NYC — Spring 2016: Clinton Street Baking Company

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
On Thursday, I finally got around to trying Clinton Street Baking Company. I'd wanted to go there for years because it's consistently on "Best of" lists for breakfast/brunch in NYC, but for whatever reason (e.g. staying too far from East Village, being too lazy, not wanting to subway, etc.), I never got to. So on Thursday morning, I told my mom we were going and she had no say in it. Luckily, she's easygoing when it comes to eating, so she just went along with it. Of course, once we got there, it was packed. As in, we had to wait an hour for a table for two. I didn't think there would be so many people on a random Thursday morning, but it seems all relatively known restaurants in NYC are always busy and CSBC is one of the most hyped up brunch spots in Manhattan. My mom and I decided to just wait because we didn't travel so deep into East Village for nothing. Fortunately, CSBC has a little cafe next door where you can get coffee and baked goods (usually to go, but they have a little seating area in there as well) that is perfect for waiting. So we got some lattes and a goat cheese and herb scone (which was delightful) and sat in the cafe until we got a text saying our table was ready.

Wild Maine blueberry pancakes

Clinton Street Baking Company is known for their pancakes (New York Times has said they have the "best pancakes" in NYC), so we got the blueberry ones (they also offer banana walnut and chocolate chunk), which are served with warm maple butter. And guys, the hype is real. I don't know what they add to their pancakes, but indeed, they were some of the best pancakes I've ever had. Like, not too thin, not too thick, fluffy and moist, cooked to the perfect browned exterior, with just enough sweetness. The blueberries were flavourful but not artificial, and had just the right consistency so that it was spreadable but the actual fruit still maintained its integrity. And warm maple butter! Sweet and salty and not as sticky as syrup or caramel, but not as runny as melted butter so that your pancakes just absorb it all. It's genius! 

Brioche French toast

The second dish we shared was the brioche French toast, which is served with caramelized bananas, roasted pecans, and the aforementioned warm maple butter. If you're not in the mood for pancakes, this would be the next best thing. I've never had French toast like this; maybe it's in the bread or their egg wash or some secret ingredient that they sneak in there, but it's perfection. The toast is thick but still absorbs all the flavour, the inside is soft and moist, and the exterior is perfectly crisp. The caramelized bananas and roasted pecans work in perfect harmony together in both flavours and textures, and you already know how much I love that maple butter. It is decidedly more filling and more substantial than the pancakes, though, so I do recommend sharing. 

As someone who is not a sweet breakfast person, I really, thoroughly enjoyed these and can't recommend them enough. Our server was nice and efficient and our food arrived in a timely manner, and the space is clean with lots of sunlight and feels very homey. Fair warning, though: the place is packed and there isn't a lot of space between tables so you will be sitting very close to your neighbours. (Seriously, our neighbours started chatting with us. They had just gone to a taping for The Wendy Williams Show and even showed us the photos.) Still, if you like breakfast foods, Clinton Street Baking Company is phenomenal and well worth the hype. Just don't go starving 'cause you might die before getting a table.

Clinton Street Baking Company
4 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
(646) 602-6263
2 comments on "NYC — Spring 2016: Clinton Street Baking Company"
  1. Ahhh, this sounds amazing, and we're staying in the East Village, but they don't take reservations and we won't be able to wait on a weekend, lol.

    1. BOOOO HISSSSS. I think if you went like REALLY early in the morning (like, at 8:00, when they open), you could find a table during long weekend without waiting over 30 minutes... :P



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