Banter (New York, NY) – Back in October, I went to New York with one of my friends to visit our California transplants out there! It was a nice, chill weekend where we all just hung out, explored the city, and ate good food. That Friday morning, we both woke up in Brooklyn and needed two things: coffee and food. No one was able to decide where we wanted to go (except for shopping in SoHo), so I literally googled a coffee shop with food and Banter came up thanks to Infatuation! It looked like a super cute cafe with good eats, so we hopped on the subway and made our way to Greenwich Village.
Greenwich and SoHo are my favorite parts of New York City, so I was super excited we were going to walk around there. Walking up to Banter, you realize how small but quaint the space is. It probably has about ten tables max, which seat about two to four people. Though it was packed, we (a group of three) got seated pretty quickly, which I was happy about because I was starving at this point.
Banter is an Australian coffee shop (apparently there are a lot of those out there in New York), started by two guys who worked at another Australian cafe, Two Hands, and they’re focusing on making fresh, locally sourced food that tastes good. First, we focused on getting coffee because it was already 1 in the afternoon already. We got a late start after our flight got super delayed and then we were also super awake because we were still on West Coast time. Banter roasts beans from Café Integral, a New York roaster that sources Nicaraguan beans. I was so close to ordering a Flat White because, after all, we were at an Australian coffee shop, but I didn’t want to crash and burn, so I stuck with a latte. I did add some sugar, but otherwise it was nice, smooth, and no bitterness in sight.
And then we shifted our attention to ordering brunch! Banter has a bunch of sweet and savory options that are brunch-esque such as french toasts, salad bowls, and toasts, all of which use fresh, local ingredients. They also have juices, teas, and wines as well. So what do 2 Californians and a Californian transplant do? We got avocado toasts and Nutella French toast. I know, I know, it was kinda basic but the toast combo sounded so good in that moment.
The Avocado Toast had goat cheese, tomatoes, micro basil, toasted pepitas on sourdough toast, drizzled with herb oil. I had to pass on the poached egg since I’m wary of asking restaurants about pasteurization, but I think the toast was just as good without the egg. It had so many great elements, with the soft cheesiness, to the fresh vegetable and herb elements, to the nuttiness of the pepitas. There was a lot happening and it worked really well. I’ve decided that for a next level avocado toast (by that I mean one that I can’t easily make at home), it needs to have an interesting combination and quality bread – like this thick slab of sourdough bread everything sat on top of.
My other friend – whose French – had to get the Nutella French toast. He’s obsessed, I swear. He would probably be rioting with the people in France right now if he couldn’t get his Nutella fix. The French Toast had a nut crumble, strawberries, caramelized bananas and drizzled with Vermont maple syrup. He really enjoyed it, so I trust that it was delicious.
The service was polite and prompt – though I did not that the waiter took my order back wordlessly when they brought my toast with a poached egg on it. I don’t like to be that person, but A.) I have certain restrictions and I order what I can to minimize it without too many substitutions/exclusions and B.) I’m not paying extra money for something I didn’t order and can’t eat lol. But that wasn’t a big deal to me, so overall it was a good experience!
This was truly a hidden gem that I just happened to find the day I got there instead of the usual research that I do – so it made it all the more special to me!
Also, be sure to check out my Instagram feed (@Bayfood), since i’m posting up some of my travel photos during my weekend there!