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Best Café

  • Iris Cafe

    20 Columbia Pl., nr. State St., Brooklyn Heights; 718-722-7395

    In this increasingly caffeinated world, it’s hard to find a café that’s all things to all people, but this friendly newcomer, situated off the beaten path on a quiet Brooklyn Heights block, might be it. The coffee, French press or espresso, is beyond reproach; the pastries (sticky buns, oatmeal-raisin-chocolate-chip cookies, ham-and-Cheddar biscuits, all exceptional) are baked in-house. That alone might be enough, but there’s more: all-day breakfast dishes like soft-boiled eggs with toast “soldiers,” and old-fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon apples and steamed milk; terrific sandwiches made to order, some with roast beef or smoked ham from Dickson’s Farmstand Meats; Saturday’s special French dip, garnished with onion jam and served with Manhattan Special–infused beef jus. Iris doses its seltzer with bitters, which turns out to be an inspired idea, and just in case you’re low on farmstead milk or local eggs, Iris sells both. In a café-crazed town, Iris is one of a kind.

From the 2010 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine