coffee diaries | the local market & kitchen

"Taylor, you'd love this place." That was the first I've heard of The Local Market in Ship Bottom, NJ, from my mom, who knows a good pick when she sees one. On our morning outings, this place is the exact thing we look for. Something new, cutting-edge, and exceeding our expectations. We've been talking more and more about what it would be like to open our own cafe...and I am pretty sure it would be just like this! It is literally PERFECT, and I can't wait to share about it to all of you coffee and beach lovers out there!

So...let me preface this post by stating a few things to help you understand my very strong enthusiasm (!!!) about this place...

a) It's located in the heart of Long Beach Island...my childhood vacation spot/eternal happy place.
b) the baristas have beautiful latte art skills! 
c) it's not just a cafe...it's not just a market...it's both!
d) The interior is jawdroppingly gorgeous, bright and clean
e) Italian coffee and espresso (ahhh, all the heart eyes!)

I've pretty much given it away in those points right there, but seriously the vibes of this coffeehouse are so unreal. It is chic, trendy, but beachy-classic. 

Some of my favorite parts of this beachy interior are the custom benches and furniture made from reclaimed wood. The whole interior reminds me of a cross between Australian coastal cool and classy, elegant, small-town charm. So much attention went into the details here. Above the windows, little wooden plaques adorn the perimeter of the ceiling to remember the hurricanes from the past several years. Not a detail went unnoticed, including the little vases of wildflowers perfectly arranged on each table (they offer bunches for sale, too! swoon).

Now, let's get to the whole reason we are here...the coffee. I ordered a latte at $4, but was impressed with the smoky and nutty taste before I even realized that they were using Lavazza coffee! I swear, these people were reading my mind...Italian coffee, or anything Italian, is the way to my heart. So, the latte was absolutely delicious. The kitchen offers other pastries and deli goods, like homemade italian breads braided with prosciutto, simple panini, cookies and croissants. They also have bagels, muffins, and fresh fruit - this doesn't even count the grocery part of the store (final photo) which includes everything from gourmet dips, fresh-pressed juices, organic snacks, pasta, fish, and meats. Outside, surrounding the store is a pergola with bountiful flowers, heaping hanging baskets, and small garden wares that are also for sale. Who thought of this place, and how can I meet them to shake their hand in congratulations? You've done it - created the cafe of my dreams, on my favorite island in the world. 

The tricky thing is the location - LBI is notoriously tricky in this way. Located a block or so off the main boulevard, the Local Market and Kitchen is an easy walk in between the beach and the bay. If you've been to LBI before, you know it's really narrow and takes only minutes to walk from ocean-to-bay, depending on what town you're in.  Once you're around, though, you can't miss this place because it offers great parking (bike friendly, too) and takes up a whole corner with its plentiful outdoor seating, garden, and signage. 

LBI has just gained another amazing cafe worth checking out! 

604 Central Avenue
Ship Bottom, New Jersey


summer moscow mule

S got me hooked on moscow mules last winter when we made them for the first time together on NYE. These little babies are not only beautiful in presentation, but s-t-r-o-n-g when made with the ingredients we bought! I'm not much of a recipe follower, but we found one that called for four simple and easy to find ingredients. Just add the copper mug and you've got an elegant, 1940s-era cocktail ready to be sipped. Now they are kind of our signature drink :)

The absolute, hands-down most important thing to get right about this drink is the ginger beer. S and I have had trouble finding Crabbie's ginger beer lately, but this is the beer to have as the base of your drink! It is delicious, but makes makes the Moscow Mule pack a completely unexpected punch. It tastes like ginger ale, but has a spicier flavor that ginger ale can't quite cut. The beer is a little expensive, but it is completely worth it - don't skimp on this part!

I am also a big lime person, so I added some fresh limes in addition to the lime juice (it can be found in the grocery store near the margarita mix).

Lastly - the mugs! S was so right about this one - you need the mug for this drink to taste and feel like the elegant 40's cocktail that it is. They are not only beautiful pieces of hardware that will look great in a cabinet or bar cart, but they are timeless and pretty easy to find. We found ours at Bed Bath and Beyond (link below) and ended up buying 6 or so more because my family wanted to add their own set to their collection!

If you're interested, these are the ingredients we used (and loved): copper mug / crabbie's ginger beer  / rose's lime juice / limes / ice 

And the recipe, along with some other summery takes on the drink, can be found at this amazing site

happy sipping! ciao, xo