3 Special On-the-Run Breakfast Stops

Plus: Cooked & Co.’s divine nutella muffin.



If you’re feeling rundown by the daily work commute or providing endless taxi service for the kids, and you thirst for someplace special to stop for coffee and a quick breakfast, here are three tasty options:

1 With four of its five locations in Westchester, the stirring aroma of amazing concoctions being brewed at Tazza Café is never far away. The New York Times calls it “a coffee bar with a shot of zip,” no doubt referring to the “high-test espresso” available within the establishment’s friendly confines. Stop in for a coffee or tea and a jumbo muffin that will surely last you through the commute. Not a warm-beverage drinker? Tazza offers a unique take on smoothies, made with fruit or green teas, which offer an equally delicious morning boost. Doors open at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays at sites in Armonk, Katonah, Millwood, and Somers.  tazzacafe.com

2 For a truly unique, coffee-dictated experience, try Coffee Labs Roasters Inc., of Tarrytown. Even with so many talented baristas in tow, the real stars here are the hand-roasted and profiled coffee blends. Coffee Labs aficionada Meg Lindon says that the shop is “the only coffee place in Tarrytown”—a result of local efforts to minimize franchises and support home-grown business. You’re bound to bump into someone you know: “It’s a cozy place and everyone is friendly and doesn’t mind sitting close together or even sharing tables,” says Lindon, whose drink of choice is the skim latte—“unless I have some extra cash to spare, then I’ll get a dirty vanilla chai.” The baristas always deliver a new and unique design in the foamy pillow at the rim of the mug. (Lindon has even had cats outlined in the froth!) Coffee Labs’ oat bars and other gluten-free offerings come highly recommended. Furthermore, the operation is about as green as it gets—from the corn-based plastic cups to the full line of “sustainable coffees,” roasted using 100 percent renewable energy. And all of the shop’s used coffee grinds are fed into the Stone Barns Compost Program. coffeelabs.com

3 What’s the best gourmet-to-go food store in northern Westchester? In my humble opinion, it’s William Nicholas & Co.a hidden gem set up on the main floor of an old Victorian house in Katonah. The shop is under the same ownership as a neighboring restaurant, Willy Nicks, and both are just steps away from the Katonah train station. The black-and-white-tiled floors and low glass display cases give the shop an old-fashioned feel. Delicious, freshly baked scones and muffins make their way into the cases beginning at 8:30 a.m.—but they go quickly! Be sure to arrive in time to grab one of their best flavors, which in my opinion is blueberry (when in season). As for the shop’s iced cappuccino—there truly is nothing like it. Somehow they manage to froth skim milk into foam as stiff as cream, and it does not lose an ounce of deliciousness when poured over ice. I can honestly say this is the best espresso drink I’ve ever tasted. The comfortable vibe and delicious goods make a visit to the shop a special treat at the beginning of your day. wmnicholas.com

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