If the weather ever gets warm again, I’ve got my personal favorite cafes all lined up, and they’re all downtown:
*Virage (118-Second Avenue; 212-253-0425). Nice food, plenty of tables, excellent service, and a street view of East Village humanity on display in all its wacky finery. Try the three-egg omelette with salmon and feta lunch special. Comes with toast, coffee, and soup or salad.
*Riviera Cafe (225 W. 4 Street; 212-929-3250) All the above, but with a view of the West Village population in all its wacky finery. The salmon burrito is extra nice, and no one’s ever complained about the burgers either.
*French Roast (458-6th Avenue; 212-533-2233). The tables are tight and the food tends toward pricey, but the people watching is excellent and there aren’t that many other outdoor cafes on Sixth. I’m pissed that the waitress once asked “Do you want toast with that?” and then charged me a dollar for it, but that’s just me.
*Cloister Cafe (238 E. 9 Street; 212-777-9128). A lovely pastoral garden, with little ponds, and pleasant help with accents bringing you delightful salads. I live for this shit!