I had never seen people line up for vegan food until I went to By Chloe. The chef-driven, all-vegan restaurant opened its first location in the West Village of Manhattan in 2015, and in the last year, it's expanded quickly, with two new locations in Manhattan and one in Los Angeles. So why not end 2016 with one more opening? Yes, By Chloe's newest location in SoHo opens today, December 15—and at this location, unlike the original shop in the West Village, they're serving up breakfast, starting at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends.
This isn't By Chloe's first foray into a breakfast menu, though. They've been offering up many of these items at their Flatiron location since it opened this summer. That doesn't make this location any less exciting. First of all, it's gorgeous, filled with succulents and bright fabrics and black-and-white ceramic tiles. The food is really good, too. Like, so good that you , and it's a welcome vegan breakfast addition to an otherwise not-so-vegan-friendly neighborhood.
We got a sneak preview of the space and the breakfast dishes at By Chloe's newest location in SoHo, and after extensive tasting, we're here to tell you what's good for breakfast.
Smashed Avocado Toast
I don't think it's brunch without avocado toast, and the smashed avocado toast is a winner, especially for $7.95. A perfectly toasted slice of seven-grain bread comes loaded up with avocado, topped with By Chloe's almond "parm" and pecans, which give a nice crunch to the otherwise goopy enterprise. There were also roasted brussels sprouts, which was a pleasant surprise, and gave the toast some heft.
If you're looking for something sweet, you can try the AB&B Toast. It's just toast with almond butter and banana slices that has been drizzled with maple syrup—but somehow, it's so much better than anything I think could make at home. The thick slice of seven-grain bread was so crispy and nearly caramelized on the outside that we were convinced was fried. (It's not.) But it basically tastes like a healthy slice of French toast, and it totally justifies the $7.95 price tag.
Another classic vegan breakfast option is the smoothie bowl, and By Chloe is doing it right on this front too. The smoothie bowl, which costs $9.95 and is gluten-free, comes topped with diced Granny Smith apples, banana, granola with raisins, goji berries, coconut flakes, almond butter, and chia seeds. This purple-hued smoothie was berry-based, though when we visited, there was also a green smoothie option.
If you don't want all the toppings, though, you can also get a plain, old smoothie that's far from boring. It'll be served to you from what's best described as a frozen margarita machine, though without any alcohol and a lot more real fruit. Pouring the smoothie mixture—which is nothing more than fruits, veggies, and plant-based milk—into the machine creates a thick slushie texture that's more consistent than a smoothie you might make in even the fanciest blender.
The Morning Glory
By Chloe is also serving up some breakfast sandwiches, at $9.95 each, like the Early Bird, which comes with scrambled tofu, spinach, maple sausage, and market greens, and the Sunrise, which is basically a vegan breakfast burrito with spicy seitan chorizo and black bean salsa.
We tried the Morning Glory, a breakfast sandwich stuffed with scrambled tofu, maple sausage, avocado, and sriracha, served on a potato bun. $9.95 is a lot to pay for a breakfast sandwich, even if it's vegan, so I had high hopes—and it was delicious, and super spicy, which is how I prefer my breakfast sandwiches. But this breakfast sandwich is not tricking anyone. You bite into this thing, and you know it's vegan. The tofu definitely has the soft texture of tofu, albeit well-seasoned tofu, and the maple sausage, though maple-y, is made of black beans.
If you do want to get a vegan brunch dish that's going to please your non-vegan friends, try the daily pancakes. This fluffy stack of three pancakes comes with maple syrup, maple butter, and coconut whipped cream, and the serving, which costs $8.95, is perfect to share with the table. (Table pancakes, if you will.) The flavors of the daily pancakes will swap out every couple of months, depending on the season. These were gingerbread-flavored pancakes, which were perfect for the holidays and paired especially nicely with the maple butter; apparently in the summer, there are plans for blueberry and corn pancakes, which will be a great excuse for me to come back.
Quinoa Hash Browns
But I'd also come back to eat more of the quinoa hash browns. It's almost like someone took a dollop of the creamiest mashed potatoes and fried them on both sides. But they have quinoa, so health! They're fried on the griddle in sunflower oil, which means that the oily residue is minimal, and they come topped with scallions, paprika, and vegan sour cream.
Oh, have I mentioned that the space is also adorable?
By Chloe's new SoHo location can be found at 240 Lafayette Street, and it's now open for breakfast. Just be sure to get there before 11 a.m. on weekdays, 4 p.m. on weekends.