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25 Excellent Spots For Weekday Breakfasts

PHOTO: Noah Devereaux

Breakfast, we’re told, is the most important meal of the day. And nowhere does that saying ring truer than in New York City. For some, breakfast might mean a reheated egg sandwich and stale coffee consumed in front of a computer. But for others, breakfast is a time for people-meeting, deal-making, and side-hustling.

And while there are plenty of places to get some trendy eggs and toast on your “sick day,” picking the perfect spot for your given getting-sh*t-done scenario is trickier business. Here are the places we rely on across the city.

The Spots

1

Banter

Greenwich Village
169 Sullivan St

Opens at 8 a.m.

Come here on a Saturday morning, and it’ll be full of hungover people trying to take pictures of their turmeric lattes. On a weekday morning, however, it should be pretty quiet. So you can sit, have some eggs, and use your highly advanced smartphone to catch up on the latest celebrity gossip. This is a just a nice little coffee shop/cafe on a relatively quiet street in Greenwich Village, and it’s both bright and cozy. It’s also owned by Australians, so you’ll probably hear a few accents.

2

Opens at 8 a.m.

If you have a breakfast meeting with a vegetarian, take them to abcV. It’s a bright white space with high ceilings and chandeliers, and they serve food like gluten-free almond pancakes. They also do smoothies, breakfast dosas, and a bunch of different egg dishes. For vegetarian stuff, the food is actually pretty satisfying. And if you need to buy a carpet after breakfast, you can do so in the carpet store this place is attached to.

3

Veselka

East Village
144 2nd Ave.
7.8
MAP

Open 24 hours

Veselka is open 24 hours, and it’s pretty much a Ukranian diner. They do breakfast all day, involving things like pancakes, latkes, omelettes, and blintzes. So either wake up early and come here before work, or take a morning off, get a table outside, and catch up with a friend. Or if you really don’t have time for any of this, stop by for some eggs and bacon at 2 a.m. Have a few drinks beforehand, or risk being the only sober person here.

4
7.8
MAP

Opens at 10:30 a.m. Monday, 8 a.m. Tuesday-Friday

Joseph Leonard is the sort of place where you’d get breakfast with someone who’s doing a profile on you. In the profile, they’d mention how cozy and quaint the space is, and you’d seem super thoughtful and down-to-earth. It’s in the West Village, and it feels like a neighborhood restaurant despite being near super-touristy Bleecker Street. So this is a great place to have an egg sandwich and stare out a window while a reporter notes how pensive you are. Although if no one’s doing a profile on you, feel free to stop by for a solo breakfast with a book.

5

Opens at 7 a.m.

Kirsh is both a restaurant and a bakery, and that means you should order something with bread here. Something like French toast. They do it sweet and savory, and it’s some of the best we’ve had. They also make some pastries, along with most other things you’d want to eat in the morning - oatmeal, steak & eggs, an English breakfast (for some reason). So take a morning off and get food here. It’s a great spot for kids, in case you have to feed a few of those.

6

Opens at 8 a.m.

The original Two Hands is a little cafe in Little Italy, and it’s great for a casual morning meeting. But if you want to sit down and feel like you’re eating something at a real restaurant, check out the location in Tribeca. This one has a bar and an actual kitchen, and they do breakfast starting at 8 a.m. If you had a long night and you happen to work downtown, head there in the morning to recover. After a few coffees and a bowl of green stuff, you should be sentient enough to speak to other people.

7
MAP

Opens at 7 a.m.

Sullivan Street is more of a cafe than it is a full-restaurant, but you can still stop by in the morning and get an egg sandwich or a breakfast bowl. It’s counter-service, but there are some nice little tables, and it’s a good option if you don’t feel like dealing with a server. Just stop in and get some kind of bread/egg combo the next time you dream about work all night and need something extra to get you through your day.

8

Opens at 9 a.m.

Mogador will always be a solid brunch move, although it does get busy. So if you want to eat here in the daytime, but you aren’t the sort of person who waits for tables, come on a weekday and get breakfast. Have something like Moroccan eggs or the house-made sausage. The East Village location is older, but we prefer the Williamsburg one. It’s more spacious, and there’s a nice greenhouse-like area all the way in the back. And if you sit there, you won’t have to worry about your boss or your kids seeing you and wondering why aren’t doing your job.

9

Parker & Quinn

64 W 39th St

Opens at 7 a.m.

It isn’t easy being hungry in Midtown. So it’s good to know about a place like Parker & Quinn. You aren’t going to go out of your way to come eat here, but if you need to grab breakfast with someone before you head into the office, it’s about 98% less depressing than Panera. This is the restaurant in the bottom of the Refinery Hotel, and the menu has stuff for everyone. Come have an acai bowl or get a pound of rib eye with some eggs and potatoes. You can go either way here.

10

The Smile

NOHO
26 Bond St.
7.9
MAP

Opens at 8 a.m.

The Smile on a weekday morning is a great place to be. Unlike on the weekends - when the restaurant is mobbed by people who rolled out of bed at 2pm and/or people who just got out of their Noho SoulCycle class - weekday mornings are when you essentially get the restaurant to yourself. The scrambled eggs with cheese are so good we’ve ordered double servings of them on multiple occasions.

11
7.8
MAP

Opens at 8 a.m.

There are breakfast sandwiches. And then there are High Street On Hudson breakfast sandwiches: simultaneously artful, satisfying, and definitely not good for you. But High Street isn’t a one trick pony, either - there are plenty of other elevated breakfast options (fancy oatmeal, beet cured salmon) should you need them. The environment is casual but still polished - use it for everything from a business meeting to a group pow-wow to a solo meal.

12

Sadelle's

SoHo
463 W. Broadway
8.5
MAP

Opens at 8:30 a.m.

We love you, Sadelle’s, but we absolutely hate your brunch sh*tshowiness. Terrible waits, overwhelmed service - we can’t hang. But Sadelle’s on a weekday at 8:30am? This is bagel bliss. If you want to be a hero, plan your team’s next working breakfast here, order a bunch of bagel towers (and at least one french toast), and go off to the office in a happy food coma. It’ll be the best decision you make all week.

13
7.1
MAP

Opens at 9 a.m.

We can’t overstate the grasp that friendly Australians have on casual, coffee-and-breakfast spots in NYC. Dudley’s is yet another example. Should you need to meet someone for morning meal in the Lower East Side, Dudley’s is a very useful spot for an easy, casual breakfast.

14

Café Select

212 Lafayette St
MAP

Opens at 8 a.m.

It’s easy to forget about Cafe Select - despite its prime Lafayette St. location, it’s often passed over for its cooler neighbors. But for a weekday breakfast meeting in Soho, Cafe Select is completely underrated. It’s low-key, but with just enough pretty people vibes to feel like you’re somewhere decently cool. Take the opportunity to get a Rösti - only German people understand the value of a giant fried potato pancake.

15
7.8
MAP

Opens at 7:30 a.m.

Do you work in Midtown? Do you wear a suit to work? Do you “close deals”? If you answered yes to all of these statements, The National is your best weekday breakfast move in the mid-50’s.

16

Penelope

Murray Hill
159 Lexington Ave.
7.1
MAP

Opens at 8 a.m.

One of the few not-terrible places for brunch in Murray Hill, Penelope serves an equally good - and much less slammed - weekday breakfast. Comfort food in a comfortable environment makes getting out of bed on a Monday morning just a little bit easier.

17
7.8
MAP

Opens at 7 a.m.

For the times when impressing someone at 7am is absolutely necessary, The NoMad is here for you. A $12 smoothie? $16 granola? $27 for eggs any style? These are the prices you pay for feeling f*cking fancy.

18

Cafe Gitane

Nolita
242 Mott St.
7.1
MAP

Opens at 8:30 a.m.

Eat breakfast at Cafe Gitane and you’ll suddenly realize that Europeans have had it right all along. Get the avocado toast, have some coffee, feel really civilized - all before you haul off for the day.

19

Comfort Diner

214 E 45th St
MAP

Opens at 7:30 a.m.

The Comfort Diner is everything its name promises - a real, actually-good, actually-pleasant diner in the armpit of Midtown East. This is the kind of place where you can come and order pretty much anything off the menu and know it’s going to come out exactly like you’re expecting. And sometimes, especially in this part of town, that’s all you need.

20

Viand

Upper East Side
673 Madison Ave.
7.8
MAP

Opens at 6 a.m.

The Upper East Side has many diners, but Viand is one of the best. You’ll be happy with any order here, but our move at breakfast is always the turkey omelette (they roast their own every day). If you need to meet someone on the Upper West Side, there’s a location there, too. And if you’re an insomniac (or have to be at work at an ungodly hour) Viand’s ready to serve you starting at 6am.

21

El Original

735 10th Ave
MAP

Opens at 7 a.m.

Look, sometimes you need to eat breakfast in Hell’s Kitchen. We aren’t here to endorse El Original as a legitimate Tex-Mex establishment. But our job is to provide you with options in every neighborhood, and this is one of your only real ones in the area. From 7-9am, El Original serves an American breakfast buffet (yes, really), and at 9am the offerings turn towards breakfast tacos, migas, and the like.

22
7.6
MAP

Opens at 8 a.m.

Need breakfast near Columbia? Community Food & Juice is great for diner-y food with a slightly healthy slant (and possibly the best blueberry pancakes in the city). Even more convincing: there’s a weekday special from 8am to 9am that gets you those blueberry pancakes, orange juice, and bottomless coffee, all for $12. Run don’t walk.

23
7.7
MAP

Opens at 7:30 a.m.

We get it. You’re tired of hearing about The Smith. But here’s the thing - The Smith is like the NYC version of Chili’s, if Chili’s were good. Which means it consistently delivers solid, classic food in a casual yet polished environment that’s great for meetings of all kinds. Once you factor in their two convenient Midtown locations, The Smith is pretty much unstoppable. Admit it, you like Chili’s anyway.

24
7.2
MAP

Opens at 6:30 a.m.

While you may know Eisenberg’s as an old-school lunch counter go-to for reubens and matzo ball soup, it’s also home to the most legit diner breakfast in Flatiron. You won’t find avocado toast, “muesli,” exotic greek yogurts, or generally anything you’d want to post to your Instagram here. But Eisenberg’s is a spot you can count on for eggs any style, breakfast sandwiches, and matzo brei. Breakfast like god intended.

25

Blank Slate

Nomad
121 Madison Ave

Opens at 7:30 a.m.

A newish spot on the southern side of Koreatown/northern end of Flatiron, Blank Slate is an excellent addition to this neighborhood’s breakfast scene. It’s a bright, casual space that’s perfect for your next networking meeting, AKA the times when you pretend to be someone’s friend so you can mutually benefit from each other. Isn’t the working world awesome?

Photo: Sasha Israel Photography
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