Sarabeth’s Kitchen

Review by: Michael Stern

When we came across Sarabeth’s Kitchen in the early 1980s, it was a small, charming cafe that seemed to exist more to sell house-made orange-apricot marmalade than to serve meals. The marmalade, which the restaurant serves with breadstuffs and is particularly yummy when decorating lengths of crisp-skinned pork sausage, still is a treasure. Sarabeth’s Kitchen itself has become an empire with stores all over New York, one in Florida, and several in the Far East.

What to eat at Sarabeth’s Kitchen

We don’t begrudge conspicuous success, but we aren’t nearly as happy as we used to be with Sarabeth’s food. Yes, the marmalade is swell; a breakfast called Goldie Lox (eggs scrambled with smoked salmon and cream cheese) remains a luxurious indulgence; and lemon-ricotta hotcakes, which have been a signature dish for decades, are a breakfast benchmark.

However, the muffins, croissants, scones, and other breadbasket things that are there to showcase the jams and jellies are leaden, and on a recent early morning visit to the Sarabeth’s on Madison Avenue, were day-old desiccated. Anyone in the mood for great baked goods has countless better choices throughout Manhattan and the boroughs.

We’re not inscribing Sarabeth’s in the black book; we’ll likely return when in the market for a polite, unsurprising breakfast, such as one where the goal is to pay attention to tablemates rather than to the food. (Lunch and supper also are served.)

What To Eat

Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes

Goldie Lox


Pork Sausage with Orange-Apricot Marmalade

Muffin Basket


Sarabeth’s Kitchen Recipes


What do you think of Sarabeth’s Kitchen?

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