blending historic and modern architecture, vibrant retail options, diverse restaurants, and the bergen performing arts center, this bustling cosmopolitan city beckons

by laura d.c. kolnoski • photos by jim anness

Its proximity to the George Washington Bridge positions this Bergen County city and the adjacent borough of Englewood Cliffs as a hub of commerce and culture, offering an appealing urban vibe in a relaxed suburban setting. The revitalization of the downtown area and extensive streetscape improvements have further enhanced its allure. Convenient parking for both conventional and electric vehicles— available via app and free after 6 p.m. (as well as during holidays and sidewalk sales)—furthers Englewood’s appeal, as do its convenient mass-transit options.

Things to do
Let’s Go

Bergen Performing Arts Center (Bergen PAC)
This not-for-profit jewel in Englewood’s crown offers year-round live performances by top visiting acts and local artists, a Performing Arts School, and much more. The restored cultural and arts institution is located in the former John Harms Center, which was originally a movie house.
Palisades Court, 30 North Van Brunt Street,

Crystal Lake Park
Natural beauty on 5.8 acres offering picnic areas and open space. Ideal for model boaters.
Sheffield Avenue,


Le Gourmet Factory
Culinary entrepreneurs, food vendors, and aspiring chefs of all ages can hone their skills and acquire new ones in this modern, seven-kitchen facility available 24/7 for rent or parties. Cooking classes, corporate events, product development, food styling and photography, and menu planning are available.
176A South Van Brunt Street,
201.408.5471, and

MacKay Park
With 28.6 acres, the city’s largest park includes a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, walking and bike paths, picnic areas, and ball fields. Its ice skating rink (201.568.3133) offers public skating, lessons, hockey programs, parties, and private events October through March.
130 West Englewood Avenue,

Flat Rock Brook Nature Center
This beautiful spot, created from remnants of the Palisades Forest, is a 150-acre preserve and education center that offers 3.6 miles of walking trails leading to a cascading stream. Visitors can enjoy a butterfly garden, wetlands, a pond, and meadows while learning about the local ecosystem through exhibits and year-round tours.
443 Van Nostrand Avenue,

Customize your wedding, fund-raising event, or special party in this 26,000-square-foot venue. From a posh nightclub to kids’ activities like laser tag, bowling, and arcade games, Space’s mission is your enjoyment.
491 South Dean Street,

Shop Until you drop

Aetrex Footwear
Offering health-oriented, fashion-forward comfort footwear, orthotic services, shoe inserts, athletic shoes, and 3-D foot scanning for women and men.
2 South Dean Street,

Ayesha Studio & Gallery
India-born owner Ayesha Mayadas turned her career as a textile designer into a master’s degree in metal and her own jewelry design business. Items for women and men, including cufflinks, are handcrafted on site.
21 North Dean Street, 201.503.0073,

Aylward’s 2 Health Food
More than vitamin experts, Aylward’s certified staff includes a nutritionist. Massage therapy and senior citizen discounts are also available.
14 North Van Brunt Street, 201.567.1489,

Bendini Fine Men’s Clothing
Personal service is the hallmark of this award-winning men’s boutique, which features made-to-order suits and sports jackets, sportswear, and accessories. After-hours appointments are available.
39 North Dean Street, 201.569.6935,

Classy Kids
This store has sold top-line European and domestic children’s clothing for 40 years, specializing in dressier outfits for infants, girls, and boys sizes 0–16.
6 North Dean Street,

Englewood Cliffs Cadillac
A high-integrity, no-pressure approach combined with skilled, courteous staff and superior customer service in a state-of-the-art facility has made this dealership legendary. Owned by former N.Y. Giants and Super Bowl champs Jessie Armstead and Antonio Pierce. View their selection of new and pre-owned vehicles.
374 Sylvan Avenue,
Englewood Cliffs, 888.392.5056,

Englewood Jewelers by Greg B
A family-owned and operated business selling precious stones, metals, and distinctive handcrafted fine jewelry at fair prices.
37 East Palisade Avenue,
201.568.2877, Facebook

Eve & Nico Gifts and Home Decor
Providing unique handmade, culturally rich gifts, crafts, art, and decor items from international suppliers, including from Africa and Europe.
7 North Dean Street, 201.408.5160,

Walls of the latest in designer footwear presented in a kaleidoscope of colors and a plethora of styles make this shoe mecca, in business since 1946, a shoe lover’s favorite (additional locations in Deal and Millburn).
14 North Dean Street, 201.894.9512,

Gentlemen’s Agreement
While women’s consignment shops proliferate, this all-men’s version is unique in Bergen County. Now in its 22nd year, it offers attractively priced designer fashions.
20 North Van Brunt Street, 201.568.5511,

Offering a carefully curated fashion collection of ladies’ designer clothes, shoes, and accessories from iconic designers and showrooms worldwide. The store features the latest styles by Alexander McQueen, Elie Saab, Mugler, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci, Gianvito Rossi, Jimmy Choo, Oscar de la Renta, and more. Fashion isn’t what they do—it’s who they are! Two locations:
16 South Dean Street, Englewood,
201.541.7330, and
346 Millburn Avenue, Millburn,

Happy Hello
Cheery inside and out, this new shop carries fun, thoughtful gifts, books, clothes, and science-themed activities for babies, boys, and girls.
33 Sylvan Avenue, 201.585.1049,

Jaehee Bridal Atelier
Two decades of dressing brides and their parties with top American and European designers. Custom, plus size, mothers of the happy couple, accessories, special occasion, and Tznuis wedding dresses.
66 North Van Brunt Street,

Jewel Spiegel Gallery
Established in 1965 and located in a 19th century building in the heart of downtown, this custom framing and art gallery, still run by its founder, is a National Award Winner for excellence in design and use of archival materials. It offers a unique collection of frames, fine prints, paintings, jewelry, and gifts.
30 North Dean Street, 201-871-3577,

Kian Matthew for Men
Footwear, apparel, and accessories focused on casual elegance from a variety of European and American designers, including Robert Graham, Hugo Boss, Cole Haan, and 7 for All Mankind.
12 North Dean Street, 201.503.9191,

Marcia’s Attic
A bounteous selection of women’s premium denim and buzzy contemporary designers.
32 North Dean Street,

Marcia’s Attic for Kids
Located near the adult version, this go-to store has been dressing newborns to juniors for two generations with imported and domestic duds for formal to everyday school and events.
29 North Dean Street,
201.894.5701, Facebook

Matisse Chocolatier
Family-owned and operated, crafting homemade, hand-dipped chocolates, platters, favors, and gift baskets. A private on-site party room is available.
260 Grand Avenue, 201.568.2288,

Traditional Moroccan cookies and treats with sugar-free and gluten-free alternatives. Clients include hotels, corporate offices, and restaurants.
176 South Van Brunt Street,

Midday Gallery
Serving the needs of discriminating art lovers for more than 45 years with contemporary art, custom framing, consultations, jewelry, and gifts.
8 North Dean Street,

Milk and Honey Babies
This delightful and sophisticated shop carries premium nursery furniture, gear, toys, clothes, and other products that are both stylish and eco-friendly.
11 Grand Avenue, 201.871.2111,

Miri Couture
Working with the finest European fabrics, beading, and embroidery, owner Miri creates new collections each season in evening gowns, ready-to-wear dresses, and bridal gowns. Miri dressed stars for the 2017 Grammy Awards. Shoes are also sold.
39 North Dean Street,

Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory
“The Sweet Potato Pie King” was the first winner of ABC’s Shark Tank and has been creating pies, cheesecakes, cobblers, and baked goods from scratch since 2002.
15 West Hudson Avenue,

Orchids by Karen Gallery
A pleasing selection of award-winning orchids, sculptures, fountains, birdbaths, and flower vessels are among the hand-carved stone offerings from Bali.
33 North Dean Street,

Palisade Jewelers
This family-owned business, which got its start in New York in 1947, relocated to New Jersey in 1978, and opened in Englewood in 2005, specializes in watches, estate jewelry, pre-owned fine jewelry, and repairs.
16 North Van Brunt
Street, 201.871.0400, palisade

Portage & The Jewelry Box
An extensive selection of top name handbags is just the beginning of the eye-popping inventory to be found at this popular, trendy boutique.
17 North Dean Street, 201.569.7076,

Pumpkin & Bean
Besides its own hair salon, where diminutive clients sit in car chairs, this boutique carries toys, shoes, clothing, furniture, and more for infants, toddlers, boys, and girls.
55 North Dean Street,

Regina Kay Interiors
Regina Kay, an F.I.T. graduate, creates exquisite decor influenced by her Austrian heritage that exudes energy and embraces the personality of each client she works with.
185 South Dean Street, 201.567.5960,

Reve New York
Exclusive, glam, and celebrity looks for discerning “Reve Dolls” featuring collections selected by stylists. Up-and coming designers, special occasion dressing, and more.
22 North Dean Street,

Shoe Chic II
Specializing in footwear for weddings and other special occasions.
13 East Palisade Avenue, 201.227.1490, Facebook

With eight locations in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, this family business sends buyers to Europe twice annually, returning with designer brands and high-end footwear, handbags, and accessories.
48 North Dean Street, 201.568.2900,

Song Piano
The only Asian piano dealers in the area, appropriately named owner brothers Isaac and Joe Song are authorized dealers for Samick, Young Chang, and Kawai pianos, whose GL series recently won the MMR 2016 Product of the Year Award, adding to the company’s numerous accolades. (There is a second Song location in Edison.)
70 West Palisade Avenue,

Simply Great Clothes With top-drawer casual clothing, Tapestrie is designed to provide a relaxed shopping experience in a friendly, cozy, and beautiful layout.
10A South Dean Street, 201.408.4910,

Tapestrie Sport
Offering a wide selection of active wear, yoga wear, athleisure, and weekend wear.
18 East Palisade Avenue, 201-431-9545,

The Engle Shop
This elegant specialty boutique has featured daytime and evening-wear collections for more than half a century, including popular contemporary brands, sophisticated European designs, and luxe couture creations. Also offering on-site tailoring.
32 North Dean Street, 201.568.1331,

The Paint Tube
Gifts, needs, and must-haves in more than 40 imaginative categories—many personalized—to address the wishes of infants, children, campers, college students, and adults.
35 Park Place, 201.227.8203,

The Timepiece Collection
Owners Jeffrey Khalaf and Michael Rosenberg cater to both first-time buyers and seasoned collectors with their impressive selection of high-end and often hard–to-find timepieces in a wide range of price points and styles. Authorized retailers for Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Chopard, Harry Winston, Hermes, Hublot, Longines, TAG Heuer, and more.
58 East Palisade Avenue, 877.678.8463, thetime

Vero Uomo
Clothing connoisseurs bask in a tradition of excellence. Impeccable one-to-one service guides clients to comfortable and practical outfits and accessories for every occasion, imported directly from such fine Italian designers as Brioni, Canali, Pal Zileri, and Marol. Experience the store’s signature Made-to-Measure Program, its expert tailoring, and the opportunity to customize every detail of the finest clothing and casual luxury outerwear and leather. This year’s spring collection shouldn’t be missed!
26 East Palisade Avenue,

Dig In!

Balthazar Bakery
This wholesale division and retail shop of the famed New York location features French-inspired gourmet offerings, including baguettes, croissants, and fruit tarts.
214 South Dean Street, 201.503.9717,

Biddy O’Malley’s
The Englewood location of this Northvale Irish bistro and bar opened in 2016, thrilling locals with its interpretations of both classic Irish fare and contemporary American dishes.
36 North Van Brunt Street, 201.608.5545,

Blue Moon
This is one of Bergen County’s premier celebration spots (there are additional locations elsewhere). Serving daily lunch and dinner plus brunch, happy hour, private parties, catering, and live music.
23 East Palisade Avenue, 201.541.0600,

Carma’s Kitchen
Chef Chris Haynes has created a menu of soul food staples for a unique culinary experience. Sunday brunch features chicken and waffles!
58 West Palisade Avenue,

Cupcakes by Carousel
This purveyor of fine desserts, which has been included on Oprah’s prestigious “O” list, offers cakes, pies, and custom orders. Also for sale at this 40-year-old family-owned business is a selection of gluten-free items.
31 North Dean Street, 201.608.5092,

The five-star choice for superb Italian cuisine, served in a beautiful atmosphere. Rated “excellent” and called an “East Coast Spago” by Zagat. Critics have termed the lush menu “suitably silky and sumptuous.” Try the veal and beef meatballs, then treat yourself to a slice of luscious ricotta cheesecake.
484 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood
Cliffs, 201.568.3535,

Hummus Elite
Healthy, fresh dishes prepared in the Israeli style and with a modern twist earned this spot a “very good” rating from The New York Times. Also available are kosher, vegan, and vegetarian options. The owner/executive chef was raised in coastal Israel.
39 East Palisade Avenue, 201.569.5600,

Noches de Colombia
Multiple locations throughout northern New Jersey attest to this eatery/nightclub’s popularity. Serving up authentic Colombian breakfast, lunch, dinner, catering, and entertainment.
90 West Palisade Avenue,

Patisserie Florentine
One-half of the two-brother owner duo is a hospitality management professor at Bergen Community College and a creative chef. Together they bring the flavors of France through coffee, breakfast, lunch, and brunch. 10 South Dean Street, 201.408.4890,

EXTRA: Their other tasty option, Poached, is nearby, at
6 South Dean Street,

Guests enjoy Spanish cuisine in a romantic setting. Lunch, dinner, wine, cocktails, and an extensive tapas menu are available just one block from the Bergen PAC. A private dining room can accommodate up to 50. Custom-designed wine dinners are available.
47 North Dean Street, 201.569.9999,

Zagat praised Sofia’s inventive cocktails and “elevated menu” of steaks, wood-fi red pizza, and gourmet Italian-American specialties in the heart of downtown. Located in the former Smoke Chophouse, the site still has one of New Jersey’s few indoor food smoking licenses. A massive skylight tops the sleek dining room and sophisticated bar.
36 Engle Street, 201.541.8530,

Lights Out

Guests enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, comfortable beds, indoor pool, fitness center, 5,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and room for receptions and seminars of up to 275. The Blue City Grille offers drinks, international foods, and Jersey favorites.
401 South Van Brunt Street, 201.871.2020,

All new, with Hudson River and Manhattan skyline views and near New York ferry service. Its 156 guest rooms offer free Wi-Fi, luxury bedding, workspace, mini-refrigerators, and flat-screen TVs. A full-service restaurant and bar are available.
3 Pembroke Place, Edgewater,

TEANECK MARRIOTT AT GLENPOINTE Fully renovated and located at the crossroads of I-95 and I-80, 3 miles from the George Washington Bridge. Features include stylishly updated guest rooms, a new Great Room lobby, concierge floors, the M Club, Pancetta Regional Kitchen + Bar, and 26,500 square feet of renovated event space.
100 Frank W. Burr Drive, Teaneck, 201.836.0600,