Whenever I travel, I do extensive research into where I want to eat and essentially plan my entire trip around going to those restaurants. This is not one of those restaurants. I was wandering around Brooklyn with some friends one morning when we realized that we were all pretty hungry. Nowhere that I had previously researched was close by, so we ended up at Cousin John’s Cafe & Bakery. Somehow, situations like these always seem to lead to memorable experiences.
Apart from the bright blue brick exterior, Cousin John’s Cafe & Bakery is small and unassuming. There’s a display case at the front of the store for all of the baked goods, cakes, and pastries that you can take to go, or there’s a small elevated platform with tables if you’d like to savor your meal a little more in front of the open kitchen.
Cousin John’s Cafe & Bakery is incredible charming (my favorites were the elevated platform and the string lights on the wrought iron railings). The menu is pretty standard breakfast and lunch fare. I ordered the Challah French Toast (not pictured, I’m terrible) which looked pretty normal and was very light and airy. It was exactly what I was wanting in that moment. My friends ordered the 3 Egg Omelette and the Smoked Ham & Cheese Croissant, both of which looked delicious (but you can’t see them because I didn’t take a picture of these either, I’m the worst). I did get to sample a croissant and I can tell you that they make a pretty great croissant at Cousin John’s Cafe & Bakery.
While the food and menu did not blow me away with how inventive, technical, or creative it was, that’s not the type of place that Cousin John’s Cafe & Bakery is trying to be. Cousin John’s Cafe & Bakery is there when you need it, and it was exactly what my friends and I were looking for at that moment. A beacon in the expanse of Brooklyn.
I would never have ended up at Cousin John’s Cafe & Bakery had I insisted on my plan of researched and vetted restaurants. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and have a look around. You might be pleasantly surprised.