You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I never like to start the morning off on an empty stomach, especially with a full day of class ahead of me. I usually make a fruit smoothie of some sort before leaving for school, sipping along my subway ride to Manhattan. Sometimes when I don’t have the time or willpower (let’s face it, we’re all a little slow in the mornings), I’ll stop to grab some breakfast around campus. Parsons in situated in the heart of the Greenwich Village, and there’s a bunch of great cafes and restaurants around the area. Here are some of my favorite breakfast spots located just a few steps away from the Parsons buildings.
Best Coffee: O Cafe (482 6th Ave, corner of 6th Ave & 12th St)
If sustainability is a consideration when picking the right cup o’ joe, then O Cafe is the place for you. Ethically and environmentally conscious, O Cafe not only supports fair labor practices with their suppliers, but their cups, napkins, and utensils are either recyclable or compostable. Oh yeah, and their coffee is amazing! Imported straight from South American plantations, their coffee is unique, bold, and flavorful. They serve a variety of blends which change periodically based on the season, each with a unique personality that trumps your boring Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. A 16 oz coffee costs just $2.50, with espresso drinks starting at $3.25. Not a coffee person? No problem! They also sell savory and sweet pastries that will satisfy your appetite.
Best Bagels: Murray’s Bagels (500 6th Ave, between 12th & 13th St)
New Yorkers don’t mess around with their bagels. While there are thousands of bagel bakeries around the city, all bagels are definitely not created equal. Topping many “Best New York City Bagel” lists, Murray’s Bagels has become a Manhattan staple. Murray’s has two locations—one in Chelsea, and another conveniently located around the corner from The New School’s Arnhold Hall. Murray’s is wildly popular, so don’t be surprised to see a line. If you have time before class, the bagels are definitely worth the wait! They’re hand-rolled and baked fresh every morning. With fifteen varieties, there’s bound to be a bagel that satisfies your taste buds. Bagels start at $1.15 each, but I definitely recommend topping if off with some of their homemade cream cheese. Feeling hungry? Try a bagel with bacon, eggs, and cheese for $5.25 or the Western omelette bagel sandwich for $5.75.
Best Breakfast for the Sweet Tooth: The Grey Dog (90 University Place, between 11th and 12th St)
Sometimes the best way to begin the morning is with a jolt of sugar. Not saying a sugar rush is the healthiest start to the day, but hey, it sure is satisfying. If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, then The Grey Dog is the place for you. It’s always packed (especially in the mornings) but if you’re lucky enough to grab a seat inside, be prepared to chow down on some sugary sweet treats. Frisbee-sized chocolate chip pancakes for $10.25? Yes please! For $8.95, you can also grab a monstrous bowl of cinnamon and brown sugar oatmeal or fruit and yogurt granola. And don’t even get me started on their baked goods. Behind the class countertops you’ll find cookies, brownies, and pastries galore. The chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that are bigger than your face…$3.25. Scrumptious.
Best Ethnic Breakfast: Taboonette (30 E 13th St, between University Place and 5th Ave)
Looking for a breakfast that’s a little more exotic? Across the street from Parsons East (25 E 13th St) is a little piece of the “Middleterranean.” Mixing ingredients and flavors from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Taboonette caters to those taste buds searching beyond your standard American breakfast. Their speciality are their pita pockets, which are stuffed with traditional Middleterranean fare. Fitting easily in your hand, the pockets are especially great on-the-go! They offer five different kinds of breakfast pita, which they serve all day. I recommend the shakshuka pita for $5.95, a flavorful tomato ragout with a poached egg. Hearty, healthy, and delicious!
Most Convenient: Mapi Espresso & Sandwich Bar (1 W 13th St, between 5th and 6th Ave)
Walking down 13th St, its pretty easy to miss this hole in the wall snack shack. Located across the street from the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at 2 W 13th St, Mapi Espresso & Sandwich Bar takes the cake for being the easiest eatery to get to. It’s not much bigger than a food cart, but don’t let its tiny footprint fool you. Mapi doesn’t sacrifice convenience for quality. Or price. Mapi’s got all the breakfast essentials—bagels, croissants, cookies, and coffee—all for only a few bucks. If you find your stomach grumbling in the morning, just walk a few steps from Parsons and grab a coffee for only $1 and a ham and cheese croissant for $3.50.