July 17, 2024
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July 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

“Back to the Future” Movie (2015).

People often complain to me that there are no fun things to do in Teaneck. While it may be true that some of the more “fun” activities require a short drive (like the American Dream Mall, which is just 20 minutes away), I believe Teaneck is an underrated town with plenty of amazing stores and attractions to check out. One of my favorite ways to spend a free Sunday is going out with my wife or a group of friends and walking down Cedar Lane, enjoying its diverse activities and interesting storefronts.

Cedar Lane has an old-school, small-town vibe that is reminiscent of a bygone era. There are sidewalks on both sides and a comfy seating area in the middle of the block. Near the top of the hill, a recently renovated drive-through Dunkin’ Donuts sits proudly, welcoming scores of drivers for some quick snacks.

While the Dunkin’ part of the store unfortunately isn’t kosher (they should get on that), the Baskin-Robbins part is kosher, serving delicious ice cream and smoothies. I love the drive-through concept as it’s very convenient to not have to get out of the car, especially when it’s raining or cold outside. On a nice summer day, I prefer walking in and ordering either my favorite cotton candy-flavored ice cream or a mango smoothie.

Zack, his wife, Ahuva, and their friends Yair (also competed in pickle contest) and Genie at the Cedar Lane Fair.

As you continue walking downward, the recently rebranded Pickle Shoppe welcomes visitors to try all different kinds of pickles. At the store, tiny pieces of cut-up pickles are available to be sampled using toothpicks. My favorite kind is the 3/4 sour pickle, as I find it to be the perfect amount of tartness. It’s always fun to try whatever new flavors they have, like spicy dill, jalapeno and garlic. I do miss the former store’s pickle face-in-the-hole board where I could put my face through a cardboard cut-out of a pickle, and I’m hoping they’ll bring it back someday.

The main “Jewish” part of Cedar Lane features several restaurants offering a variety of cuisines. Noah’s Ark sells its world-famous deli and the best jello, Bridge offers Turkish-style meals, Sababa Grill serves Mediterranean cuisine, and Estihana is my favorite kosher Asian food place. But I’m not here to give a food review, so I’ll leave it at that and save the details for the food critics. There are also now two kosher bakeries. Patis is more of a restaurant than just a bakery — I love its cheesecakes, Impossible burgers and hot chocolate. But Butterflake is really my zone and I love checking out its baked goods. The bakers at Butterflake blend crafting yummy desserts with an artistic flair, even featuring classic television characters. They have unique pastries such as an Elmo-faced cake and Cookie Monster cupcakes.

Zack and Ahuva at Guerriero Gelato with friendliest owner, Mike.

Wrapping up the food portion of Cedar Lane, Seasons Express serves delicious and reasonably priced pizza, sushi an assortment of candy and snacks, and iced drinks, including my favorite Piña Colada and much more. At Seasons, you can also buy the newest edition of “Teaneckopoly,” a Teaneck-themed version of Monopoly. Personally, I have fond memories of visiting Ma’adan with my grandfather. While they serve delicious meats and appetizers, it was always the candy that drew me in.

In terms of activities, the main attractions on Cedar Lane are Teaneck Cinemas and Teaneck Speedway. Teaneck Cinemas has been around since 1937, originally as one huge single theater holding 1,034 seats! Today, it has been renovated to feature four distinct theaters. Tickets during the day are just $7, and at night they are $9 — both very reasonably priced. The seats are actually pretty comfortable, though they don’t recline like AMC theater chairs do. The storefront, however, is designed to transport you back in time, even showing a cute cartoon short before each feature, “Let’s All Go to the Movies,” which was made in 1957. Sometimes the theater runs special events. For example, in October 2023, they screened the movie “Cat Person” with director Susanna Fogel as a narrator.

Zack and Ahuva eating outside at Noah’s Ark: Best Jello.

My favorite movie theater event at Teaneck Cinemas took place on Oct. 21, 2015. If you’re a movie buff, you should instantly know the significance of that date: it’s when Marty McFly went to the future in “Back to the Future Part II” (1989). I went with my good friends Netanel and Jared to a special showing of all three “Back to the Future” movies back-to-back-to-back. Not only that, but people costumed as Doc and Marty even arrived on the scene in a DeLorean! The event also sold exclusive “Back to the Future” T-shirts and posters for the occasion. It was easily my best movie-going experience ever because of how well thought-out and fun the event was. (And it doesn’t hurt that “Back to the Future” is my all-time favorite movie!)

For comic book fans, Cedar Lane has the awesome bookstore A’s Comics, which often hosts special events like comic book signings by writers and artists. I love browsing through Archie comics, my favorite series, which follows the misfit adventures of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the rest of the gang as they navigate high school and enjoy summer vacations. Judaica House sells a blend of classic Jewish seforim and modern books on Israel, gifts for Shabbat and the chagim, kippot, tzitzit, kiddush cups and everything Judaica. My favorite purchase from there is the book “Matza Balls and Baseballs,” which tells the stories of the top Jewish baseball players of all time.

Pickle contest Cedar Lane.

Next door to the Judaica House sits the newly opened Guerriero Gelato store, selling the best hard ice cream in Teaneck thanks to their brilliant ice cream creator and award-winning store owner, Mike Guerriero. It’s a perfect spot to stop and treat yourself after a day of exploring Cedar Lane.

Teaneck Speedway is a newer attraction that I have not yet visited (I certainly plan on it once our newborn son, Koby, is, God willing, old enough). The speedway features slot cars racing on a seven course track, an arcade, laser tag and mini bowling. It’s open Wednesday-Friday in the afternoons from 4-8 p.m., and on Sundays it has extended hours from noon-6 p.m.

One of the best days to visit Cedar Lane in the summer is Thursday because that’s when the Teaneck Farmer’s Market is in town. From May through November, a wide variety of vendors set up shop in the parking lot behind Cedar Lane between Garrison Avenue and Beverly Road, selling unique products and fresh produce. In the past, I have seen the former store Pickle Licious there selling pickles, but my new favorite stand is the Wandering Que, where I purchase fresh meat for barbecuing. There are usually several stands that sell kosher food, so it’s really enjoyable to walk around, meet with and talk to the different vendors who run each stand.

There are occasionally special events that take place on Cedar Lane, with my favorite being the annual Memorial Day Fair. The fair features dozens of vendors showcasing their products, with highlights including the Butterflake pie-speed-eating competition and the pickle-speed-eating contest, which was sponsored by Pickle Licious in the past. In 2023, I participated in the pickle eating contest, which challenged participants to finish a jar of pickles as quickly as possible.

Teaneck Speedway.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take place this year due to the recent store change to the Pickle Shoppe. However, I’ve heard that the Pickle Shoppe might hold a make-up contest as part of its grand opening celebration. Other events I’ve enjoyed include listening to concerts performed next to the benches near Butterflake. It’s a great, relaxing atmosphere to watch and listen to talented musicians perform outdoors for free, in a small, intimate setting.

When visiting Cedar Lane, I recommend combining multiple activities for a full, enjoyable day. For example, start out at Seasons Express and enjoy some pizza. Then, head over to Teaneck Cinemas and catch a flick. End the day with dinner at one of the local restaurants. Alternatively, check out the Pickle Shoppe to sample some delicious pickles, then walk over to Judaica House and A’s Comics to browse their wide variety of reading material. If you’re more active, bring a basketball and play at the nearby Sagamore Park basketball court, then treat yourself to ice cream at Guerrero Gelato.

The choice is yours — but don’t sell yourself short by doing just one thing! Now that the warm weather is finally here, it’s the ideal time to enjoy walking around outside, up and down Cedar Lane. Ample space is provided on which to stroll freely while exploring incredible places. Don’t just spend your weekends reminiscing; make new memories on Cedar Lane.


Zachary Greenberg is a consultant at Semler Brossy and the track coach for TABC. In 2022, Zack’s wife, Ahuva, taught him how to solve a Rubix cube. He also watched the movie “Godzilla Minus One” on Netflix. To join in on Zack’s fun adventures, make sure you are following @funzacktivities on Instagram! If you have any recommendations of fun places for him to explore, email [email protected].

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