Foodies will rejoice when hearing about Honey Day Café in Bergen County. Honey Day Café is a new, Korean-American-inspired café located at 228 Glen Rock Road, right in the middle of downtown. We had a chance to sit down with the mastermind behind the decadent menu and chic design, Linda Yoo (formerly of JP’s bagels in Hoboken), to learn more about the restaurant and the menu that has been seven years in the making. Read on to learn more about Honey Day Café and what guests can expect when dining there.
Linda Yoo has been in the food industry for quite some time and it has been a dream of hers to use her Korean heritage to inspire a menu. “It has been my hope for decades for Korean food to find its spot in more mainstream restaurant spaces,” shared Linda. During her time at JP’s bagels, Linda saw numerous Korean-American chefs start to gain recognition and clout in the culinary industry – particularly in New York City – and knew that she could be a part of this success. “Before JP’s I was hoping to open a Korean café but lacked the experience and the focus. While I was at JP’s for four years, I saw Korean-American chefs rise to the top, especially in NYC, and was absolutely certain that this Korean-American brunch concept would be born somewhere,” continued Linda.
She grew up eating both traditional Korean dishes and American dishes, which would be the catalyst for the menu served today at Honey Day Café. “I was born in America, my mom is Korean and my dad was American, so I was raised in a home where I ate wholly American meals and entirely Korean meals, too. Because of my unique upbringing, it was of the utmost importance that the menu was entirely authentic to who I am, the things I love and the things I want to bring to the community,” shared Linda.
Honey Day Café is not your average coffee or breakfast spot. Not many restaurants can boast both kimchi fries and avocado toast on the menu. Many of the dishes are a mash-up of Linda’s culture. Take the southern, classic dish of chicken and waffles, give it to Linda and her team and you’ll get the K-Chicken and Waffle which includes a mochi waffle alongside sweet and spicy glazed fried chicken bites topped off with warm maple syrup.
When describing the menu, Linda said, “I wanted to celebrate being Korean-American through this menu, showing that these dishes can successfully and deliciously live side-by-side while complementing each other.” She went on to talk about how she wants her family to feel a sense of pride when they experience the menu. “This menu is also a love letter to my children, to show them that there can be a place that reflects our identity as Korean-Americans – both Korean and American dishes, coexisting on one menu in one beautiful space,” she shared.
When opening the restaurant, Linda was not sure what the response of her customers would be to the Korean flavors. She quickly learned that unfamiliarity would not be a concern. “I was blown away that our most popular dishes are by far the Korean-influenced ones – the K-Chix and Waffles, the Croffles, Crispy Ddukbokki, Kimchi Fries, and K-Street Toast have been our best sellers since we opened!”
Some of the American-inspired dishes on the menu include the Power Omelet and Avocado Toast. Of course, no café would be complete without morning beverages to get the day started. The Honey Day team knows what they are doing in this department. “We also make most of the syrups for our specialty lattes in-house, and we pride ourselves in our homemade honeycomb (“dalgona” in Korean) for the Honeycomb Latte,’ said Linda.
Worth noting as well is their tasty kid’s menu. The Funfetti Waffle Sticks are four-year-old approved with the ever-sought-after acclaim of two (very sticky) thumbs up.
Customer service is key in the restaurant industry and Honey Day has woven this into its mission. The team at Honey Day Café ensures that each guest has the best experience possible. “The Honey Day team prides itself in EXCELLENT customer service and a wonderfully diverse staff,” said Linda. Guests can enjoy a beautifully decorated space with delicious food and an even better staff to prepare and serve in an efficient and friendly manner.
Linda continued to praise her team by saying, “I am so extremely grateful for my team – their willingness and excitement to represent the Honey Day brand and our values so well has been such a blessing. Our kitchen team is equally as excellent, priding themselves in executing these amazing dishes and work so well with one another to achieve daily success!”
“I am so proud of the execution of our team from front to back – they come with great attitudes and do their best every single day, and I couldn’t be prouder to have them representing Honey Day,” shared Linda. Check out Honey Day Café for a step outside of the traditional bacon and eggs for breakfast and it’s sure to please.