When’s the last time you were able to really splurge on a bite of your favorite childhood cereal? The Monster Cereals that always managed to sneak up around Halloween, or the Mud & Bugs cereal that featured Timon and Pumbaa? Even thinking about these breakfast delights probably takes you back to a certain time in elementary school when cereal was your lifeline. Getting such a strong sense of nostalgia is actually quite natural. Smells, tastes and textures trigger the hippocampus, which is a critical part of the brain primarily in charge of memory. With its connections to smell and emotion, the brain is able to pull vivid memories back to us with a single bite.
What if we told you there’s a place that allows you to relive your childhood, eating fun sugary cereal to your heart’s desire with a seemingly endless number of topping combinations? Kellogg’s Cereal Bar officially opened its doors right on Union Square for cereal lovers and Kellogg’s breakfast enthusiasts. Not limited to cereal bowls, it also offers Eggos and Pop-Tart ice cream sandwiches on the menu, making for fun twists on our favorite treats.
To visit the Union Square hotspot, take an elevator up (think of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s” Great Glass Elevator). Instantly, you are hit with bright, colorful walls and a big open space full of swinging hammocks and the Fruit Loops’ mascot all over the walls. When asked about the very best combo of cereal to eat, one Kellogg’s worker pointed to the “Tried and True” menu that has been tested by the Kellogg family. A scrumptious list of cereal combinations such as “Christmas Morning” with cinnamon roll croutons and crystallized ginger and “Apple Pie” with salted caramel and Apple Jacks grace the menu. With a suggestion box by the cereal bar, customers can also submit their own creations for an opportunity to be featured on the menu.
The Kellogg’s Cereal Bar is definitely on the pricier side. Two bowls of unlimited toppings with strawberry and almond milk coming out to be around $14. My bowl was topped with rum-roasted bananas and candied cashews. The toppings were infused with a ton of flavor, and having this breakfast ritual in such a cozy space was therapeutic. Of course, for most of us, as college students, cereal has played a critical substitute for proper meals. But with Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, TV, cards and board games, this seems like the perfect chill-out spot for an in-between class break, complete with sugary meals and relaxation. It’s nice to treat yourself from time to time, and if that comes in the form of a bowl of sugary goodness and nostalgia, then what’s to lose?
A version of this article appeared in the Jan. 22 print edition. Email Liv Chai at [email protected]