For New Yorkers, an everything bagel is the closest thing to morning nirvana.
Prepare yourself for some French enlightenment: Dominique Ansel Bakery is open in Soho.
Ansel (former executive pastry chef at Daniel) bakes flaky, caramelized DKAs (a.k.a. the best pastry we’ve ever eaten), gateau battu (fluffy brioche cooked in molds Ansel’s parents shipped from his hometown north of Paris), and molten chocolate tarts beginning at 5 a.m. daily.
On the savory side, order steamed egg and Gruyere brioche buns with La Colombe coffee early; lunch and dinner bring kale Caesar salad, light croque monsieur, and a six-hour roasted pork club. Ice-chocolate-foam-topped hot cocoa and seasonal ice creams (smoked cinnamon, ginger) enjoyed in the back greenhouse are good anytime.
Grab a to-go pack (spicy caramel popcorn, brittles) if you can’t linger, but upcoming seasonal treats — pumpkin and pecan pies, buche de Noel (chestnut, red berry, chocolate) — will make it nearly impossible to leave.
Dominique Ansel Bakery, 189 Spring Street, between Sullivan and Thompson Streets (212-219-2773 or dominiqueansel.com).
Photo: Thomas Schauer / Courtesy of Dominique Ansel Bakery