When staying in New York don’t pay over the odds for a standard hotel breakfast - eat out like a New Yorker and sample some of the best breakfasts in town
We were here for a few days and decided we were not going to pay over 40 dollars a head for a hotel breakfast, we wanted to eat in a typical New York diner and have a genuine New York breakfast.
The first place we tried was Viand (673 Madison Avenue at 61st Street), near the entrance to Central Park. This diner had been recommended to us by a friend and it is very good. It is a tiny place with tables for two only or seating at the counter and very popular with the locals. It was busy, noisy but the staff still had time for you and the service was very quick. First came the steaming hot coffee, which was just what we needed on a snowy December morning. The pancakes and French toast can be highly recommended and are freshly cooked to order, prices start from $7.65 and you can add sides such as sausages or crispy bacon. Also available is a selection of eggs, home baked blueberry muffins, homemade marmalade and delicious fresh squeezed juices. Open from 6am daily. The only drawback is no toilets.
One that should definitely be on your list is the Brooklyn Diner, and this was our favourite, and just what we thought a typical diner would be like. Booths that sit either two or four are constantly busy and an extensive breakfast menu is available. The pancakes are to die for, large, freshly cooked and served in stacks of three with maple syrup and whipped cream. You can opt for plain, chocolate chip or blueberry and lemon, as well as other flavours and add sides such as hickory smoked crispy bacon if you wish. They just melt in the mouth and keep you going most of the day.
If it’s eggs you want then they come cooked any way you like and you can add the usual side dishes. Eggs Benedict is also available as well as frittata and an assortment of omelettes. A healthy menu is also on offer and includes fresh fruit and granolas. Freshly squeezed juices, piping hot coffee and home baked muffins such as blueberry, chocolate chip and raisin pineapple bran are on the menu too. I guarantee you will find something to satisfy your hunger here. Prices start from $10.95 for pancakes, eggs are from $8.95 and muffins from $3 dollars, so all price ranges are covered too. Including coffees and juices we paid around $65 for 4 adults, so less than half the price of a hotel breakfast and much more atmosphere.
When sat in the booths look out for the small brass plaques around the edge with the names of famous people who have dined here. It is not just a gimmick, the first time we ate here Sir Paul McCartney was having breakfast just two tables away. If it is good enough for him it is good enough for me. We also had coffee in Starbucks on the next table to Renée Zellweger, but that’s another story.
The Brooklyn Diner (www.brooklyndiner.com) has restaurants at 155 West 43rd Street, just off Times Square, where we also ate a very good for dinner, and at 212 West 57th Street, near to Carnegie Hall and not far from Central Park. The staff are very friendly and the service is quick, occasionally you may have to wait a few minutes for a table but that should be no longer than five minutes. Both restaurants open from 8am daily.
I have recommended the Marriott East Side hotel mainly for its location. Being centrally located in Midtown you will find most of the sights within walking distance and the hop on hop off sightseeing bus leaves from just opposite the hotel.