So my hometown Princeton, NJ can be a bit boring but if you dig, you can find some fun places to go to. The Princeton University area is a college town. My all-time favorite weekend hang out would be palmer square. It’s a little area with tons of stores, some large ones like JCrew, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, Brooks Brother, Kate Spade, etc… but some are small mom and pop stores which I love! It is really great to go for a walk on a nice sunny Saturday or Sunday with your dog.
Here are some of my favorite stores I think everyone should visit if you are in Princeton (I won’t talk about any of the big chain stores since everyone is aware of them):
- The Bent Spoon @ 35 Palmer Square West
They have one of the best ice creams I’ve had. I love their hazelnut and strawberry flavor, but you can go in and try their variety. It’s super creamy and not too sweet.
- Bluemercury @ 72 Palmer Square West
They have a great selection of beauty products and skin care products. The best part is, you can go in a test their products and talk to a super nice beauty consultant. And if you are looking to have some pampering time, this is a great spa. In fact, this is the only place I would go to for spa treatments because they are well educated in that department.
- Lindt @ 68 Palmer Square West
If you love chocolate as much as the next person, you will want to stop by this place. They have tons of chocolate there and a hot chocolate bar. I went there for a hazelnut hot chocolate. They take the actual chocolate and melt it in your hot chocolate, so it will taste exactly like their chocolate. The only thing is, make sure they don’t skim you on the lindt chocolate. I once got a cup that tasted like hot milk with hardly any chocolate. So just make sure the bar guy adds extra chocolate for you.
- Nassau Inn @ 10 Palmer Square
If you need a place to stay locally, Nassau Inn would be perfect. Plus they have a really nice restaurant that I just love called Yankee Doodle Tap Room. Their Yankee Doodle chicken pot pie is to die for and their Fried Mozzarella with fig dipping sauce is delicious! I love cheese though so any cheese is good for me, but this one is stringy and then dipped in fig sauce? WOW is all I can say.
- Rojo’s Roastery @ 33 Palmer Square West
If you love coffee, this is a great place to visit. I love the smell of this place!
Here are some places a little outside of Princeton University area that I think you would enjoy as well:
- Quaker Bridge mall (15 minutes away from Palmer Square) @ 3320 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
If you want to do some shopping, this is a great place to go. There is a Macy’s and Lord & Taylor, but there are tons of stores there within the mall as well. They also have a food court of fast food if you want to eat a quick bite, but immediately next to the mall there’s The Cheesecake Factory where you can get typical American food and some super delish cheesecake in all types of flavors!
- Princeton Market Fair @ 3535 US-1, Princeton, NJ 08540
Another smaller mall but with a movie theater, but I enjoy going there because it’s small and there aren’t that many people there, so you can shop in peace. Also they have quite a few restaurants there such as: PF Chang. Big Fish, Bobby’s Burger Palace, TGI Friday’s, Seasons 52, Qdoba Mexican Grill, etc…
- Shanghai Park (Chinese Restaurant) @ 301 N Harrison St #33, Princeton, NJ (not too far from Palmer Square, 5 minutes’ drive)
I really love their food, partly because I am from Shanghai and just love Shanghainese food, but also their food is genuinely good. Their service isn’t that great, but it’s ok, I am willing to deal with it. If you know me at all, you know I am big on service, so this says a lot about their food.
- Super Star East Buffet @ Nassau Park Pavilion, 311 Nassau Park Blvd, Princeton, NJ
If you eat a lot and love Chinese food, this is a great place to stop by with your family. It’s a lot of fun and you get a variety of Asian food. They don’t just service Chinese food, they also have Japanese Sushi. They serve Americanized Chinese food so not totally as authentic as Shanghai Park. I go there a lot with my parents because it is just fun to go and fun to have your choice of food.
- Nordstrom Rack @ Mercer Mall Space 37, 3371 US-1, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
For some real shopping, I would go to Nordstrom Rack. You will find all kinds of good deals there. I once found a pair of Kate Spade kitten heels there for $19.99. So it’s a hell yeah, sold!
- TJ Maxx @ Mercer Mall, 3371 US-1, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
For some super cheap shopping, TJ Maxx is a good place to go. A lot of times, you can find great deals there, but you have to dig. So if you are not into digging, I wouldn’t go there.
- Marshalls @ Windsor Green Shopping Center 3495 US Rt 1, Princeton, NJ 08540
This is another great place for some super cheap shopping. I found that from all the years I’ve gone between TJ and Marshalls, that Marshalls have better products. They are basically the same company but in Princeton, Marshalls has better things. In NYC, TJ Maxx is better. I don’t know why, but this is just what I’ve found.
I hope you enjoy going to Princeton! If you have any questions, please write in the comment area!
The Style Gourmande