TL;DR: Easy to get a seat (for now). Try the scones or the granola, but they're overpriced like everything else. And don't get the breakfast sandwich.
Rose Bakery is British cafe/restaurant that has a simple menu and is set on the first floor and mezzanine of Dover Street Market. It has an industrial feel because of the exposed stainless steel kitchen and cafeteria-like tables and chairs. I went on a Saturday morning for brunch, and it was very easy to get a table. It seems to get more filled in the afternoon from the over-fashionable shopping crowds.
We started with drip coffee ($4.50) and a minimalist fruit salad, which was a bowl of thin granny smith apple slices and small mango chunks sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds ($8). We also ordered the lemon zest scone with clotted cream and jam ($5), which was the highlight of my meal. The single scone was the perfect balance of dense buttery-ness and airy floury-ness. Though I'm pretty sure it was just served with butter instead of clotted cream, the wild blueberry jam made up for it.
My mom ordered the granola with plain homemade yogurt ($11), which was a small 3-4oz yogurt with an disproportionally large bowl of granola. The granola was an addictive crumble of oats, almonds, and dried apriocts and cranberries laced with a guilty amount of honey. I had the breakfast sandwich, which was a sad excuse for a flavorless flaccid sausage messily stacked with an egg, avocado mush, and tomato jam on an over-sized overly buttery brioche bun ($17). DO NOT get the breakfast sandwich. You will finish your meal dissatisfied and wondering why you allocated so much of your daily caloric needs on that mess and sad excuse for a breakfast sandwich.
Despite the generally overpriced everything at Rose Bakery and the unacceptable breakfast sandwich, I actually went back later that afternoon for tea time. I had a ginger lemon tea, which was a big pot of water with a few slices of lemon and a lump of ginger, with a slice of their fruit cake ($13 with tea). My uncle tried their walnut cake, which was a nutty loaf that was served with a single whole walnut. The cakes should actually be renamed to loafs, but they were not bad. They were baked on premises, properly moist, and generally boring. The best part was the small buttery sugar sprinkled chocolate cookie that came with my hot drink. I would stop by again after 4pm for tea time, but only because I live half a block away.
If you're dropping g's at Dover Street Market, Rose Bakery is the obvious choice for a coffee or tea break. Otherwise, definitely stop by for a scone or some granola to do some serious people watching. The characters that flow through are definitely worth the time, and it's undoubtedly a cool place to meet someone for coffee.
Dover Street Market
160 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016