My 5 Favorite NYC Breakfast Spots


The doubly buttered almond croissant at Tartine

This is an admittedly quirky and idiosyncratic list of the places I wish I were eating breakfast right now, and the things I’d be eating.

5. Almond Croissant at Tartine (above) — No, not the same as San Francisco’s Tartine, yet just as good in its own limited way. A rustic, Brittany-style croissant is split lengthwise, doused with butter, stuck back together, and re-baked with slivered almonds and powdered sugar. It may be the city’s richest pastry. 253 West 11th Street, 212-229-2611

4. Eggs, Grits, and Sausage at Egg — You want to eat eggs? Go to a place called Egg, a Williamsburg culinary pioneer that raised the ovi of nicely treated poultry to a high art form, and put breakfast up on a pedestal for the first time in decades. This meal ain’t too colorful, but it makes it all up in flavor, and those Anson Mill grits are superb. 135 North 5th Street, Brooklyn, 718-302-5151

3. Tex-Mex Breakfast Taco at Whirlybird — Anyone who’s ever touched an Austin breakfast taco can never forget it. So we’re grateful to have this unreconstructed specimen transplanted here. Available in two rather similar variations; just think of it as saving you from having to make difficult choices. 254 South 2nd Street, Brooklyn, 718-208-8555

2. Congee at Coluck — Rice cooked down to a stomach-soothing gruel, then laced with fresh ginger and sprinkled with chopped scallions. It can be had plain, or with a roster of very satisfactory extra ingredients added in: minced beef, preserved egg, pig stomach, or sliced chicken. Also known as jook, it constitutes one of the world’s most comforting breakfasts, and the crunchy and spongy cruller provides extra ballast. Chinatown Arcade,16 Elizabeth Street, 212-732-6322

1. Upma at Sri Ganesh’s Dosa House — Imagine cream of wheat doctored with spices, kari leaves, and black mustard seeds, and dotted with bits of tomato and green chili. It retains its wonderful cereal blandness, while shooting vectors of flavor in all directions. This breakfast is so good it can make you cry. Served with a very tart and acidic pickle. 809 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, 201-222-3883