For those of us who always go for sweet over savory when it comes to breakfast, French Toast is a go-to choice. These city restaurants offer some of the best – and most creative – French Toast plates to sweeten your morning or lazy weekend afternoon. By Sarah Shaker.
Segafredo French Toast, Segafredo Zanetti Espresso
504 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
This is a fiery take on the breakfast classic. Literally, bananas are flambéed to make this breakfast dish. Then, bread is crusted with cereal, doused in Nutella and topped with rum to make Segafredo French Toast, the best-selling dish at Segafredo Zanetti Espresso, the high-end café and cocktail lounge in Greenwich Village. For an upscale yet relaxing brunch experience, this is the spot.
Guava-Stuffed French Toast, La Isla
104 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Chef Omar Giner has thrown down with Bobby Flay — and won. He pulled off the upset with this dish, Guava-Stuffed French Toast. Made with Pullman-style bread, both stuffed and drizzled with guava, the delectable almost-dessert dish is just one reason why there’s often a bustling crowd at his quaint Cuban eatery on Hoboken’s historic Washington Street.
Pecan Crusted French Toast, La Silhouette
362 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
With nuts, leaves and fruits, this dish could almost pass as healthy — except that it’s also made with bourbon and day-old Brioche. Along with the booze, chef Matthew Tropeanohe says the key to the sophisticated version of the childhood breakfast favorite is sage. It’s our pick for one of the best brunch meals on the West side.
Granola & Cranberry Crusted French Toast
371 7th Ave
This festive dish would make for a fabulous Christmas brunch — or an indulgent breakfast any other day of the year. Chef Chris Scarpaci whips up the dish at Niles at Affinia. Day-old Brioche is steeped (like tea) in a mixture of sliced ginger and fresh vanilla. We know it sounds complex, but as it turns out, this recipe is easy for anyone to make at home. For the instructions and video demonstration, click here.
Not French Toast, Wally’s Square Root Cafe
584 Myrtle Avenue
Unlike many of the other plates on this list, the “not french toast” at Wally’s is a down-home, simple brunch dish. Made with sweet brioche, it pairs perfectly with the Brooklyn-brewed Kitten Coffee also served here. For breakfast, we’re also fans of their “Green Eggs & Ham,” eggs scrambled with pesto and spinach placed over ham and grilled challah.
Stuffed French Toast, The Lambs Club
While fruits can be used to lighten up your brunch menu for spring (and to make a mean sangria), they can also be used to create a rich plate, perfect to reward yourself for making it through a long, dismal New York winter. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Stuffed French Toast is plated with strawberry, rhubarb and vanilla sweet cream at The Lamb’s Club. This is another dressy, upscale spot.
Cookies and Crème French Toast, DUO
You’ve heard of breakfast for dinner, but what about dessert for brunch? Spoil your kid — or your kid at heart — with the Cookies and Cream French Toast, served with vanilla bean crème and crushed cookies at DUO. This decadent concoction invites you to dunk your sticks of French toast into a bowl of creamy cookies.
Almond Crusted French Toast, Bistro La Promenade
Chef Alain Allegretti’s Almond Crusted French Toast at Bistro La Promenade will satisfy your sweet tooth when brunching in Chelsea. The Almond Crusted French Toast is served with seasonal roasted fruit and Vermont maple syrup. Traditional French plates, including Moules Frites, and raw bar selections are also available at brunch, along with their refresh house specialty, Lavendar Lemonade.
Chocolate Decadence French Toast, NORMA'S at Le Parker Meridien
Say ‘Good Morning’ with a pile of chocolatey French toast covered in strawberries, pistachios and Valrhola chocolate sauce. Norma’s offers three French toast plates, so you’ve got some seriously delicious options for your first meal of the day. If you’re not a chocolate lover, try the Donut Even Go There French Toast for a cheesecake-stuffed, coconut-rolled bread topped with orange drizzle and served with vanilla ice cream. Or go savory with Super Cheesy French Toast, with caramelized onions and applewood smoked bacon.
Housemade Nutella Stuffed French Toast, Saxon + Parole
Offering one of NYC’s Best DIY Brunch Cocktail Bars with their popular Bloody Mary Bar, Saxon + Parole on Bowery is serving up a French toast stuffed with crispy bacon, banana and housemade Nutella. For those of us who can’t be trusted with a jar of Nutella and a spoon, this morning meal is for us.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.