Cuisine: American, Breakfast, Brunch, Baked Goods
Address: 4 Clinton Street (btw. East Houston & Stanton)
New York, NY 10002
The Clinton St. Baking Co. is well established in the brunch world – so much so that it took my friend Alison and I a while to finally go there. We had heard numerous things about long lines outside, quick turn around times once inside, and epic pancakes. It turns out that all of these things are not wrong.
In anticipation of the long line, Alison and I woke up at 7:30am to beat the rush (it opens at 8am). As we walked through the ghost town of East Village down to the Lower East Side, no one was outside. Literally no one. It was Saturday after all, but seriously, we were alone. I was all like, “Where is everyone?” and then we rounded the corner and low and behold THERE WAS ALREADY A FREAKING LINE AT CLINTON ST. BAKING CO. EVERYONE WAS AT CLINTON ST. BAKING CO. So we got in the line. But it was ok because we got the last two seats in the first seating group after it opened. So be warned. There will be lines, you will wait, but good things come to those that wait…so they say.
Here’s a nice before and after shot.
Pancakes: These are the supposed best pancakes in New York. I don’t necessarily agree with that statement because it 100% depends on what kind of pancake you’re in the mood for (for example Le Barricou serves a crazy pancake that is unlike anything I’ve ever had before), but these are still really, really delicious. The super interesting part though is the syrup, not the pancakes. It’s warm maple butter, not maple syrup, with an emphasis on the butter. Definitely worth tasting.
Brioche French Toast: This french toast is topped with caramelized bananas, roasted pecans and the warm maple butter. Very good but VERY sweet. Everything at Clinton St. Baking Co. is sweet though. I’m pretty sure the back of their shirts say “Made with love and butter.” I personally prefer the pancakes if you’re only going to hit up the restaurant once.
Sugar Cured Bacon: OH YEAH. These are a must if you are a lover of the pig. They are delicious. So very delicious.
Biscuit with Butter and Jam: This biscuit was good and the jam was good. However, it’s not a traditional Southern Biscuit, there are better places for biscuits.
Hash Browns: The least satisfying thing we ordered. These are heavy on the mashed potato and low on the hash brown (fried part). They were essentially crispy mashed potatoes, but maybe that’s your style. Personally, mine is the good old Coney Island Diner Style: shredded, fried, and oily.
Country Breakfast: 3 eggs any style, heritage maple cured bacon, hash browns, buttermilk biscuit. Basically everything I had above but without the sugar cured bacon, because this is more like canadian bacon…aka ham. This is a good option if you just want to try a lot of things.
Basically, we went in with skeptical views (that’s what happens when a place has uber hype) and while we weren’t blown away like, “HOLY CRAP THIS WAS THE BEST BRUNCH OF MY LIFE” we were down with it. Alison summed it up in one phrase: “Ok. I get it. I get it Clinton St. Bakery.”
So yeah, we get it. We get what it’s about. And it’s good and worth going to at least once. Hell I’ve been twice. But it’s not that cheap, which takes away from one of the best things about brunch, which is that it tends to be the cheapest meal of the day. You’re guaranteed to spend around $20 or more on “baked goods” here.