[UPDATE August 2019: Kitchenette has closed its doors.]
Kitchenette (Facebook / @KitchenetteDown)
156 Chambers St.
New York, NY 10007
Open Mon-Fri, 8 am – 11 pm; Sat & Sun, 9 am – 11 pm (breakfast served till 4:30)
Accepts cash and credit cards
Date of Visit: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
IMPRESSIONS: Favorite breakfast in New York City! Just gonna say that up front. Granted, NYC is huge and we visited only a few places on our recent trip, but Kitchenette topped the list. Special bonus that it was only a block away from our hotel.
Kitchenette has two locations, one Uptown and the one we visited in Tribeca (fun fact: TriBeCa stands for Triangle Below Canal).
Their decor manages to pull off a crazy mix of an urban chic/country kitchen + classic diner. It could have been a serious clusterhug (family friendly term for you-know-what) of design, but it actually creates a really unique and welcoming atmosphere. You get a comfortable mix of mom’s kitchen + neighborhood diner.
Wonderful space and decorations… black and white tiled floor, retro diner stools, tables made of old doors, old cabinets…
…old windows and signs, and much more. Keeps you busy just looking around the place.
FOOD: This country kitchen/city diner feel includes the food as well. Check out the water glasses and orange juice in old canning jars, plus the custom Kitchenette mugs. The cream for our (excellent) coffee came in a little chilled mug, too. (Special note to restaurants: just serve us small portions of cold cream with our coffee. Don’t bother with the little sealed plastic cups of unexpirable quadruple-pasteurized half-and-half.)
I picked the Lumberjack breakfast: two eggs, choice of meat, two pancakes. Altogether, super delicious. Scrambled eggs done just right, pancakes with a great texture (made from their own four grain mix), and the sausage… oh, the sausage. Their turkey sausage comes in big chunks, with apples, onions, and spices. They’re like mini meatloafs. Probably the best sausage I’ve had for breakfast (guess I’ll have to update My Ideal Breakfast list). Oh, and they use real maple syrup. Quick soapbox: note to all restaurants… you need to be using real maple syrup, not some high fructose corn syrup substitute. Real maple syrup may be more expensive, but I’m sure you can buy it in bulk from a local farmer, and it makes everything you serve better.
My wife selected the Herb and Goat Cheese Omelet, with a biscuit and grits. Excellent and colorful omelet. The biscuit was toasted, which we had never seen before but was still very good. The grits were buttery and therefore amazing.
And our friend Kim chose the Farmhouse Breakfast: two eggs with toasted biscuits, plus an addition of a fresh side salad.
Adding to the classic diner setup at Kitchenette were the big glass displays with homemade pies, pastries, and other delicacies, including (see below) their own ding dongs!
Tempting! The cake under the big glass dome on the countertop.
SERVICE: Our server was very nice, and attentive. For some reason another table seated near us arrived later and got their food first, but we really didn’t mind, because we didn’t have to wait long. We noticed, too, that our server was working the line in the kitchen, too. Nice to see them involved in the entire process.
OVERALL: I vote Kitchenette as the top breakfast in New York. I understand that my six total reviews from this visit barely scratch the surface, but this breakfast raised the bar pretty high. The decor is fun and brings a sense of warmth and welcome, the food is absolutely delicious and freshly prepared, at good prices, and theirs was a menu that left you wanting to return to try more. What’s really delightful about it the place is how they offer an intimate, cozy breakfast oasis in the middle of bustling New York City.