I must have walked past The Bluebell Café a hundred times on my way to or from work since it opened last year; it took me far too long to have breakfast at this sweet yet unassuming Gramercy cafe. Bluebell has a homey, slightly country aesthetic and reminded me a little of that Murray Hill favorite, Penelope—but without the crowds.
Country Eggs ($7) is Bluebell's take on biscuits and gravy. The biscuits come covered in a thick, slightly sweet gravy (with ample sausage), and a pile of fluffy scrambled eggs sit to the side. Also sharing the plate: fruit and hash browns—which appeared to be their french fries, only chopped short with added herbs. The sweetness of the dish might not be to everyone's liking, but it was a solid take on a classic. The biscuits were good enough to stand alone, and can be ordered separately with preserves ($2).
The Brioche French Toast ($9) is understandably a house favorite: served as a mini-loaf of brioche rather than as slices, the presentation alone got my attention. Raspberry and lemon curd straddle the block, which cuts up like cake. The outside is crispy and delicious and gives way to a moist first layer, but the inside relies on the richness of brioche as the custard can't quite penetrate such a thick piece. Maple syrup is offered on the side, but the lemon curd and jam make such nice pairings that the dish doesn't require much. We chose to add sausage ($2), which was also slightly sweet, a classic maple-flavored breakfast sausage.
Irving Farm Coffee, egg sandwiches, assorted pancakes (chocolate chip, banana-walnut, and a daily special), and oatmeal and granola options round out the menu.
There's also a children's menu available with smaller portions, offered in combinations like silver dollar pancakes with a banana and small juice for $6—a thoughtful inclusion at such a neighborhoody spot.
The Bluebell Café
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.