Happy Monday! Wait, that is not a thing? Fair. Well, starting off your day with something delicious is a good way to stave off any Garfield-like Monday malaise. So I want to share some of my favorites with you for my first official #CurvilyEats blog post, coming by request from my hashtag on Instagram.
This list is all tried and true favorites that I have returned to time and again. That means they are scattered around the city, including a couple much farther uptown than these lists usually go (a lot of food websites could use a reminder that the city doesn’t stop at 110th Street!) They are all worth a visit though, even if you can’t swing them on your usual commute. So let’s take this from the top (of Manhattan, that is):
If I had to choose one place to go for breakfast forever, it would be Choc. I know that is a bold statement, but this place warrants it. Choc’s bakery is excellent across the board, and the guys that helm it (Brad and Jemal) are absolutely lovely. If it is your first visit, go for the seasonal scone (the spring Cherry Pecan is my favorite), the classic Pain au Chocolate, or their amazing mad scientist creation: the Carmelized Croissant (yes, really). Their savory options are amazing as well, including the mushroom tart. They serve Kobrick Coffee, one of my favorite local roasters, and they even have a walk-up window and a bench, so you can stop by with your pup in tow. Bonus: They are directly across the street from Isham Park, so take your pastries up to sit under the flowering trees if the weather is good.
If you’ve never had a truly good bodega Bacon Egg and Cheese bagel, you won’t understand the passionate devotion New Yorkers have when they find their BEC spot. Carreon is mine, and it is simple perfection. The bagel is chewy, the bacon is crispy, and the cheesy eggs give me a gorgeous cheese pull every time.
This is Thomas Keller for those of us who can’t quite afford Per Se’s $295 pre fixe. While both the Columbus Circle and Rockefeller Center locations can get a bit touristy, the lines typically move fast, and waiting 5 minutes is oh so worth it for the savory Bacon Cheddar Scone, a breakfast unto itself. Just make sure to get something to drink, because it is rich! If you are looking for a sweet indulgence, the oversized macarons are always a good choice.
Speaking of indulgences, Dough’s massive yeast doughnuts are truly a thing of beauty. All flavors, including their renowned Dulce de Leche and Blood Orange, are delicious, but the true star of this show is the Passion Fruit. I don’t know how they’ve managed to create a glazed doughnut that feels *juicy* when you bite down, but this Brooklyn-based bakery has done it. I have hyped this doughnut up to so many people, and literally every one of them said it was even better than expected once they tried it.
Wafels & Dinges
Whether you want a giant belgian wafel covered with speculoos and whipped cream, or a mini with just a few fresh strawberries, this mini NYC chain has you covered.
Ironically, the only locations I know of this quintessential New York bagel spot are in Chelsea and Astoria (and none in Brooklyn). But with their classic water boiled bagels executed perfectly, and a staggering range of delicious homemade cream cheeses, I would never hold their apparent misnomer against them. Try a plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese and instantly fall in love. Keep an eye on their specials too – I just had their cannoli cream cheese yesterday and immediately felt the need to publicly sing its praises. Tip: They overload the bagels with cream cheese, so ask for a container and take the leftovers home to make your toast 8,000 times better the next day.
Aux Merveilles de Fred
This incredibly French patisserie in the West Village displays their baking in their giant front windows, and watching the process is almost hypnotizing. If you need to grab and run, their brioches are the best I’ve had in NYC.
The NYC classic, a coffee and buttered roll combo, is made infinitely better with a fresh, warm Challah roll.
If you are not in the mood for baked goods, LIC-based Juice Press has a plethora of fresh options, and many of their smoothies are meals in and of themselves. My favorites include the Advanced Berry Blend, the spicy Pink Punk, and Doctor Greenjuice. They also have raw oatmeal that is surprisingly yummy if you are looking for something more solid. It is as pricey as you’d expect for a “clean eating” place like this, but if you stop by the LIC storefront for their production center, everything they have on hand is 50% off!
What are your favorite NYC spots for a quick bite in the morning? Share them with me below!