Manhattan Juice Bar & Café Offering a Little Bit of Local in Montclair

BY  |  Wednesday, Jan 09, 2013 3:30pm  |  COMMENTS (24)

Last month, Manhattan Juice Bar & Cafe quietly opened its doors on Glenridge Avenue in Montclair. In just under a month it has already started to gain some talk around town for serving fresh, reasonably priced juices, great coffee and pastries, healthy and freshly made salads, panini and wraps, and, what I discovered today—really good ice cream.

I discovered the new juice bar and cafe last weekend when we hosted my oldest daughter’s 9th birthday party at StudioKids Art. A friend ran across the street to get coffee and brought me back a cup of a nice, strong brewed cup of regular Joe. I knew I had to stop in Manhattan Juice Bar & Café, and that’s what I did today.

Housed in the spot that held Cha-Ma-Gu-Dao, the tea shop which closed a couple of years ago, Manhattan Juice Bar & Café is a large space, narrow but long, decorated in red an black, with some black chairs grouped for lounging and enjoying a drink and some tables for eating. A large “Manhattan skyline at night” mural decorates one wall and other NYC photos are hanging throughout. It’s nice, but like Cha-Ma-Gu-Dao, the space tends to feel a bit bare and empty.

The coffee, however, made up for what is lacking in decor. I ordered a grande caramel latte, one of my favorite specialty coffees, and was very pleased. It had strong espresso, great foamy milk and a caramel sauce that added just the right amount of sweetness. Manhattan Juice Bar & Café uses its own special blend of “Manhattan” coffee, made locally. The manager said they prided themselves on offering local goods to support small businesses. Other local offering are the pastries and breads by Calandra’s Bakery and homemade ice cream made by Guernsey Crest Ice Cream Company in Paterson.

The manager, a very nice man who is also the brother of owner Khalid Soufanati, was so excited to offer Guernsey Crest ice cream at the cafe, he convinced me to try out a few flavors. Truth is, I’ll never need convincing to try out ice cream, although I’m pretty picky when it comes to the creamy treat. I started out with my favorite flavor, coffee, and immediately was taken with the thick, density of the ice cream, followed but the just right flavor of coffee. Next was the chocolate, which had a chewy fudge-like consistency and made me very happy. Pistachio was another hit, nice crunch and flavor, but I was most impressed by the vanilla. I find that the true test of a good ice cream lies in how the simplest flavor tastes. Vanilla can be bland, but this vanilla passed the test. The manager said that Guernsey Crest ice cream had a very high butterfat percentage almost 16%, which explained the richness. Most ice creams’ butterfat percentage ranges from 10% – 20%, so this is on the high end.

For those looking for a healthier alternative, there’s a small section of pre-packed food, such as salads and wraps, for grab n’ go, which are made fresh throughout the day.

After my coffee and ice cream testing, I crossed over to get a haircut at Parlor Hair Studio and found out that the ladies there are big fans of Manhattan Juice Bar & Café. My stylist Tracy couldn’t stop raving about the fresh juice, which she buys daily and says is very affordable  She raved that the wheat grass is the best. I’ll take her word on that—I’m more of an ice cream girl. More up my alley, she said the Roast Beef sandwich spread with a Tzatziki sauce is awesome and the salads are some of the best around.

I’ll definitely be going back to Manhattan Juice Bar & Café to try the food—and get myself a big double scoop of ice cream.

Manhattan Juice Bar & Café
212 Glenridge Avene, Montclair, NJ, 07042
Open  daily from 7 am – 10 pm
Free Wifi

On January 18, Manhattan Juice Bar & Café will hold a live music night from 6 pm – 10 pm featuring Jerry Tolve and Terry Boch, with pans to hold monthly events of music, comedy and poetry.

24 Comments

  1. POSTED BY Liz George  |  January 09, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

    I’ve been to Paterson to try Guernsey Crest and loved it – this is a lot closer!

  2. POSTED BY sillyphus  |  January 09, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

    Sounds like a nice place to try out. By the way, vanilla is not simple at all, but one of the most complex spices in existence making it the second most expensive spice after saffron, so I think it wasn’t the fake stuff most ice cream is made from. ;)

  3. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  January 09, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    Great article sillyphus!

  4. POSTED BY cathar  |  January 09, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    Especially after reading such a glob of gush, I find myself wishing for the days when “juice bar” meant something very different indeed.

  5. POSTED BY zephyrus  |  January 09, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

    You could always quit this site if you find so much of it so abhorrent.

  6. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 09, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

    Nobody quits or we all quit! Solidarnosc for all the yin & yangs of this site!

  7. POSTED BY cathar  |  January 09, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    And for the yobbos as well, PAZ. Even those who apparently believe in enforced heartiness, like zephyrus above.

  8. POSTED BY walleroo  |  January 09, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

    Maybe we should all quit. Just all fall down. I’m done with this! I’ve had enough! Goddammit!

  9. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  January 09, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

    cathar – Like the one that Howard Prince (Woody Allen) works at in the movie “The Front” you mean?

  10. POSTED BY textwoman2011  |  January 10, 2013 @ 12:16 am

    In a world of crowded spaces full of meaninglessness, I think the space is lovely. Glad they kept the bamboo floors. Can’t wait to try the libations! I wish them well. Seems like a good spot since it’s near the bookstore.

  11. POSTED BY njjenva  |  January 10, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    In effort to ward off the flu, I have been seeking out healthy smoothies all over town! I am glad I have a new go to place!

  12. POSTED BY Conan  |  January 10, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    The ice cream at Obal’s is very good, too. They get it from Holsten’s. (Not.) They serve marsupials, too. (That is a straight line. Feel free.)

  13. POSTED BY coffeechip  |  January 10, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    I am fond of the juice bar in “Next Stop Greenwich Village”

  14. POSTED BY walleroo  |  January 10, 2013 @ 10:58 am

    In a world of crowded spaces full of meaninglessness…

    You’re in the right joint.

  15. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  January 10, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    In a world of steel-eyed death amd men who are fighting to keep warm, come in she said I’ll give ya’ a $14 fruit juice smoothie.

  16. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  January 10, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    coffeechip – Along with “The Front” and “My Favorite Year”, few films capture the New York City of the 1950′s the way Paul Mazursky’s NSGV does.

    I recall seeing it when it was first released in ’76. It has a terrific cast including Shelley Winters, Christopher Walken, Lou Jacobi (also in MFY), Antonio Vargas, Jeff Goldblum, and an uncredited Bill Murray.

    The Dave Brubeck soundtrack music certainly adds to the overall mood and feeling of the period.

    Thanks for mentioning; it’s a real gem of a film. I’m ordering via Netflix now.

    Brief juice bar scene @ 1:16 > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4M_p77j1tQ

  17. POSTED BY rude buddha  |  January 10, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

    Silverleaf just reminded me why Montlclair kids get beaten up by Bloomfield kids.

  18. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  January 10, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

    What a feckin’ idiot you are!

    I was born and raised in Montclair, no one ever beat me up.

    You want to try?

  19. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 10, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    You two guys are right out of the movies!

  20. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 10, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

    You two guys are right outta the movies!

  21. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 10, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    We’re skipping here….Check the gate.

  22. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  January 10, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

    PAZ, I’ll tell you a brief but relevant story; one that Buddah brings to mind.

    When I attended college in Philadelphia, there was this guy who lived in my dorm. Now this guy was really an unpleasant type, always sticking his nose where it didn’t belong, cranking up his stereo at exam time, selfishly using up all the hot water, that sort of thing; a general pain in the arse. At first we all tolerated him, cutting him some slack, thinking pehaps he was mistreated as a child. When things persisted, each of us in our own way, told him what pissed us off about his behavior. As the fall semester ended and we returned after holiday break, we all wondered if he would change his ways and return as a more thoughtful, considerate person. He did not. So, we made a collective decision to ostracize him. By the end of the spring term, he went quietly away, never to be heard from again.

    We should all be so lucky here in Baristaville!

  23. POSTED BY PAZ  |  January 10, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    SL….I heard he became the “Pope of Greenwich Village”.

  24. POSTED BY Bill Courson  |  January 11, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Very good sandwches, great coffee, incredible ice cream, fantastic soothies, and a really nice, friendly atmosphere to boot. I love the fact that they open early and close late, also.

    I think I’ll be holding court and giving audiences regularly at the Manhattan Juice Bar.

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