Why it’s worth it: This corner-store sized, charmingly petite cafe serves simple, delicious and inexpensive French fare, not to mention the best croque madame we’ve ever had (and yes we’ve been to France). You’ll know Tartine by the green awning, sidewalk tables and notoriously long lines on the weekends.
Vibe/Layout: Tartine has all of about 15 seats and has been in the neighborhood for two decades, making it a cozy and homey go-to spot. Don’t expect much leg room though, especially if you score a table on the sidewalk.
Ideal meal: Croque madame ($14) or croque monsieur ($14)
When to go: If you have a random day off from work, or work in the area, head to Tartine for lunch or for a darling croissant.
‘Straunt tip: BYOB alert! … But it gets better….there’s no corkage fee either!
Why it’s worth it: Le Grainne Cafe is the perfect spot for a relaxed French meal… especially if you want to intricately design your own crepe!
Vibe: With its large corner windows, tin ceilings and tin walls, Le Grainne Cafe will transport you to a quaint European cafe. The food is fresh and the atmosphere is warm, simple, friendly and relaxed!
Layout: The small dining room is always packed, with the open kitchen serving as the heart of the ‘straunt. The best seats are definitely those by the window, which are ideal for people-watching!
Ideal meal: Salade de chevre (warm goat cheese croutons, tomatoes, walnuts and grapes on a mesclun salad) ($12) and nutella crepe ($7)
F.Y.I.: This ‘straunt is located in one of the oldest buildings in Chelsea.
People behind Le Grainne Cafe: The owner, Grainne O’Flynn, is a native of Ireland and is now living in Weston, CT with her daughter Isis. Grainne’s other daughter Danielle helps manage the cafe.