L at Bedford Ave.; J, M, Z at Marcy Ave.
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When Lawrence Elliott's Bedford Avenue coffee shop, The Read, fell victim to rising rents, Elliott set his sights on the Southside, envisioning a neighborhood cafe with the best baked goods in Williamsburg. The stacks of used books are gone, but the new space, with its wide-planked wood floors, vintage hardware, and charming backyard garden, still has a stay-all-day feel. Locals with day jobs line up in the morning for strong coffee and fantastic house-baked morning glory scones. Later in the afternoon, stylish freelance-types file in for the simple sandwiches or homemade soups and no-attitude service. (Note: Laptops are forbidden, so those seeking a temporary workspace should move elsewhere.) In the evening, the place transitions into a cozy dinner spot with a streamlined menu of unpretentious American entrees like pan-seared duck breast and buckwheat veggie carbonara. On the weekends, the cafe is packed with couples settling in for lazy brunches of basic eggs with shoestring hashbrowns. Still-warm chocolate chip cookies and Irish coffee are favorites for dessert.Recommended Dishes
Buttermilk pancakes, $11