Restaurant Review: Teany Café

Teany Café
90 Rivington Street
(between Orchard Street and Ludlow Street)
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Vegiboys Rating (3/4)

Teany Café, the Lower East Side creation of musician Moby, has a clean, comfortable feel that draws the eye from the sidewalk. Brian and I had plans to leave the city for the weekend aboard a Chinatown bus (which boarded nearby), so we decided to try out Teany for a pre-trip Saturday morning breakfast.

The Lower East Side is slow to come alive on the weekends, and we had the place to ourselves when we first arrived. We sat at one of their outdoor tables (their outdoor space is set slightly below street level and is walled off from the sidewalk, helping to create a more relaxed space which is still great for people watching). The place began to come alive as we enjoyed our meal, with tourists and neighborhood denizens gradually giving us some company.

Quick-eat items (like muffins or bagels) and drinks can be ordered from the counter inside, though the staff also provide friendly table service.

Brian ordered a pepper steak and eggs (the steak tasted like it was straight from a May Wah package; it was a thoroughly unconvincing meat) which came with toast and a small salad. The presentation was great (we loved that sauces and butters are served in little egg stands), though the food was unsurprising.

My baguette brunch was also good, if not particularly notable. The bread was appropriately flaky, with a basil pesto, tomato, and cheese making a satisfying sandwich. The order also came with a fruit cup of pineapple and melon.

The most amazing element in the breakfast was the hot sauce. Aside from actually having a lot of heat (all too rare with hot sauces these days), the flavor was beyond outstanding; its presence added a ton of flavor and depth to our meal.

Overall though, while the food is all satisfying, Teany’s tea is where it’s at – an amazing variety of unique teas are all brewed fresh (you’ll receive the pot of the freshly brewed tea), and the wonderfully wide-mouthed tea cups give a lot of surface area to each pour of tea (so they cool quickly).

I chose a monkey-picked tea (seriously, it was hand-picked by monkeys) which had a subtle, green tea flavor and a pleasant lime color. Brian’s echinacea tea (which had a fruity taste and a light red color) was found among the herbal teas on the menu that promote good health.

At $20 each, Teany’s food won’t necessarily surprise you, but with an amazing variety of tea, some great little surprises from their kitchen (like the hot sauce), and a beautifully calm space, it’s a great experience for vegetarians and tea-loving omnivores alike.

Food (3/4)

Atmosphere & Service

Value (3/4)

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