Princeton, NJ City Guide

Photo by aldenjewell

Today’s Princeton, NJ, City Guide comes from Jacqui Alexander, the owner of Jacquilope, a social media and branding consultancy that specializes in marketing for small businesses. She is also a painter, art show curator, RISD grad and a life-long New Jersey native, and today she takes us on a tour of Jersey’s historic Princeton area. Thanks, Jacqui, for this wonderful guide! — Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump . . .

Say the name “Princeton” and undoubtedly the first image that comes to mind are the ivy-covered buildings of the Princeton University campus. While the university does imbue Princeton with much of its energy — the town’s population rises and falls with the school’s schedule — there is so much more to discover in this small central New Jersey town. (In fact, Smithsonian Magazine recently listed Princeton as one of the best small towns in America. While the reasoning may elude those who have yet to visit here, to us Princetonians, that news was no surprise!) Though an hour’s car ride can take you to the mountains, the beach, New York City or Philadelphia, you needn’t look outside Princeton to find culture and adventure. It is truly a gem!

Princeton is a small city, and between the township and the borough, it takes up scarcely 20 square miles. (One of the reasons that Princeton is such a tight-knit community!) We enjoy a lot of unity and collaboration in Princeton. Small businesses often work together and support each other, news about upcoming events travels fast and it’s easy to find a friend to sit and eat ice cream with on the Palmer Square green. In the borough, you’ll see academics, shoppers and bicyclists weaving through the streets — Nassau Street and Witherspoon Street being the main thoroughfares, with the Princeton University campus at the heart of it all. As you leave the borough and venture into the more residential areas of the township and beyond, you’ll follow wooded roads dotted with stunning colonial estates and farmhouses and pass parks with meandering trails and farms as well as fields of cows, horses, corn and apple trees.

There is something in Princeton for all to enjoy. Let me guide you through the town and region where I’ve grown up. (And if you do come visit, chances are you’ll pass me on the sidewalk!)

Check out this Google Map with all of the spots mentioned in this guide.


Downtown/Central Historic District
The epicenter of Princeton, this area packs a lot of action into less than two square miles! This is where you’ll find the Princeton University campus, as well as the bulk of the shops and restaurants. Nassau Street is the main line, with Witherspoon Street stemming from it right at the gates of the university.

Small World Coffee — Having been a barista here for over five years, I can tell you that this cafe is simply not to be missed. Small World serves classic espresso drinks, pastries, teas and light lunch to hundreds (thousands) of visitors daily. They roast their own beans and have crafted the perfect espresso blend for their world-famous cappuccino. Try the Tough Chai, homemade and loaded with spicy organic ginger. Bring cash, and don’t be deterred by the lines — the crew works hard to move them fast! 14 Witherspoon St., Princeton, NJ, 609-924-4377

The Bent Spoon — Another Princeton favorite, this ice cream shop serves up scoops of artisanal homemade ice cream and sorbet made using many local and organic ingredients. Plenty of classic flavors fill the case, but there are always some surprises to try: NJ Sweet Corn, Mascarpone, Chocolate Habanero . . . the list goes on! Trays of fresh baked cookies and cupcakes are piled high next to the register, making it the sweetest spot in town. 35 Palmer Square West, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-2368

Jazams — Who doesn’t love a good toy store? This family-owned shop is simply packed with fun and is as irresistible to adults as it is to kids. Outdoor toys line the entrance, and inside you’ll find books, games, science toys, art supplies and plenty of smiles from the staff and the shoppers. 25 Palmer Square East, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-8697

Zoë — Entering Zoë is like leaving the suburbs behind and walking backstage at a fashion show. The most current high-fashion clothing lines the racks, and jeans, shoes and purses are on display, the designer names and styles tempting even the most frugal shopper. 11 Hulfish Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-497-0704

Jane — A consignment shop with a funky edge, Jane has racks of designer clothing, exotic vintage finds and displays of amazing costume and antique jewelry, along with art and accessories. 7 Spring Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-683-5263

Mediterra Restaurant — Set back in a beautifully landscaped courtyard on Palmer Square, you’ll find Mediterra. Priced on the higher end, Mediterra features fine wines and rich dishes inspired by the Mediterranean countries, made with locally sourced ingredients. Best when you can enjoy your meal on the wisteria-covered outdoor patio. 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-252-9680

Spruce Connor Interiors — Probably my favorite home goods shop in the region, Spruce has stylish selections of everything from art to furniture. Succulents and exotic corals, bright colored vases, shiny metals . . . if it’s stylish and on-trend, you’ll find it here.  Feeling the urge to give your living space an upgrade? They specialize in interior design, too. 45 Palmer Square West, Princeton, NJ, 609-688-8312

Teresa Cafe — Run by the same company that owns Mediterra, Teresa offers a more casual vibe and menu. Grab a seat at the bar and watch as chefs top handmade pizzas with local ingredients and maneuver them in and out of the brick oven. 23 Palmer Square East, Princeton, NJ, 609-921-1974

Sakura Sushi — If sushi is your thing, stop into Sakura, the most popular sushi spot in the area. This place gets busy, and the lively atmosphere is enhanced by the wisecracks the two sushi masters make as they serve up roll after roll. 43 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-430-1180

Labyrinth Books — One of the most beautifully curated bookstores I have ever visited, starting with the window displays. My favorite sections are the locals’ section, the cookbooks and the amazing art section, though I could easily get lost in any aisle. 122 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-497-1600

Princeton University — A visit to Princeton would not be complete without a stroll through campus. Each building is an architectural masterpiece, from the intricate stonework scrolling of the Princeton University Chapel to Frank Gehry’s curved steel roof on the Lewis Science Library. Be sure to cross Washington Street and sit by “the fountain” for the best people watching in town.

Princeton University Art Museum — While I return again and again to the Contemporary Art sections, this museum has thousands of pieces in its collection, including Asian, Western European and African art. Sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore, Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson can be seen throughout campus. Enter the campus at the intersection of Witherspoon and Nassau Streets, and follow the signs to the museum.

The Garden Theater — Princeton’s two-screen movie theater showcasing indie films alongside the most adored blockbusters. 160 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-683-4656

McCarter Theater — Located across from the town’s small train station, McCarter has hosted hundreds of legends on its stage, from musicians to actors. The smaller size of the theater lends a feeling of intimacy and makes each performance completely engrossing. Their yearly production of A Christmas Carol has been a holiday tradition to many. 91 University Place Princeton, NJ, 08540, 609-258-2787

Greene Street Consignment — Labels with big names — Nannette Lepore, Tracy Reese, True Religion and others — can be found on the racks at Greene Street. It’s easy to score fashionable, posh clothes for men and women at great prices at this pretty boutique. 162 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-1990

Olive’s — Whether you’re looking for a quick and hearty lunch or dinner, or you’re in search of a sweet snack, Olive’s has it. The friendly faces behind the counter serve your fresh food fast. Writer’s favorites: burritos, mozzarella sandwiches and their gooey Rocky Road Brownie. 22 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-921-1569

greendesign — Each time I go into greendesign, I find something new to covet, whether it’s the handmade jewelry, adorable baby clothes or the organic bedding. Everything in the store is eco-friendly, organic or sustainable, so you can do some gift giving with heart. 42 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-651-4643

Princeton Record Exchange — If anything in Princeton has earned “cult” status, PREx might be it. Walls and walls of music — CDs and vinyl — lure collectors and enthusiasts from all over. You can find the obscure album you’ve been searching for amongst the racks; just ask the staff to help you figure out where to start! Be sure to check the budget bins for CDs and DVDs, most under $5. 20 South Tulane Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-3472

Rouge — The fashion-savvy girls shop here, snagging shoes and tops at trunk shows and sampling spritzes of luxe perfumes. Prepare to be tempted and to walk out having splurged on at least a little something. 51 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-921-0280

Witherspoon Grill — Classic American fare — steaks, lobster mac & cheese and ribs — get the upscale treatment at Witherspoon Grill. I love the rich interior decor and getting dressed up to sit in the upholstered chairs to enjoy a cocktail at happy hour. 57 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-6011

Arts Council of Princeton — Housed in a recently built modern building designed by world-famous architect and Princeton resident Michael Graves, the Arts Council is a non-profit that supports the visual and literary arts with a gallery space and classes and workshops for all ages, making it the hub of the art scene in town. 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-8777

Princeton Canoe & Kayak Rental — Looking for a great way to experience Lake Carnegie and the Delaware & Raritan Canal that runs along the edge of town? Why not explore it all by canoe? Pack a lunch and paddle, then stop along the way for a picnic next to the water. Keep an eye out for the rowing teams that practice along Lake Carnegie. 483 Alexander Road, Princeton, NJ, 609-452-2403

Mercer Hill
On the south end of the downtown area, two main roads split and lead you out of town. Follow either and you’ll find places to explore, with many historical landmarks, farm fields and beautiful homes.

Albert Einstein’s House — A rather unassuming house compared to some in Princeton, the Einstein house sits in a row of neat homes on Mercer Street. Einstein did not want his home to be made into a museum, so it remains a private residence. Walk in his footsteps from here to the Institute for Advanced Study, right down the road. 112 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ

Institute for Advanced Study — Founded in 1930 by a pair of philanthropists, the institute has been home to scholars such as Einstein, Kurt Gödel and J. Robert Oppenheimer. Its purpose is to encourage theoretical research, with scholars working in the schools of historical studies, mathematics, natural sciences and social science. Many brilliant minds have strolled the picturesque grounds, making this one of the world’s leading centers for intellectual inquiry. 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ, 609-734-8000

Princeton Battlefield State Park — Only one tree stands in the middle of this field: the new Mercer Oak, spawned from the massive oak that once stood here and witnessed the Battle of Princeton. (If you’ve seen the Meg Ryan movie I.Q., they spend time stargazing under the magnificent old tree.) Battle reenactments take place on the field to commemorate Washington’s victory here in 1777 shortly after having crossed the Delaware, both turning points in the Revolutionary War. Today, the fields are well used by sunbathers and pick-up sports players. On the property, the Clarke House Museum is furnished from the Revolutionary era, with military artifacts on display. 500 Mercer Road, Princeton, NJ, 609-921-0074

Institute Woods — At the back of the Battlefield Park, you can follow foot trails into the Institute Woods, owned by the IAS but open to the public. Over 500 acres of forest and wetlands, the trails are serene and beautiful, especially on snow days. Everyone’s favorite spot in these woods is the bridge.

Drumthwacket — Though I’ve never visited, I drive past Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion, nearly every day, and always wonder where the name came from. It turns out that it was derived from Scottish Gaelic words meaning “wooded hill.” Though the city of Trenton is our capital, the property was owned by a Princeton University treasurer who later became our state’s governor, and it became the governor’s residence going forward. There are free tours through the historic mansion on Wednesdays. 354 Stockton Street (Route 206), Princeton, NJ, 609-683-0057

Cherry Grove Farm — This organic farm is famous for its small-batch artisanal cheeses. Try the award-winning Toma or Buttercup Brie, or catch this year’s Nettle Jack, laced with organically grown stinging nettles! The animals graze on open pasture, and the farm store stocks an array of tasty local goods. Bring the kids, especially in the spring when the baby goats and cows make their debut. (There’s nothing cuter than a noisy, leaping baby goat!) 3200 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 609-219-0053

Terhune Orchards — Terhune Orchards is a family-run farm within biking distance from downtown Princeton. Visit for berry, apple or pumpkin picking; say hello to an assortment of farm animals; and be sure to grab a cider donut and a cup of their homemade apple cider. A great place to visit with kids. 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-2310

Tree Streets/Jugtown/Riverside
Follow Nassau Street/Route 27 through town to the northeastern end of Princeton and you’ll find several small neighborhoods, along with a shopping plaza and pretty vistas of Carnegie Lake. The bridges that cross the lake offer great sunrise and sunset views.

Hoagie Haven — “The Haven” is a notorious Princeton spot, open until 2am on weekends and slinging deliciously greasy food to all who enter. (Jon Stewart has mentioned his visits once or twice on the Daily Show.) Their signature item? The “Phat Lady,” a cheesesteak with mozzarella sticks and fries on it. Bring cash, snag a seat on the benches out front and chow down. 242 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-921-7723

Smith’s Ace Hardware — An odd choice for this list, but worthy of a shout-out. Smith’s has everything you need, but what I love most about this store is its amazing selection of kitchenware at very reasonable prices. The staff is very helpful, which is good if you’ve accidentally ruined your fancy copper frying pan and need advice on whether to clean it or replace it . . . 301 N. Harrison St., Princeton, NJ, 609-430-4300

The Whole Earth Center — This is the community-based food store of your dreams. Started in 1970, it offers loads of locally grown produce, all manner of bulk goods and a prepared-foods center serving fresh juices along with displays sharing information about the local food scene, current environmental issues and other community events. Ride up on your bike and get a discount on your purchase! 360 Nassau St. #1 Princeton, NJ, 609-924-7377

Greater Princeton Area
Kingston, NJ — If you head northeast on Route 27, you’ll leave Princeton and enter Kingston. It’s a very small village but has a few sites worth mentioning! Enjoy a glass of wine and a rich Italian meal at the beautiful Eno Terra, grab a slice of brick-oven pizza from Osteria Procaccini or bike back to Princeton on the canal path past Carnegie Lake.

Hopewell, NJ — Just a short drive northwest of Princeton you’ll find a town that rose from the farm fields. Hopewell has emerged as an up-and-coming destination for foodies. Visit Nomad Pizza for handmade, brick-oven pizza using locally sourced ingredients; cross the street and grab a cup of coffee at the bustling Boro Bean. Stroll to Hopewell Park to walk the field trails or stop by the Morpeth Gallery to take in fine art.

Stay

Though the Route 1 corridor cutting through central Jersey passes right outside Princeton and is lined with chain hotels, if you have the money, there are a few charming inns in town that are easy to walk to.

The Nassau Inn — Anchoring the Palmer Square shopping loop, the Nassau Inn is a stately building right at the center of town. It hosts its own restaurant and bar, the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, a cellar-like spot frequented by locals with a fireplace and portraits of famous Princeton alumni hanging on the walls. Its location also makes it a popular site for weddings, and it’s not uncommon to see wedding parties posing on the stone patio by the Palmer Square green. 10 Palmer Square East, Princeton, NJ, 609-921-7500

The Peacock Inn — While it may be housed in a renovated 18th-century colonial mansion, the Peacock Inn’s rooms are contemporary and elegant. Their restaurant serves “New American” cuisine and has won awards for its food. 20 Bayard Lane, Princeton, NJ, 08540, 609-924-1707

Transportation

From Newark/NYC, take the train on the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor Line to Princeton. You will have to transfer at Princeton Junction station and board the two-car train, lovingly referred to as “The Dinky,” which will take you on a two-minute ride to downtown Princeton. It’s an easy trip by car, as well — take the NJ Turnpike to Route 1, which will lead you to Princeton.

From Philadelphia, you can take the SEPTA West Trenton Line, but you’ll need to transfer in Trenton to New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor Line into Princeton Junction, taking the Dinky into town. It’s easier by car — take 95 North toward Princeton, taking the exit at Route 206 North, which will lead you straight into town.

Getting Around

You don’t need a car to explore Princeton; most of the spots in this guide can be reached with very little time spent walking! If you’re looking to rent some wheels, you can rent a bike from the oldest bicycle shop in America, Kopp’s Cycle. 38 Spring Street, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-1052

Notable Locals

Albert Einstein — Physicist
Michael Graves — Architect & Designer
Paul Robeson — Musician, Activist
John McPhee — Author
Toni Morrison — Author
Joyce Carol Oates — Author
Jon Stewart — The Daily Show
Dr. Cornel West — Author, Activist
Emily Mann — Director, Playwright
Paul Muldoon — Poet
John Nash — Mathematician (subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind)
Michael Showalter — Actor
John Lithgow — Actor
Ethan Hawke — Actor
Trey Anastasio — Phish
John Popper — Blues Traveller
Ween (Greater Princeton area) — Band

Cal

YES! Shout out to my hometown. Bent Spoon and Teresa’s are my absolute favorite spots to eat!

christine r.

I’ve been keeping my eye out for a Princeton City Guide by dSponge for quite some time so yay! The bent spoon and Small World coffee are my weekend fuel, though I think Halo Pub deserves a worthy shout-out for more traditional homemade ice cream flavors. Also, not too far away is the Washington Crossing State Park, Lambertville & Hopewell (the latter being worthy of their own guide one day!). There is also a decent amount of brand shopping- lululemon, kate spade, and an impressive JCrew in Palmer Square as well. I always try to get my friends to come down for a day trip, and they are never disappointed.

MB@YarnUiPhoneApp

Ok, a community that’s as “tight-knit” as Princeton must have a knitting shop or two. For all the co-eds who want to knit argyle socks for their boyfriends (!!!), the visiting moms who need something to do while their sons study or play football..or even the dads who just don’t know what to do with themselves while they’re in town.

Denise

So nice to finally see a city guide for my hometown. I agree with Christine that Halo Pub is definitely worth mentioning.

Natasha

Thanks for this! I am moving to New Brunswick, NJ soon. It’s great to learn about the area. I too am from an arts/museums background. I would be interested in any resources you could point me towards for arts related jobs and other opportunities in the NJ area.

Fiona

Raised in Princeton and my parents still live there :) It’s beautiful!! I second the Halo Pub call out! “Thomas Sweets” for their blend-ins. “Triumph Brewery” for a good pint and live music on the weekends. “Ivy” if you want a dive bar in town (plus it’s right next to Haven). “Winberries” and “Alchemist and Barrister”! 10 minute drive outside of Princeton: “Eno Terra” Yummy Italian food!! – Same ppl as Mediterra :)

Jacqui

Hi everyone! So glad you’re enjoying this post. I truly love my hometown! YES Halo Pub does make killer ice cream (Chocolate Peanut Paradise is my fave) and they’re local, too. Like I said, there’s so much more than I could even put in the list!
MB – There are a few good knitting stores! One on Chambers Street, and one outside of Princeton, in Pennington.
Natasha – Moving to New Brunswick? To attend Rutgers, perhaps? Drop me a line if you ever have questions about the area!
Thanks for reading, everyone.
-Jacqui, the author of this guide.

Lauren

Born and raised in Princeton and my family still lives in town so I was excite to see this guide. I second Fiona’s comments. Halo Pub over the bent spoon for their hot fudge sundae’s and coffee alone. Alchemist and Barrister’s burger is a must have along with Thomas Sweet’s blend-ins and Triumph’s fun scene. Also I’m surprised there is no mention of Conte’s Pizza on Witherspoon which makes one of the best pizzas on the East Coast. They even make their own sausage there!

Mike Lemonick

Not everyone will realize that “Locals” includes people who grew up here (or, as in Jon Stewart’s case, grew up nearby) and left, and people who came from elsewhere and now live here. You won’t see Jon Steward or John Lithgow or Bebe Neuwirth, all FORMER locals, walking around. You might well see Nash or Morrison or Oates.

Jacqui

Oh yes, Conte’s! How could I forget them! Easily the best pizza in town. Good call, Lauren!
Hi Mike (<- an esteemed Princetonian in his own right, and a regular of a certain Princeton coffee shop.) Thanks for commenting!

Cara

I know it’s a bit further, but most don’t realize that NJ is the only state with more horses per capita than any other….so look at the map! And go for a relaxing country drive from Princeton north to Far Hills (huge tailgating international steeplechase in October,) Peapack and Gladstone for shopping in perfect boutiques (Urban Cottage is a Design Sponge lover’s dream) then hit the General Store in Oldwick for awesome food and gorgeous scenery where the locals are coming right after a morning of fox hunting. No joke, the horses are in their trailers out front on Wed and Sat. Then you MUST visit the Magic Shop across the street for AMAZING gifts- name says it all. Stay at the Neighbour House Inn in Long Valley and eat down the road at the Brew Pub. Chester and Bernardsville (where Merryl Streep is from) are worth a drive by too. This is NY elite’s best kept weekend-home secret. Princeton is amazing and this is just an extended part of it. I’m away but my heart rests there.

Fiona

Yes to Conte’s!! My first job ever was working the register there in high school lol ;) Gerry is the best – too bad he recently left Conte’s :(

Jeanne

Also visit Cranbury, NJ about 20 minutes east of Princeton. Grab a slice at Cranbury Pizza, stroll the main street shops and visit local farms for seasonal produce. Loved living in Cranbury!

Jeff & Tae

Great list! But totally shocked by the Sakura (Express) sushi mention. Far more notable — and authentic — is Ajihei on Chambers Street. Mo-C Mo-C is also worth mentioning, but mostly because of its nice interior.
Also, don’t forget the Princeton Public Library, which is a nationally award-winning library. And there’s a surprising number of great Indian restaurants, including Masala Grill (Chambers St.) and Mehek (Nassau St.). And, lastly, Efes — the newly opened Turkish restaurant on Nassau — is awesome!

Mike Lemonick

In my haste to show off my Princeton erudition, Iforgot to mention the most important thing: I loved this guide!

Samantha

Don’t forget about the Chocolate Lover’s Club – technically Princeton but right outside the town. They have a great event space for hosting chocolate tastings and ice cream making classes. Plus they use real chocolate, not chocolate with fillers and additives. Great choice for a healthy lifestyle. http://chocolateloversprinceton.com

Ellen Joseph

MY hometown TOO!…what a great trip down memory lane & it’s a town of GREAT yoga studio’s & home of so many of my former yoga students! MISS YOU PRINCETON!!!

Megan

Second the shout-out to the Princeton Public Library – it’s a library lover’s dream! Also, Halo Pub has the best ice cream in the world – their cream sorbets are delicious. If you live in the area, also check out Halo Farm (970 Spruce St., Trenton) where you can buy local, super fresh milk, eggs, and super yummy juice, the best egg nog in the world (seasonally), amazing chocolate milk, and even purchase their ice cream by the pint to take home! Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Also, Hunan (Chinese/Vietnamese/Malaysian food) is one of my favorite restaurants (157 Witherspoon St.) So good! And Landau’s (102 Nassau St.) is a super fun little store for Princeton paraphernalia and high-quality woolen goods. Their wool socks (sounds silly, I know!) and scarves are the best ever!

Man, this makes me miss Small World and lazy weekends in Princeton. Now that I live in Philadelphia we have to make it a day trip! One well worth it though!!

Robert Fauver

Hell yeah Small World is first on the list! The best Americano! Princeton is really fun thanks for sharing.

Lisa

The cork screw is a great wine shop in town, which is important to know as so many places are BYO in the borough. (I’m another townie… from Lawrenceville specifically, which is John Stewart’s actual home town, just next to Princeton.) Thomas Sweet’s is a must, if only for their chocolate chip cookie ice cream – not cookie dough, the ice cream itself tastes like dough… it is amazing.

JennDevine

I loved seeing a local town guide that included Cherry Grove Farm – super nice people and beautiful cheeses! Surprised though that Blue Point (restaurant) didn’t make the cut. We’ve had some great meals there.

colleen attara

Great post. I used to skip school with my girl friends and head to Palmer Square…I have loved Princeton for so long! jane is an amazing store. I think if Anthropologie was a consignment store, it would be jane. Bucks Country Dry Goods is also amazing for retro furnishings and very cool clothes. I also love Blue Point Grille for fresh fish and baby beets…..it is BYOB.

jane

awesome post! we love design sponge so much! thank you! thank you! xo

Ravi Yande

Greetings From Princeton, NJ!

Jacqui, you did a terrific job on your write of Princeton. So accurate and you listed all the hot spots! It is a great town folks filled with beauty, intelligence, academia and culture. A must see for all that have never been. Thank you so much Jacqui for doing such a great job and spreading the word about what a alluring and scenic town Princeton is.

Michelle

So glad you put this guide together! My husband and I have been discussing moving to Princeton for his job, but I have been hesitant about leaving NYC. I will certainly use this guide as we start to visit the area more and make our way through the decision making process! What’s the artist/designer community like? I’m coming from a graphic design background and unsure about job prospects in the area…one of the reasons I’ve been hesitant about the move.
Thanks!

JenG

SO happy to see P’ton on Design*Sponge! Some newer additions to the guide for those of you who might not have been to town for a bit:

– Old World Pizza is gone. In its place is Slice Between, which opened this week from the owners of Hoagie Haven next door. Same ovens, same great little pepperoni on the pizza. Still one of the best pizzas in NJ (aside from De Lorenzo’s of course). There is also a new Naked Pizza that has made-to-order pizzas with interesting combos – great for vegetarians and vegans.

– The Underground Cafe site (next to Kate Spade) is now infini-T cafe and spice souk. Perfect place to grab a Turkish coffee or Masala chai on a hot summer day and relax at one of the cozy tables and play some chess or backgammon

– Viburnum on Nassau Street down by St. Paul’s Church is a flower-lover’s dream (ala Saipua). Amy Merrick, you would love this place!

– The farmer’s market on Thursdays in Hinds Plaza (next to the library) is not to be missed. A bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, honey, flowers, eggs and now even a creperie!

And finally, no visit to the Princeton area would be complete without a visit to the magnificent Grounds for Sculpture. It is a 42 acre sculpture garden on the grounds of the old NJ state fairgrounds, created by world-renowned sculptor, J. Seward Johnson. On site is also one of the best restaurants in NJ, Rat’s, which serves New American fare in a house designed to look like Monet’s in Giverny (complete with bridge and water lillies outside). It is magical!

Paige York

I live in Princeton. Many of the residents walk around with a right of entitlement attitude. Only 2 to 3 miles from Princeton is West Windsor and Plainsboro, both of which embrace SE Asians – Chinese and Indians); it feels as though you’re in India (they have taken over all of the jobs on the Route 1 corrider which is part of Princeton). The gridlock traffic is insane, the drivers are the rudest I have ever encountered anywhere in this country. The so-called writer really needs to do some fact checking because the Peacock Inn has been gone for a few years. And Ethan Hawke is long gone from this area, among most of the others mentioned. The reason why many people choose to live in Princeton is due to their affliation with the university as alumni. If you live here and didn’t go to the ubiversity, you are on the outs. Joyce Carol Oates is a professor at Princeton U. The Nassau Inn preys on unknowing out-of-towners.

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