Bus Stop Cafe: West Village’s Version of a Truck Stop
The Bus Stop Cafe transports you out of the ever-chic West Village and into a small town anywhere in America. It’s a relic, in a charming way, of a slower lifestyle (a cheaper one too) where breakfast was enjoyed every morning and food was simple and tasty, without fancy adornments. The polar opposite of ‘relaxed’ and ‘casual’ hot spots like Braeburn, Cafe Cluny, dell’anima, and Bistro de la Gare, the diner-like Bus Stop Cafe remains a go-to favorite of the neighborhood.
Wonder why it’s called the Bus Stop Cafe? I’ll give you one guess.
Bingo, it’s prime location is just outside a bus stop, at the busy and bustling intersection of Bleecker, 8th Ave, and Hudson. The restaurant is small and crowded with boothes and tables helter-skelter and squished into unusual spaces; in clement weather, limited outside seating is available for a few lucky diners. The theme? Diner mashed with truck stop mashed with coffee shop. The look is simple, unadorned, and cozy, slightly kitschy in a charming way, and just plain comfortable – familiar to those from small towns across America.
The food? Simple as simple can be and varied American. Expect classics like eggs benedict, pastrami sandwiches, burgers, spaghetti bolognese, and a BLT along with more Mediterranean-focused fare like chicken souvlaky, prosciutto & mozzarella wrap, and eggplant parmesan. My basic favorite when I’m too lazy to make my own is a tuna fish bacon sandwich with a side of crispy fries. The grub isn’t fancy or made from locally-sourced pricey ingredients, but it’s hearty, hot, and generally satisfying. The best bet is brunch, complete with fluffy pancakes, hulking french toast, fresh bagels with lox, steak & eggs, and a variety of omelettes.
The Bus Stop Cafe is oftentimes a welcome relief from the sky-high prices, overly-complicated cuisine, and snob factor so popular in New York restaurants. It’s basic, efficient, friendly, and utterly devoid of all pretentions. Expect a more laidback clientele than you’d typically find in the West Village, though by no means shabby – heck, you might even spy some good ole Reebok/New Balance sneakers.
Perfect for: hangover brunch, coffee infusion, cheap & fast delivery/takeout, and a simple dinner solo or with buds