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The Most Magnificent French Toasts to Try in Westchester

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Whether you like it simple and syrupy or topped to the brim with berries, cream, and all the fixings, you’ll love these local twists on French toast.

If you spend the week longing for the weekend, and if Sunday brunch helps quell the impending Monday blues, then it’s clear you’ve gotten cozy with the soul-southing magic of French toast whether you parlez-vous français or not.

Doesn’t matter, anyway, because French toast is not really French. Legend has it a guy named Joseph French created the divine breakfast staple in 1724 and intended to call it French’s toast, but his well-known grammatical struggles got the better of him.

Get this, though: There are recipes out there that date back to the fifth century, indicating French toast may have been enjoyed during the Roman Empire. Still others think it was created by clever Medieval cooks who knew their way around a kitchen and needed to use every last morsel of food to fill hungry bellies.

No matter how you slice it, French toast remains a crave-worthy, go-to breakfast mainstay and, as we all know, breakfast is good any time of day. Westchester’s chefs (who know their way around a kitchen better than anybody) have concocted a multitude of enchanting ways to serve it — from the simple classic to simply outrageous — so make a rezy, thank us later, and voila, breakfast is served, mesdames et messieurs!

Birdsall House

970 Main St, Peekskill; 914.930.1880

Sure, it sounds foreign, but the French toast at this intimate craft beer gastropub is super local. The foundation of the dish is a light and fluffy Eli Zabar brioche bun and the side of bacon is Peter Luger’s thick-cut stock; the rest is from right here in the Hudson Valley, including the accompanying “two eggs up” from Feather Ridge Farm and the syrup from Crown Maple. As for the complimentary bloody, beer, or mimosa, choose wisely and your hooch will be homegrown, too.   

BLD Diner

2399 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont; 914.833.2062

Four fabulous French toast incarnations adorn the extensive menu at this diner that covers all the culinary bases, ranging from the classic; the one crafted from a croissant and covered in whip; the Nutella-drizzled banana bad boy; and the spot-on ultimate. Not for the faint of heart (or for children who get nutso with too much sugar), the latter is three egg-soaked slices stuffed with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and slivered apples, then covered with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Well, good morning to you, too!

City Limits

200 Central Park Ave, White Plains; 914.686.9000

For the purists at the table, this is as classic as classic gets, and it’s oh-so-comforting and just downright authentic. It’s everything perfect French toast should be: ever-so slightly crisp on the outside, good and gooey on the inside. Pro tip: On any given Sunday when the urge to step outside one’s comfort zone hits, this elevated diner (that serves all-day breakfast all days) offers a version made from house-made raisin and currant challah.

DD’s Diner

191 Highland Ave, Ossining; 914.236.3779

It’s brekkie all day every day at DD’s, and the griddle offerings are virtually endless with five varieties of French toast, each making a sweet statement of its own. For starters, most begin with thick and hearty Texas toast, from the classic plain Jane to the one with the caramelized bananas and maple bourbon sauce. Then there’s the belly buster that eats like a dessert; it’s topped with cannoli cream, chocolate crumbs, and pastry chips. However, the be all and end all has a brioche bun as its base; it’s dipped in a vanilla pineapple egg batter, slathered in banana syrup, and appropriately named the Pina Colada French Toast. Bottoms up, babies!

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The Grange

158 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont; 914.341.1463

At this neighborhood newcomer, where breakfast and lunch are the main event, the French toast arrives upright and ready to make your day. Standing at attention and served “wedge-style,” the so-called “torched” French toast is baked layers of brioche that are delicately bruléed and accompanied by a mixed-berry compote.

Photo by John Bruno Turiano

The Inn at Pound Ridge

258 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge; 914.764.1400

Crisp on the outside, soft and luscious on the inside, Jean Georges’ crunchy brioche-based beauty enjoys a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and shares the plate with caramelized apples and crisp bacon for a satisfying meal that hits all the right notes.

Jay Street Cafe

63 Katonah Ave, Katonah; 914.488.9700

GF friends, rejoice! This, as far as we know, is the only gluten-free French toast in Westchester. Made with cornbread, it’s a unique and downright yummy taste sensation that goes down nice and easy, whether you’re watching your wheat intake or not. 

Moderne Barn

430 Bedford Rd, Armonk; 914.730.0001

Born from a batch of house-made banana bread (read that again), this rich and deeply delicious baby is dotted with fresh strawberries and bananas, drizzled with Nutella, and topped with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Photo courtesy of Moderne Barn

Mount Kisco Diner

252 Main St, Mount Kisco; 914.666.5676

A whopping five varieties of French toast grace the menu at this upscale diner that cooks up outrageous menu items (think: a slab of chocolate cake atop a milk shake) simply for sport. There’s the good ol’ classic, and the oozy doozy stuffed with cannoli cream, but the big ol’ beast that takes the proverbial cake is aptly named: Da Bomb. It’s basically a BEC, but instead of the roll, French toast provides the bookends for ham, bacon, egg, and American cheese. And, if that’s not enough, it’s drizzled with maple syrup. Say when.    

The Shop Ardsley

711 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley; 914.591.4321

A 2020 newcomer, this friendly and welcoming mom-and-pop in the heart of downtown is a hip hybrid hotspot that functions as a breakfast and lunchtime deli-style eatery by day and a full-service restaurant when the sun sets. The French toast is called “solid” by those in the know and those that know French toast and speak in plain English. It’s simply egg-batter-dipped brioche, spritzed with powdered sugar, and decorated with berries, banana slices, and other fresh, readily available fruit.

Photo courtesy of The Shop Ardsley

Sonora

179 Rectory St, Port Chester; 914.933.0200

Why stop at stuff on top when you can stuff the stuff inside? At this modern Latin restaurant, the French toast comes stuffed with fresh strawberries and strawberry jam, plus chocolate sauce and powdered sugar on top, and live jazz on the side.

The Urban Hamlet

124 Pondfield Rd, Bronxville; 914.652.7407

Thick hunks of Texas toast elevate the classic preparation at this inviting neighborhood gastropub, as does the house-made apple compote that accompanies the slices. And, the tag-along sides of crisp bacon and mixed berries are just a no-brainer.