The Insider Guide to the Perfect Lambertville Day Trip

The best places to shop, eat, drink and wander in the cutest town across the river.


From left: Lambertville Trading Company’s quaint storefront; the eclectic goods at Zinc Home, and a plush setup in Bons Rêves. | Photography by Jauhien Sasnou.

Calling all Shore-weary travelers: The best reason to cross the river now is Lambertville, a postcard-perfect place big on charm and, come August, blissfully short on crowds. Here’s your plan for a perfect day in town, from breakfast to cocktails and everything in between.

For Coffee and Lunch: Lambertville Trading Company
This rustic shop is where the locals go for a stellar cuppa joe. (You’ll see them milling about the communal table and drinking from in-house mugs.) But it’s where you’ll want to go, too, for bold brews and sweet drinks like mochachinos and chai lattes. Your best bet: Order the iced coffee, which is chilled by ice cubes made of coffee so you never have a watered-down sip. They serve small bites here, too, but get your grub from Annie’s Gourmet, a mom-and-pop cash-only cafe. If it’s a nice day, make your order to-go and eat by the canal, which runs parallel to the Delaware River. // Lambertville Trading Company, 43 Bridge Street; Annie’s Gourmet, 5 North Union Street. 

For Home Accessories: Zinc Home + Garden
Husband-and-wife owners Tracey and Rod Berkowitz have filled their three-story movie-set-like shop with industrial, eclectic goods—some scoured from flea markets all over the country (metal apothecary chests, a carousel horse), others made by Rod from reclaimed pieces. Go here for styling inspiration alone. // 74 Bridge Street.

For Sweets and Sips: The Chocolate Box
After lunch, visit this old-world shop, which looks as though it’s been plucked from the streets of Paris, and sample jewel-like indulgences by chocolatiers both local and far-flung. The truffles are hand-painted, the peanut butter cups are twice the size of Reese’s, and the pecan turtles are good enough to eat by the bag. Don’t leave without springing for a Vosges chocolate bar. Come evening, make your way to the Boat House, the coolest, quaintest bar you’ll ever have the pleasure of drinking in. // The Chocoloate Box, 39 North Union Street; Boat House, 8½ Coryell Street.

 For Antiques: The People’s Store Antique Center
This cavernous emporium unfurls through four vast, creaky floors and over countless rooms, including two working artists’ studios. Forty-five dealers pack the space with treasures big (mid-century modern furniture, Versailles-worthy chandeliers imported from France) and tiny (chests of vintage costume jewelry, a whole room of china). Some rooms are musty, some are weird (at some point, you’ll discover a giant 10-foot dragon once used as a movie prop), and all are worth exploring. // 28 North Union Street.

For Bed and Bath Goods: Bons Rêves
Imagine the guesthouse of the most posh hostess you know, then get the look here: impeccably starched tea towels that are hand-embroidered, candles that are hand-poured, crisp linens and crocheted pillows by Bella Notte, lavender sachets, hand-milled soaps, velvet-soft robes. It’s bedtime, just better than you could have ever dreamed. // 18 North Union Street.