MR’s Guide to the Best Oatmeal in NYC
What are you having for breakfast?
Capital One may want to know what’s in your wallet, but at Man Repeller, we prefer the more spiritually fulfilling question, what’s in your belly?
It’s 8AM, which means there is a 92.4% chance that you are seated at your desk and hungry, wondering when that caffeine jolt wore off and why you listened to me when I said to wear suede boots in lieu of rain ones on Saturday. I was just trying to help your overall mood but I now realize the real secret is in nourishment, or more acutely for this precise moment in time: oatmeal.
So here’s our guide to the best oatmeal in New York City as informed by the very stomachs who churn out this (insert bowel joke here) content (insert one more bowel joke here) and present such prolific analogies as: if car is to carriage, oatmeal is to porridge.
I’m sorry, what?
Think Coffee, 248 Mercer Street or these locations: It comes with either steamed cow’s or soy milk (or water) as well brown sugar and raisins. Tastes just like mom’s, a.k.a Quaker Oats, but heartier.
Liquiteria, 170 Second Avenue: If you have often thought about what manna topped with bananas and walnuts tastes like, this organic oatmeal is for you, Bible empathist. While additional toppings include raisins, green apple, brown sugar or cinnamon and honey, trust me when I say bananas and walnuts are the move. Also feel comfortable knowing that on the other end of this meal is a satisfied stomach until you can haul ass to Sweetgreen on Kenmare Street and continue on your quest toward expensive health food.
Organic Avenue, 62 Bleecker Street or these locations: These steel cut oats sell out faster than silly bandz at a camp convention and are incidentally very good for stabilizing blood sugar and making you poop. It is cheaper than most places ($3) and while you can opt for pumpkin seeds or dried cherries and almonds as a topping, I’m going to urge that you take the coconut shavings and sugar and run.
Joe’s Coffee at Columbia University: If you want to call this in an ivy league of its own, I will not stop you. Similarly, if you want to condemn Krista and Charlotte for choosing a breakfast soup indigenous to their past stomping grounds, go ahead. They make theirs with steamed almond milk (which provides for a near perfect texture that takes care of a sugar craving), walnuts, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, apples and cinnamon.
OatMeals NY, 120 West 3rd Street: This is the oatmeal mecca of NYC. Aside from the countless savory and sweet oatmeal concoctions they offer, they have a toppings bar where you can build your own bowl and it kind of puts the 16 Handles selection to shame. Indian Spice is particularly good.
The Butcher’s Daughter, 19 Kenmare Street: Call it oatmeal, call it muesli, whatever — the bottom line is that oats get soaked in almond or cashew milk and are then topped with more nuts, currants, raisins and cinnamon. The texture is crunchier than most other oatmeals and it’s filling-as-fuq. Like stick a fork in me filling.
From Amelia, the dramatic anti-oatmeal oatmeal lover:
If I am being real, I used to think Goldilocks was an idiot. What’s the point of breaking into a porridge household? That’s like the storybook equivalent of the bad snack house. You want the gushers and Doritos house. Goldilocks goes around trying everyone’s porridge and complains that it’s not right, and it’s like, hello, porridge sucks. It is literally hot oats. That doesn’t even taste good to bears.
Then I had a revelation. Oatmeal is only as good as its toppings, which is why my first pick for best oatmeal in this town is at Lafayette (380 Lafayette Street). It comes topped with fruit stewed in cognac and toasted almonds. Similar to the way I consume salads, I mostly eat all the fruit and almonds off the top and then declare I would like a bagel.
My second favorite oatmeal is from Cafe Cluny because they slice up bananas in the most beautiful way, and if there’s anything I’ve learned from Pinterest it’s that presentation is everything. I also like the candied pecans that come in the ‘meal and tend to spend the course of the dining experience fishing them out. And then I get a bagel.
And if you’re staying home and hate Seamless:
Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats are thick and hearty. Boil hot water on the stove with the oats (use a rice cooker if you have one), mix in almond milk, add chia seeds if you’re feeing crazy and then douse it in cinnamon. Or raisins. Or both.
For a dessert oatmeal recipe: Add almond butter, peanut butter, dark chocolate, banana, and a dollop of maple syrup. Undercook it a little as the nut butters really thicken it up.
For savory oatmeal: Make with broth instead of water, add sauteed veggies, add cheese, add spices.
Finally, though I haven’t tried this: I also suggest pouring some matcha powder over your DIY oatmeal — if not because I suspect coupled with chia seeds, brown sugar, dried goldenberries and some cardamom it will be delicious with a capital D, then certainly because green eggs are so passé (pronounced pah-seh) in this vegan world we occupy. Long live the healthy, Seussian grain.
Did we leave anything off?