific shopping. National retailers like Anthropology, Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, The Gap, and Williams Sonoma are side by side with a fantastic selection of local shops and business. Notable local shops include:
- Amanti Vino – A terrific wine store with a unique, hand picked selection and extremely knowledgeable and helpful staff.
- Rock Paper Scissors – Craft store. Workshops, crafting groups and birthday parties
- Just Kidding Around – A wonderful toy store. Well organized. Very helpful staff.
- Hip Chic – A trendy boutique for girls sizes 7-14 and juniors
Beauty + Fitness
- Whole Foods – this location is smaller than the one in nearby West Orange but still has everything you need
- Kings Food Market – good full service grocery store
- A&P Food Store – good in a pinch
- Trader Joe’s – 10 minutes away in Clifton, NJ
- Fairway – (https://www.fairwaymarket.com) in Clifton
- Amanti Vino – https://www.amantivino.com (GREAT selection of wines and beers AND they deliver to the train stations.
- Fit +DBar – http://dfitsudio.com an innovative boutique fitness studio dedicated to Personal + Group Training with an adjacent Superfoods + Grab n Go Fresh Foods + Smoothies + Coffee Bar
- The Wellmont Theater – The premiere venue to catch live music acts and comedians
- Clearview Clairidge Cinema – Known for more independent features
- Clearview Bellevue Cinema 4 – Feature films
Okay…here’s where it get tricky. There are a LOT of good restaurants in Montclair. It really is hard to choose favorites and, of course, everyone has different tastes. Here’s a list of some of our favorites and most popular. If you move to Montclair you have to check these out at least once and decide for yourself! Most of the restaurants in Montclair are BYOB.
- Raymonds (American) – A Montclair institution. Everyone goes here. Breakfast and brunch are awesome.
- Escape (American) – Farm to table
- Osteria Giotto (Italian) – Delicious and always packed
- Upstairs Restaurant and Bar**(American) – love it
- Fin Raw Bar and Kitchen (Seafood) – really good and very popular
- Brick Lane (Indian) – Third addition to the Brick Lane curry group. The two other locations are in Manhattan.
- Mesob (Ethiopian) – Yummy
- Fascino (Italian) – One of the top 25 restaurants in NJ according to New Jersey Monthly and a 26 for food in Zagat!
- Red Eye Cafe (American) – A popular brunch spot
- Samba Montclair (Brazilian) – cozy spot with great food
- Aozora (European fushion and sushi) – upscale and creative menu
- Toast (American) – local fave
- Cuban Pete’s (Cuban) – fun atmosphere
- Pig and Prince Pub and Gastrolounge**(American) – beautiful setting
- Casa Piquin (Mexican) – solid mexican food and delicious salsa
- Tinga Taquerilla (Mexican) – super family friendly
- Costenera (Peruvian) – Unique food and a friendly staff
- 12 West Restaurant and Bar**(American) – right at the Upper Montclair train station. Watch the trains coming and going
- The Corner (http://www.thecornermontclair.com) – it’s new and the BEST brunch in town! Also great for just a coffee (La Colombe) I know the owner if we want to get an interview to feature as part of our social media sometime