A short while back, fellow CTbites writer James Gribbon sent me a text. He asked, “Where’s a good place to get breakfast in SoNo?” I replied with, “There aren’t many. SoNo Baking Company and SoNo Harbor Café. That’s probably it.”
Unless it’s a weekend and restaurants are serving brunch, breakfast in South Norwalk is scarce. I’m not talking wheat grass juice or a pastry at one of the Latin places on South Main Street, when I say “BREAKFAST” I mean eggs, pancakes, and bacon. I want a sit-down place where I can get wired on quality coffee and clean up maple syrup drizzles with that last chunk of sausage.
Caffé Social fits the bill. It’s owned by sisters Elpida, Glika and Ioanna Hatziioannidis, but it’s not their first experience in the restaurant business. They learned the ropes at a 40-year-old Norwalk mainstay, Jordan’s Restaurants & Pizzeria, owned by their uncle. The trio’s eight-month-old (and counting) Caffé Social is cozy but it’s slicker looking than your average morning spot. Think along the lines of a hipster Brooklyn breakfast joint. And sorry but…it’s better than that diner you frequent. It’s reasonably priced, the food is unquestionably better than diner food, and they have serious game when it comes to coffee.
Speaking of caffeination, start there if you need a jolt. Caffé Social makes damn near every hot or cold coffee drink you can imagine; frappes, Americanos, lattes, machiattos, cappuccinos, and more. Their coffee comes from the Queens, NY-based For Five Coffee Roasters. They also offer tea and Ghirardelli hot cocoa should the mood strike you. The cocoa is available in a variety of fun flavors that aren’t limited to Nutella, Reese’s, s’mores, and Oreo. My inner child is keeping those in mind!
Order some food to go with your morning coffee and make it something eggy. I’m a breakfast sandwich guy to the fullest so I started there. They offer a classic BEC (or another breakfast sandy with sausage on a croissant), a meaty temptation in the Fully Loaded (sausage, bacon, ham, home fries, egg, and cheese), and for morning salmon lovers, an everything bagel packed with smoked salmon, egg whites, lemon avocado, and red onion.
The Sweet & Savory appealed to me; bacon, split-and-griddled pork sausage, egg, cheese, and maple syrup on a homemade, airy light waffle. It’s worth noting that if you go the waffle route—even without it being used as a bun—you won’t be disappointed. If pancakes are more your forte, you’ll dig these large flapjacks. They’re customizable, so they’ll be happy to oblige if you want yours loaded with fresh fruit or chocked full of Oreo’s, Nutella, walnuts, chocolate chips, or a combination of many.
The breakfast selections round out with challah French toast, six different omelet creations, but for more of a yolk explosion, you can’t go wrong with any of their four types of Eggs Benedict. Each one features perfect poached eggs and creamy hollandaise sauce, but you’ve got options that depend on whether you’re into classic Canadian bacon, Lox (with cream cheese, red onion, dill), a Greek version (raw spinach, feta, tomato, onion), or Cali-inspired (with bacon, tomato, avocado).
Even with all that, a visit to Caffé Social wouldn’t be complete without a little dessert. Yes, even for breakfast! C’mon, it’s tough to pass up fresh baked cookies and cupcakes! OK, so we snacked on a salted caramel/pretzel/chocolate chip cookie, and a peanut butter cookie at the table. Then there was the vanilla cupcake baked with crushed Oreo’s that we shared. Then we took a few baked goods to-go. So, do that, maybe just not to our level of gluttony.
But wait! Caffé Social is open for lunch—or you can get breakfast all day— so there’s more to talk about after another visit. In the coming months, they mentioned to us that they’ll be tinkering with their hours to stay open later, and because they have the space out front, patio seating is a possibility. They further teased us by saying that crepes will hit the menu at some point.
A Caffé Social sequel is necessary!
73 N. Main Street; South Norwalk
(203) 939-9523; https://caffesocial.com/