When The Smile first opened back in 2010, it was billed as a “cafe and mixed use concept store.” We always preferred the term “Cracker Barrel for models,” but the reality is that no matter what the terminology, there was never any mixing of uses when it came to this place. This is and always has been where New York City’s most attractively unemployed people come to have breakfast at noon.
Though The Smile has been open for several years now, we’re betting you still haven’t heard much about it - probably because you actually have a job. Situated a few steps below the sidewalk on Bond Street, it’s a place that you have to be looking for to see, and for people other than the models and musicians that fill it for most of the day, it remains relatively under the radar. Yes, brunch and breakfast are popular (and very good), but The Smile doesn’t tend to get overrun by people during either meal. Diners eat and linger, everyone seems to know each other, and everyone looks really good - even with dirty hair and last night’s clothes on.
Dinner at The Smile is surprisingly good, too. Imagine Freemans without the two-hour wait, though also know that it’s probably not a good spot for a [perfect_for slug=“first-early-in-the-game-dates”]first date[/perfect_for], just because The Smile really is a cafe more than anything else. A cafe full of models. And that is probably not where you want to have your first date with anyone.
One of the best in the game. Ham, gruyere, and caramelized onions on an English muffin. Get a side of bacon, too.
A popular and excellent brunch item at The Smile, we’ve seen a few variations on the menu. One particularly good version is served with avocado and bubbly melted cheese.
Roasted Beet Salad
This is a dinner menu dish and is a nice move if you’re looking for some vegetables in your mix.
Roast Beef Sandwich
Roast beef piled high with a lot of arugula and horseradish cream. Simplicity seems to be the name of the game at The Smile, and this is basic but delicious.
Seared Thai Beef Salad
Our go-to lunch move, as this spicy salad is the perfect size, has plenty of steak, and the nuts, mangos, and cilantro provide a nice contrast of flavors.
Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie
Always necessary. They make an amazing cookie at The Smile. Don’t sleep on it.