Going out for lunch offers the perfect mini-break from the work day. It’s a chance to eat well, recharge and even catch up with friends for an hour or so. Yet, we are doing it less and less. Apparently going out for lunch is a dying tradition, according to the Wall Street Journal. No way. We can’t have that. Step away from your computer. Whether you crave a quiet lunch solo or dine with friends, jumpstart your lunch break tradition with these picks for great lunch escapes around Montclair.
The Ah’ Pizz lunch specials are no secret. I’ve had at least three friends tell me that Ah’ Pizz is their go-to place for a quick, well-priced lunch. Choose from three options — bowl of soup with choice of salad ($6.99); personal pizza with either soup or salad ($7.99); or choice of sandwich with salad ($8.99). All three options come with a fountain soda.
Ah’ Pizz (open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner), 7 North Willow St., 973-783-9200
How happy are we that Mezoco took over the space at Walnut Street Station? So happy, that we are now regulars for their tasty tacos (gotta love the toppings bar!). Carnitas, chicken, steak, vegetarian or tofu tacos are priced at $3.50; there are also individual meal combos or the Familia (12 tacos, rice and bean, chips and salsa) for a group of four to split ($48). The fact that you can walk over to the actual bar and order a beer to wash down those tacos is clutch.
Mezoco, 25 Depot Square, Montclair, 973-744-4749
Jack’s Seafood Shack
I’ve been missing Cape Cod this summer, but Jack’s Seafood Shack in Montclair has been my consolation. Get your fix of lobster rolls or a whole lobster without the long car ride. Or try Jack’s lunch salads. We like the lobster salad platter, served with a mound of yummy lobster meat (prepared either Connecticut or Maine style), potato salad and cole slaw on a bed of greens ($19) or the summery shrimp & romaine salad, featuring shrimp, corn, cherry tomatoes and queso fresco cheese, with a lime vinaigrette ($17). There’s also a terrific kale salad with tri-color quinoa, red onions, and radishes with a sesame dressing ($14).
Jack’s Seafood Shack, (open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner) 718 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, 973-893-5283
The perfect spot for a quiet business lunch, Costanera has two great all-inclusive lunch options (both include a main with a choice of soup, side and a beverage). Choices we like: the Peruvian Beef Burger and Costanera Cobb salad ($12.95) or the Shrimp “Banh Mi” or Quinoa-Crusted Oyster “Po’ Boy” ($14.95)
Costanera, 511 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, 973-337-8289
When is the perfect time to try the hot new restaurant that always looks packed when you pass by? Go to The Crosby for a low-key lunch. In between gawking at the gorgeous transformation of the space formerly occupied by a pet supply store, you can feast on inventive fare like Fred Chicken and Waffle sliders with bacon jam or a make your own salad option with add-ons like hangar steak and shrimp. We would also wager it’s the only place you can order a giant smiling pretzel with your lunch.
The Crosby (open seven days a week, lunch from noon to 4 p.m.), 193 Glenridge Ave., Montclair, 973-509-BEER
De Novo has been a go-to lunch spot for years. There’s the wonderful host Demetri Malki who always makes you feel welcome, a terrific lunch menu with something for everyone (salads, sandwiches, or incredible pasta dishes), and a big, beautiful dining room where you can talk business or catch up with a friend, and order a drink if you are so inclined. And we love the easy parking.
De Novo (open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch), 275 Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair, 973-893-5008
Go early before the crowds descend on The Corner and you will be rewarded with a feel-good meal at this cozy & popular lunch spot. Fans flock to The Corner for the ubiquitous avocado toast, burrata and prosciutto toast (pictured), sandwiches, salads and great coffee.
The Corner, (open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch) 115 Grove St., Montclair, 973-783-2400
Looking to do a casual lunch or want the perfect place to lunch with the kids? Montclair’s new edition, Broughton Grill has got something to make everyone happy for lunch, including a sweet ending with sundaes and shakes made with ice cream from Holsten’s. Go for burgers, sandwiches, salads, shakes, mac n’ cheese, grilled cheese and much more.
Broughton Grill (open Monday through Saturday for lunch), 712 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, (973) 744-4402
Bluff City BBQ
Get your barbecue fix at Bluff City BBQ with amazing Memphis-style ribs, brisket, pulled pork, or fried chicken. We also love their crabmeat salad with cucumber. Don’t forget to try their yummy desserts, too.
Bluff City BBQ, (open for lunch Monday through Saturday, closed Tuesday), 21 Midland Ave., Montclair, 973-744-4657.
Brick Lane Curry
Celebrating six years in Montclair, Brick Lane Curry House has a fantastic lunch deal for $11.99 that even includes choice of protein and preparation, rice, and a serving of a sweet dessert. Choose from chicken, lamb, fish, shrimp and your favorite preparation — Madras, Goan, Korma, Vindaloo. The lunch special is great as a to go order, too!
Brick Lane Curry House, (open for lunch seven days a week) 540 Valley Road, Upper Montclair, 973-509-2100
Know a great lunch spot we should include in our next roundup? Want to tell us about Bloomfield restaurants for our Bloomfield Lunch Edition? Leave a comment or email us at [email protected].