Friday 20 November 2009

Gluttonous Travels: Greedy Diva Bites the Big Apple - New York, USA (Part 1 - Breakfast, brunch and coffee)

New York, New York!! In a city of over 20,000 restaurants, not even counting Magnolia Bakery, just where does a Greedy Diva begin in this fabulous foodie city?

The Peanut Gallery and I have quite a taste for the Big Apple, and when in town we have a habit of waking up wide eyed at 5am to bound around the city from end to end, trying to squeeze in as many meals, burgers, hot dogs and cupcakes as our ever expanding gullets will hold.

So here we are again in the city that never sleeps. Here are some of my favourite food spots from trips gone by, supplemented by our latest discoveries this week. I've broken it into parts to aid digestion.

Part 1: Breakfast/Brunch

    Balthazar Bakery
  • Balthazar: Beautiful French bistro, in the heart of Soho. Soak up the bustling atmosphere over some Eggs en Cocotte and the New York Times. Love it! Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and afters. The gorgeous bakery next door is great for take away cakes, coffee and doughnuts (ok, donuts - when in Rome...). 80 Spring Street, Soho. Balthazar on Urbanspoon
  • Bubby's: Huge American style breakfasts - for when more is more. Try the huge stack of blueberry pancakes, or a southern style fry up with home fries or grits. Wear elasticised trackies and don't look back. Not for the faint hearted (nor raw food devotees). 120 Hudson Street, Tribeca. Bubby's on Urbanspoon
  • Bouley Bakery: Sample the fresh baked goods, coffee, desserts, soups, salads and sandwiches from Chef David Bouley's bakery, next to his well known restaurant. A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Yum. 120 West Broadway.
  • Public: Why do we always forget New York Sunday brunch hours when we come here? Public looks fabulous - if only I could (1) arrive when its open (after 12pm on a Sunday) and (2) get a table - I have only stared down other diners while jealously hovering over them on 2 sequential NY trips now. Check out the vanilla brioche French toast with star anise poached plums, amaretto marscapone and fresh basil. Public also comes recommended by my new and trusted foodie friend, Michael. And its just been awarded a Michelin Star. Another reason to haul myself back to New York asap (as if I needed one...). 210 Elizabeth Street. Public on Urbanspoon
  • Cafe Select
  • Cafe Select: For a decent brekkie with the locals, we stumbled upon Cafe Select. My fruit salad was ordinary (too much apple, not enough exotica), but TPG's Eggs Palais Federal (2 poached eggs with hunks of ham off the bone and hollandaise) were excellent. 212 Lafayette Street, NoLita Café Select on Urbanspoon

  • Pastis: Another tried and tested brunch spot, although I prefer it for lunch - see my Lunch tips to follow in Part 2.
  • Do New York hot dogs count as breakfast? 


Always on the prowl for a decent espresso in the land of filter coffee, here are the results of some extensive research, with particular thanks to The Peanut Gallery who did the original leg work on most of these while shopping for sneakers (the man needs his coffee)...

Joe: Best strong cup of espresso I've sampled in NY to date. Smooth, rich and they make the lattes "flat white" style. Feel the buzz. 141 Waverly Place, West Village Joe on Urbanspoon

9th Street Espresso

  • 9th Street Espresso: Looks so promising, but the espresso was mediocre - big cups, too milky, although the flavour was ok. Minimalist setting. Might be worth another burl if you are in the area and specify your desired milk to coffee ratio...if you care that much. 700 East 9th Street, East Village

  • Gimme! Coffee: Good quality coffee, and conveniently placed for some serious shopping. 228 Mott Street, NoLita Gimme! Coffee on Urbanspoon
  • City Girl Cafe: A good coffee, if sometimes a little weak, using Stumptown organic coffee beans. The chilli chocolate balls are a must if you're stopping by. 63 Thompson Street, Soho
  • Cafe Ost
  • Cafe Ost: A fun new discovery, courtesy of one of New York's latest and greatest foodie residents, Susie. As the sun streams in the windows, sip a decent latte surrounded by trendy students and workers with their Mac laptops abuzz. 441 East 12th Street, East Village Ost Cafe on Urbanspoon
  • Balthazar Bakery: See above, but worth another mention. Not the most amazing coffee in town, but fairly decent for a takeway option, particularly when coupled up with a delicious cinnamon doughnut/donut. 80 Spring Street, Soho
  • Olive's
  • Olive's:  Gorgeous shop with just better than mediocre coffee - but at least the small cup option is available among NY's jungle of milky grandes. Strictly takeaway only. Also good for takeaway sandwiches, cookies, fruit salad and snacks. Service is brusque. 120 Prince Street
  • Abraco: Closed every time we make the trip to the lower East Side (it's closed Mondays). But we have a feeling this could be "the one". 86 East 7th Street, East Village
Many of the lunch spots to follow in my Part 2 tips are also great for brekkie/brunch. If only my fingers could keep up with my stomach... stay tuned.


  1. The Voice of Doom22 November, 2009

    My tummy is rumbling loudly for the next Big Apple installment (gotta love a city with food in its nickname), bring it on GD it must be lunchtime by now!

  2. Patience, patience VoD - There's been a bit of a time lag between chomps. Hope you like the next installment!


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