Our critic woke up extra early to sniff out the best new morning meals, which, thanks to a variety of factors — food-conscious hotels, breakfast-loving chefs, the mini SoCal-style-restaurant boomlet — are as deliciously eclectic as anything you’ll find at lunch or dinner.
The Clocktower’s Full English Breakfast (above); $18
Purists will quibble about the toast not being fried and the absence of the requisite mess of baked beans, but if you’re looking for a quick morning fix of two sunny-side-up eggs, sausage, a roasted tomato, mushrooms, and a knob of ye olde blood pudding, chef Jason Atherton’s elegantly composed dish will do just fine. 5 Madison Ave., nr. 24th St.; 212-413-4300.
Santina’s Eggs a Piacere; $15
The key element here is the spicy potatoes, which are dipped in a mix of tomato and chiles and refried for an extra crunch. If you’re feeling rash, call for a bowl of the great house guanciale e pepe rice ($18) and slide the perfectly poached eggs on top. 820 Washington St., at Gansevoort St.; 212-254-3000.
Pies ’n’ Thighs’ Rob Evans on a Biscuit; $10
We love the buttermilk biscuit (as thick and sturdy as a small toaster) and the scrambled eggs (streaked with melted American cheese), but finish the entire creamy, rosemary-rich smothering of sausage gravy and you won’t need to eat much else for the rest of the week. 43 Canal St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-431-7437.
El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette’s Avocado del Sur (with flatbread and two poached eggs); $12.50
We’re as weary as you are of all the avocado hype, but the most popular dish at this popular Lower East Side-meets-Malibu establishment works as a comforting breakfast, a healthful lunch, or a pick-me-up afternoon snack. 100 Stanton St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-260-3950.
Dimes’ Summer Tacos; $8
This fluffy (the scrambled eggs), faintly spicy (the mango salsa and hot sauce), West Coast (the inevitable avocado) breakfast delicacy comes two to a plate at this popular little Canal Street operation, which is a good thing, because it’s more or less impossible to eat just one. 49 Canal St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-925-1300.
Baz Bagel & Restaurant’s Bunny Breakfast; $12
The entire Jewish-appetizing canon is available at this modest Little Italy diner, but if you’ve been gorging on breakfasts for a week, the one we recommend is the Bunny: two sunny-side eggs, a toasted bagel (made in-house), Nova salmon, with a few healthy slices of avocado on the side. 181 Grand St., nr. Mulberry St.; 212-335-0609.
Okonomi’s Ichiju Sansai; $15 to $21
The set breakfast at this little Williamsburg ramen shop looks like it’s been beamed in from one of the more elegant ryokans of Kyoto. At about $20 for your omelette cube, miso soup, pickles, rice, and choice of expertly roasted fish, it’s also roughly four times less expensive. 150 Ainslie St., nr. Lorimer St., Williamsburg; 718-302-0598.
*This article appears in the October 5, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.