Nestled in a quiet strip of Canal Street, Dimes Restaurant is an unexpected departure from its neighbors’ typical Chinatown fare. Dimes’s scant signage, lack of reservations, & retro, nondescript interior may have you skeptical, but I promise that this place is a fabulous find for a brunch with your gf. Boasting a health-conscious brunch and dinner menu (which doubles as a gluten-friendly menu), the chic café has the feel of a young, hipster Abbot Kinney eatery and will have you instagramming everything from your breakfast bowl to the quirky postcard that comes with your check. Eager to get the weekend started after a rough couple of days at the office? Dimes has you covered. The brunch menu is accompanied by a pamphlet full of hot-sauce laden hangover cures and sweet, fruity cocktails.
When I went to Dimes this morning, we only waited for a couple minutes to get in, just behind one young couple. Although seeming initially rather blasé, the waiter was very attentive to my allergy the second I ordered–immediately clarifying whether my gluten free selection was due to preference, intolerance, or allergy. He was also able to suggest numerous gluten free selections from the menu (which were also rather easily distinguished with the menu’s detailed descriptions) after delivering our bowl-sized coffees with sugar cubes and almond milk.
Curious for the unique take on a California favorite, I decided on the lavender acai bowl while my normie gfs ordered the magic toast & the big salad to share. The lavender acai bowl was an interesting flip on the classic acai bowl–flaunting a strong lavender flavor in the bowl’s slushy base with juicy blueberries and crunchy gf cornflakes to top. However, the big salad was my favorite of the two things that I tried, with super juicy mango, crunchy almonds, dijon-apple cider vinegar, and beautifully shaved carrot strips garnishing a bed of market greens and candy cane beets.
Other gf brunch menu items include the breakfast tacos (request corn tortillas) with spicy mango salsa, the salmon plate and the eggs any style (excluding toast), the chia pudding bowl, the carob acai bowl, and the mango pitaya bowl. The fall salad, simple salad, quinoa bowl, and all possible proteins (hard-boiled egg, avocado, chicken, pickled salmon, and seared tuna) are gluten free as well. Dairy free as well? Not to worry! As I mentioned, almond milk and coconut milk are available to mellow out your bowl of Dimes’s strong coffee blend and the fruity breakfast bowls are all made with coconut and almond milks!
Bottom Line: Find yourself one morning or early afternoon despairing because of the lack of gf options in NYC’s Chinatown? Head on over to the trendy, casual Dimes for a healthy brunch. You’ll find yourself leaving happy, caffeinated and comfortably full with your dreams of dim sum long forgotten & your instagram feed full of colorful plates and quirky cocktail menus. Will definitely be returning for a dinner with my gf soon.