Tucked behind two trees on the south side of historic Third Avenue between H and I Streets in the Avenues, the Good Day Café is a sweet little surprise. The building, once a neighborhood pharmacy with an old-fashioned soda fountain, was built in 1904. Over the years, it’s housed a number of businesses and, at some point, gained a sizeable kitchen suitable for a catering operation. But to this day, the original fountain counter, complete with its gorgeous vintage-tiled front, is still intact. The latest owner, Christine Mason, has repositioned the counter to face the kitchen and open up space for a small bakery case and another table. All told, Good Day Café seats fewer than 20 people.
Mason and her team spend a lot of their time baking—turning out an assortment of breads, croissants, sweet rolls, brownies and lemon bars—and, in the summertime, fresh berry pies. They also run a thriving catering business, so the café is a small part of the show. But, it’s an important part to the neighbors who stream in for simple breakfast pastries, quiche, pancakes, or basic bacon and eggs—nothing fancy; everything from scratch.
Lunch can be busy, but if you’re willing to brave the wait, go for the mouthwatering Reuben sandwich. At the Good Day, corned beef, onions and sauerkraut are intermingled and shuttled around on a piping hot, well-seasoned griddle, then steamed together under a metal dome. The $6.75 sandwich arrives on housemade marble rye with Dijon mustard on the side in a plastic cup. It’s served solo, so you might want to opt for some freshcut fries on the side. The wonderfully gooey greasiness of it all works quite nicely with a tall, icy Coke.
GOOD DAY CAFÉ
564 E. Third Avenue