There used to be lots of old-fashioned breakfast restaurants on the Upper West Side. Most have converted to the kind that serve eggs, potatoes, meat and toast on a disposable plate. They’re fine, just less satisfying places to hang out for a third cup of coffee, though about one third the price. Columbus Ave’s Gourmet Food is an example. But there remains a holdout: Utopia, 267 Amsterdam (between 72nd and 73rd), has booths and tables, and they let me have a booth all to myself (if they are not too busy), spread out my newspaper, and linger while I watch the crowds on their way to the subway station across the street. I always see lots of regulars and a hustling, no nonsense staff. The career waiters are classic: attentive, quick, not intrusive.
My breakfast special usually consists of two eggs, toast, potatoes, bacon (or other meat), coffee and fresh orange juice. Directly across the street from the 72nd Street subway station (1/2/3 Trains), it is a great launch pad for a walk and visit to such places as the Museum of Natural History and the New York Historical Society.
I always get a warm welcome, expedited service, and often a Daily News or a New York Post, if I ask kindly for a house newspaper. They will not have the New York Times.
It’s my neighbourhood go-to breakfast joint but I see lots of patrons eating their dinner there in the evenings, when I walk by.