I was doing a job recently close to Eataly. (The giant, 50,000 sq. foot Italian Food Hall in the Flat Iron district). My morning ritual was a delicious Latte Macchiato, and a croissant, stuffed with mounds of thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma. The croissants; crackly golden are made in-house, fresh daily.
I'm always a little confused as to why real Italians (who've come all the way from incredible, real, Italy) would queue up for hours to get into New York's Eataly. But I guess everyone, at some time, craves the closest version of 'home', even when they're nowhere near it.
The main portion of Eataly is open at 10. But here's the secret: the door on 5th Avenue opens for good coffee and croissants at 8. Order the Latte Macchiato, you won't regret it! (Delicious, even if you're not Italian.)