You’ve heard it before and we’ll tell you again – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Despite this, a good weekday breakfast can be hard to come by. Brunch is easy. Brunch you know how to do. But what about Monday through Thursday (because even Friday is worthy of a brunch) when you’re rushed, you’re still on your “weekday diet”, but you’re SOO EFFING HUNGRY. You only have time to grab and go, you don’t want a bagel, you don’t want a croissant, you don’t want a deli style bacon-egg-and-cheese, but you still want to be full. What do you do?
Queue the essay about the introduction of Australian style breakfast/lunch cafes to NYC.
It’s true and undeniable that these cafes are changing the breakfast scene in NYC, and honestly we couldn’t be happier about it. We’re not sure why there were so few places to grab a quick, healthy and delicious early morning meal before the Aussies took over, but we’re just glad they did. Clearly they do breakfast right down in Australia so we can only thank them for showing us their ways.
So yes, expect to find a lot of Australian-owned cafes and also some non-Australian run cafes on this list. And don’t fight it, don’t be too cool to follow the trend, be happy about it because it means more chances you’ll find one near you. Because while we don’t always know why things become trendy, these places are popular because they’re really freaking good.
Greecologies opened up in Nolita a few months back, and ever since we’ve all been wondering what the hell occupied the space before?? And that’s because the space is incredible – it’s enormous with an enormous backyard (and not even just by Manhattan standards), and we can’t believe we never knew it existed. But aside from the space, the breakfast here is unparalleled. They serve fresh Greek yogurt from grass fed cows topped with whatever you want including things like thyme and flower honey. No, thyme-and-flower-honey-topped-grass-fed-homemade-yogurt is not cheap, but it’s worth every penny.
Address: 379 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Was Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe the Aussie cafe that started it all? We can’t remember and we don’t really care, we’re just glad it’s here and feeding us breakfast. But anyway, If you haven’t been to Bluestone Lane yet, go, snag a seat outside, and order yourself an avo toast already. Drink the kool-aid, friends, we’re telling you it tastes really good.
Address: 55 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014
We’ve had a love affair with The Elk and its boss babe owner since our first encounter, and it’s not a relationship we plan on ending anytime soon. While the coffee here is impeccable and the space is airy and bright, it’s the food that makes this place unique. The kitchen is run by Top Chef alum Sam Talbot, so everything is, of course, top chef quality. Never again will you have that dreaded feeling of “ugh, why did I spend money on something I could’ve made myself??”
Address: 128 Charles St, New York, NY 10014
Sure, you’ve heard of Two Hands before, but this list just couldn’t exist without it. And since we figure you already know they serve good coffee and great food, we’ll try to tell you a few things you might not know. First, order the corn cakes. We think they’re the best thing on the menu and we get really confused about why there are so many instagrams of the place but so few instagrams of their best dish. We can only assume it means not enough people are eating it. And second, you might not know that we interviewed the owners a few months back, so here’s our shameless plug to tell you to go read it.
Address: 164 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
Rose Bakery doesn’t exactly work for a weekday breakfast since it doesn’t open till 11am, but it’s a place you should know about nonetheless. Located in the Dover Street Market (a sort of high-fashion department store with locations in Tokyo and London), the food feels fit for a special occasion without weighing you down. And though this post is about a healthy breakfast, get a pastry at Rose Bakery for dessert. Its 1st location is in Paris and the chef (French pastry chef Rose Carrarini) wrote a book called Breakfast, Lunch, Tea that’s based on the place, so you know you’re in good hands.
Address: 160 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016
Milk Bar, Bluebird Coffee Shop, and Brunswick are all run by the same Melbourne owner (shocker, we know), so they all serve up that perfectly healthy yet satisfying breakfast that we’ve all come to love. So go and enjoy your daily dose the hospitality and high quality food these Aussie-run cafes are becoming known for, and start your day off right.
Bluebird Coffee Shop: 72 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003
Milk bar: 620 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Brunswick: Bed-Stuy: 144 Decatur Street (entrance on Marcus Garvey Blvd.), Lower East Side: 23 Clinton Street, Windsor Terrace: 240 Prospect Park West.
For those who don’t work in the West Village or The Lower East Side (so like, everyone), Little Collins is your shining beacon of Aussie cafe hope in Midtown. Thank God. It’s got all the goods – excellent coffee, excellent avocado toast – in a convenient Midtown location near you.
Address: 667 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
Featured image by Vanessa Granda