Godiva caters to NYC’s pace with first U.S. cafe in midtown

The café includes GODIVA favorites such as chocolate-dipped strawberries and Chocolixir -- the signature frozen chocolate drink -- as well as Belgian liege waffles,  Photo Credit: Li Yakira Cohen

The menu at the grab-and-go restaurant was designed for the “fast pace” of New York City life.

The café includes GODIVA favorites such as chocolate-dipped strawberries and Chocolixir -- the signature frozen chocolate drink -- as well as Belgian liege waffles, 
The café includes GODIVA favorites such as chocolate-dipped strawberries and Chocolixir — the signature frozen chocolate drink — as well as Belgian liege waffles,  Photo Credit: Just Salad

The minute you walk into the new Godiva Café, your senses are overloaded with freshly made waffles, steaming coffee and buttery croissants. The aromas may make you want to stay, but this Godiva venture was created so that customers can grab their favorite sweet and savory snacks and eat them on their way to work, home or the next tourist destination.

Located at 560 Lexington Ave., right on the corner of 50th Street, the new store by the chocolate company is the first of its kind to hit the United States, although a pop-up shop exists at Penn Station. Godiva plans to open 10 more cafes in the Northeast and thousands throughout the world.

Unlike the traditional Godiva store, the cafe is home to classic favorites and new menu items that are made specifically to appeal to millennials, said executive chef chocolatier Thierry Muret. Expected to be the most popular new item is the croiffle, a buttery croissant pressed into a waffle filled with different flavors, including cheese, egg, gouda and Godiva chocolate.

One of the many flavors of Godiva's croiffle is three cheese -- a croissant filled with havarti, gouda and swiss cheeses and then pressed on a waffle iron. 
One of the many flavors of Godiva’s croiffle is three cheese — a croissant filled with havarti, gouda and swiss cheeses and then pressed on a waffle iron.  Photo Credit: Li Yakira Cohen

Muret’s favorite part of the endeavor is that he gets to taste-test and perfect the new recipes, which he has spent a year working on.

“You need to taste it to see what makes it different,” he said. “I didn’t go the easy way. In the Liège waffle, you have real sugar inside. It’s a pearl of sugar. … When you bake it the sugar melts and creates a coat of caramel in your waffle.”

Along with identifying the type of Belgian waffle to use in the store — Americans are used to the classic Brussels waffle — Muret spent months figuring out the ideal combination of cheeses for the Croiffle and looked at about 60 different croissants to find the one with the perfect balance of a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth crust and a soft, buttery inside. All of the recipes were created to not only meet the demands Godiva heard from millennials  — food that is freshly prepared, complex yet easy to understand and easy to enjoy while commuting — but to stand out against other cafes that are not as focused on quality quick foods, Muret said.

Executive chef chocolatier Thierry Muret spent a year creating the recipes that are available in the store.
Executive chef chocolatier Thierry Muret spent a year creating the recipes that are available in the store. Photo Credit: Li Yakira Cohen

“We wanted to really customize the food for fast pace, fast life, no time, busy, busy, busy,” he said. “The brand is so young — even after 90 years — because we are listening to how people are living.”

These fast and easy treats, along with soups, salads, cookies, Chocolixir’s, and of course, Godiva chocolates, are available in the store from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. A grand opening will be held Thursday.

Li Yakira Cohen