On the wide, wonderful spectrum of brunch fare, few dishes set eyes aglow quite like French toast. An elegant alternative to pancakes, the breakfast order is a dream for those who crave a sweet treat to start the morning. In the Hudson Valley, French toasts run the gamut from challah and whole wheat to multigrain and simple white bread slices.
As for add-ons, local restaurants don’t hold back with mascarpone stuffing, caramelized banana topping, and more than enough whipped cream to go around.
Ready to dive into the most scrumptious slices in the region? Scroll below to whet your appetite, then round up your go-to group for an over-the-top brunch in the Valley.
130 Clinton St, Montgomery
Order: Seasonal Baked French Toast
For special occasion brunches in Orange County, Borland House Inn is the way to go. When it’s time to order, home in on the seasonal French toast. After being baked, not grilled, the dish gets dotted with seasonal fruit (think apples or berries) and ricotta before being finished off with whipped cream and caramel.
2356 Rte 44, Gardiner
Order: Banana-Bacon French Toast
A favorite for locally sourced bites in the Hudson Valley, Café Mio makes a mean French toast with banana and bacon. Not feeling the Elvis-esque creation? Its seasonal fruit variety with local maple syrup and whipped cream is a year-round staple. The Gardiner hotspot does like to switch things up, so don’t be surprised if you see a special like bread pudding French toast on the menu.
You will want to order it while you can.
6014 Main St, Tannersville
5510 Main St, Windham
Order: Monte Cristo French Toast
Taking a detour from the sweet, Catskill Mountain Country Store satisfies those savory cravings with its riff on a classic Monte Cristo. Using rustic bread as a base, the eatery amps it up with grilled ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese. Every order comes with seasonal fruit, and diners can swap to gluten-free bread for an additional charge.
For anyone who does feel like venturing to the sweet side of the spectrum, the restaurant’s sautéed banana and pecan version is equally enjoyable.
119 Warren St, Hudson
Order: French Toast
Don’t let the simplicity of the dish’s name deceive you into thinking this French toast is anything less than wonderful. Home/made Hudson applies its signature farm-fresh elegance to the breakfast order, transforming simple sections of thick brioche into Sunday morning #brunchgoals with the addition of zippy rhubarb and strawberries.
Pair it with a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice or, better yet, a mimosa with fresh squeezed juice for an idyllic start to a day trip in Hudson.
129-131 Main St, Cold Spring
Order: Chocolate Babka French Toast
When it comes to breakfast in Cold Spring, Hudson Hil’s is an absolute dream. Not only does the café sources a bulk of its ingredients from Hudson Valley farms, but it then turns those ingredients into highly addictive eggs Benedict and quiches. Our pick, however, is easily the chocolate babka French toast.
After baking chocolate cinnamon babka in-house, the restaurant crisps up three slices before finishing it all with chocolate sauce, strawberries, and espresso cream cheese.
1447 Rte 9W, Marlboro
Order: Pumpkin Pie French Toast
Head to Mad Batters for 100-percent gluten-free goodness in the Hudson Valley. Since every bite in the Marlboro café contains nary a trace of wheat, gluten-sensitive diners can happily dig into the decadent crème brûlée French toast. The breakfast confection comes perfectly caramelized and topped with house whipped cream and Grand Marnier marinated strawberries, making it a worthwhile weekend indulgence.
P.S. In season, the pumpkin pie French toast is pretty stellar, too.
99 Congress St, Troy
Order: Apple Cider Donut French Toast
If the Hudson Valley loves anything, it’s apple cider donuts. Manory’s gets it, which is why it delivers that iconic cinnamon sugar flavor via one very creative French toast. Forgoing challah bread, the Troy restaurant switches thing up with halved donuts that are dipped and grilled like French toast. After getting a sprinkle of powdered sugar, they’re finished off with warm syrup and butter.
Want even more spice and everything nice? Manory’s makes a cinnamon-packed rendition out of — you guessed it — cinnamon rolls as well.
588 Rte 9, Fishkill
Order: Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
It’s hard to go wrong with French toast at Fishkill’s Red Line Diner. While the eatery’s French Toast Supreme, a brioche base stuffed with mascarpone and strewn with strawberries, is a perennial favorite, the cinnamon raisin variety is a dream for anyone who craves those warm and cozy flavors.
With three thick brioche cinnamon raisin slices as a base, the dish gets a decadent twist with a sprinkle of raisins and a drizzle of cream cheese icing.
301 Lark St, Albany
Order: Crème Brûlée French Toast
Ready to savor French toast over brunch with friends? Head to Savoy Taproom, which takes the weekend meal to new heights with build your own mimosa and Bloody Mary days on the first and third Sunday of every month, respectively. To pair with the brunchtime booze, the Albany eatery give French toast a gourmet twist with crème brûlée batter.
Tack on a handful of berries and a drizzle of maple syrup, and it’s just the thing alongside a sparkling cocktail.
49 Main St, Phoenicia
Order: Pecan Crunch French Toast
One bite into Sweet Sue’s crunchy pecan French toast and you’ll be convinced that all French toast should be made from challah bread and coated in crunchy, crumbly pecans. If you’re not into the nut overload, the eatery’s no-frills brioche French toast is an everyday delight. Feeling extra hungry? Pair your order with house-made turkey sausage for a hearty addition to the morning meal.
So good you won’t believe its french toast!! Eli’s baked french toast (named for the chefs son), cinnamon egg custard baked brioche, whipped goat cheese, berry compote. Breakfast Time at Temptations Cafe on Main Street in Nyack. #temptationscafe #breakfast #frenchtoast #brioche #coffee #cheese #berries #food #visignyack #restauranthunter @robpetronetv @visitnyack @hudsonvalleymag @hudsonvalleylife @boozyburbs
80 Main St, Nyack
Order: Eli’s Baked French Toast
In the mood for a family-style breakfast spread in Nyack? Make a beeline for Temptations Café, where homestyle eats abound. As far as French toast goes, the eatery bakes its brioche in a cinnamon egg custard, then blankets it with whipped goat cheese and mixed berry compote. Try it once and you may just be addicted for life.