Perhaps the best bet in the Hudson Valley for a gourmet breakfast or lunch at rock bottom prices is just a seven minute drive from my house. It’s the Apple Pie Bakery and Café, at the famed Culinary Institute of America.
The bakery, located in Roth Hall on the CIA campus, is run by students in the pastry and bread-making program. Items on offer are available both for take-out and sit-down service. Freshly baked artisan breads (focaccia is my fav!), decadent gourmet desserts that resemble artwork, flaky pastries, savory scones, croissants that melt in your mouth, coffees,teas and spices are just a few of the options in cases at the front of the café.
My advice is to plan to enjoy a sit down meal. Order both your meal and to-go goodies at the outset. This way, you won’t need to wait on the very long line again, after your meal. Your to-go goodies are packed and delivered to your table as you’re finishing your meal.
Opt for a table overlooking the picturesque courtyard.
Breakfast selections include a raclette, oatmeal, breakfast burrito, yogurt parfait and french toast – all of which are under $5.00. A side of bacon is a steal at $1.00. Coffee is dark and delicious. It’s delivered to your table in a French press along with an egg-timer, ensuring a perfect cup every time.
Lunch is a mix of soups, salads and sandwiches – typical café fare. One of my favorites on the menu is a goat cheese tart or quiche served over a bed of arugula.
The menu changes seasonally. And menus are available on-line.
Walk off your meal by strolling the beautiful grounds, which offer stunning views of the Hudson River. I’m always amused by the roads and buildings on campus named after herbs and spices – like Chive Place and Nutmeg Lodge. During our holiday visit, we saw clever signs like Seasoned Greetings and Happy Hollandaise.
It’s nice to know they have a sense of humor. Though I am sure the yearly price of student tuition is hardly anything to joke about.
The Apple Pie Bakery is open Monday – Friday from 7:30am – 6:30pm. Breakfast is served until 10:oo am. Lunch begins at 11:00am. Reservations are not accepted. Check the website for other closing dates/times due to student holidays.
*Sadly, the Apple Pie Bakery is no longer serving a full breakfast, however pastries and lunch are still available.
Apple Pie Bakery
1946 Campus Drive (Route 9)
Hyde Park, NY 12538