Whether you’re looking for casual dining, breakfast and brunch or outdoor seating, a garden cafe has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re opening a coffee shop or a full-blown restaurant, planning is key.
For Maureen Murphy, owner of Bayview Garden and Flower House Cafe on Whidbey Island, a food venue was always in the plan. She started by defining her vision and long-term goals.
Fresh & Local
For a memorable brunch, lunch or dinner, head to this charming and quaint garden cafe. They offer a full menu of classic breakfast and lunch favorites including their famous breakfast sandwiches, egg bakes, burgers, salads and more.
They also have a nice selection of beverages, including their renowned hot tea and cold coffees. The cafe is BYOB, making it the perfect place to kick back and relax.
They have a few other fun and clever things going for them, but the most impressive one is their patented garden-to-table concept. This innovative concept uses organic produce from the owner’s garden and local farms to create fresh, wholesome meals. The restaurant also has a unique alfresco dining experience, with a beautiful garden patio that allows you to eat your meal as it is being prepared right in front of you.
The ambiance at this restaurant is cozy and intimate, making it a great place to go for a date or an evening out with friends. Carnegie’s Restaurant specializes in steaks and fresh seafood.
Casual dining restaurants offer a relaxed atmosphere and affordable food. They’re often found in shopping centers, strip malls or busy downtown areas.
They tend to have larger dining rooms with tables close together. They may not have tablecloths or use paper placemats and basic silverware.
In contrast, fine dining restaurants are usually located in old buildings or high-end areas and have upscale furniture. They also have spacious dining rooms and the distance between tables is usually big.
They’re often part of a large chain with many locations, but the menu items are always consistent and they don’t change. They also don’t have as many servers to serve customers.
Breakfast & Brunch
At this lush garden cafe, you can enjoy breakfast and brunch dishes that are both delicious and memorable. The menu features traditional favorites elevated in both presentation and flavor, including omelets, benedicts, pancakes and waffles.
A new incarnation of Old John’s, this diner brings classics like ham and cheese omelets and egg creams to the Upper West Side. You can also savor crullers and other sweet and savory treats, along with bread service from Patti Ann’s and coffee from Parlor Coffee.
In a cozy space that feels like a living room, eat Old Bay tots, cheesy egg sandwiches, or avocado toast with cucumber and labneh. And when the weather’s nice, you can go outdoors to eat on the patio.
For a special treat, try the bottomless brunch on Fridays and Saturdays. For $40, you can sip a glass of bubbly or mimosa along with plates of pancakes, pasta and crispy chicken sandwiches.
Outdoor dining options are a huge draw to the city, and there’s no shortage of spots with beautiful terraces and courtyards. But with recent restrictions on the number of people that can be seated outside due to Covid, some restaurants have had to reconsider their patio build-outs.
Despite all the changes, a few places are still serving up their al fresco fare. At Garden Cafe, a casual American spot in Inwood, you can enjoy omelets and lunch salads all day, or burgers and pasta at night.
This Gramercy restaurant serves comforting Italian favorites like lumache with pork ragu and pumpkin pappardelle. Its open-air backyard patio is fully heated and adorned with orange trees, draping ivy and plant dividers.
Besides, the garden vibe isn’t just for food: It’s also the perfect spot to catch up with friends or spend some time alone. The space is covered with picnic tables, overhead heaters and twinkling lights that dangle from vine-covered trellises.