Another one of Lex’s favourite things is his coffee. He’s the type of person who gets a headache if he misses his morning coffee. Before his first visit to NY he’d been warned by many that the coffee in the Big Apple was not how he liked it in Australia. So, armed with a purpose (and a recommendation), on our first day in NY we headed to Bluestone Lane, a cafe/coffee shop owned and run by Aussies living in the States. There are quite of few of these scattered around Manhattan. There are two types – the coffee shop which serves a limited variety of quick food and the cafe which has a full brunch/lunch menu. Both types have a distinctly rustic vibe and use fair-trade coffee and organic produce. What more could you want? They also have Australian servers, so if you’re feeling homesick it’s a good place to go to feel like you’re home. You can also say “no worries”, and refer to the waiter as your “mate”and not receive strange looks.
I can’t speak on the coffee side of things as I’m more of a tea drinker, but Lex’s quote was the coffee at Bluestone Lane was “the closest thing to the coffee we drink at home”. A good review then!
Coffee shop locations
- Midtown East
- Financial District
- Bryant Park
Cafe shop locations
- West Village (this was our regular spot as we stayed right near in Tribeca. We also sat next to Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson here!)
- Upper East Side (this is a really cool spot located in an old Church right opposite Central Park. It’s also a really small space that’s quite busy so try not to go at peak times or there’s a bit of a wait)
So, let’s get to the food! Our first visit to the cafe was the Upper East Side location. We had just been on a bus tour around Harlem and Central Park. We attempted to walk through Central Park after the tour but it was a freezing day in New York so we stumbled in desperate to have something warm. We ordered a vegetable soup and I can’t say I remember too much about it other than it being heartwarming! We visited the Upper East Side location again after a walk down Museum Mile. This time we ordered what they called the “wedding soup”. It was an Italian-style soup with bits of chorizo, lentils and couscous. Warmed us straight up and left us wanting more. Our next few visits were to the West Village cafe. We first went on New Years Day and there was a 30 minute wait (in the cold by the way!), but waited we did, and glad we did too! We were seated in the back in a cozy room along a row full of closely placed tables. We both ordered the Avo smash (FYI Lex and I have a habit of ordering the same food, we try to mix it up but the Avo smash was just staring at us on the menu and neither of us wanted to compromise). The Avo smash comes on a single (large) serve of Balthazar bread with tahini, feta cheese, heirloom cherry tomatoes, sunflower spouts and of course – a huge pile of avocado. Lex added the poached egg to his and I went with smoked salmon as an add on. Now, usually we add salt and pepper + chilli to most of our orders, but with this Avo smash there really was no need. They were generous with the avo, nothing stingy about this place. And so good was the Avo smash that we ordered it the next few times we went for brunch…we’re really bad like that (hence my new rule about not going to the same place once anymore!). I mentioned previously that we sat next to Jesse Tyler Ferguson one time we went here. It was pretty awesome. He had a script and was practising it and making notes/annotations as he went!
On our second last visit to Bluestone Lane before we went home we decided to go crazy and order something different. So we went for the brekkie board. This includes half a serve of the Avo smash (old habits) and a serving of their Collective granola – which is their house-made organic granola consisting of oats, coconut chips, seeds and nuts (all lightly toasted), with greek yoghurt, citrus curd and seasonal fruit. This was seriously mouth-watering to look at, and when Lex and I tasted it we just looked at each other. The look was enough for us both to know we were in foodie heaven. See, there are advantages to not always ordering the same thing, you find other equally as delicious options!
Our very last visit to Bluestone Lane was to the coffee shop in the FiDi district on our last day in NY. Being as this was a coffee shop the menu is limited and more “on the go”, quick style food. They had the Avo smash and a few pastries to choose from. Being as we aren’t big pastry fans (and I’m trying to justify my reasons to make myself feel better), we decided to order the Avo smash. It definitely wasn’t as good at the cafe one. It was a smaller, quicker version. However, I could imagine that if I was a high flying Wall St banker stopping in to pick up a quick lunch (this coffee shop was right opposite the Stock Exchange building), then I could imagine this would suffice for lunch.
Overall, Lex and I really loved Bluestone Lane. The food and service were great and there was a really youthful, positive vibe about the place. Although there were heaps of Aussie accents to be heard, the cafes were also filled with locals who enjoyed the easy going people and the deliciously fresh and thoughtful food served. Lex loved it so much he even wanted to buy the Bluestone Lane snapback hat the employees wore. Alas he didn’t as we had run out of money by our last day!
P.S whilst writing this post I realised there is also a Bluestone Lane in Philadelphia 🙂