No matter which way you slice it, commuting to work in the morning sucks. Being thrust into wakefulness by a shrieking alarm hours before you’re actually prepared to be conscious. Waiting for buses and subways among smelly hordes of somnambulant zombies, heading towards jobs they despise. Attempting to feed this routine with acrid coffee and day-old muffins is the final insult — so plan a pit stop at these early rising cafes to help start your day off right.
Brooklyn Kolache Co (Opens: 7am, closest subway stop: Bedford-Nostrand Ave station in Bed Stuy).
These neat to eat Czechoslovakian stuffed pastries are super popular in Texas, but tailor made for Brooklyn’s most intrepid commuters. Try blueberry, cherry, peanut butter and jelly, or sausage egg and cheese, along with a tall cup of Kitten Coffee.
520 Dekalb Ave, (718) 398-1111
SCRATCHbread (Opens: 6:30am, closest subway stop: Bedford-Nostrand Ave station in Bed Stuy).
When did Bedford Stuyvesant corner the market for awesome on-the-go breakfast options? It’s almost worth it to go to work in the morning for a bowl of SCRATCHbread’s Anson Mills grits (topped with goodies like bacon, kale pesto, or egg), or any one of their outrageous baked goodies, like plantain breadcake, chai sticky buns, or salt and pepper biscuits.
1069 Bedford Ave, (718) 744-8231
Bien Cuit (Opens: 7am, closest subway stop: Bergen St. station in Cobble Hill).
You’ll feel like you’re riding on the Metro instead of the stinky F train when you bite into one of chef Zachary Golper’s exquisite Parisian pastries and treats — like the artichoke goat cheese croissant, cured onion and apricot jam tartine, or lamb bacon frittata sandwich on ciabatta or pain au lait.
120 Smith St, (718) 852-0200
Du Jour Bakery (Opens: 7am, closest subway stop: 9th St-4th Ave station in Park Slope).
The Everything Pretzel puts a delicious spin on our favorite bagel, and the fancified pop-tart with real fruit filling and all-butter crust makes us feel slightly less sleazy about indulging in the junky breakfast treat.
365 5th Ave, (347) 227-8953
Rucola (Opens: 8am, closest subway stop: Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Boerum Hill).
You don’t have to wait for dinner to indulge at one of our favorite new farm-to-table restaurants. Try the virtuous yogurt and granola with seasonal fruit, local honey and herbs, a hunk of homemade bread with jam and farmstead butter, or the broccoli rabe and cheese scramble with toast.
190 Dean St, (718) 576-3209
Aloha Grinds (Opens: 8am, closest subway stop: 77th St station in Bay Ridge).
Chow down Hawaiian style with a to-go cup of Kona coffee, a bubble tea, and an authentic Island breakfast — we’re talking spam and rice or spam, egg and cheese on a roll.
7604 3rd Ave, (718) 238-0456
B.A.D Burger (Open 24 hours, closest subway stop: Bedford Ave station in Williamsburg).
B.A.D stands for “burgers and breakfast all day” at this 24/7 joint, so why not greet the morning with the Wake and Bake burger — topped with two eggs, bacon, and jack cheese?
131 Grand St, (718) 384-7273
Brooklyn Label (Opens at 8am, closest subway stop: Greenpoint Ave station in Greenpoint).
You can get your Stumptown coffee fix at this genial Greenpoint café, and a mighty fine breakfast to boot — everything from the cast iron waffle to the red flannel hash to the biscuits and gravy is made from scratch.
180 Franklin St, (718) 389-2806
Iris Take Away (Opens at 7:30am, closest subway stop: Court St, Clark St, or Borough Hall stations in Brooklyn Heights).
It makes sense that a major commuter hub like Brooklyn Heights should have a stellar breakfast spot — and we’re loving the grab-and-go goodies at Iris Café’s new take away market. Avocado or salmon mousse toasts, lox and egg sandwiches with capers and pickled red onions, and breakfast baguettes with cheddar and thin-sliced ham will make you the envy of your jury-duty companions.
16 Columbia Pl, (718) 797-3805
Terrace Bagels (Opens at 5am, closest subway stop: 15 St-Prospect Park station in Windsor Terrace).
Freshly boiled and baked bagels will always be the last word on breakfast for every self-respecting New Yorker, and this bustling spot is a neighborhood classic. An everything, untoasted, with olive cream cheese is our go-to order, but in today’s age, $7.15 is a relatively low price to pay for a loaded bagel with lox.
222 Prospect Park W., (718) 768-3943