Monday, October 26, 2009

La Bonbonniere

One of the last places you can get a cheap and greasy meal in Greenwich Village, La Bonbonniere is a loveable dump that's been there for years (how many?)--and it's still going strong.

A regular describes it aptly on Yelp: "Blue linoleum flooring, ripped bar stools, wobbly tables, tin walls (knock on 'em), newspaper & magazine clippings taped up, a griddle that appears to have outlasted the energizer bunny, dripping a/c units perched above the entrance (bring your umbrella in the summer), and the most precarious staircase leading to the dungeon bathroom (with sign that reads 'Not responsible if you fall down')."

Tucked onto a quiet stretch of 8th Ave., at Jane St., Bonbonniere feels like a well-kept secret. But that's far from the truth. The walls are covered with photographs of the diner's famous fans: Ethan Hawke, Molly Shannon, James Gandolfini.

Serious Eats likes their unpretentious double-cheese burger. And they've even made it onto Vogue's radar.

Still, any time I've gone for lunch, I've never waited in line. The people I've seen in there are reading the paper or a magazine or just staring out the window, not feverishly texting or shouting into cell phones. It's still a Village place--in a time when Village places are fast disappearing. And any fame La Bonbonniere has received has not gone to its head.

Recently Vanished:
Galaxy Diner
Joe Jr's
Chez Brigitte


Anonymous said...

i always stop by for breakfast here whenever i take a day off. its one of the few places in the west village where there's no bs, just bacon and eggs.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in the neighborhood and remember walking by La Bonbonniere every day on my way to work and being comforted by the smell of grease and bacon coffee that seems to seep through the windows. Unfortunately, in those days, I was convinced that consuming animal products was morally depraved, so regretfully I've never stepped inside.

Anonymous said...

I used to have breakfast there six days a week. It was filled with actors, many of whom I now see on "Law & Order". Am so glad the place is still there.

arielariel said...

i used to work in this neighborhood at a synagogue. we would all creep out here when we needed a cheeseburger. they were amazing, cheap, amazing, and delicious. "la bonbon" is one of the things i miss the most of working down that way.

NYC Rhymology said...

Manual trackback yo: world's fair | la bonbonniere

greg kessler said...

James Galdofini. And phillip Seymour Hoffman were regulars.r.i.p.

Unknown said...

I remember going here one morning with a friend of mine while we were in college. We got breakfast and checked "The Village Voice" for apartments. It was early 1969 -- I can't believe it is still here!