The American drama series, The Sopranos, has serious ties right here in North Jersey. However, there is one spot in particular that is true and close to the series’ roots. The beloved Bloomfield spot, Holsten’s Ice Cream, Chocolate + Restaurant sits right at 1063 Broad Street and happened to be the spot in which the The Sopranos’ series finale was filmed. Not only is this a must-see spot for The Sopranos fans, but if you’re into old-school-style shops, Holsten’s is the place to see. From ice cream with classic flavors to candy to chocolate, Holsten’s can satisfy any sweet cravings and nostalgia. Read on to learn more about Holsten’s Ice Cream, Chocolate + Restaurant.
All About Holsten’s Ice Cream, Chocolate + Restaurant
Holsten’s has been in business since 1939, which means it is 84 years old, and it is so much more than ice cream, milkshakes, egg creams, and sundaes. It also serves up burgers, sandwiches, and omelets. Patrons can even bring home a box of homemade chocolate such as orange cream and hazelnut truffle. All of the chocolates and candies are also homemade — and the team sells gift boxes of these goodies, which make for a thoughtful + delicious present for the holidays.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the booths were filled with families and groups of teenagers feasting on hot dogs and crinkle fries smothered in ketchup. The young and friendly wait staff worked behind a counter, scooping dishes of ice cream into metal ice cream bowls in flavors such as coconut chip, black raspberry, and s’mores. Served with a cherry and whipped cream on top, of course.
Read More: The Best Northern NJ Ice Cream Shops to Try
The shop opened as Strubbe’s Ice Cream Parlor and became Martin & Holsten’s before officially becoming established as Holsten’s. Ronald Stark and Christopher Carley have owned and operated the restaurant since 1999, but they have been part of it since they were teenagers — working at the restaurant and waiting on customers. Though so much has changed in the world since Holsten’s first opened, the owners are dedicated to maintaining Holsten’s culture and have worked hard to ensure it keeps its old-fashioned look and traditions. In our age of technology and constant connection, there’s something really special about dining somewhere that is so steeped in nostalgia.
“That’s why it hasn’t changed much over the years,” Ronald said. “It’s like taking a step back in time.”
Holsten’s Link to The Sopranos
The famous Sopranos table has a “Reserved” sign, a tribute to the late actor James Gandolfini who shot the final scene of the series in that booth. The Sopranos episode made Holsten’s a destination for fans of the series, who also regularly order onion rings to recreate Tony’s last meal. Though some restaurants might not love the tv-enthusiasts who frequently visit, Holsten’s welcomes the fans. The wait staff cheerfully points out the table for anyone wanting to get a look. Pro tip: it’s the middle row, third booth — and yes, it’s available for diners to eat there.
Holsten’s is also a stop on a Sopranos Site Tour — which also includes visits to St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church and Skyway Diner, both in Kearny. Holsten’s also appeared in the prequel, The Many Saints of Newark with Michael Gandolfini, who shot scenes outside and at the counter.
Holston’s is open Mondays through Saturdays from 11AM to 10PM and Sundays from 12PM to 10PM. Just so you know, if you’re wanting to sit at The Sopranos booth, definitely come prepared to wait — but we personally think it’s well worth the wait. To learn more, be sure to check out the website.