When it comes to getting a proper breakfast in NYC, sometimes, a cup of coffee is all New Yorkers can manage. But remember, countless places serve morning meals that are quick and delicious. Menus also list options for those rare occasions when you aren’t pressed for time and can sit down and relax with a hearty plate. Whether you want an egg and cheese sandwich to go or a towering stack of pancakes with fresh berries, here are six great breakfasts places in NYC.
Lafayette, 380 Lafayette St
Serving food inspired by the heritage of French cooking, Lafayette is headed by established NYC Chef Andrew Carmellini. Warm and welcoming, the brasserie-styled interior makes you want to jet off on a European holiday. Do as the French do and grab a croissant with coffee from the bakery to go. Or sit down with the morning paper to smoked salmon Benedict on brioche with sauce choron. Dining with a friend? We suggest sharing the boulangerie basket with assorted pastries and breads served with confiture and Vermont butter.
City Bakery, 3 W 18th St
A six-day pastry course in France and passion for baking was all Maury Rubin needed to leave his TV directing job at ABC Sports and start City Bakery. That was in 1990, and it’s now one of NYC’s favorite pastry hubs thanks to Rubin’s mouthwatering creations, made from flavorful, in-season ingredients. Start the day off on a good foot with a blueberry corn muffin or mixed berry scone. With comparisons made to the unicorn, the original pretzel croissant is a must and partners superbly with the classic hot chocolate topped with a giant homemade marshmallow.
Café Gitane, 270 Lafayette St #1201
With its fashionable location on Mott Street in the Lower East Side, Café Gitane is known for its ultra-hip vibe. People come for the French-Moroccan fare, but stay to see and be seen. If your day starts before noon, the café is great spot to have breakfast. When just passing through, try the delectable blueberry and almond friand, or granola with raisins, cashews, fresh fruit, and yogurt. On a slower morning, feast on Cafe Gitane’s legendary avocado toast with chili flakes spread on seven-grain bread.
Ess-a-Bagel, 831 3rd Ave
In a city where the competition between bagels is fierce, Ess-a-Bagel stands out among the rest. Since 1976, carb-lovers from near and far have been flocking here to get their fix of soft, flavorful bagels, hand-rolled and baked fresh daily. Toppings go on with a heavy hand, and cream cheese options range from herb, sun-dried tomato, and jalapeno, to banana nut, chocolate chip, and strawberry. Expect a wait – Friday and weekend mornings are especially crowded. Patience pays off, though, because that first bite into an everything bagel with lox cream cheese and capers is life changing.
Buvette, 42 Grove St
From the setting to the menu, Chef Jody Williams excels on keeping things small and intimate. The atmosphere at French-inspired gastroteque Buvette is quaint, welcoming, and sure to put you in good spirits for the day ahead. But let’s talk about the food. Savory morning meals include the mushroom Croque-Madame with sunny-side egg, and multi-grain toast with smashed avocado, cucumbers, and spiced yogurt. For a sweet start, the Belgian waffle topped with raspberries, and whole wheat currant scone are solid choices. Wash every bite down with a freshly squeezed orange juice or house lemonade made with bitters and seltzer.
Viand, 673 Madison Ave
Located on the Upper East Side, this venerable neighborhood coffee shop doesn’t try to impress – and that’s part of its charm. Just a few two-person booths, a diner counter lined with stools, and brown and off-white color scheme define Viand’s modest interior. Nonetheless, the lengthy egg and omelet menu makes it a go-to breakfast spot for locals and tourists alike. And you can’t go wrong with a stack of pancakes smothered in butter and maple syrup with a side of sausage, now can you?
Where’s your favorite breakfast in NYC?
Viand photo by Sos C. via Yelp. Lafayette eggs Benedict photo by Lesley L via Yelp. City Bakery photo by Joanna H. via Yelp. Bagel photo via Ess-A-Bagel’s Facebook page. Cafe Gitane avocado toast photo by Kay L. via Yelp. Buvette Croque-Madame photo by Celine L. Via Yelp.