With its towering ceiling, airy interior, and oversize baked goods, City Bakery cultivates an air of abundance. Known for its salad bar, prepared gourmet foods, famous mac and cheese, hot chocolate, and unique confections—the flaky pretzel croissant, for instance—this Flatiron District eatery run by TV producer Maury Rubin has maintained a loyal following for breakfast, brunch, and lunch since opening in 1990. While customers shouldn’t come expecting bargains or speedy service (long waits in line are common), there is plenty of seating. Small tables line the main floor's perimeter, more are up in the mezzanine, and seven stools are located at the bar named Lucille.
Time your visit to coincide with the annual Hot Chocolate Festival, held each February. It's a celebration of unique flavors such as bourbon hot chocolate.