242 Mott. St., New York, NY (Houston & Prince)
With all the ambience of a charming sidewalk bistro in Paris, it should come as no surprise that NoLita’s Café Gitane is named after a French cigarette. During the day, the hip French-Morrocan hotspot is lovely for a latte and either the baked eggs or avocado toast. The avocado toast here has a cult following, even though its recipe is widely known and easily replicated: Avocado, olive oil, lemon and red pepper flakes on whole grain toast. Yet somehow Gitane makes it magic. For dinner, we recommend you cozy up with a glass of Bordeaux and order meatballs: in spicy tomato sauce with hard-boiled eggs, cucumber, and a drizzle of yogurt, they are a truly innovative standout. The couscous is no slouch either, and do add the Merguez sausage. One other caveat before you start singing the praises of French and Morrocan fusion: Gitane is cash only. Now go enjoy.
Photo credit: Paolo Mastrangelo
VALERIE BOSTER, BOOKINGS EDITOR, VOGUE
“The avocado toast is a must!”
BRIAN ERMANSKI, ARTIST
“Cafe Gitane; It's been my hang out ever since freshman year of NYU.”