Some New Yorkers might wish they had an iconic coffee hangout like Friends’ Central Perk. But, my NYC goals are more linked to finding a diner similar to one in Seinfeld. Because who doesn’t want more food in their proximity when talking to friends? I think I found my personal Seinfeld diner in FiDi, and they have the BEST pancakes.
George’s New York Restaurant
This basic staple has been serving the Wall Street area breakfast and other meals since its opening in 1950. It might not look like a traditional diner, but the establishment encompasses history and charm. Like many businesses in the World Trade Center, George’s Restaurant was damaged by the tragic events of 9/11 in 2001. A year later, the building was demolished by father and son duo, George and Bill Koulmentas, but they decided to rebuild from the rumbles. They were able to double the business’ original size, and now the place remains as a small gem in the lower Manhattan neighborhood.
Like any American dining joint, you walk into George’s to find sports memorabilia covering the walls. It doesn’t have the complete diner vibe with chair stools and booths, but the hominess will want you to come back again. The restaurant is famous for its big portion plates. You won’t be disappointed to get a full meal worthy of what you actually cost—a rare occurrence in New York City. In the few weeks of living in the FiDi area, I have already been to George’s more than once because it’s simple and welcoming with endless affordable options for a good brunch.
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I haven’t the chance to stop by post-brunch hours. To be honest, brunch alone makes the experience worth it. George’s serve mimosas for around $5, and they’re served in a large juice glass. From there, the menu includes every breakfast food you can imagine. From various egg dishes to every topping for pancake, I want to actually try something new whenever I visit.
On my first visit, I decided to go for the pancakes. After all, it seems to be the most popular photographed item on Instagram. You’ll spend at least 10 to 15 minutes just going through the options for their fluffy stacks. There are many types of pancakes from blueberry or strawberry to chocolate chips—not to mention, one item even comes with a scoop of ice cream on top! How amazing does that all sound? Good luck trying to decide what to try first!
My Order: Strawberry Pancakes
I decided to go with the strawberry pancakes, which turned out to have the strawberries beautifully displayed on top with a sprinkle of powder sugar. It had been awhile since I had pancakes and as someone who doesn’t usually have sweets for breakfast, I was obsessed. George’s has won my breakfast-loving heart and my sweet tooth will forever be satisfied by their pancakes, waffles, and french toast options.
If you feel like making the trek to Lower Manhattan, stop on the corner of Greenwich and Rector Streets for George’s, a place that unfortunately tends to come filled with tourists, but you won’t mind it at all when eating their high-quality food. Besides, everyone needs that one breakfast destination when starting off a lazy Sunday, right? George’s will be on the top of my list.
George’s New York Restaurant, 89 Greenwich Street, georges-ny.com
Do you have any favorite American classic breakfast places in NYC? Share them in the comments below.