(609) 218-6124 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
The revived Warren Street–Trenton’s own “restaurant row”– used to host a wonderful coffee shop, Cafe Ole. This year, Cafe Ole shut down their walk-in restaurant, functioning solely as a catering business now. Ever since that closing, we’ve been lacking a place to go for a quiet morning cup of coffee downtown–somewhere that wasn’t a diner or a restaurant, but had a coffee shop feel to it. Now there’s a new kid on the block, the E. Front Cafe. Technically not on Warren Street, E. Front Cafe is right around the corner (appropriately on East Front Street). The cafe provides a humble and cozy coffee shop vibe, a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown life. With a remarkably friendly staff, and an eclectic menu at “Trenton prices” (i.e., significantly less inexpensive than comparable joints in our neighboring towns), it’s a welcome addition to the Warren Street family.
The best thing about E. Front Cafe is the atmosphere. It’s a quirky mix of tables and booths and odd TV-dinner trays on wheels, decorated with scattered phrases written on the walls, a giant American flag, and a hand-written menu on white board. But there’s something delightful about it, and if you find yourself sitting by the window, you’ll enjoy your breakfast or lunch by a warm (though artificial) fireplace. It’s a nice touch.
The restaurant is owned by Ishmael, a former Trenton policeman who you will rarely find in the establishment. Instead, you’ll see a well-trained and incredibly friendly staff who turn around lunch orders in astonishing time. Which is a good thing, because there is quite a lunch rush here (and judging from the conversations, many of the patrons are regulars whose orders are well-known to this warm staff).
The coffee is good (and they always have a variety of coffee bean options). The food itself is decent, though certainly nothing to write home about. They offer a healthier assortment of options than most local establishments, including smoothies, salads, wraps and soups. Their veggie quesadilla was flavorful and enjoyable–certainly not fancy cooking, but a really nice meal. The generous portion of salad was serviceable, but the romaine base was uninspired and the toppings certainly nothing to write home about. They also offer a range of sandwiches, panini’s, breakfast wraps, quesadillas, and burritos. Breakfast is served all day–after all, it’s 8:00 AM somewhere. Prices are competitive, and you’d be hard pressed to spend more than $10 for a drink, a full meal, and a snack (such as chips or a granola bar) to go long with it. The most expensive item on the menu is a soup or salad with a half panini–it goes for $7.48. Again though, this isn’t fine dining. If your taste buds are begging for more, you can go next door to one of Trenton’s finer dining establishments, Settimo Cielo.