Walk into Choc·O·Pain in Hoboken and you immediately take note of its cozy and welcoming environment. There’s French music playing and a lovely smell of delicious food wafting through the air. Showcased in the counter is a selection of pastries and treats, macarons, sandwiches, quiches, and various other delectable eats.
There’s six small tables that are set close together and seat 1-2 people each, as well as a larger table that can sit four. On the way to the stairs that lead to the second floor, you’ll pass a large window that gives you visual access to the “backstage” of Choc·O·Pain. Upstairs is transformed into a beautiful living room-type atmosphere, complete with tables, couches, cushioned chairs, books, and even a large play mat and toys for kids. A railing wrapped around the staircase with a door in the form of a gate not only adds an element to the décor, but also provides a measure of safety for children who are up there with parents.
From the staff to the patrons, everyone was friendly. People held doors open for each other, helped mothers navigate stuck strollers around the door frame, moved chairs out of your way, shifted tables to give you more space, and had smiles for you when you walked past. The downstairs, upstairs, and bathrooms were all clean and charmingly decorated.
Onto the food. For lunch was the Lentil Salad, Veggie Quiche, Tomato and Fennel Soup (with a piece of French bread on the side), and a sandwich that was comprised of brie, honeycrisp apples, honey dijon vinaigrette, walnuts, and arugula on walnut raisin sourdough bread. A cappuccino with skim and a water was to drink, and a pumpkin tart was for dessert. A Chocopain pastry, a Raspberry Petit Kouign, and a croissant came home with me.
The Lentil Salad was fresh, vibrant, and a great start to the meal. As someone who isn’t typically a fan of fennel, it all worked. The soup was creamy and delicious with just the right amount of fennel to add a little extra dose of flavor, making the soup ideal for a slightly chilly and rainy day. It was a comfort food that I could definitely dive into frequently. The veggie quiche was pure cheesy perfection, a lovely balance of flavors and ingredients that were blended together to create a dish that immediately makes you desire more once it’s finished. As far as the sandwich, there was a subtle yet dynamic flavor, just the right amount of each ingredient, and the walnuts were an interesting textured component that really added something special.
Onto the pastries. The pumpkin tart was rich, creamy, and one of the best pumpkin tarts I’ve ever had. It’s like fall was being celebrated in my mouth. As far as the croissant, it was fluffy, flaky, soft, and practically melted in my mouth. The Raspberry Petit Kouign and the Chocopain pastry each had beautiful flavor. They were soft with a perfect balance of ingredients to make each quite decadent without it making you feel like you just overloaded yourself.
Everything was wonderful, and it was a real pleasure to have lunch there, enjoy good company, and have some a bit of brightness during a cloudy and dreary day. Choc·O·Pain is definitely a must-go-back type of place.
Choc·O·Pain French Bakery and Café
157 First Street
Disclaimer: The product reviewed in this article was generously provided by Choc·O·Pain French Bakery and Café in Hoboken. However, the opinions are my own and are fair and accurate based on my own experiences. Results and opinions may not be the same for everyone.