But First: Small World Coffee
If you've ever visited Princeton, NJ, then you know Small World Coffee. Or at least you've smelled it as you wandered up Witherspoon Street towards the iconic Nassau Hall and Princeton University. You might have seen the steady stream of people coming in and out. Maybe you peered in the window to see university students on their macbooks next to moms wiping the faces of their toddlers next to two old men discussing who knows what at the table in corner. And if you actually went in, you probably grabbed a cup of their house coffee, though you couldn't possibly go wrong picking anything on the menu, and maybe got a bag of coffee to take home with you. Because once you go to Small World Coffee, you're hooked.
Small World is the cool indie coffee shop in a buttoned up, preppy, old school. Small World was the cool indie coffee shop before there was such a thing as cool indie coffee shops. It's an institution on Witherspoon Street and for good reason: they keep it local. Small World pushed the farm-to-table, local movement years before it was popular (part of the often hidden granola crunchy side of Princeton) and keeps it real and sustainable. Their focus is on the community, holding regular events and hosting art shows. I'm pleased to say that my second grade artwork was on display in the cafe many, many years ago! Their other focus is on keeping it local with their roastery only five miles up the road and treats to pair with your coffee from local bakeries.
My absolute favorite drink from Small World has got to be their hot chocolate. It brings up memories of days off from school when my mom would bring my brother and I out for a special breakfast and trip to the library. Those hot chocolates were special. Later I took my husband there for a hot chocolate in our first year of dating. It's creamy and rich and most definitely made with milk. I'm also in love with their New Orleans or "NOLA" iced coffee. Made with chicory coffee and mixed with cream, it's got a bitter/sweet combo that I just cannot get over.
If you're ever in Princeton and want to feel like a local, then you've got to stop at one of the two Small World locations in town: 14 Witherspoon Street or 254 Nassau Street. Grab a hot or iced coffee, try to find a seat, and feel that small, local love.