As we were escorted to our table at Maman NYC, I spotted The Bachelor’s Vanessa Grimaldi with a finished plate of food. Once seated, I decided to approach her but turned around to see that she had left. My feelings towards my Maman experience mimic this chain of events: exciting and deflating.

Located on Notre-Dame St. W., Maman is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a café that will satiate your culinary palette and Instagram needs. The blue-and-white antique-style dishware juxtaposes the bohemian, rustic décor which features distressed wood, exposed brick, and greenery.

Photo by Erica Rizzo

Maman’s menu is not overwhelmingly extensive but offers a variety of breakfast and brunch dishes with plenty of healthy, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. If you enjoy elevated clean eating, you’ll have a tough time deciding what to order. The assortment of baked goods and pastries, which I would absolutely recommend, looked so tasty and decadent. I would give their food a four out of five. Their coffee menu, however, I would skip altogether — two words: tasteless and diluted.

While the coffees and pastries were fairly priced, main menu items were on the costly side, ranging from $13 to $17, excluding add-ons. This leads me to rate their prices a three out of five.

As for the atmosphere, the café was very noisy with loud music playing over the intense chatter. I felt like I had to keep raising my voice to speak. Also, almost everyone was taking pictures, which can become annoying. So, three and a half out of five for ambiance.

The service is where Maman was truly lacking. Perhaps it was because they just opened and were working out the kinks, but my family and I had to wait an hour for three orders of toast and two iced coffees. Mind you, my mom had gotten her cookie and latte, and my dad his cappuccino, within 15 minutes of ordering. It was the missing toast, which was likely forgotten about, that we had to remind our waiter for. I am compelled to give the service a one and a half out of five.

Would I return to Maman NYC? Sure, if I wanted an Instagram picture and a mediocre coffee. But other than that, I think I’ll stick to Starbucks.


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