With only a handful of tables, this intimate cafe in the West Village has something of an upscale fleamarket vibe, with pale wooden floors and white brick walls providing a gallery-like backdrop for its tasteful arrangements of vintage trunks, photographs, art and antique mirrors.
Breakfast-wise, not only is Joseph Leonard feted for its excellent coffee and inventive egg dishes, but also for its ability to turn brussels sprouts into appealing early morning fare. Order the egg sandwich – a feather-light croissant with eggs, manchego, sprouts, sriracha (a spicy Thai sauce) and optional bacon – and you’ll see just what we mean. Those after a more standard start to the day can fill up on oatmeal or granola, or even plain old toast and jam.
Joseph Leonard, 170 Waverly Place, NYC
Pershing Square is a busy American brasserie uniquely situated on 42nd Street underneath the Park Avenue viaduct. Directly across from the main entrance to Grand Central Terminal, it’s just a few minutes walk from Fifth Avenue, Times Square, the Theatre District and the Empire State Building. Due to its location there’s a steady stream of business folk and tourists, yet it still manages to retain a relaxed vibe and you won’t be rushed.
The breakfast menu is extensive and varied – the best in New York if the signs in the window are to be believed. ‘Simple Starts’ include Irish oatmeal with bananas and berries, or a red onion and smoked salmon bagel, while the egg dishes range from simple omelettes to a health conscious plate of poached eggs over lentils and quinoa.
Pershing Square, 90 East 42nd Street (at Park Avenue), NYC
Kitchenette, an uptown Manhattan country cottage-style diner, is all about homemade comfort food. Inside, the polka-dotted pink and black interior harks back to the 1950s, shelves of brightly lit pastries, cakes and muffins fill the glass cabinets by the door and jars of cookies line the counter.
Great for late risers (it’s served until 4.30pm), breakfast starts and ends with mugs of coffee and jars of fresh orange juice, but the pancakes are the speciality here. For purists, the plain variety are close to perfect but the peach ones are our favourite (with the banana and blueberry running close behind).
For those with hearty appetites, try the Lumberjack (pancakes) or Lumberjane (french toast) breakfasts, both served with egg, bacon or turkey sausage. For something less sweet, go for the Cheesy Grits Bowl topped with bacon crumbles and egg, or a build-your-own omelette.
Kitchenette, 1272 Amsterdam Avenue (at West 123rd Street)
Written by Maxine Sheppard