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Great Diner/Not-too-greasy-spoon Breakfast near Park & E. 30th

Hi there - I'll be in NYC in a couple of days and am looking for a place near where we'll be staying to grab a great breakfast - of the diner or not-too-greasy-spoon variety - nothing too upscale. We'll be at East 30th near Park Ave. I've searched the board and didn't find anything that jumped out at me as being in that neighbourhood, but I could have missed things for sure, so any suggestions will be appreciated even if it's to point me to an existing thread. We love great home fries/hash browns, pancakes, and I'd certainly be interested in trying any US breakfast specialties we don't get up here (grits??) Thanks a ton!

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  1. I managed to find this place - Big Daddy's - http://www.bigdaddysnyc.com/ - is it any good? The Web site is a little - um - over-the-top. ;-)

      1. not far south enough for grits.

        Euro Diner on 36 & 3rd, Moonstruck Diner on 38 & Mad are good standard diners.

        1. Penelope at 30th Street & Lexington Avenue serves excellent breakfasts. If that's too packed there's a generic type diner one or two blocks up from it but I don't recall the name.

          Big Daddy's is a retro-style diner and very loud.

          When you arrive you'll see lots of places near your hotel. No worries.

          1. Grits aren't a New York thing. They probably offer them at most diners but I suspect they wouldn't be very good. Penelope's has the best breakfast in the area. Its on 30th and Lex and get ridiculously crowded on the weekends after say 10:30ish but not so during the week.
            You could also try L'Express on 20th and Park. Its a busy french bistro that serves a good breakfast. A little hectic though. For a real NY scene there is also the Coffee Shop on 16th and University in Union Sq.

            The true diners in the area are ok. The best is probably Sunflower on 26th and 3rd.

            Big Daddy's diner is just an overpriced kitschy diner. Nothing worth going out of your way for, although they do have tater tots there.

            1. Thanks for all your suggestions, and for the heads-up on grits and Big Daddy's. I can certainly live without the tater-tot kitch and will forgo grits until heading futher south. Sounds like there are a bunch of other great options, so I'll be checking them out.

              BTW - if any of you New Yorkers are ever coming up to Montreal and need help, I'd be happy to return the favour over on the Quebec board. Thanks again!

              3 Replies
              1. re: kpzoo

                Since you are from Montreal, you might enjoy making a trek down to 21st Street and 1st ave and get a real NY bagel at Ess-a-Bagel. Best bagels in the city in my opinion.

                1. re: ESNY

                  Thanks, ESNY - I'd love to try a NY bagel. (I've been to NYC a bunch of times, but never had a bagel!) I checked out their site and it looks great. There are very few old-time Jewish-style delis like this left in Mtl (chopped herring salad!) so I'll definitely try to pop in.

              2. funny you should say grits. there is a hand written sign on the door to the murray hill diner (33rd and lex) that says "we serve grits". food is standard diner and pretty decent and i guess they have grits.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jon

                  Thanks, Jon. I found a review of Murray Hill Diner that says they serve omelettes "prepared in every way possible (Canadian, Western, Spanish)". I've actually never heard of a "Canadian omelette" before, but perhaps it's a sign that I should stop in. ;-)

                2. I wanted to thank everyone again for their breakfast help. We went to Penelope's and had a delicious brunch in a warm and cosy space. My pumpkin waffles with toasted pecans and "appled" butter were scrumptious. Others had excellent pancakes and an egg-on-croissant sandwich. The baked goodies looked delicious (red velvet cake, cupcakes & other treats) but alas we didn't get to try them - next time! It was quite busy even at 10:00 on a weekday morning, so I'm glad we didn't attempt it on the weekend.

                  We also went to Murray Hill Diner where we had nice smoked salmon omelettes. It was a good-value brunch deal including a fresh-fruit salad, juice and coffee.

                  Other non-breakfast meals (planned by my NY-based family) included excellent Indian at Surya, really good BBQ at Blue Smoke, and quite-good Italian-American at Pete's Downtown in DUMBO.