WAKE UP TO MIXED MASTERPIECES
The Bloody Mary may still be the most obvious adult-beverage order in the a.m., but coffee-based cocktails combine two great pleasures. "The rituals of ingestion of coffee and alcohol are very complementary—they just happen at opposite parts of the day," says Richard Boccato, co-owner of Sweetleaf in Long Island City, Queens. Hip breakfast joints are breaking the rules and mixing inventive libations in the morning. Sweetleaf's aged-rum-and-pineapple Castaway is dosed with a house-made coffee liqueur; the Raymond in Pasadena makes a chicory flip (pictured, right) with coffee-infused rye and stout, shaken with a whole egg; and at Area Four, a Boston hot spot, locally roasted Great Barrington espresso is the punch behind the Pillow Talk, an eye-opener whose innuendo of Nutella comes from the chocolate-hazelnut liqueur Gianduia.
INTERNATIONAL FOODS TO KNOW
Origin: Bordeaux, France.
What it is: A fluted egg-custard pastry traditionally spiked with rum and baked by nuns.
Get it at: Seattle patisserie Crumble & Flake.
Origin: Brittany, France.
What it is: A crunchy, flaky, inch-high origami-like cake made of butter, sugar, and dough akin to a croissant—on steroids.
Get it at: Salt Lake City's cheery Les Madeleines Cafe.
What it is: A south-of-the-border staple starring a soft bolillo roll, topped with frijoles and cheese and then toasted.
Get it at: Vida Mia in San Antonio, with chorizo, roasted poblanos, or bacon.
What it is: Sliced cured pork loin crusted in cornmeal.
Get it at: The Pass, a New Jersey charcuterie mecca outside Princeton.
NEW HOTEL ROOM SERVICE WORTH CHECKING OUT
Nobu Matsuhisa's green-tea waffles with shiso syrup and pecans and yuzu-soba pancakes are delivered en suite at the luxe new Nobu Hotel Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Guests at the artsy 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati get their flapjacks with bananas and malt and their eggs with the Rust Belt city's breakfast meat of choice, German-style goetta, from Michael Paley's restaurant Metropole. And José Andrés designed the in-room menu for the glittering SLS in Miami, waking up well-heeled vacationers with Spanish-style French toast called torrijas, olive-oil pancakes, and tropical-fruit aguas frescas.
5 DELICIOUS WAYS TO DRINK BREAKFAST
Green Juice: Kiwi, kale, mint, spinach, and Granny Smith apples give this tangy juice at the Americano (in the Manhattan hotel of the same name) its deep-emerald hue.
Mahalepeño: A Zen-like balance of spicy (jalapeño), cool (cucumber), vegetable (kale), and fruity (pineapple) kick-starts the day for Houstonians at Adair Kitchen.
Malted Chai: Coconut water, bananas, dates, cinnamon, and maca make up this favorite of the Santa Monica runners who stop in at M.A.K.E. Out.
Mango Shake: Don't miss the exotic turmeric-and-cardamom-tinged mango concoction at the Middle Eastern juice bar Bliss in Philadelphia.
Red Russian: Roost House of Juice in Portland, Maine, spikes its kale, cranberry, and lemon juice with ginger "booch" kombucha from a local fermenter.
MAPLE SYRUP GETS THE STAR TREATMENT
No matter how delicious the pancakes or waffles are, they're only as good as the sweet amber liquid that's poured on them. This is not lost on chefs who are making maple syrup an object of culinary desire. In Chicago, Stephanie Izard hooked up with Tim Burton of Burton's Maplewood Farm to create a syrup that's aged up to 10 months with Thai chili, cardamom, and fennel in red-wine barrels ($25; littlegoatchicago.com). Thomas Keller kitchen vets Scott Boggs and Nathan Wooden, along with Robb Turner, manage Crown Maple in Dutchess County, New York, where only about 20 days of harvesting a year yields an in-demand organic syrup ($17; crownmaple.com). And it takes 12-to-18-year-old bourbon casks to impart notes of vanilla and smoke to the Michigan maple from haute condiment house Blis ($19; blisgourmet.com). We've come a long way from Log Cabin.