Cafe Bene had been a familiar name and nice reminder of home for me, so the fact that I hadn’t gotten a chance to visit before it closed earlier this year had me in the slums. But a few weeks ago, I saw that my friend had been at a cute cafe, one I had never seen before. The pictures showed the cafe to be brightly lit, clean, and simple. Intrigued, I asked her where it was. Turns out, it is the new cafe that replaced Cafe Bene. I had actually never ventured to the small area where it is located, although near the PATH. It was a bit hidden from by the busyness and traffic.
Sunnyside Cafe was really like my friends’ pictures. The overall aesthetic really fit the name. The cafe was bright, cheery, yellow and green tones, and SO…MANY…PLANTS. Plants on the wall, on shelves, on the table, you name it. At the same time, it gave a hipster vibe. Everyone in the cafe looked like cool, aspiring young people, with their coffee mugs and laptops, typing away.
The menu was a good size, not so many items that it is overwhelming, but not too few that there weren’t enough options. The worker behind the cash register recommended a few of the most popular items, and I ended up ordering an acai smoothie ($10), a chai latte ($5), a smashed avocado ($8), and an ABLT ($9). They also had samples of their chocolate chip cookies, which were melty, sweet, and heavenly!
First, the drinks were served. When the chai latte arrived, the fragrant aroma of the cinnamon that had been sprinkled on top was strong enough to smell from several feet away. However when I took a sip, it was not what I expected. The top was coated with a thick blanket of foam and beneath, the tea was a lukewarm temperature and reminded me of a milk tea. I guess the temperature would be optimal if you were on the go and wanted to finish it right away, but I would have preferred a warmer temperature. Then came the smoothie. The TEN DOLLAR SMOOTHIE. It was in a 12-ounce plastic cup, nothing fancy. It had a deep purple and indigo color. When I took my first sip, was I blown away? Meh. The smoothie had a smooth consistency, no ice chunks, but it also had a seedy texture. I did appreciate that although it was sweet, it was not too sweet and it was creamy. For an acai drink though, it had such a strong banana taste.
About ten minutes later, the food arrived. First, the smashed avocado – what a beautiful sight. A slice of a baguette topped with a bright light green avocado spread, decorated with red and orange cherry tomatoes and some feta cheese, pepper flakes, and pumpkin seeds sprinkled across as a finishing touch. There was also a lemon on the side, which I also dressed the toast with. First, I took a taste of the avocado, cheese, and tomatoes separately. They all tasted fresh and great in their natural state. As I took a full bite, the bread was very crunchy, but everything really complemented each other well. It was a refreshing and healthy dish. For the ABLT (avocado, bacon, lettuce, and tomato), the dish was served warm with lettuce, avocado, tomato and tomato sauce between whole grain bread. It was interesting to have that extra flavor added by including the tomato sauce with the tomatoes. Again, the components of the sandwich really balanced and worked well with each other. In both dishes, I really appreciated that there was not a whole lot of salt or extra overpowering flavor added to the sandwiches. The ingredients really spoke for themselves!
I’d say Sunny Side did set quite a high bar in terms of food as my first brunch location. When I want brunch, I want something healthy, that will wake me up, but also filling. One of those sandwiches would definitely do that for me. Sunny Side’s sandwiches served effortless sandwiches made with delicious ingredients. They let their avocados, bacon, and tomatoes do the talking! As a cafe; however, the drink options did not wow me.
Pro Tip: It’s a cafe… but I’d skip the drinks and go straight to the food.
~Drinks: $4-10, Food: $8-$14
There were some drinks that weren’t too pricey (hot drinks), but it was surprising that the smoothies ranged to about $10 for a 12 oz cup. The food was also a bit pricey, but I would argue that that was more worth your money!
~79 Hudson St, Hoboken, NJ 07030 (By the PATH, 10-15min walk)
Convenience rating: 4/5
~The service was pretty good! The cashier was very nice and helped pick out food.
Service Rating: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
~I was happy with the food for the most part; it was a nice, healthy brunch. But a meal (drink + sandwich) can cost you $20… Yikes :^(