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Phoenicia Diner
Photograph: Kevin Trageser

The best breakfasts in New York State

From Brooklyn's finest chicken and waffles to bacon and eggs in Buffalo, we've got you covered for the most important meal of the day

Written by Gianfranco Lentini in association with the New York Lottery
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Good morning, New York!

How do you like your eggs and bacon? In the morning or all day every day? How about your waffles? Doused in Upstate maple syrup or served up with some Brooklyn fried chicken?

Whichever way you flip your flapjacks, here’s your guide to the best breakfast joints in New York State, guaranteed to please any hard egg.

Long Island (Huntington)

The toast of Long Island is simply none other than Toast & Co. This all day every day Americana-style diner is a local favorite for their irresistible frittatas and create-your-own avocado toast bar. Hard to miss, look out for their signature orange awning and neon marquee.

Manhattan (Houston St & Orchard St)

No one comes between a New Yorker and their morning bagel and lox from Russ & Daughters. Operating since 1914, this NYC institution has consistently been the leading purveyor in baked goods and specialty foods. Four generations of Russ family later, it’s no wonder Anthony Bourdain called them “...not just the oldest and the last—but also the best.”

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Brooklyn (Williamsburg & Prospect Heights)

They may be sweet, but they sure pack a bite. For the only classic chicken and waffles that matters in Brooklyn, Sweet Chick is the coop for you. The standard for New American Comfort food in a culinary-zealous borough, Sweet Chick boasts a menu that lives by three values: 1) have fun, 2) eat well, and 3) spread love.

Phoenicia

Hidden amongst the Catskills lies a diner so piquant and picturesque, you might just end up staying the weekend. Phoenicia Diner has served loyal residents and migrant visitors since 1962 with nothing but the freshest ingredients sourced from Hudson Valley. Not convinced? Let the first come, first serve line out the diner door do the talking.

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Albany

The perfect landing spot for your next breakfast is The Cuckoo’s Nest. This Albany staple prides themselves in serving up a Southern cuisine-inspired breakfast worthy of winning over the entire Capital Region. And if you’re still hungry after breakfast, take a trip across the street to Cuckoo’s sister restaurant, Crave, for their yearly-awarded chef-crafted burgers.

Ithaca

Frolic, not walk, to Waffle Frolic. Located in the heart of the Ithaca Commons, this waffle bar is a pilgrimage for locals and college students alike. Featuring a full espresso bar and homemade waffles to please any palate—sweet, savory, gluten-free, vegan—you’ll be waffle-pressed to find a breakfast option more delicious than this.

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Syracuse

The quintessential downtown Syracuse experience, Oh My Darling features a breakfast menu of comfort classics like banana bread french toast and country sausage gravy and biscuits with ingredients sourced only from local farmers. And when you’re done eating, head downstairs to The Fitz, a 1920’s speakeasy-style cellar featuring local and touring musical performances.

8. The Original Steve’s Diner

Rochester

Everyone knows you simply can’t beat an original, and The Original Steve’s Diner is no exception. With three locations around Rochester, there are endless ways to try their 36 varieties of french toast and pancakes—or as Steve calls them, Love Cakes, because the main ingredient is nothing short of love.

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Buffalo

When passing through Buffalo, place all your eggs in this basket for a breakfast that’ll leave you positively sunny-side up. Break’n Eggs Crêperie serves authentic sweet and savory crêpes with an atmospheric side of European charm. Pair any crêpes with a Nutella or crème brûlée cappuccino, and violà!, your day is made.

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