Westfield, New Jersey encapsulates the hustle and bustle of a city while still having the picturesque magic of a small town. With unique architecture dating back to the 1700s, numerous dining options and one-of-a-kind experiences, it is no surprise that Westfield is one of New Jersey’s best towns for a day trip. In high school, whenever my friends and I wanted to make plans for the weekend, we always found ourselves in Westfield. We knew that no matter what activity we were in the mood for, this Union County town had it.
Looking forward to a mini-getaway but don’t know where to start? Read on for a guide to how to spend the perfect day in Westfield, New Jersey.
Take a Morning Stroll
Waking up early can be a challenge for many, but the benefits of an early morning stroll often outweigh the cons. Breathe in some fresh air, people watch and get a headstart on the day at these Westfield parks.
This park is kid-friendly and houses several basketball courts, Little League baseball fields, a playground and a jogging path. If you happen to take a trip to Westfield in the winter, you can still visit Gumbert Park. It’s home to a seasonal ice rink and offers lessons, public skate and family hockey sessions.
Spanning over 100 acres, Tamaques Park has facilities for everyone. Play tennis at one of the park’s eight tennis courts or take a spin at any of the pickleball, shuffleboard and handball courts. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, take a stroll along the .8-mile jogging path, and enjoy the views and local wildlife while stopping at the pond.
With a gazebo, large pond, and memorial trees and gardens, the scenic views at Mindowaskin Park lend themselves to a photo shoot. Couples often obtain permits to take their wedding photos at this park. This location is also kid-friendly and has jungle gyms for children to play the day away.
Of course, you can grab a classic Taylor ham (or is it pork roll?), egg and cheese sandwich at any local deli in Westfield. But if you’re in the mood for a sit-down breakfast, Westfield has several breakfast spots waiting to please your palate.
Turning Point’s owners originally opened their doors in 1998 in Little Silver and have expanded to several locations since. Westfield is lucky to call itself home to this award-winning restaurant. With an extensive list of offerings ranging from waffles, omelets and vegan dishes, you’re bound to find a meal that excites your taste buds. We recommend the OMG—French toast topped with chopped bacon, candied walnuts, caramel and a sweet cream drizzle—for a meal that exceeds your expectations.
At first glance, the menu at Westfield Diner may be daunting. But regardless of your choice, you can rest assured that your meal is just as fresh and delicious as described. You can never go wrong with a classic omelet or French toast plate, but the campfire pancakes steal the show for those who wish to indulge in a dessert-like breakfast.
If you’re looking to be transported to the retro days of yore, Vicki’s Diner is the place to eat. This beloved diner is a staple of the Westfield, New Jersey community with over 70 years of history. It is no surprise that community members rallied behind the establishment amidst the shuttering of small businesses during the 2020 pandemic. This 1950s style diner—chrome exterior, blue booths and all—is not going anywhere anytime soon. Make sure to try the traditional chocolate chip pancakes or seasonal pumpkin pancakes to understand why this diner is a must-visit.
Patricia & Paul
Fan of all things olive? Take yourself to 20 Elm St. in Westfield to sample a large selection of extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Partners Patricia and Paul Hanigan pride themselves on teaching the nutritional benefits of olives while offering the best selection of domestic and imported oils. In addition to their oil offerings, the pair source award-winning pasta, Spanish pottery and natural fruit spreads to share with guests.
The French Martini
While at dinner, friends Brandi Muzzy Wotanowski and Angela Kurze spotted a woman wearing an eye-catching necklace. This necklace would inspire the pair to create their own jewelry, and by the end of the year, friends were asking for their own unique pieces. In 2015, the duo opened their brick-and-mortar location in Westfield. Today, The French Martini is Westfield’s destination for distinct homemade finds; handmade necklaces, accessories and vintage discoveries curated alongside contemporary pieces line the shelves of this one-of-a-kind shop.
Are you a witch-in-training? Do you seek spiritual healing? If so, Psychic Boutique is your one-stop-shop for all things spiritual. You can purchase healing crystals, chakra-aligning candles, tarot cards and even get a reading from the owner at this mystic haven.
A post shared by 🔮 Psychic Readings By Sarah 🔮 (@psychic_boutique_nj)
Whether you’re in the mood for Cuban, Indian, Japanese, or Italian—Westfield has your back for lunchtime. Finding a restaurant of your desired fare is easy. The hard part is choosing just one to visit.
Farinolio takes its name from two key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet: flour (farina) and oil (olio). Its Tuscan specialties are prepared with high-quality fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s setting pays homage to the piazza, an open-air meeting point for Italians to build community and friendship. If you’re looking for an authentic Italian restaurant, Farinolio is your destination.
Akai Lounge has a full bar and fresh sushi delivered daily, incorporating both traditional and innovative dishes. The ambiance in this dimly lit, laid-back restaurant alone is sure to call anyone’s attention. The smell of the food, as you walk by, is what reels you in. And the taste is what keeps you coming back for more.
Spice Bazaar is shaking things up in Westfield. This restaurant pushes the culinary envelope by taking traditional Indian cuisine and elevating it using modern techniques. Spice Bazaar also brings a one-of-a-kind experience to your table as the chef prepares the dish tableside. This restaurant is reservation-only, so make sure to call ahead to experience this innovative dining experience.
Visit These Attractions & Activities
A post shared by Spice Bazaar | Modern Indian (@spicebazaarnj)
Everyone knows you have to visit the best restaurants and locally-owned shops when you visit a new town. But what makes each town special is the different attractions and activities they have to offer. Here are our picks for the most unique experiences Westfield, New Jersey has to offer.
Evalyn Dunn Gallery
The Evalyn Dunn Gallery in Westfield displays artwork from artists around the world. Some exhibitions are specifically designed for the space and artists often make personal appearances. Renowned artists like Graciela Rodo Boulanger, Roy Fairchild-Woodard and Henri Plisson display their work at the gallery.
Are you a makeup junkie? Celebrity makeup artist, Keira Karlin, owns Blende Beauty on Elm St. Some of the offerings include custom blended makeup, wedding makeup, discontinued makeup matching and custom facials. If you’re in the area with other makeup fanatics, Blende Beauty also offers a Sip and Blende party. Grab your friends for this one-of-a-kind event as a team of professionals guide you through the creation of customized makeup while you sip on their signature cocktails (or juice boxes, Blende is a kid-friendly location).
If you’re looking to partake in some nostalgic fun reminiscent of your childhood, YESTERcades is a must-visit. Traditional Nintendo and Pacman games line the walls of YESTERcades. Pool tables and more modern video games are also available to play. Whether you’re a gaming veteran or trying to entertain your children, this location is a worthwhile stop for all gamers.
Wine and Dine
A post shared by (𝚁𝚎-𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐…) (@itsnostalgicmagic)
Westfield nightlife is rather tame, so if you’re looking for a laid-back dining experience to end your day, you’re in luck. Grab a bottle of your favorite wine, expand your flavor palette and listen to some soft tunes at these dining locales.
16 Prospect Wine and Bistro
Timothy and Christopher Boyle, Westfield natives and culinary school graduates, own 16 Prospect Wine and Bistro. The pair sought to bring the feel of a lower Manhattan jazz club to Westfield—without the exorbitant prices. Indeed, 16 Prospect is all that and more. For five nights a week, the locale hosts live musicians on a stage area towards the front of the restaurant. In the back, a 72-seat dining room hosts the restaurant’s guests. The owners pride themselves on their eclectic dishes—each a modern take on traditional cuisine. All items are made in-house, from the bread to the bar snacks.
1958 Cuban Cuisine
Specializing in Cuban Cuisine, this restaurant is dubbed the “Havana Heaven.” Traditional and more innovative dishes are available at this laid-back establishment. Be advised, this location is so popular that there is often a line of patrons standing outside the door. We recommend calling ahead to reserve your seating. Trust us, you don’t want to miss your chance at tasting their ropa vieja and selection of boutique wines.
The Grabowski family began Harvest Restaurant Group in 1996. Today, they have 11 restaurants throughout New Jersey. Addams Tavern—named after former Westfield resident and the Addams Family creator, Charles Addams—specializes in traditional American cuisine and is a well-known local spot. Go for the filet mignon or indulge in comfort food with the Addams mac and cheese. The restaurant also caters to dietary restrictions, offering gluten-free and vegetarian options. Pair your meal with bottled wine from the eatery’s lengthy drink menu.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
A post shared by Addams Tavern (@theaddamstavern)
Well-known dessert locales like Coldstone Creamery, Kilwins and Surreal Creamery are located in Westfield’s downtown area. Stop by any of these locally-owned dessert shops for a distinctive dessert experience.
The Chocolate Bar
After managing a chain of gourmet chocolate stores in Boston, MA, Neil Grote, Jr. decided to found The Chocolate Bar. Grote returned to his hometown of Westfield, New Jersey to achieve his dream. Located in the heart of downtown Westfield, this quaint shop sells authentic Italian gelato, hand-dipped chocolate treats, and specialty cappuccino and espresso beverages to the surrounding community.
Located just off Westfield’s central downtown area sits a quaint frozen yogurt shop whose namesake is a pun on Queen’s hit song. Lovingly known as Boraz by locals, the establishment offers soft-serve ice cream, a full-service espresso bar, sorbet and over 70 topping options.
Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe – 101 E. Broad. St.
Westfield is home to one of New Jersey’s premier bakeries. For over 60 years, Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe has called the attention of treat-lovers far and wide. Despite new ownership and location expansions, the standard of culinary artistry remains Bovella’s top priority. Stop by the original Bovella in Westfield to attest to its excellence (and devour some outstanding Italian cookies).
A post shared by Bovella’s (@bovellas)
Have any must-visit Westfield spots to add to our list? Let us know how you would spend your day in Westfield, New Jersey in the comments below!
Main photo by Logan Swenson
Helen is an editorial intern at The Digest. A senior at Drew University, she enjoys cooking and listening to music. When she’s not working in the kitchen, she’s typically catching up on pop culture news.
Lord & Taylor closed years ago.
You beat me to it!
If this article is that far out-of-date, I have to wonder whether any of the other recommended establishments are also gone.
Don’t forget to stop by Ahrre’s Coffee Roastery at 104 Elm Street, to enjoy the aromas of fresh-roasted coffee, take in the amazing decor and have yourself a Cappuccino while the Barista weighs out a fresh-roasted pound of coffee for you to take home. This little gem of a Coffee Roasting company will celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary in downtown Westfield on April 20th, 2022. They offer 60+ different coffee beans to choose from — coffee beans from 10 different countries (five of them available in regular and decaf), twelve different flavored coffees (like Hazelnut and Golden Butter Nut) all of them available in both regular and decaf, a pungent dark roast, a savory light roast and eight different proprietary blends — many available in both regular and decaf. You will remember your visit to Westfield every morning thereafter as you brew and enjoy your fresh-roasted beans!
short answer to the title of this article is….. “don’t”
one of the most stuck up, racist, snooty towns in NJ
You have to mention Bagel Chateau definitely one of the most popular breakfast spots for locals!
What about Brummer’s? Figured they’d be on the list.
The New Jersey Digest has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years. Our quarterly publication features original coverage of restaurants, culture, design, travel, art, and more. Currently, the New Jersey Digest is distributed to more than 30,000 homeowners and local businesses throughout the state.
Work With Us
@2022 – All Right Reserved. The Digest Online
Stay up to date with all things Digest