July 19, 2024
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Crunch Cafe Opens in Rutgers Hillel Building in New Brunswick

Freezer case with salad and desserts at Crunch Cafe.

The Crunch Cafe, a new kosher dairy eatery at Rutgers-New Brunswick that held its grand opening on Sunday, Jan. 21, has already acquired an enthusiastic fan base. How so? The cafe had a soft opening in late November and even though it was the tail end of the semester, word got around fast and students took notice.

Junior Hannah Finkelshtein of East Brunswick and her boyfriend Yosef Fruhman of Miami Beach were studying together in a corner of the cafe. Finkelshtein praised the restaurant and said she’s been there three times a week since it opened. Her favorite offerings are the avocado toast, “the best thing so far,” and the squash soup, which she termed “extraordinarily delicious.”

Cafe sign.

Devorah Weinberg of Monsey, a first year graduate student in the psychology program, was studying in another section with two friends. She raved about the boba tea, saying the cafe was the only place she knew of on or near campus that sells a kosher version.

The cafe’s menu also offers pasta, soups, mini quiches, flatbread pizzas, eight types of sandwiches, prepackaged salads, eight types of cookies, four types of pastries, four half-baked sundaes, a variety of mini-cakes, and more.

Hannah Finkelshtein and Yosef Fruhman at Crunch Cafe.

The cafe is owned and operated by Miriam Brickman, a recent graduate of Rutgers-Newark, and her brother Buzzy Brickman, a Rutgers Honors College senior. Asked about her vision for the cafe, Miriam told The Jewish Link that she sees it as an ideal location for students and/or faculty to meet and eat together, a great place to study, and added that the cafe looks forward to becoming an approved vendor for Rutgers University. She noted that the prices of most items in the cafe are priced to be competitive with offerings in the area.

The Crunch Cafe is under the supervision of the Vaad HaRabanim of Raritan Valley. It is located in the Eva and Arie Halpern Hillel House on the Wilf Family Campus at 70 College Ave., and is open on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-5:30 pm.

Devorah Weinberg, left, and friends study together at Crunch Cafe.

“The staff and students at Rutgers Hillel are thrilled to have the Crunch Cafe at Rutgers Hillel,” said Rabbi Esther Reed, chief experience officer at Rutgers Hillel. “Their delicious kosher dairy menu is a delight!”

To see the Crunch Cafe’s full menu, go to www.crunchcafenj.com/menu. To place an order in advance or to ask questions, send an email to [email protected].


Harry Glazer is the Middlesex County Editor of The Jewish Link. He can be reached at [email protected]

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