Activities & Hidden Gems in the Claremont Village

Article and photos by Shivani Manivasagan and Shreya Balaji

If you’re looking for nearby off-campus adventures, the Claremont Village is most Mudders’ go-to. While the Village is well-known to Mudders for its açaí and sweet treats, it has so many more niche places. Read on to find out about the Village’s hidden gems, and we hope you try out some of these places next time you visit!


Need an escape from the Hoch? The Village has you covered with practically any cuisine you’re craving.


If you’re looking for Mexican-Latin food, Petiscos is a hidden hole-in-the-wall in a beautiful location! They have an outdoor seating area with wooden picnic tables, lots of plants, and colorful Mexican flags and lights criss-crossing above. We loved their cactus burritos, street corn, and horchata (definitely an upgrade from the Hoch’s horchata machine).

Also check out: Menkoi Ya Ramen (known for its delicious ramen bowls), Bua Thai (a popular choice for rice and noodles), Viva Madrid (a women-owned Spanish restaurant), Cafe X2O (for Mediterranean cuisine), Espiau’s (a Mexican restaurant with big portions), and Uno Tre Otto (a fancier option for Italian food — bring your parents here!) 

Desserts & Birthday Sweets

Do you also spend too much time planning birthday parties for your friends? These places will help you organize parties with the best treats! Bert & Rocky’s has many unique ice cream flavors — Maple Walnut, Chocolate n’ Orange, Debbie’s Double Devil’s Food Delight, and more. You can also mix and match half scoops for a great price. Some Crust Bakery has cupcakes, cakes, and enormous cookies. And at A Kline Chocolatier, you can customize a box of chocolates for any dessert-lover in your life. 

Also check out: 21 Choices, Crème Bakery, I Like Pie Bakeshop

Cafés and Refreshments

Upgrade your bagel experience by going to 42nd Street Bagel Café! This business is probably the supplier of the Mudd Café’s bagels, but it has many more options as well as interesting flavors of cream cheese — including garlic herb, pumpkin (offered from Sept. to Dec.), and our favorite, honey nut raisin. The cafe’s walls are covered in Broadway musical posters that provide that authentic New York City experience!

Also check out: Cheese Cave (to get cheese platters), Norema Café (for refreshing fruit teas), The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (known for its iced coffee selections), Ubatuba Açaí (our personal favorite place in the Village to get açaí bowls), and T&JOY (to satisfy that boba craving!)


Claremont Packing House

The Packing House truly is a hidden gem in the heart of the Village. It has fancy restaurants (that are actually open past 6 p.m., unlike the rest of the Village) perfect for a night out, vintage thrift stores, and locally-sourced arts and crafts shops.

Some highlights of the Packing House include The Giving (a boutique that donates to people in need), The Claremont Forum (a nonprofit bookstore and art gallery in the Prison Library), and Claremont Chef’s Academy (a culinary school that offers cooking classes and themed birthday parties). There is also an embroidery and yarn shop called Phebie’s NeedleArt, handmade soap and candle stores, sustainable jewelry for sale, and the Node Plant House.

Every Friday from 6-9 p.m. the Packing House hosts an art gallery featuring local artists. All are welcome to attend — and if you’re lucky, you might also hear a harpist playing music as you walk past the stores, as we did! 

Farmers Market

The Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out beautiful pottery, embroidery, and art displays while listening to live music. They also sell succulents — we got a vibrant pink cactus! Their fruit baskets, produce, bread, and fresh jam are also delicious additions to your pantry.


Want to spend a nice sunny day outside? Take a stroll down to the Village Plaza and sit by the fountains, and then go on over to Shelton Park to enjoy your açaí from Pepo Melo! Across from Ubatuba Açaí, you can sit at a table adjacent to a large mural.


Laemmle Claremont 5 Theater is the perfect spot to go when ASHMC CAP provides movie ticket subsidies! We love a movie theater that really knows its audience here in Claremont — they’ve streamed Adventures of a Mathematician!


We Mudders love our wheels, and though these places may be a bit more pricey than your local bike shop at home, it’s fun to window shop for skateboards and look at different styles. These places can also repair your vehicles upon request.


If you’re looking for a place to vibe, you can browse the shelves of Rhino Records while enjoying the music. You can also pop into Folk Music Center and J. Brown Violin Maker to marvel at the craftsmanship and instruments!

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