I know what you're asking yourself. What the hell are they doing all the way up at 75th street? It's true, we're both Brooklynites now, and I rarely venture above Rock Center, where I'm (un)fortunate enough to work. But on this lovely day, we were participating in The Race for the Cure in Central Park at the ungodly weekend hour of 8AM. We burned off some calories during the 5K, and decided we should get them immediately back by eating at Fairway for brunch.
The Fairway Cafe is located above the Upper West Side's Fairway Market, and serves breakfast and lunch. There is also a proper restaurant up there, offering semi-fancy dinners, which we did not venture into. The space is fairly large, with one side lined with sunny windows. It's very much has the feel of the melding of a cafe and a diner, and the service is.. meh. But I've had much worse.
The brunch menu includes exactly what you'd expect from a breakfast/brunch menu (pancakes, eggs, meat, waffles, sandwiches, coffee, tea, etc), and we did we what we always do with such a menu- we split. We ordered a special that included a waffle, eggs and bacon, and each got a coffee. The prices are as you'd expect: more than I like to spend on things like eggs, but that's partially because I'm from middle of nowhere America where food is just cheaper (often times boring, but cheaper).
The food was good, nothing incredible and a little bland, but good. It's much like what your Mom would make you if she had time to make you a big breakfast. Except for my Mom, because her omlettes are aaaaaawesome. The coffee was especially good, which, like everything else, is sourced from the market downstairs.
I would like to return sometime, I hear their sundaes are yummy, and--if you're a lobster roll person--I hear theirs is a bargain. -Laurel
My old coworker, Roland, raved about this place all the time. He lives in the UWS, so understandably it is convenient for him. However, as Laurel mentioned above, it’s not so convenient for us.
Nonetheless on that fateful day after I walked and Laurel ran (I’m the much lazier of the two of us), we decided to go to Fairway Café and grab a bite of brunch. If you’ve never been to Fairway Market, you’re missing out on the awesome market, and you should make a point to go there on a less crowded time (a Monday around say, 2pm would probably work). They have virtually everything you can think of, and not too expensive either, with lotsa deals. If you don’t want to go to the UWS, don’t fret. There’s one in Red Hook that has an awesome view of the Statue of Liberty, although a not-so-great café to go with it.
The UWS Fairway Café is much better than the one in Red Hook. The décor simple, but nice – a large open space with mirrors lining the walls and ceilings. As Laurel said, they have a lot of options for brunch and dinner. They are famous for their steak, although it's pricey (which makes sense and yet is kind of weird - it's above a grocery store, after all). The food wasn’t lackluster, but it wasn’t the best meal in the whole world. The waffles were tasty and the eggs cooked how we wanted, but honestly how can you screw that up? The coffee was delicious, but didn’t come in the promised French press that was on the menu.
The best part of the trip was an adorable dude who had just finished playing tennis. Out of everything, I remember this the most (men before food? I'm such a terrible food blogger). If you were playing tennis on the day of the Race for the Cure and ate at Fairway Cafe, meet me back there after this year's race on Sept. 12. I'll be drenched in sweat - I'm actually running this year...
Eat here, fall in love, and buy some fresh coffee from the market below. -Jennifer
Address: 2127 Broadway between 74th and 75th St.
Website: FairwayMarket.com, Yelp
Payment: Cash, Cards
Open Late: Til 1am
Large Group Friendly: Yep
Bar/Happy Hour: Beer and Wine Only