The NYC Cold Brew, Burgers, & Omelets That Power Antoni Porowski

The ‘Queer Eye’ food expert takes us on a downtown restaurant tour.
The NYC Cold Brew, Burgers, & Omelets That Power Antoni Porowski image

Since joining the cast of Netflix's Queer Eye reboot as the show's food expert in 2018, Antoni Porowski has won some Emmys, written a couple of best-selling cookbooks, and snagged an upcoming solo TV show of his own. But he's also managed to stay on top of New York City's food scene thanks to his "board of directors," he says, citing some trusted friends who "steer me in the right direction whenever I need a good meal."

In fact, if you're in Manhattan right now, you'll probably find Antoni at a table adjacent to yours, taste-testing those recommendations and fine-tuning his favorites. With his research never-ending, here are the New York City spots Antoni gives his seal of approval to right now.


photo credit: Jeremy Jacobowtiz


West Village

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBreakfastBrunch
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"The griddle cakes are perfectly burnt along the edges. And even though I am a diehard for maple syrup, they don't even serve it with any syrup because there's the right amount of sweetness. I think it's a blackstrap molasses that they put in, topped with this cinnamon butter that's just unreal. There's the chewiness of the oats, the crispy edges, and they're just soft and undercooked in the center. They also have a really nice pork and a chicken sausage removed from the casing, flattened out as a nice little patty with ketchup on the side."

photo credit: Gentl & Hyers

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night

"I'm telling everybody about Raf's. The decor, it's just classic French brasserie. There was one day after a workout class where I went there for a French omelet, which had a little bit of crème fraîche and trout roe. But they don't overdo it. Anyone who's putting caviar on things these days, they tend to go all crazy and TikTok-y on it. Raf's practices restraint. There's no browning on that omelet. It's just nice and oozy, but fully cooked through right in the middle. I've had it three times in the past month and it's perfect every single time."

"I've gone there full after a dinner just to go meet my friends who are there all the time. I tried their Creamsicle pie and it was unreal. I don't necessarily have the biggest sweet tooth, but there's something just so old school about it. It's really tall, it's just decadent and nice and dense, and it has that perfect graham crust."

photo credit: Kate Previte

"I literally had to go right when they opened at 5:00 or 5:30 and there were 15 people in line already. There were only two of us eating, so I didn't want to overdo it because I always over order and I typically don't take it home because I'm always leaving the next day. But their tortellini is just unbelievable. I think it's just like a simple pomodoro and ricotta. They're just perfect: thin dough, all about the filling, beautifully presented, no frills."

Stumptown Coffee Roasters


"I love a proper nitro [cold brew]. There's just something nice and airy and really smooth about it. I like my coffee to have a more mellow roast. When I take my dog Neon on a walk to the park, there's a Stumptown nearby, and they always have some good fresh nitro. I highly recommend the Hair Bender blend when the week is almost done and it's a Friday and you need that extra kick."

"[Their burger] just has that diner-y feel. It's on a potato roll which lends to a little bit of sweetness. It's perfect in its simplicity. The patty sticks right out of the bun. You know how when you're eating Lucky Charms and you're like, 'Oh, I gotta get through the crunchy stuff to get to the marshmallows?' With this, you get that beef in that first bite and by the end of it, you're so satisfied that you'll just eat whatever parts of like the bread are there. It soaks up all the juices at the bitter end too. So you get the beefy first bite and then you get the fatty, beefy, juicy potato bun-y sweet end. And they fully overcook it a little in a good way where the cheese is all just fully melted, covering every single crevice of the patty."

"The broth in their [tortellini en brodo] is reduced the right amount, where it's not quite a demi-glace, but it's just so rich and you taste the bones. It's velvety. There's just the right amount of little specks of oil on top and the tortellini themselves...the pasta is paper thin. You can see through it. It's translucent. It's the perfect size. You're not overwhelmed by it and you don't feel like you want to just like throw up or die at the end. They're just unpretentious and chill. It's not intimidating."

"I literally just came back from there. I had a really good radicchio treviso salad with currants and pine nuts where the greens were kind of wilted. It just takes away a bit of the bitterness. They really rinse the hell out of their bitter greens, which I love, because [the bitterness] is still there, but it's not overwhelming. Every bite is amazing, whether you're getting endive or frisé. They just get the best greens."

"I remember it as one of my top favorite breakfasts. My dad was visiting and we needed a breakfast to go to. I just wanted a classic French breakfast. I'd never done Balthazar before. I went, I ordered the French omelet and it was just flawlessly executed. And I was like, 'You know what? I literally feel like I'm in Paris right now. Let's go ahead and get like a full cow milk cappuccino.' And it was just perfect—the right amount of foam. It was great."

"Their cookies, their cardamom buns, the rye tart...with desserts, I'm very basic, and I like to keep it really simple. But Tan [France from Queer Eye] is the one who converted me to cookies that have warming spices like ginger or cardamom. The ones at La Cabra are really great. The almond croissant is also unreal. It has the right amount of almond paste. It's not like when you get a chocolate or an almond croissant—it's fudgy and very generous. And they have a wonderful tea selection as well, if you're into tea."

"My buddy took me to Misoya and it was one of those meals where he just ordered everything. We had an amazing meal. Misoya has this very rich bone broth, with a perfect pool of fat, and nice thin slices of pork. You're not like chewing too much. You're slurping it up. The noodles are awesome. I became a big fan that night."

"Raoul's is gritty in the best way. It feels perfectly French. You start out with the artichoke and a classic French vinaigrette—super simple. And then you have the steak frites and it's a perfect rectangle. The density is good. It's charred on the outside and that peppercorn sauce with a bit of cognac is so good. I've never had a bad steak frites there. And the french fries? I think they're double fried, because they're nice and dark golden. When they're yellow, even if they taste good, it's already like a buzzkill. The color of something is very important to me. With a steak frites, I feel like the fries need to have a good crack to them. They have to be ready to soak it all up."

La Colombe Torrefaction


"I've been a fan of theirs forever. I really fell in love with them when I was filming Queer Eye in Philly. They have their beautiful headquarters there in Fishtown. Their cold brew is so nice—it's not too bitter, not too acidic. It's smooth. Monday through Friday, I limit dairy and dairy alternatives, so I have to drink it black. While I love a lot of these Australian coffee shops, some of them tend to go high acidity, high bitterness, and really intense concentrated coffee. I want to be able to sip on it. I want it to be nice and smooth. If I don't chug it too quickly and it warms up, you still want it to be smooth enough, you know? And I feel like La Colombe just hits it out of the park. I've narrowed my cold brew intake down, too. I'm down to between two and three. I used to have five or six a day. Coffee's good for you, but the old heart can't take that much caffeine, you know?"

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