New York City Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Hot Bread Kitchen
1590 Park Ave., Harlem
Hot Bread Kitchen isn’t your—or anyone else’s—average bakery. Its founder, Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez (her background is in social justice and public policy) and has made hiring immigrant women a priority since opening in 2007. In fact, several have since moved on to higher-level roles in the NYC food world. The handmade baked goods coming from the kitchen reflect the countries of the women who work here, ranging from Moroccan msemen (a traditional flatbread) to Mexican heritage corn tortillas. Rodriguez also runs HBK Incubates, which provides commercial kitchen and market access and business development support to food start-ups.
Mister Dips
111 N. 12th St., Greenpoint
Inside a 1970s Airstream trailer at the William Vale hotel, Andrew Carmellini (of Locanda Verde, the Dutch, and Lafayette fame) and team keep the vibe loose and delicious by churning out a simple menu of the ultimate comfort food. The burgers, wrapped in a wax paper sleeve, come with a mix of cheese and a special tangy-sweet sauce on a potato bun. (All the burgers are available as singles or doubles.) There's also a veggie burger, made of black beans and mushrooms, and waffle fries. Don't leave without a soft serve—especially the Berry Gibbs, with strawberry, Nilla wafer, and sweet cream, which lives up to all the hype. And yes, there’s a lot of hype.
Smith Canteen
343 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
This grab-and-go café and coffee bar is tucked into an old pharmacy from the turn of the twentieth century (tile floors and original shelving that now displays indie journals). It also happens to be run by Cherry Bombe's Kerry Diamond. The team whips up their own fresh almond milk daily, and the turmeric latte is the thing to order; there’s also a solid menu of green, black, and herbal teas, plus the standard espresso drinks you’d expect from a spot like this. Their new baker, Gabi, is known for her strawberry, basil, and quinoa muffins—they’re usually sold out by 9 a.m. Photos: Naian Gonzalez
Champion Coffee
142 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint
A goop staffer randomly happened upon this gem on Nassau Avenue when she was—appropriately—craving a coffee. Champion is a tiny, subway-tiled hole-in-the-wall that ticks all the boxes: They roast their own beans in Queens (which you can buy, packaged in retro tins for a non-exorbitant price), the counter holds a tempting selection of baked treats and bagels for sustenance, and best for last, you’ll find a decent selection of magazine titles to rifle through should you be caffeinating solo.
90 W. 3rd St, Greenwich Village
Springbone brings the often-perceived-as-niche cult of bone broth into the mainstream with their clean, minimalistic hole-in-the-wall space in the West Village. The menu is a nice mix of "drinking broths" (literally mugs of broth that you drink like you would a hot tea), and actual meals incorporating the broth in some way (chicken and rice, meatballs). Don't knock it 'til you've tried it: drinking hot, savory broth is not only like a hug in a cup, it's also an incredible pick-me-up alternative to tea or coffee that you can enjoy on the go. (Although, Springbone's drinks menu is pretty solid with matcha, Chaga tea, smoothies, and a particularly delicious riff on healthy hot chocolate spiked with a little reishi and cinnamon on offer). Our favorite cup of broth is unquestionably the liquid gold—a turmeric spiked chicken and coconut milk soup—warming, healthy, and flavorsome.
El Rey
100 Stanton St., East Village
A beautifully outfitted spot for grab-and-go meals, El Rey and its menu live at the intersection of healthy, filling, and delicious. The offering is a tight edit of easy, craving-quenching, nutritious foods like chia pudding and granola, nutty farro salad, spicy chicken bowls topped with zesty yogurt, and flavorful add-ons like pickles, avocado, or eggs. For a caffeinated indulgence try the Mexican mocha, then settle into a window seat for prime people watching while you drink.
FEED Shop & Café
55 Water St., Dumbo
Lauren Bush Lauren’s decade-old, philanthropic FEED program now has its own physical café and retail space in DUMBO, which stocks her entire line of functional, aesthetical FEED products (each bag–made from durable burlap or leather–is emblazoned with the number of meals its sale has provided to children in need). Bush Lauren came up with the idea while working as World Food Program Honorary Spokesperson where she witnessed the detrimental effects hunger can have on a child's physical and educational development. Aside from the bags, FEED has branched into other carefully made, ethical products like candles, jewelry, and apparel. The café itself is bright, light, and airy with walls of windows, exposed brick, and touches of greenery—somewhere you want to settle in with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee (a Heritage custom blend, roasted in conjunction with La Colombe). While placing your order you’ll notice the bar features a live meal counter, which ticks up meals that have been donated as people buy their coffee or FEED goods.
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