Signs of life in downtown Utica! Craylee’s, just down the street from the old Hotel Utica (now a Doubletree) has been open for three years, serving breakfast and lunch till 2PM everyday except Monday. Breakfast at Craylee’s is a Utica highlight, especially on Sundays when the off-the-menu fried dough is offered. We tried to nab a serving but, damn, they’d just run out. Almost every other table had a basket of these sugared, roughly hewn doughnut cognates; we were tempted to beg sweetly from a neighbor but thought better of it.

Breakfast sandwiches can be enjoyed on a bagel, English muffin, or, as seen here, a toasted hard roll.

We were not denied a plate of giambotta, that Utican breakfast specialty of eggs scrambled with potatoes, sausage, onions, greens (another Utica specialty), sweet peppers, and hot peppers. The mammoth pile of food is topped with melted mozzarella. And, zowee, those peppers were hot! We were properly warned by the waitress, and given the option of sweet peppers only. Said option was rejected and we loved the result. A veggie version, replacing the sausage with mushrooms, is available.

This Western omelet is sided by well-crisped hash browns. Home fries are also an option.

A popular breakfast at Craylee’s goes by the name of The Wafflewich. A round Belgian waffle is split in half to form a sandwich around eggs, cheese, and all three of the classic breakfast meats. If bacon, ham, and sausage strikes you as a little indulgent, you can select from a choice of sandwiches and wraps, omelets, frittatas, and breakfast set-pieces named after, we presume, family and friends of the owners: Christian’s Low Carb entitles you to a pair of scrambled eggs, sausage, and bacon topped with three cheeses over a bed of greens. Haylee’s Low Carb replaces the meats with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and sweet peppers. Christian and Haylee are the owners’ low-carb-eating kids, hence Craylee’s!

It’s not all eggs at Craylee’s. If you are not in the mood to tackle a Wafflewich you can eat a waffle as simply a waffle, here topped with blueberries.

The dining room, with exposed ductwork, is what we might call “millenial casual.” The all-female front of the house staff are terrific and welcoming. The food is topnotch. What more could you ask for at breakfast?

You might have to wait on weekend mornings. Craylee’s is very popular.

237 Bleecker Street
Utica NY 13501
Craylee’s Website
Craylee’s on Facebook

Counter dining is an option.




Breakfast time in downtown Utica