Penelope’s – Midtown


Ah, what a throwback to before the hectic semester began. Late January, my friend had suggested going to Penelope’s because it was right around her school. Although I was initially worried due to the the 3.7 rating on Yelp, I decided it was worth a shot anyways. It was a Wednesday morning at about 10am, and it was quite empty – which apparently is a rarity. We were luckily seated immediately (and totally beat the rush because by the time we exited around 1pm, it was packed) and our food came pretty quickly.


My friend ordered the “Punkin’ Waffles,” which were pumpkin waffles with apple butter, dried cranberries, toasted cinnamon pecans, with warm baked apples. I had seen decent reviews about the Penny Egg sandwich, so I decided to go for that, which were scrambled eggs with american cheese & pesto on a croissant. It was also conveniently the cheapest thing on the menu, and I decided to make it more feeling, I would add $2 worth of fake bacon (which was surprisingly quite good). The waffles were quite good and my friend did not finish them, so priced at $13 – perhaps it was a decent deal. My $11 sandwich however was not that filling, and held me over but I have definitely gotten much larger portions for cheaper before.nfioad

The ambience of this cafe is definitely very rustic chic. The little plants mixed in with the rustic vibes made it a little quirky, upbeat place to eat. Sitting there, it felt a lot more spacious than a lot of the brunch places I have been to, and we sat there for almost 2 hours after finishing without too many people rushing us. I’m not sure that I would come back because not exactly the most filling place, a tad on the pricey side given the portion size – but with the sun coming in that winter morning, it was overall a pretty good experience if you are looking for new places to try.


Coco & Cru -Bowery


November is here! And I feel like I’m dying a little because there is so much to be done before the semester ends, but at least the weather is still beautiful (although it is questionable because what are we doing with our Earth – even though I recently discovered we are in an Ice Age period anyways but that is beside the point). However, Carolyn was ready to make me feel less like death with her recommendation of the New Museum, which was amazing (check out her post, it’s fab). After wandering around, looking for millions of food options and settling on none, we saw Coco & Cru. coco3The second you walk in – I quote Carolyn – the immediate reaction is “it smells healthy in here.” The leafy aroma hits pretty hard, and I started to get worried – I am not one for too healthy. However, I did end up getting the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich, which was fantastic. The French fries were the perfect mix of crispy and salty, so 10/10. When I originally saw my order, I thought the burger itself was a tad on the small side, but after scarfing down a good half of it, I felt like the food baby game was strong. Although, the $$ was an accurate depiction of the meal, I was pleasantly surprised with the food. You do get the quality and amount of food that would be worth $15, but it is not necessarily a steal for the student budget.


One minor complaint I had was that we ended up sitting on stools in a very tight fit, so it was difficult to hang up winter coats and find places to put our bags. However, I have no complaints about the food itself or the service, which was quicker than anticipated (apologies to the waitress that had to decrypt my total dollar amount because I cannot do math sometimes). Also for a Saturday lunch time, we managed to beat the rush around 1pm, which was great because we did not have to wait at all. Overall, it was a cute spot that has many healthy options if you are feeling more of a splurge one day.

Black Cat LES

bc1Unfortunately, the dim atmosphere of this cafe has made the quality of these photos go down tremendously so the quality looks especially grainy. Also, I really tried for the phone picture of the food but the lighting made the food look extremely unappetizing. I apologize! While I was looking at Yelp reviews for this place, it said that it would be that Friends coffee shop if it was actually filmed on the Lower East Side. And I can attest to this. bc2

The options for the cafe are quite limited in terms of food, so I ordered the “Cat’s Breakfast” which came with a two egg omelette with mushrooms and onions (I believe ham was also an option), a side salad and a toasted bagel with cream cheese (YAAS FOR CARBS). Altogether, that came out to $10.34 and I can say that I was definitely full by the end of it and powered through to finish it all.

bc3The ambience is very nice and calming, and more quiet than I had expected. Not many people went to hang out with their friends, they mostly went for work or to just chill by themselves (at least on the Friday brunch time that I went). There is a printer available there, and free wifi. The mismatching furniture and brick walls are wonderfully rustic and just the right amount of shabby chic. So overall, I would recommend this cafe if you are looking for a quiet corner to hang out in and if you do not mind your photos being a little dim.

51st Bakery & Cafe – LIC


Long Island City is quite up-and-coming with their cute cafes, and since its not as busy as the cafes in lower Manhattan, it makes it seem much more like you are discovering something unknown, which is way more hipster than the hipsters of Manhattan because Manhattan is just so basic, right? (I’m just kidding, who am I to judge running a semi-basic blog).


There’s another cute Parisian cafe in this area as well, but after scrolling through the menu, I realized that I was not up for spending $12 on the Monday before school started up again and when I would stop being paid. So, this place had four and half ratings on Yelp, and only ONE DOLLAR SIGN which meant a definite yes. I dragged my friend along and basically everything in this photo added up to around $12.50 (minus the glasses, the OJ and the fact that my frittata had onions and spinach instead of cheese.)  I could have easily eaten just the frittata, which was only $5.50, and a meal under $10 is always a plus.


This cafe was super spacious compared to the previous cafes that I have reviewed, and really clean looking. I was not totally impressed by the breakfast items, I had really wanted some heartier brunch, but some of their lunch sandwiches looked pretty good, and they were $8 for a sandwich, which once again is not bad. I accidentally poured corn starch sweetener type thing, thinking it was water, but other than that, and having to awkwardly tell the lady at the counter that I was stupid, my experience here was quite pleasant.

Ruby’s Cafe – SoHo


My wonderful OG Chinese School friends came to visit me this weekend, and as a person who likes to Instagram “trendy” places to pretend like I am much cooler than I actually am, I felt like I had a reputation to uphold. Originally, we were going to dine in Queens, but last minute, we decided on SoHo. Thus, the search began on the trusty ole Yelp. I made a list, and Ruby’s Café’s menu seemed like the most promising, with entrées that ranged from breakfast to burgers to salads, sweet and savory.


The pictures on Yelp made it look kind of cute, but I was a little concerned. Luckily, when we walked up, I was pleased to see that the café was indeed very chic, with the minimalist color palette and garage-turned-cafe vibe. I was a little worried about the Australian cafe vibe since Two Hands had also been an Australian cafe, but this surpassed my expectations. I ordered the Egg Sandwich, which was pretty basic with a twist of adding a hash brown patty and relish and it was really good.


Apologies for the Snapchat quality picture above but I definitely recommend this place! The pricing was decent, as in still expensive but around the $10-$12 range for a filling meal, and is really close to a lot of stores in SoHo if you are looking for a bite, they got you.

Two Hands – Lower East Side



If we’re going to be totally honest, I would not have ventured to this cafe unless my friend from out of town suggested it. I’m glad I stumbled upon it though because it’s pretty darn cute. When I looked up the website earlier, I was very impressed by how trendy it looked. Then I searched on Yelp, as one does, to see that it only had a 3.5 star rating. I barely ever go if the Yelp rating is below 4 stars, especially if it is two dollar signs, but I had already promised my friend.


My friend ordered the Avo Toast, and I ordered my first Açai bowl ever. Unfortunately, my Açai bowl experience was not as good as I would have liked it to be. I was expecting more tart flavors, but the layers of coconut and chia seeds did not allow for that. The granola was not very crunchy, and I could not finish half of it because it just felt as if I was eating lumpy, sweet soup. My friend’s Avo Toast was more promising though. I am not sure if avocado toast is supposed to be warm, but ours was not and the bread was kind of hard. Yet again, I barely spend money on food, so I am not an avocado toast connoisseur and have no reference on how it should be texture wise.


Overall, my half eaten Açai bowl ended up being around $11 and I can definitely say it was not worth it. It is a super cute place with decent service , but definitely not worth the amount of money you are spending.