Home Fashion + BeautyAccessories Your Guide to Caldwell, New Jersey, by The Giordano Group

Your Guide to Caldwell, New Jersey, by The Giordano Group

by Hoboken Girl Team
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Each month, The Hoboken Girl and The Giordano Group highlight one town in Northern New Jersey to share some of the best places to eat, drink, and socialize. We’ll outline the different commuting options and fun, family-friendly activities while providing you insight into the competitive Northern NJ real estate market. This New Jersey real estate series will showcase what makes each town cool, unique, and vibrant. So while you may not be looking to move, we all know stalking Zillow houses is the best hobby — and The Giordano Group is here to make it that much easier.

After visiting several towns in Northern NJ, we are heading to Essex County and the Caldwells. The Caldwells encompass North Caldwell, Caldwell, and West Caldwell. In this guide, we will focus on Caldwell and West Caldwell, which share a recreation department and school district. North Caldwell has its own school district and is home to the famous Soprano Household.

Noted for its pedestrian-friendly downtown area, school system, and proximity to New York City and Newark, Caldwell and West Caldwell serve residents an ideal blend of suburban life. The mostly colonial, Cape Cod-style homes (some even dating back to the 1700s) + newer contemporary homes complement the tree-lined streets of this small community — plus, the Caldwells are only minutes away from nearby Montclair. Read on for your guide to Caldwell and West Caldwell, NJ.

Origin Stories

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The Caldwells were previously known as “Horseneck” when the land was purchased from the Sagamore and Lenape Native Americans in 1701, and it remained under that name until 1798. All of these communities were named after the Reverend James Caldwell, a Patriot who played an active role in supporting the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Today, there are still some historic homes throughout the area.

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About the Giordano Group

Darren Giordano and his team of realtors have over a decade of experience in Hudson County and Northern New Jersey, achieving the Platinum Level of Excellence every year since 2016. They’ve closed over $300,000,000 over the last decade.

To learn more about the market value for homes in the Caldwells — or if you want to find out the current market value of your home in Hudson County, text CMA to 201-723-3300 to get in touch with the Giordano Group, and click here or download the North Jersey Homes app to stay ahead of the market anytime.

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The Commute

By Train

New Jersey Transit does not offer train service into New York City from Caldwell, but commuters can take the New Jersey Transit bus route 29 to Glen Ridge and transfer there to a New Jersey Transit train (the Montclair-Boonton Line) to Penn Station in Manhattan.

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By Bus

DeCamp Bus Lines’ routes #33 and #66 run along Bloomfield Avenue and make the trip to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan in 50 to 60 minutes. You can also commute from the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, which typically takes about 40 minutes.

By Car

Only 20-23 miles from New York City, The Caldwells allow for easy commuting by car. Major roadways such as routes 46, 80, and 280 as well as The Garden State Parkway are nearby.

Where to Eat + Drink

Outdoor cafes, diverse eateries, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and ice cream shops line Bloomfield Avenue, featuring everything from casual diners to upscale fine dining. Here are some of our favorite picks.

Italian

We are no strangers to delicious Italian food in the Hoboken + Jersey City area — but for those on the hunt for something new, Caldwell is also home to some incredible Italian food.

Angeloni’s | 6 Brookside Avenue

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This delicious pizza spot has classic Jersey Italian-red checkered vinyl tablecloths — and the Thinny Thin pie is an absolute must-try. It’s paper thin without being overly greasy. It makes it super easy to eat an entire pie.

Calandra’s Italian Village | 234 Bloomfield Avenue

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Calandra’s offers a deli, bakery, bar, and restaurant under one roof on a large campus.  Special events happen each week including Sunday Brunch in the Taverna Lounge, which features drink specials, smooth jazz, and loaded Bloody Marys; as well as Pasta Night on Tuesdays, where customers enjoy 50% off select pasta dishes and 50% off bottled Calandra Family wines. The bakery is also full of delicious eats — from breads to pastries and more.

Franco’s Pizzeria & Ristorante | 907 Bloomfield Ave

Franco’s is a mom-and-pop business that serves up some of the best pizza, subs, and dinners in the Caldwells. This is your spot if you want your classic New York-style pizza or a classic chicken or meatball parm. They also have a great backroom for private parties and offer a great catering menu.

Fresco | 115 Bloomfield Ave

Visiting Fresco is just like stepping into an authentic Italian market. The gourmet sandwiches, salads, and soups always hit the spot, and they can all either be enjoyed in the cafe or brought home for a meal. It’s open daily from 10AM to 8PM.

Guerriero Gelato & Cakes | 194 Bloomfield Avenue

Nothing says Italy like some rich gelato. The blueberry basil is an award-winning and refreshing treat made with Genovese basil, Jersey blueberries, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. There are also 30 flavors of hard ice cream to choose from.

Mandara’s Ristorante & Pizzeria | 40 Clinton Road

From the outside, you may not think much but step inside and the impressive interior and amazing food are perfect for a date night or dinner with friends and family. If the tables are full cozy up to the bar and enjoy nice bottle of wine. We recommend the Nonna pizza, ravioli, and arancini.

Pizza and Sandwich Barn | 323 Bloomfield Avenue

This is a great place for subs and triple-decker sandwiches. Both the quality of the food and the decor inside have not changed since its opening 40+ years ago. Fun fact: the team used to deliver pizza to the cast of the Sopranos — so you know it must be good.

Tony D’s | 3 Hanford Place

The Drunken Grandma pie is truly out of this world — and some even say it’s the best in the entire state. The crunchy, crispy crust has structure, and the tomatoes with the vodka sauce create an explosion of flavor.

Other Noteworthy Eats

Benji’s Taqueria Mexican Grill | 408 Bloomfield Avenue

With two locations in Essex County, Benji’s Taqueria is a popular spot for authentic Mexican food. Benji’s even offers a vegan taco featuring cactus — and if you’ve never had a cactus taco, you’ve seriously been missing out. Grab a cold agua fresca and enjoy it alongside its delicious tacos.

Caldwell Seafood | 390 Bloomfield Avenue

This is the place to go for super fresh + delicious seafood. The seafood is picked up daily at 3AM from a seaport in Hunts Point, NY. Whether you’re looking to dine in, pick up, or shop for fresh fish to cook at home, Caldwell Seafood is a great choice for those who love the sea.

Cinar Turkish Restaurant | 632 Bloomfield Avenue

The menu at Cinar Turkish features carefully crafted Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and Balkan cuisines dishes. From falafels to kebabs, dips, and more, this BYOB spot is full of flavor and delicious.

Cloverleaf Tavern | 395 Bloomfield Avenue

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Cloverleaf is a must for any beer aficionado, and you can even earn an M.B.A (Master of Beer Appreciation). It serves up American cuisine, family-casual dining, and rotating 7oz burgers and craft beers. It’s a great spot for brunch and watching football — plus, it features regular competitive-themed trivia nights (like Friends, Harry Potter, and Disney). 

Fat Fish Taco | 291 Bloomfield Avenue

For a more refined take on tacos, Fat Fish is a great spot to visit. This Caldwell eatery does also offer chicken or beef options, but the namesake dish is where the distinction really sets in.

Sabor Peru | 373 Bloomfield Ave

Located in the heart of Caldwell, Sabor Peru makes family recipes and is known for its secret sauces. From sweet potato ceviche to coconut shrimp, everything here is beautifully plated and photogenic — and each room displays colorful and welcoming decor. It’s tucked away on the second floor, giving the vibe of dining at a close friend’s home.

Wright Kind of Soul | 350 Bloomfield Ave

One of Caldwell’s newest BYOB spots, Wright Kind of Soul will satisfy all of your cravings. It has soul food and Caribbean cuisine, and we really love the sweet glazed complementary cornbread.

Xunta Tapas Espana | 392 Bloomfield Ave

This BYOB restaurant serves a variety of tapas-portioned dishes which are almost all gluten-free. It’s great for groups and sharing — plus, the team will even make sangria from the wine you bring.

Things to Do

When you visit a new town, the restaurants and locally-owned shops are must-visits. But the different attractions and activities throughout the year are what make each town even more special. Caldwell has a booming community and just had its second annual Porch Fest, which we’re sure will stick around. Here are our picks for unique experiences in Caldwell.

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^ Caldwell proudly celebrates President Grover Cleveland.

Caldwell Farmers Market

The Caldwell Farmers Market is located in the Municipal Lot between Smull Avenue and Personette Street (behind the Caldwell Cinema) every Friday from 12PM to 6 PM for the 2022 season, which is from June to October.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial | 207 Bloomfield Avenue

Grover Cleveland, the 22nd President of the United States, was born and raised in this house in Caldwell, New Jersey. The first floor still portrays the house as it was laid out in 1837.

Caldwell Street Fair and Fall Festival

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^ 2021 Caldwell Street Fair (Photo credits: caldwellstreetfair.com)

The Caldwell Street Fair and Fall Festival is run by volunteer members of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells and the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex. This event takes place on the first Sunday in October from 12PM to 5PM.

Ringside Pub | 379 Bloomfield Avenue

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This is Caldwell’s neighborhood dive bar. It’s dark inside, has affordable food + drinks, and features the best regular live music rotation.

Where to Shop

Bloomfield Avenue is the main dining and shopping area where you will find local mom-and-pop shops.

Bromilow’s Home Made Chocolates | 891 Bloomfield Avenue, W. Caldwell

Bromilow’s homemade chocolates are not only a local favorite but also a historic landmark in its original Woodland Park location. Bromilow’s has been churning out a selection of homemade candies and chocolates for over 60 years. Its second location in West Caldwell is larger and chock-full with a variety of bite-sized chocolates, truffles, and even sugar-free chocolates.

On Bloom | 342 Bloomfield Avenue

On Bloom is a women’s boutique with all sorts of cute clothing and accessories. It features comfortable, stylish, and reasonably-priced items.

Puttin on the Ritz | 285 Bloomfield Avenue #5144

Puttin on the Ritz has a wide selection of handbags and custom hats. Next door, Puttin on the Ritz After Five will have you set for any upcoming formal event.

Smith & Company | 343 Bloomfield Avenue

Smith and Co. is a wonderful + old-fashioned style gift shop with a variety of products. It has sections for babies, kids, and adults — and it’s a great stop for those looking to gift some of the latest trends.

Kid’s Corner

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^ James Caldwell High School

The Schools

The Caldwell-West Caldwell public school district serves students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The four elementary schools are all named after U.S presidents — including three in West Caldwell and one in Caldwell (Lincoln Elementary School). They all feed into one 6th – 8th grade middle school named after Caldwell’s very own Grover Cleveland. From there, everyone goes to one high school which is named after the Reverend James Caldwell, the same revolutionary war hero that the towns are named for.

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^ Grover Cleveland Middle School is named after the former President who was born in Caldwell in 1837.

Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic high school for girls in 9th through 12th grades, shares its campus with Caldwell University.

Parks + Playgrounds

Caldwell is home to many parks that range in size and amenities. With options for picnics, walking trails, sightseeing, and more, these parks are a wonderful way to spend a sunny day.

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^ Grover Cleveland Park is a 41-acre Essex County park designed by the sons of Fredrick Olmsted, the designer behind Central Park and Prospect Park.

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^ Crane Park (Photo courtesy of West Caldwell Recreation Dept)

Crane Park | 30 Clinton Road, West Caldwell

Crane Park in West Caldwell holds weekly summer concerts at the gazebo, outdoor movies, and other events like outdoor yoga sessions.

Grover Cleveland Park | Brookside Avenue and Runnymede Road

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Grover Cleveland Park offers well-spaced picnic tables and grills for the public to use. It has a large playground with nearby tables and benches so parents can sit and relax while the kids play. There is a small lake that is open to fishing in the warm months and ice skating in the cold months. There are tennis courts and a baseball field, as well as a paved running path on the outside of the park.

Real Estate Corner via The Giordano Group

The Caldwell and West Caldwell real estate market is hopping — like all Northern NJ Suburban towns. There were 138 total sales YTD through September 14th, which was down from 168 at the same time last year. There are only 4 active homes in West Caldwell and 8 active homes in Caldwell as of September 14th.

In West Caldwell, $626,883 is the average sales price over the last six months which is up 4.8% (from $598,216), and the average DOM is 20.

In Caldwell, the average home sales price is $522,500 (over the last 6 months) which is up 20% (from $433,355) last year. The average home is on the market for 26 days.

If you’re interested in learning more about West Caldwell, Caldwell, or any neighboring towns, you can give Darren and The Giordano team a call, download the North Jersey Homes App, or shoot them an email at darreng@kw.com.

Stay tuned for the next town in our North Jersey series, coming soon.

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