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2 casual breakfast suggestions (weekdays)

My parents are in town and i need 2 suggestions for a casual breakfast.

Day 1 can be anywhere in Manhattan, however, it would need to be near 'interesting' places to walk around afterwards. And serve breakfast around 11am on a Thursday.

Day 2 needs to be on the east side from 14th st-ish area to the UES but needs to be around parking. 10am on Friday am.

I'm looking for a place other than a Diner that will serve Diner-type food without the paper napkins, yellow small water glasses, and counters w/stools.

I'm looking for a place to get regular sunnyside eggs, toast, bacon.. fantastic coffee for them, but something to keep my interest, like huevos rancheros, yummy real french toast...etc. Cloth napkins, option for a bloody mary that will start thier vacation off right.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Either day, go up to the Sarabeth's at 92nd and Madison. There's plenty of street parking (bring quarters) and you can enjoy walking over the Fifth Avenue and visiting the perennial garden in Central Park. Then you can walk down Fifth for a bit and back to the car. Great shopping up there especially S. Feldmann's hardware.

    Another option: go to Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Gallerie at 86th and Fifth. Enjoy the museum afterwards, and walk in the park. (Again, street parking on Madison.) You won't find your options for breakfast, but you'll find wonderful Viennese cuisine, and fantastic coffee and pastries. If that's too upscale, there's a Viand on Madison at about 83rd.

    5 Replies
    1. re: brendastarlet

      I live in Carnegie Hill and must respectfully disagree with the Sarabeth's suggestion -- overpriced, underwhelming food in my opinion. You can do better. If you want something a little different in that 'hood try El Paso Taqueria (97th St. between Park & Madison) for breakfast (eggs with chrorizo, rancheros, etc.). Then walk over the 5th Ave. and up a few blocks to 105 St. You'll see the Vanderbilt gated entrance to the Conservatory Gardens -- one of the great hidden gems of NYC -- and across 5th is the Museum of the City of NY with its period rooms and one of the best collections of elaborate dollhouses anywhere!!!

      1. re: City Kid

        What did you have at Sarabeth's that you didn't like? I'm quite fond of the pumpkin waffle, lemon ricotta pancakes, and goldie lox dishes, and the scones are great with the Sarabeth's preserves.

        1. re: kathryn

          I live right by it as well, and while I rarely eat in, I love their scones, their croissants, and the pain du matin is lovely, though they run out quickly.

          1. re: kathryn

            I've had a couple of breakfasts there, different sorts of eggs. So-so experiences. But mainly I think it is overpriced and too much of a tourist destination. I always see sidewalks full of people with guidebooks waiting to get in and can't help but feel there are other, more worthy, and less crowded places to go.

            1. re: City Kid

              It is expensive, and certainly on weekends full of tourists, but I certainly see lots of locals there on a daily basis for breakfast. I've been trying to think of other suggestions in the neighborhood, b/c of the proximity to museums, but I can only think of coffee shops such as Amity and Three Guys, which I think the poster doesn't want, and Pain Quotidien, which doesn't have eggs. Though, now that I think about it, while the seating is cramped, Yura does have some made to order egg dishes.

        1. re: TipsyMcStagger

          It's not too casual but I love it for breakfast and the location can't be beat! Rock Center Cafe at Rockefeller Center.

        2. I haven't been in a while, and can't vouch for their hours, but Noho Star used to serve a pleasant, affordable breakfast.

          1. Les Halles, on Park Avenue betweeen 28-29th Streets, serves a good casual weekday breakfast.

            1. The Broome Street Bar (363 W Broadway in Soho) serves French toast w/orange glaze that as of my last visit, in April of '06, was my favorite French toast anywhere. Assuming they've kept up the quality, I would say it's a good fit, since they also serve omelettes, they open at 11AM (well, approximately) and, what with being a bar, they serve drinks.

              I've been to Alice's Tea Cup (the one at 220 E 81st, not the one at 156 E 64th, but I would hope that quality as similar) a couple of times, the more recent visit being 2 days ago. The cornmeal pancakes are excellent, their bacon & eggs are significantly better than at most any diner, and the scones are the best that my wife has ever had (she said "wow", repeatedly). They open for breakfast at 8AM and tend to be pretty quiet on weekdays (just in case you thought their massive weekend crowds were a problem). There are multiple garages within a couple of blocks of both locations.

              1. For Day 1, I'd look into Clinton Street Baking Company. You can then walk around the Lower East Side and Chinatown/Soho, or decide to head downtown to the Financial District to see Ground Zero (if you're into that kind of thing). Shopsins in the LES is also another good alternative. No shortage of choices of dishes to please you and your dining mates.


                1. For your Friday breakfast, you might want to consider Bar Milano, on the corner of 3rd Av. & 24th St. (We've only had dinner there.) The breakfast menu has some standards, as well as some more interesting options. Very nice ambiance. There are two parking garages right near the restaurant, as well Muni Meter parking on the street in front and on surrounding blocks.


                  1. Consider the 9th Street Market (north side of street between 1st & 2nd Aves).

                    Not positive about a liquor license but iirc, it serves most if not all of your dishes and is open for breakfast on Thursdays and Fridays

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: was_bk

                      Just wanted to mention that the market is closed.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        oooops...thanks for the heads up



                        I guess it's back to Clinton Street now.. Sheesh... I wish there were more (non coffee shop) or better yet excellent coffee shop or other weekday breakfast options near StuyTown and the EV.

                        1. re: was_bk

                          My weekday breakfasts in the EV usually end up at:
                          Abraco (no seating though)
                          Birdbath (muffins, scones, etc. to go usually)
                          Caffe Emilia
                          Cafe Zaiya (pastries)
                          Cafe Mogador

                          I think the new Chocolate Bar (7th between 1st and A) may also be doing breakfast now/soon.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Thanks for the list..there are some places on it that I've meant to try.

                          2. re: was_bk

                            Other places that I have heard are good for breakfast but not tried... Jane, Five Points, Cookshop, Kitchenette, Bubby's, Sarabeth's, and Shopsin's.

                            1. re: steakrules85

                              These all are great selections but a lot of them only serve brunch on the weekends..

                              1. re: steakrules85

                                Jane, Five Points, Cookshop only serve breakfast/brunch on the weekends. Kitchenette serves breakfast every day at their two locations. The Bubby's in Manhattan serves breakfast every day but not the Bubby's in Brooklyn. Most of the Sarabeth's locations serve breakfast/brunch seven days a week, except for the one located inside the Whitney. And Shopsin's serves breakfast/brunch only Tuesday through Saturday, from 9am to 3pm.

                        2. I think you can try Balthazar for breakfast as 1) it is a classic NY dining experience and 2) it does serve standard breakfast items that you mentioned (yes to bloody mary too!). After the breakfast, you can walk around Soho.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kobetobiko

                            I love Balthazaar, but I don't think they'll have the menu this poster is looking for. Nor does Rock Center Cafe -- it's actually a business breakfast spot during the week, and you see as many suits as tourists.

                            1. re: brendastarlet

                              Why wouldn't Balthazar have the food that the poster is looking for? They have eggs any style, standard omelettes , toast, bacon, and french toast. The only thing that the poster mentioned but not on the menu is huevos rancheros.

                          2. Definitely Clinton street Baking Co. They have the best pancakes in the city and an all around fantatsic menu variety.

                            1. Agree w/others who have mentioned Clinton St. Baking Co. for day 1

                              1. I would also vote for Clinton St. It definitely fits into the "diner-type" food category. And it is delicious.