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?

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  • kwahba

    Clinton Street Baking Company. The best! made w/ Battenkill valley creamery milk, brown sugar and apples.

    • Charlotte Fassler

      My stomach just growled.

  • Allie Fasanella

    I haven’t had oatmeal in ages and this made me really in the mood for some! I mean, I would probably go into anaphylactic shock from half of those but they look so good I’m tempted. I could use a little excitement in my life anyway.Kidding. I love when you guys do posts like this 🙂

  • GiaG

    Ohh it Looks really delicious!
    I think I’ll try the Variation with the peanut butter

  • Now I’m hungry, not only for the food, but for the places as well.

  • Katie

    Organic Avenue: I read that as “(…) coconut, sugar and rum” and didn’t think that sounded so bad.

    Almond milk with almond butter is the only way chez moi.

  • Breakfast Criminals

    You think this oatmeal is the best because you haven’t stopped by the Breakfast Criminas HQ 😉

    • Esther Levy

      YUM what is in that

      • Taylor Makaveli Osondu

        hello Esther how are you doing

    • Charlotte Fassler

      that is beautiful

  • my best recommendation for a quick yet healthy chocolate fix: quaker’s instant chocolate chip oatmeal with a tablespoon of cocoa powder and some flax. serve with bananas or strawberries. so good!


    • Leandra Medine

      oh fuck what a good call. that shit is raw and delightful.

  • Dude, this is the perfect guide for me. I love oatmeal for dinner =)

  • lindsay @ VAUGHAN

    Is there anything better? I go for homemade steel cut oats with a pinch of salt, a smidge of honey a dash of cinnamon and whatever dried fruit or berries are in my pantry. Bliss!

  • Tilda Swinton

    My bf makes it at home with water, almond milk, pumpkin spice (lol- just consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger), more cinnamon, a little coconut oil, vanilla, chia seeds, honey, and apples (add while cooking so they get cooked a bit). IZ BOMBBBBBBB and v. satisfying.

  • Jane

    Where is the oatmeal in the first pic from?

  • MarcjalLA52

    So so good. I didn’t have any raisins so I used dried apricots. Turned out perfectly. Thank you. This will now be my go to cookie recipe. this is mine recipe. Thanks.

  • Elise

    Here is what I put on my steel cut oats, a fantastic savory start to the day: butter, grated Parmesan, fresh parsley, ground pepper, Tamari, walnuts. Delicious!!!

  • nes

    Sometimes I go wild and make my bobs red mill oats with almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and then top it with roasted cashews, chia, raspberries, and some dark raw cacao chocolate. That is truly heaven to me and I have to force myself to eat different things for breakfast just so that I never get bored of it. Really though, I eat it 5 days a week.

  • elza

    it always looks better than it actually tastes though…

  • One of the things I enjoyed most from NY was the food, especially breakfast. Here in São Paulo we have awesome places to go, but its just not the same. Looking forward to visit New York Again and try one of those oatmeals <3