Best Breakfasts in New York

By Go City Expert

Looking for the best breakfasts in New York? Of course you are.

Whether it's the classic eggs, toast and bacon, or perhaps something with avocado, breakfast – as mom knows – is still the most important meal of the day. And with our recommendations for the best breakfasts in New York, it can also be the best.

Sadelle’s

Sadelle’s bagel tower will give you reason to live – or at least, to get through your day. It’s the ultimate you-can-take-your-grandma-but-you-can-also-take-your cool-cousin place to go for brunch or breakfast. You must order that bagel tower—the bagels are reasonably sized, not giant, so you won’t feel guilty if you eat, say, six.

You’ll also want whitefish salad, or perhaps some smoked salmon. Get several sticky buns to start—yes, it’s that kind of place. It has just the right vibe of homey and trendy, so get those cameras ready – this will be all over your feed before you’ve had coffee. Definitely one of the ten best breakfasts in New York!

Sadelle’s bagel tower is now a New York must-be-tried classic

Barney Greengrass

If you’re looking for one of the best breakfasts in New York, walk into Barney Greengrass. When you enter Barney Greengrass, the famous New York institution that’s been around since 1908, you’ll be greeted by scratched tables, piles of boxes, and narrow pathways. Anywhere else, that might be a sign to leave. Here, it’s a sign that you’re in the right place.

The “sturgeon king” is the place to go for lox, eggs, and onions, bagels and cream cheese, potato pancakes, and classic matzoh ball soup (preferably all in one meal.) You’ll feel stuffed and comforted when you leave, but you should probably get half a pound of rugelach (crescent-shaped pastries) to take with you, just in case you want a nosh later.

Boqueria

One of the best-kept secrets at the buzzy Boqueria is their stellar breakfast. You can go with the prix-fixe option or put together your own spread. You’ll find the traditional (eggs, potatoes, toast) but why not try specialties like house-made chorizo, a tortilla Espanola, or Arroz Negro—black rice, avocado, poached eggs, spinach and fresh herbs?

And definitely save room for the churros with chocolate.

Whether on a sandwich or in your eggs, avocados are everywhere at breakfast

CIinton St. Baking Company

There are pancakes...and then there are the pancakes at Clinton St. Baking. Order the blueberry or chocolate chip – they’re so indescribably good, you’ll wonder what you’ve been eating all these years. Slather on plenty of the warm maple butter because... warm maple butter, duh.

The fried chicken and waffles is also a solid choice, as is the Brioche French toast. But those pancakes...One caveat: Be prepared to wait. And wait. No matter when you go, there’s a line. It’s worth it. These are pretty much the best pancakes you will ever have, and by far one of the best breakfasts in New York.

Impossible-to-resist fluffy pancakes are worth seeking out

Westway Diner

Sometimes you just want diner food. When that urge strikes at breakfast, head to the Westway Diner. This is the place to go when everyone wants something different. You and your BFF can get scrambled eggs and hash browns, Aunt Mary can have a waffle, and your sister can have the cheese blintzes with sour cream.

The menu is extensive, the food is good, and the prices are bearable (it’s still New York, remember.) And just in case you feel like a walk on the wild side, friend shrimp and stuffed grape leaves are also available in the morning hours.

Sarabeth’s

Another of New York’s best breakfasts is at New York institution Sarabeth’s, which is beloved both for its inviting-yet-homey interior as well as the done-right comfort foods. At breakfast, the oatmeal is stellar, the fat and fluffy French Toast (their words) is, yep, fat and fluffy, and the omelets are delicious.

Though the restaurant gives off a faint ladies-who-lunch vibe, just dive in and order the Four Flowers Juice (orange, pineapple, banana and pomegranate) and start your day off right.

One of New York’s 10 best breakfasts includes oatmeal with a variety of mix-ins!

Buvette

The lovely Buvette is the place to go when you’re in the mood for Parisian vibes – or just avoiding your actual life by spending a long time sipping espresso and gazing into space.

You can sample the dreamily named “Les Oeufs vapeur" (steamed eggs); “Oeufs Americaine" (is there is a hint of reproach in there?), or just be chic and nibble on an almond croissant. Don’t forget to sigh heavily and make lots of comments about your screenplay.

Try an egg – or three – in one of New York’s stellar breakfasts

Marlow & Sons

When it’s time to feel impossibly hip, head to Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn. Of course it’s in Brooklyn.

You can try the egg sandwich (cheddar, pickled chili mayo, and sautéed greens or salad). Or perhaps the egg and rice bowl? It’s filled with kimchi, greens, and furikake (a dry Japanese seasoning typically made with dried fish, seaweed, and sesame seeds.)

You can also get a croissant or a muffin – but just know that your coolness factor will go down exponentially if you do.

Head to Brooklyn to find one of the city’s best breakfasts

Community Food & Juice

When you think of the word “breakfast,” you probably think of the kind of food that’s served at Community Food & Juice. Try the biscuit sandwich with egg, cheese and sausage (you’ll never have a fast-food version again); the Eggs Benedict, or the oatmeal, although it’s hard to go wrong.

It’s all served in a big, airy space that invites lingering--and linger you will. Definitely one of our picks for one of the best breakfasts in New York!

Start your day right with a great breakfast before heading out exploring the city with The New York Pass®. You'll make great savings on attraction admission vs. paying at the gate.

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Pass It On: Erin Roach's VIP Day Out

Back in sunny July, we decided to give one of you something amazing. Two day-long New York Passes, a VIP Tour of the Empire State Building, a $150 gift card to State Grill, the Empire State Building's beloved restaurant, and pedestal tickets to the Statue Of Liberty. All we asked for in return? A little story about your favorite hidden gem in New York, be it a street food cart that amazed you, a bookstore that inspired you or hairdresser who gave you the best bangs ever. And in August, we picked our winner. Erin Roach stole the show with her inspiring story about 'Westsider Rare and Used Books' on the Upper West Side. So we sent her two well-deserved passes with all the trimmings, with only two instructions to follow: have as much fun as you can, and let us know all about it. This is Erin, and her mother's, tale. Day One: The Journey Begins On any normal day leaving the house at 6am would have seemed a form of punishment, but this was an exception. Operating solely on caffeine and adrenaline, we made our way to Manhattan via a somewhat out-of-the-way (but completely rewarding) layover in New Orleans, which we may or may not have booked entirely to get beignets. Lady Liberty greeted our LaGuardia-bound flight before we landed to sunny skies and unseasonably warm weather. Our Super Shuttle driver provided us with an additional and somewhat unexpected tour of Harlem, which our fellow passengers did not appreciate. My mother and I, however, took in all the sights and sounds, as if we had never left the house our entire lives. We arrived at our hotel a little worse for wear but buzzing from all we’d already seen. Our room on the 23rd floor presented us with a glittering view of the city, which was just donning its evening attire of sparkling lights. Enchanting. Grabbing an unneeded umbrella and a power charger, we made our way to the Rock Center Café in Rockefeller Center for a much-needed meal. The restaurant’s view of Prometheus is enough to delight, but being the dark-humored people that we are, we mostly enjoy seeing the rookie ice skaters fall down. I’m definitely not much of an athlete, but you also won’t find me pulling my way around the rink wall. Parents marionette their well-meaning but clumsy children onto the ice in droves. It’s hard to say who is less inclined to be there in the first place. It’s hilarious. It’s a must-see in my opinion. Day Two: Renita, Jewel of the Empire State Building After waking up in the city that doesn’t sleep, we made our way to 50th Street to meet up with our tour guide for the On Location Tours New York TV and Movie Sites Tour. I find that even if you’re not a movie fan, (which I happen to be) the bus tours offered in Manhattan are a wonderful way to see the city without walking your feet down to nubs. We toured 5th Avenue, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Washington Square Park, Midtown and the Meatpacking District. Our tour guide Roseanne pointed out celebrity homes and shooting locations while providing related clips. As if that wasn’t enough, we were given a black and white cookie for our time. Nothing says New York like a black and white cookie. After stopping for a brief lunch at the Seinfeld-fabled Soup Man (also seen on our tour) we made our way downtown to do a bit of thrift store shopping ala Carrie Bradshaw. We were even able to pop into the Starbucks Reserve Roastery without the golden ticket supposedly needed for admission. Willy Wonka himself would be hard-pressed - pun intended - to find a more exciting café. We decided it best to get our Hawaiian blends to go and made our way back to the hotel with just enough time to change before catching the train to our VIP Empire State Building tour. So many visitors seem apprehensive to use the subway to get around, but it can be an attraction in itself. In the few days, we were in the city, we passed gospel singers, violinists, orchestras and shamisen players. Also, we didn’t get caught in traffic once. The doorman at the 34th Street entrance greeted us and ushered us indoors. We waited only a few moments before Renita, the world’s best tour guide, met us in the lobby. I had been to the Empire State Building once before, but this was my mother’s first time. I think it may have ruined all future trips for me. Renita was warm and knowledgeable. She led us past the lines and down a red carpet, ending at a private VIP lounge. Champagne was promptly uncorked and our tour began as we were comfortably seated in the plush green room. Surrounded by memorabilia of previous celebrity guests, we were provided with a private bathroom and makeup room, as well as a live stream camera to take photos for their website. Did I mention champagne? There was also champagne. We felt very metropolitan. Renita explained the history of the art, the architecture, the marble, the construction and the renovation. She seemed to be more of a fixture there than King Kong, who we also ran into along the way. We were escorted to the front of the line at each exhibit and photo op, as any proper VIP should. We rode an express elevator to the exclusive 102nd floor, which offered a floor to ceiling glass view of the city in all of its 360-degree splendor before descending to the 86th floor observatory to mingle with all the commoners who were not afforded our posh lifestyle. It’s nice to rub elbows with those less fortunate once in a while. I had arranged for dinner at 8:30 after our tour, but misgauged a bit and arrived early. Renita proved invaluable yet again, speaking to the hostess on our behalf and moving the reservation up. I’m sure there are many great guides available on the VIP tour, but I truly can’t imagine having one as wonderful as she was. Renita was truly was the highlight of our day. Dinner at the State Grill and Bar was a delight. After our reservation adjustment, we were promptly seated by the window in a warm candlelit booth. We feasted on cheese plates, honeycomb, olives, pumpkin salad and seafood before reaching the limit of digestive endurance over a piece of chocolate cake. Agonizingly full, and having adored every moment of our meal, we rolled home. Day Three: Modern Art, and the Books that Brought Me Here “Don’t you just love New York in the fall? Makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a freshly sharpened bouquet of pencils if I knew your name and address.” Nora Ephron understood New York better than anyone and her true love was the Upper West Side. The setting of such films as You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally, it offers an unparalleled charm. It’s also home to the New York Gem that afforded me this trip when I wrote about it as part of the Pass It On Giveaway: 'Westsider Rare and Used Books'. I was surprised to see they had taken on a new employee since my last visit, a furry black cat named Pig. He was extremely hospitable, although he didn’t provide many recommendations. I left with Steve Martin’s Pure Drivel and a signed copy of Tarzan on Broadway before heading across the street to soak up all the aromas of Zabars. Sadly, this was not a free sample day. We begrudgingly departed the Upper West Side and made our way across Central Park in time for our lunch reservations at the Central Park Boathouse. If the lake views and fall foliage weren’t enough reason to visit, the pressed octopus and pretzel rolls should be. After lunch, we strolled beneath golden canopies of turning leaves and past musicians and street performers. A stranger asked if we would mind taking a picture of him standing naked in the Bethesda fountain. We declined. I love New York! Uniqlo sponsors free admission night on Fridays at the MoMA, so we were thrilled to hear it had reopened after a lengthy renovation just in time for our visit. We spent the rest of the evening viewing the many works there before retiring to Junior’s for dinner. Their cheesecake is not to be missed. We were too full. We missed it. Next time. Day Four: We Just 'Met', and a Walkabout Saturday was the day we had chosen to use our New York Pass. It was also, unfortunately, the day the trip started to catch up with us, so we slept in a bit. We were able to function after a couple gallons of coffee and arrived just in time to meet our tour guide George in front of the world-renowned Plaza Hotel for our On Location Tours Central Park TV and Movie Sites Tour. We were able to take in all the sites I had wanted to see on previous trips but had never taken the time to scout out. We visited the rink from Serendipity, the bridge from Home Alone 2 and The Mall from Kramer vs Kramer. Each site was more illuminated with the rapidly changing colors of the season, without all that pesky cold. Our guide was delightfully snarky and well-informed and kept the tour going at a good pace. Our second tour of the day, When Harry Met Seinfeld, was canceled due to unforeseen and unexplained circumstances, so we used lunch as an excuse to return to the Upper West Side and grab a nova sandwich at Café Lalo (the café where Joe Fox meets Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail). Freshly fueled and lightly rested, we headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to rack up another use of our New York Pass. We had planned to visit the Top of the Rock Observatory, but got distracted by something shiny and stayed until the Met had closed. After a brief hike and short train ride, we ended our day in the corner booth of Sardi’s. Day Five: Storm Over the Statue Sunday was, unfortunately, our last day. And the wettest. We had arranged for our Statue of Liberty pedestal tickets this day, much to our chagrin. After arriving at Ferry Street Station, we opted for a brief rest before continuing our swim through Battery Park. Walking against the wind with our pants legs soaked to the hip, we battled our way into the ticket pickup location, come hell or high water. We presented our soggy passes to the security officer, who directed us upstream past a forsaken umbrella case and a family of huddled trash bag wearers. Give us Liberty or give us death. I’m sure some would have found this experience less than ideal, including the gentleman in front of us whose wife commented she was “sure having a blast”. But my mother and I are always up for an adventure. The sea was as angry as....well, that old man in front of us as we departed from the harbor. We managed to procure a seat before we began heaving towards Liberty Island. I wondered aloud if we should have stayed on deck? It was still monsooning, but what better place to get a picture? We made our way to the stern, colliding with other onlookers in a deluge of humanity. I snapped a quick picture of Lady Liberty while my mom snapped a picture of me wincing as the rain pummeled me into oblivion. Memories. We departed the ferry and reassembled our battered umbrellas before trudging to the pedestal like Lewis and Clark. We were wet and broken, but our resolve was absolute. My umbrella caught the wind and whipped backwards while my mother wrapped her soggy trench coat over her purse. We were explorers. We ascended to the pedestal, and stepped onto the observation deck. I’m told you could see the city from there, but all I saw were my long tresses of hair reaching from the sides of my face to blind me. My umbrella screamed in agony as we reentered the structure. “Wanna go again?” I asked. “That’s ok” my mother replied. We returned back to the ferry. “Did you still want to stop at Ellis Island?” I asked hesitantly. “I mean, I’d still kinda like to see it” she replied, undaunted by the experience. The clock was betraying me and I knew we didn’t have much time left on our whirlwind tour of NY, so we stopped at Ellis Island long enough to take in the 30-minute movie and peruse the gift shop before heading back to Lower Manhattan. Even with two broken umbrellas and soaked clothing, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. The battle we faced was nothing compared to that of those that originally traveled here to seek freedom and a new life. As someone who has been to the city many times, I had never been to the Statue of Liberty before and I felt so glad to have an opportunity to see it. I’m not sure it would have had the same impact on a sunny day. So, even if the weather isn’t what you’d hoped for, you should still take the opportunity to visit. The lines were greatly reduced and the museum and exhibits are indoors. Just allow a change of clothes or dress like the Gordon’s fisherman. We had just enough time to make a final pilgrimage to the Upper West Side one last time. Zabar’s greeted us with hot soup and an incredibly tardy sunny sky. We people watched from the bar seating before pillaging the connecting market and beginning our stroll back to the hotel. Finale There’s a reason so many songs have been written about New York. Where else can you see the things we were able to experience in just five days-time? So many people translate “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” to mean once you’ve been you can handle anything, but perhaps what they mean is you can literally make Manhattan be anywhere you want it to be. It can be China. It can be Italy. It can be an enchanted forest. It can be whatever you need it to be. If you’ve been to New York, I think you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t been, what are you waiting for? “It’s up to you. New York, NY.”
Dom Bewley
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What to do on Thanksgiving

When the turkey has been eaten and the last piece of pie has been fought over, what is there to do on Thanksgiving in New York? Plenty, as it turns out. We’ve got the scoop on what to do on Thanksgiving post-feasting, below. Radio City Rockettes The rest of us may be chowing down on turkey on Thanksgiving Day, but The Rockettes are still Rockette-ing--and several times, too. Seeing them is a great way to kick off (ha ha) the holiday season—there is almost nothing quite as festive. All dancing, all singing and plenty of special effects, this is the show that will charm your whole family. (Even cynical teens have been known to crack a smile or two.) It’s what to do on Thanksgiving! (And also check out the Rockefeller Tree lighting at Rockefeller Center with the New York Pass! Holiday Markets When the turkey has been eaten, it’s time to start holiday shopping! Or at least browsing. This is a good day to head to one of the holiday markets that spring up across the city. Especially if you’re traveling, a great one to check out is the Grand Central Terminal holiday market. (You can get something both coming and going!) This market focuses on American made products; it’s the place to get toys, accessories, and home goods—plus it’s indoors. While you’re there, don’t forget to gaze at the glorious station interior—an added plus. Central Park Zoo If it’s a nice day, a brisk walk in Central Park with the zoo as your destination should be high on your list. The small zoo is the perfect size to see in an afternoon or morning. At 6.5 acres, it encompasses four different sections—Polar (including penguins, always a favorite); Tropics (the rainforest area) the Central Garden (Sea lions) and Temperate (Red Pandas!). If you’ve got wee ones with you, don’t forget the Children’s Zoo. And make sure to watch at least one animal feeding—you can’t go wrong with the sea lions. Staten Island Ferry Looking for something that won’t set you back money-wise on Thanksgiving? How does free sound? The Staten Island Ferry is one of the last vestiges of a ferry system that predates most bridges in the city—and it’s free. Seventy thousand people a day (not including weekends) take the ferry--and you can join the masses. You’ll get a fun (if cold) ride, a great view of the city and the harbor, and a chance to burn off some of those pie and stuffing calories. [caption id="attachment_3202" align="alignnone" width="1250"] Photo Courtesy Trevor Gherardi[/caption] Empire State Building While many tourist attractions close down on major holidays, The Empire State Building, the art deco masterpiece that dates back to 1931, isn’t one of them. (It’s actually open every day of the year.) You can choose from a variety of packages (and makes sure to go only if the weather is good and there's no fog--you want those stellar views.) If you were wondering, the building is 1454 feet tall. Make sure to check out the Observation Deck, and see everything that’s offered at the Visitor’s Center. Want the scoop on the Rockettes’ holiday show? Check this out!
Go City Expert
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Great Places To Do Your Holiday Shopping

When you shop for the holidays, you want your gifts to be cool, personal, chic, fun, and thoughtful. A tall order, yes, but New York is the place where you can actually fulfill it. We've rounded up great places to do your holiday shopping in New York, so you can just have the fun of actually choosing the gifts. The Transit Museum Gift Shop Truly, this is one of the most fun—and underappreciated—places to shop for holiday gifts. You’ll find a ton of New York and transit-themed gifts (yes, that’s a thing.) Jewelry made with subway tokens—oddly cool. Lots of great metro card cases—we can all use at least one of those, and we’re partial to the one with the subway map, because, two birds with one stone. They’ve got coffee table books, fun collectibles (special edition metrocards, incredible model trains, and even socks, scarves, and A-train baby rompers—hey, one day that kid is going to ride the subway too.) Truly one of the great places to do your holiday shopping in New York. [caption id="attachment_3092" align="alignnone" width="2400"] (Photo courtesy The Transit Museum.)[/caption] Brooklyn Flea Want a great place to do your holiday shopping? Brooklyn Flea is so cool that it doesn’t even have the word “market” in its name--you just need to know. The winter market is a great place to shop for gifts, partly because you have that element of surprise--what will you find today? (Note: It’s not the place to go if you know you absolutely want to get Cousin Millie a size M blue wool sweater.) But it is the place to go for just about everything else—jewelry and rugs, scarves and vintage clothing, even furniture and local crafts. Keep an eye out for antiques and collectibles—and you can always find stuff to munch so you can fuel up for the next round of the hunt. Bryant Park Holiday Market The holiday markets in New York are one the great announcers of the season—and also one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy the season and shop for gifts. The one at Bryant Market is especially good. The open-air market, inspired by ones in Europe, has a festive feel and a wide range of goodies, many that you won’t see everywhere else. You can find jewelry and robes made from hand-woven Turkish towels; candles and bath products; eco-friendly kids’ toys; and ornaments inspired by Bryant Park itself. And save room for food--both to eat and to pack up to give. Fancy a crepe? Or a pastrami sandwich? (Maybe not the best ones to pack up.) But just about anyone would be happy to get some adorable gingerbread people in their stockings. Pearl River Mart For plenty of stuff you didn’t know you either needed or wanted, Pearl River is your go-to. Its Asian-accented home furnishings and clothing is a New York staple. The store has fun, kitschy stuff, like porcelain chopstick holders shaped like fortune cookies; socks with sumo wrestlers or sushi (to be clear—not real ones); and Kung Fu Dragon fans (the kind you flutter provocatively in front of you). See? Your holiday list is practically shopping for itself. It’s a great--and enjoyable--place to do your holiday shopping. (Photo courtesy of Pearl River) Bloomingdales New York is no longer rife with department stores—Bloomingdales is one of the only holdouts. But if you’re looking for designer duds, chic accessories, or a well-curated selection of makeup to give as gifts, this is the place. (Plus, whatever you buy will come in a fun Bloomies bag.) Head to Bloomies for high-end wallets and scarves, handbags and lipsticks, sweaters and gloves (plus a few treats for yourself). The bag will elicit “oohs” from the receiver, and that’s a holiday win if we’ve ever heard of one. S. Feldman Housewares Feldman’s is the kind of place you might walk right by if you didn’t know the goodies that awaited you inside. It’s got great housewares, for starters—everything from cookware to vacuum cleaners. But it’s also got more unusual offerings—the kind that would make perfect gifts. You can get candles in beautiful glass containers, cool alarm clocks, and elegant tea kettles. But if you want to stray even further afield, you can also pick up a Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure, a solar-powered rainbow maker, and a container for keeping guacamole fresh. They’re also known for the tin toys that appear in their window around the holidays—check out the Ferris wheel, a perennial favorite. This is definitely one of the city’s great places to shop for holiday gifts. Photo courtesy S. Feldman McNally Jackson Whither thou goest, New York independent bookstores? Ah, there you are! The McNally Jackson bookstore carries bestsellers, but they also feature cool magazines you won’t find anywhere else; familiar and (possibly) unfamiliar kids’ books; plays; and travel guides. This is a great place to browse and to buy for your bookish friends. (Yes--there’s a cafe to keep you fueled.) A great place to do your holiday shopping! Looking for a way to get around while you do your holiday shopping? Check out our subway tips!
Go City Expert

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