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Champs Diner

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 55 reviews )
Contact 718-599-2743

197 Meserole St, Brooklyn, New York, USA, 11211

Opened Aug 2010 Champs Family Bakery on Ainslie St and moved here in 2014. Vegan bakery and diner making a range of sweets like vegan donuts, croissants, cookies, cupcakes, scones, and brownies with gluten-free and sugar-free options. Serves vegan diner food. Mon-Sun 8:00am-12:00am

Category: Vegan, American, Take-out, Bakery

Reviews (55)

First Review by andreacarioca

Great spot for your vegan junk food fix. - Edit

On a week-long visit to NYC we stopped in at Champs for a meal on a weekday at around noon. The wait was 30-40 minutes and we were fresh off a plane and not in the mood to wait. Our loss. We went back a few days later in the early afternoon and were seated right away. Although the service was a little slow, the meal was downright delicious. I had a strawberries and cream milkshake that I am still dreaming about - it was fresh and so tasty.

Pros: Satisfying food, delicious milkshakes and desserts, Great value , Cute, authentic diner

Cons: No public WiFi, Service on the slow side, Potential for a long wait at busy times

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Amazing food. Ridiculously rude staff! - Edit

Love the food here, my friends and I come here a couple of times a month. The bad service is a running joke. We only return because we love the food so much!
It's such a shame that the management have chosen style over substance when it's comes to their staff. Visit, and you'll see what I mean!

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awesome - Edit

Cozy little diner that seats 30-40 people... Cute black/white decide with helpful and friendly staff. Food was delicious and on point! I got the cubano which was amazing, and my wife got the Reuben (which seems to be the case everywhere we go) and she gave it 4/5 stars. Both came with a side salad. The place had two gender-neutral bathrooms that were covered with stickers and urban art. LOVED everything about this place! Would totally come again!!!

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Good food, relaxed atmosphere - Edit

We just stopped off for an early lunch, so great that everything's vegan, plenty of options, I had the Awesome Bowl which was healthy and with lots of taste. So good to have such a wide range of healthy and comfort foods on the menu.

Pros: Good choice, All vegan, Friendly staff

Cons: No decaf coffee!

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Boring Vegan Burger - Edit

I really wanted to love this restaurant, as the reviews looked good, a couple friends told me it was good, and I love the New York Diner atmosphere.

I ordered a vegan burger, fries and coleslaw. The burger was really lacking in the texture and taste department. Tasted like some flavorless chickpeas spread on a bun. The french fries I felt could have been crispier and more tasty. I did really enjoy the tiny portion of coleslaw which came with the dish. Perhaps I should have just ordered a huge portion of the coleslaw.

As a number of companies are introducing amazing vegan burgers at retail stores, I think this and many other restaurants are going to have to up their game with creating more exciting vegan burgers.

Pros: Great diner ambiance, Delicious coleslaw

Cons: Bad vegan burger

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best vegan food in New York - Edit

This is the place to be. I live on Long Island and drive over an hour and a half to come here every time, and it's more than worth it. The food is great. Many vegan restaurants have great food but a limited menu. That's definitely not the case with champs. There are so many different options it's overwhelming. You can find almost everything a normal diner would have on this menu. Depending what time you go, parking can sometimes be an issue, and there may be a bit of a wait for a table. Plus when you're done you can go right around the block to Dun-Well for some amazing donuts.

Pros: amazing food, so many options, located near other vegan places

Cons: street parking, sometimes crowded

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Good stuff - Edit

Third time here in two years. It was great again. I got the burger and fries. I loved how homemade my burger tasted. Beany and with some seitan I think. Great fries. It's funny how important good fries are after you've had a couple of bad rounds. I like mine golden yellow and not too crispy. The side of cole slaw is really small! I didn't mine at all but just so you know.

Also, I just went there this past week and I saw the cashier use someone's credit card? I used cash because I remembered last time it was cash only. But maybe they did change?! Or maybe that was a gift card or something.

Pros: dessert, good burgers and fries

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Good Food, Lackluster Ambiance. CASH ONLY! - Edit

Champs is a quaint diner style eatery situated close to quite a few other vegan establishments with ample free street parking in Brooklyn. When we arrived on a Wednesday afternoon we were quickly greeted and seated by the very nice staff members. The interior is very small (welcome to NY!), with mirrors all over the walls and very harsh lighting. It kind of felt like an 80's interrogation room. I typically enjoy eating in but the atmosphere was really lacking. Despite the atmosphere the food was very good. We ordered mozzarella sticks to start, I was slightly shocked to see that the order only included 4 mozzarella stick for $10 so $2.50 per stick! They were good but I'm not sure if they were THAT good! We ordered the Cubano and Country Fried Sandwiches as an entree and they were also excellent and you got good sized portions for the price. Next time we would probably split a sandwich to save room for dessert after. Overall I enjoyed Champs, it's certainly not a place I would bring out of town guests but I think it's a great option for vegan comfort food and it's proximity to Dun Well and other vegan establishments makes it a must try. If they would take a mirrors off the walls and replace the lightbulbs with something softer I might make it a regular stop.

BEWARE this is a cash only establishment. They do have an ATM on premises but seriously, they need to get with the times and start taking cards. As a small business owner I know how small credit card fees are and with the prices they are charging there is really no excuse for not accepting debit/credit cards.

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Best vegan junk food I've ever tasted - Edit

Went here three times for lunch when I was in NY for a few days. They have a very extensive menu with with all kinds of options that all taste absolutely delicious! My favourite was the breakfast enchiladas, hands down. It might have been the best thing I have ever eaten.
Prices are normal for New York, probably averages around 12 dollars a dish.
The staff was really friendly and our waiter even brought me and my friends some maple syrup when he heard we never had that before!

I would definitely recommend this place if you're in the neighbourhood, actually also if you're not. Prepare for some waiting time during brunch time on the weekends, this place is very popular.

Pros: Extensive menu, Delicious, Friendly staff

Cons: You have to stand in line at some hours

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Worth it - Edit

I come to Champs probably once a week. The service is a little inconsistent, ranging from really great and friendly to waitresses who seem annoyed, but I keep going back because of the food.

The menu is huge so I can always eat something different when I go, and it even has gluten free options. I love the diner style fat foods that it offers, as opposed to the typical healthy vegan options that lend themselves to stereotypes.

The desserts are from VeganTreatz now but are still good, just really decadent and rich.

The food can also be inconsistent which is a bummer, sometimes being too salty or having not enough avocado, little things really, but the servers are always up for fixing things like that if possible.

I do wish the host could figure out how to seat people during the brunch rush though! Waiting outside in the cold, it's frustrating to see 3 or 4 open tables that have been cleaned up and set with nobody seated.

Pros: huge menu, diner style food

Cons: inconsistent, host not so great

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Very Satisfying! - Edit

Great atmosphere and food. the tempeh wings, mozzarella sticks and the buffalo sandwich were super; the red velvet pancakes and the cheesecakes were delicious.
Portions are good and prices normal for NYC.
Champs is highly recommended!

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buffalo chicken is ridiculously spicy - Edit

The buffalo chicken was ridiculously spicy, but still delicious. I can't wait to try other dishes there. When I complained about the excess of spice they comped the meal. Contrary to a previous review I found the staff to be very pleasant.

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I bragged about this place to family that came down from Canada and finally brought them there today around 430. When we got there we were a party of 5: a mom with a newborn on car seat, I am on crutches and three other family members. Three of us (mom, other cousin and I stayed in restaurant while my wife and mom's husband literally parked across the street. There were three of the large tables available.

The waitress (fair, tall, slim, neck length light brown hair, green eyes and red lips) came to greet us. I told her we were a party of 5. She said we must remain standing until our party arrived. I politely asked her if we could have a table as the majority of the party was there and we had a new mom with a newborn (who was she carrying in her car seat) and me on crutches. She refused to sit us down. Mind you, the tables have signs on them that say that "for parties of 3 or more".

She quickly became arrogant and began to tell me "sorry, it's store policy" and I told her "you know you can make an exception, she's holding a heavy car seat with a baby, she's a new mom". My cousin had to place her baby on the floor and we had to stand. About a minute later my wife and mom's husband arrived. We were finally seated.

I crutched my way up to her and asked her to speak to her manager, to which she quickly replied "I am the manager." I then told her, "what you did back there-not seating us- that was not right, I understand if one person in a party of five shows up and tries to hog a table but the fact that I am on crutches and that my cousin was holding a car seat up and a third person was there, was more than enough reason to use her judgement to seat us- considering that all the large tables were empty. She began to say how they get a lot of business and how she had to keep the tables open for customers. I told her she was wrong and proceeded to say "please have someone else get our order, I don't want you as our waitress." She got nasty and began saying how she wasn't gonna take care of us anyway."

My family was absolutely shocked, the mom in our table could not stop mentioning how absolutely rude the waitress/manager had been to speak to us like that and not seat us considering the major fact that I am on crutches. Actually, that can count as discrimination against a person with disabilities if I am not wrong.

When the waitress left she proceeded to stare at me on her way out

Pros: food is good

Cons: some staff is rude, not attentive to people w/ disabilities

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mozzarella sticks! - Edit

They had an array of food for me to choose from. I ended up getting their mozzarella sticks for an appetizer, no regrets there. For my meal I chose biscuits and gravy, the gravy was a little too flavorful for me. I can't but my finger as too what it had too much of but it overpowered everything. Lastly I had a piece of their wonderful strawberry shortcake. Overall great experience except it is tiny! We had to wait outside in the cold.

Pros: lots of options , shareable appetizers

Cons: too small

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Terrific Diner - Edit

It's a terrific diner that served all the classics (burgers, sandwichs, all day breakfast, shakes, etc.)Perfect if you are in the mood for American food but are frustrated in regular diners.
Went there twice in two days: first time for lunch: had one of the greatest sandwich ever (a classic one but very flavorful, loved the vegan mayo!) and a to die for sunday.
Went back for breakfast: red velvet pancakes with chocolate chips and whipped cream. It was PERFECT.
I will definitively go back next time I'm in town.

Pros: Nice Service, Great Food, Cool deco

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Good food, good times - Edit

Champs is an awesome diner, with seriously great food, including really realistic mock meats. We got the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich and some other great food. Highly recommended.

Pros: 100% vegan, Tastiest food, Reasonanly priced

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yum week 2 vegan comfort vegan food best brunch my new vegan life - Edit

Took a taxi and pulled up to large crowds outside. Happily there was a stool free at the counter so I sailed in.

My first big brunch since becoming vegan after watching Gary Yourofsky's life changing youtube.

Scrambled tofu with vegan cheese, onions and potatoes so good I wish I could hit rewind eat again and slower.

Due to stress -- suing MD where I got punched (Google Dr Fagelman attack see Delight in action) hole in my retina than NYPD coercion so pigging out every day - file suit against NYPD Tuesday so ordered a Champs Chocolate chip muffin - loved it but tofu scramble w/ extras the best!!!!

Love Champs juniors but Champs bigger than champs junior's sliver space plus Champs has a bathroom.

Champs more cheerful my first experience in a crowded diner filled with vegans very cheerful lots of laughter and music from my teens. I am 53.

No decaf coffee so I had one cup of coffee with vegan oat milk...delicious.

Pros: delicious , service, atmosphere

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Vegan Diner Food!! - Edit

I LOVE Champs. I go there probably way too often, but it's always worth it. Everything I've ordered from there has always been delicious. All the breakfast food is my favorite though!! The French toast slam and the SAG are amazing. The atmosphere is very old fashioned diner, which is great and fun. The staff is super friendly but the service can be a bit slow, so don't come here in a rush! They always have very good baked goods from their bakery and usually have tofu Benedict specials on the weekend. Always a great choice for any meal!!

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Totally awesome! - Edit

This is THE place to go for delicious, diner-style comfort food. First, go knowing that you'll be splurging on calories -- this is food for the tastebuds, and should not be confused with a healthy vegan, everyday menu. With that said, OMG, they have everything and it's all delicious! They've learned how to master cooking tofu and seitan and transforming it to taste like the real thing(s). They serve a breakfast that includes pancakes, waffles, eggs and sausage. Soups, sandwiches, desserts -- whatever you'd order at a regular, old fashioned diner -- oh, what a joy to discover! We started with the mozzarella sticks -- YOU MUST TRY THESE! We split a philly cheese steak sub and a chicken Parmesan sub. Ordered a side of french fries. Topped it all off with sharing a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. I was stuffed. I was in heaven! Being that we eat a mostly raw diet throughout the week, this was a rare treat for us. Looking forward to my next trip to Brooklyn -- this is the first place we're going!

Pros: food, atmosphere, price

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Go there! - Edit

We really liked this place. The food was very diner-like. We had the pancake slam which was awesome and the seitan Benedict spaciel. All was super super yummy, but the portions are really huge so we couldn't finish everything. The service was really good as well. I really want to go back again before I leave the country and try more stuff on the menu!

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Fun vegan Diner - Edit

No sign whatsoever on the outside to indicate it's vegan, so you have to know where you're going! I guess it's popular enough with local vegans they don't feel the need to advertise veg food. (I was visiting NYC.) Good food, first time I've ever had a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and my non-veg friend said it tasted very similar to the non-veg version. Was busy the entire time we were there. Both my non-veg dinner partners liked there food a lot too. We also got two desserts from the dessert case and loved them. There weren't quite as many choices in the case as some of the photos on here, but perhaps that was because it was end of the day. Only issue was very slow service, so thankfully we weren't in a hurry.

Pros: Good food, Good dessert selection

Cons: No Veg sign on the outside, so must know, Slow to get food (1+ hr after ordering)

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Yum! Yum! Yum! - Edit

Two friends took my daughter and I here after sight-seeing in the city. This was the meal that made us feel satiated. It was vegan comfort food--period.

Hungry for that? Go here. They have breakfast, lunch, supper, desserts, etc. We didn't try any desserts since we didn't even finish our meals, but I wish we'd been able to go back and try them. :)

Pros: Tastes great, 100% vegan, Comfort food

Cons: Loud music, Not easy to get to without a car

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Not to be missed - Edit

I have been to Champs a few times over the past couple of years and I've never been let down. This is my favorite place to take people visiting from out of town, vegans and non-vegans alike. I usually get something off the breakfast menu - most recently the French toast. Absolute perfection.

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Wow is this place good! - Edit

Sorry, I should have said, "Wow is this place GREAT!" Classic diner food and more. The french toast is about as legit french toast as you'll ever have. The biscuits are out of this world. Chili cheese fries are awesome. Desserts are amazing. Good portion sizes, not overpriced. Get the Chicken Biscuit sandwich and thank me later. The tuno is good too!

Pros: Food, Food , More Food

Cons: Service is a little spotty. , Street parking only, Not a large place

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Amazing Diner Food! - Edit

Everything I've had at Champs has been fantastic. The breakfast options, from burritos to enchiladas with tofu scramble and soy sausage, are so delicious. Sandwiches are amazing too. Probably the best veggie reuben I've ever had. The icing on the cake for me, though, was vegan mozzarella sticks!!! They are as delicious as they sound! I would eat every meal here if I could afford it. Great service too!

I agree that the listing should probably be renamed to Champs Diner (or a separate listing added or something). I almost missed it because I wasn't looking to have a meal at a bakery.

Pros: amazing food

Cons: limited seating

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Quintessential Vegan Diner! - Edit

Extensive vegan menu, with a fabulous brunch selection in a shiny American dineresque venue. There were enough gluten free options to keep my coeliac partner happy.

The breakfast burrito was amazing and the cinnamon bun was so good I had another...

Looking forward to coming back again and again.

Pros: Huge brunch menu, Friendly helpful staff, Excellent food

Cons: Busy!

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Simply PERFECT! - Edit

Can't speak well enough of this place, the pancakes are just gorgeous, and the scramble tofu so yummy! Soya latte was great too, we went there twice and the waitress were just super nice all the time. Highly recomended! By the way, I guess it's called Champs Diner now, it's not a bakery.

Pros: Pancake, Place itself, Any sandwich

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One of the best places I've ever eaten as a vegan - Edit

I can't speak highly enough of this place. Huge menu, all 100% vegan. Very good if you like mock-meat. Particularly strong on breakfast/brunch items (e.g. pancakes, huevos rancheros). The coffee is excellent and bottomless. I highly recommend the Cubano sandwich. The cheesecake was the best I've ever eaten - could not believe that it was completely dairy-free.

I didn't see any signage indicating that Champs is a vegan (or even a vegetarian) restaurant. My omnivorous friend (who lives in Brooklyn) has eaten there a couple of times before and only discovered when visiting with me that the chicken sub that he order last time didn't actually have any chicken in it.

Champs is a bit of a local institution - be prepared to have to wait for a table.

Pros: Excellent food, Huge menu, Desserts

Cons: Not the place to go for a fancy meal

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Amongst the best. - Edit

I went there twice last year. The menu is very extensive - breakfast and dinner. Lots of options. The people are very accommodating. The food was great. AND, DESSERTS!

I went there again this year. Still great.

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Best Vegan Diner So Far - Edit

We recently moved to the NYC area from Dallas/Fort Worth and we were very excited to find a more budding vegan scene. We were very happy with the diner we used to frequent in DFW called Spiral. Until we reached Champs. Champs blew away everything we thought we knew about Vegan Diners. We started with the Bacon and Cheese Fries and were already in heaven before our entrees came. We ordered the Chick'n & Waffles and the Hot Cubano. I've been searching for a vegan replacement for a Cuban sandwich since going vegan and this is finally the perfect replacement. The chik'n & waffles was the perfect amount of savory and sweet. Needless to say this was worth the trip and we will be back many times again.

Pros: amazing food

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American Diner - Edit

We loved this place- we only ate here once as we wanted to try as many places as possible, but will definitely come back next time we're in town!

We tried to eat lunch here once to be turned away- an hours wait for a table! So we came back a couple days later, only had to wait 15/20 mins. I don't mind though, it's great to see vegan/veggie places doing so well!

The menu is interesting, the food is great, the portions are done perfectly.....that's all you need!
They also have baked goods on the counter- both morning fresh baked OR one or two days old for much cheaper. I love that they do this rather than throw away or give to staff, cookies were yummy!

Pros: atmosphere, great food

Cons: long wait times

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Great vegan diner food - Edit

Went here twice recently, and it was great. I had the biscuits and gravy (not the best I've ever had, but decent), and the 2nd time I had the French Toast Slam. This was amazing.

They serve breakfast all day, with lunch/dinner items later on. I'd definitely go here again. Good prices, great food.

Also, they are finishing all of their dairy milk and becoming 100% vegan, so that's even better.

Pros: Vegan, Good food at cheap prices

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Vegan luxury - Edit

Great place! I had the Breakfast Burrito , which was really delicious and filling. To I drink I had a Green Face juice, also very good and fresh.
The service was good and not much waiting time. The girls working there are very friendly and atmosphere and decor good.
I had to wait 7 minutes to be seated. But it was worth the wait. Also, Champs has chairs outside, so you can sit down while you wait.
I really really recommend this place. Great food, great service and pretty big portions.

Cons: None - Waiting to be seated??

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Vegan diner food - Edit

We arrived for brunch with another couple and they were still setting up, but were very cheery even though we were the first ones there. We grabbed a booth and perused the large menu. We couldn't decide what to get as it all sounded so good. Dirk went with the homemade seitan and tempeh burger with a side salad of kale and I got the Monte Cristo. Our friends got the country fried seitan sandwich and tofu benedict. The portions are generous and delicious. Definitely not the place to be if you wanna watch your calories. We all had excellent coffee too, both hot and iced. We were so full that we took dessert to go, a cheesecake brownie which was amazing. Be warned that they are cash only although there is an ATM inside. By the time we left, the entire place was packed, so get there early like we did. The place is a gem with old school diner feel and a great bakery display. On our list for our next visit to NYC.

Pros: vegan diner food, great bakery selection, friendly staff

Cons: cash only

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This is some serious vegan comfort food. - Edit

Champs is a cute little place with a vintage diner look and kitschy decor, serving up some serious vegan comfort food. During our recent visit we encountered friendly service, generous portions, and very reasonable prices. The menu contains a plethora of interesting and tasty-sounding items - so many that it was really difficult to choose!

From the appetizer menu, we tried the Buffalo Wings... and enjoyed them immensely. Roasted strips of tempeh were coated in a thick, tangy, spicy sauce, then served alongside celery sticks and a cool, creamy dipping sauce. The wings were so good, the sauce wasn't really necessary - but the sauce was so good, I wouldn't dream of leaving it off!

We also tried two sandwiches. The Tuna Melt was very good, though it didn't taste like tuna. It reminded me more of chicken salad than tuna; there was no sea-like flavor at all. The texture of the salad, however, was perfect. A thick layer was shmeared onto a nice marbled rye, then topped off with gooey cheeze and sliced tomato. It didn't satisfy my nagging tuna craving... but it was quite tasty overall.

Now, the Reuben... IT was AMAZING. Champs' is made with tender, juicy slices of seitan, again on that nice marbled rye. The sauerkraut had great texture, adding a welcome bit of crunch without making the bread soggy. Gooey cheeze and a generous slathering of Russian dressing pushed it well over the edge of awesomeness. I salivate just thinking about it. Winner!

Both sandwiches came with a simple side salad of mixed baby greens, lightly dressed with a bright vinaigrette. I also ordered a side of Oven-Roasted Fries. It was an enormous amount of food! But I really wanted to try the fries, and they were freakin' tasty. Next time I'll do them up with bacon & cheeze. Yeeeeah.

On the not-so-perfect side, I will say that service was a bit slow; it kind of took forever for our food to come out. I wouldn't go here unless I had ample time for a leisurely meal. It was also very hot in there. By the end of the meal we were swampy as hell. I recommend not going during a nasty heat wave.

The food, though, was fantastic, and our overall experience wasn't overshadowed by these things. I really look forward to going back again and sampling more of their menu! We'll just wait for cooler weather...

Pros: Large, interesting menu, Big portions at reasonable prices, The Reuben is Love

Cons: Their A/C wasn't meant for heat waves, Tiny and popular = always a wait, Cash only! with an on-premise ATM

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They are Champs! - Edit

Though "Champs" is apt, the name "family bakery" initially made me think it was primarily a bakery not a restaurant (so I almost didn't click name to learn more). Actually, this place is primarily a diner/restaurant which also has fresh baked goods. This place is amazing!

I went there on Sunday (June 23, 2013) with a few friends for brunch. I loved the character of this place, artsy kitsch, and the food was excellent. I got the breakfast enchilladas which I LOVED and also the Buenos Dias salad, which I had very little room to eat (but what I tried was great) due to the large portions. Both of my friends got the Drunken Cowgirl which they liked (and I tried - it was good). The menu really blew me away with so many options, including some "combo" dishes where you can get something sweet AND something savory (e.g., french toast and tofu scramble). Compared with the many other vegan brunches I've been to, this place had the most options (and included healthy options).

My friends tried the cream cheese brownies, which they said were excellent.

It is small, so you may have to wait if you're going at a popular time (e.g., Sunday brunch @ 10:30am, we waited 25 minutes to be seated).

Note: Their online menu is out of date as of today (some different options in person), but their website says new menu is coming soon: http://www.champsdiner.com/

Pros: delicious food, amazing menu (so many options!), good atmosphere (staff, decor)

Cons: small & popular = may have to wait

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One of the best breakfasts ever! - Edit

Had one of the best breakfasts ever at Champs. Went with my wife, 4yo old son and baby daughter (who slept through the entire meal) and we all LOVED our meal. I got the tofu scrambler with kale, tomatoes and a soysage and it was incredible. Son got french toast and cleaned his plate (which is something considering he is sometimes a picky eater). Staff was great and super friendly! We will definitely be going again.

Pros: Food, Staff

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Huge portions - Edit

We came here for breakfast on a weekday and luckily didn't have to wait for a table. We loved our meals, including fresh juices, and will be back for more! The vegan tofu benedict was absolutely amazing! The Sag was good too, I wasn't too into the kaiser roll so I think next time I would order on a english muffing or bagel.

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old school diner, only vegan! - Edit

Champs started as a small bakery but I'm happy to say it's now a full-blown diner with an awesome breakfast/burger/sandwich menu. Prices are fair, food is good but there's not much seating so there is often a wait on weekends.

Pros: cheap vegan breakfast, sandwiches

Cons: usually a wait on weekends, no beerz

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Best brunch in NYC - Edit

This is one of my favorite places in NYC! I have been there for brunch multiple times and every dish I ordered was exceptionally tasty, even better: the portions are large! I usually wait between 5-30 minutes (worse on sunny weekends) because they are really good! The people are super nice and the baked goods are perfect in taste and texture!
One down side: they don't have decaf coffee

Pros: great food, cool place, nice servers

Cons: no decaf coffee, waiting

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