The historic downtowns up here in northern New Jersey are full of cool businesses. But the suburbs, and the commercial properties that line them? They rarely get a 2nd look from me. Malls, strip malls, and drive-thrus usually have little to offer that's unique or special.
Yet between suburbs, on a strip mall property, in some kind of repurposed drive through bank building, stands Twisted Tulip - an independent coffee shop with all the signs of a modern, hipster caffeination station in Livingston, NJ.
The interior space is cool, the staff is friendly, and the barista has made me as good an oat milk cortado as I've ever had, anywhere. This is, no joke, exactly the kind of place I would absolutely not expect to find here.
Thank you Twisted Tulip. You have smashed a norm I internalized a long time ago, and brought an amazing coffee experience close to home.