New York City is massive and can seem overwhelming when looking for a place to dine, especially for brunch. With so many cuisines, atmospheres, intimate spots, not so intimate spots, the classy, the trendy, the upscale, the Mom-and-Pop, the chain restaurants etc., it can be very hard to make a decision. Though the below list is by no means extensive or comprehensive, we’ve waded through the chaos a little to suggest several brunch spots that we think worthy of a try. From Brooklyn to the East Village to Greenwich Village to SoHo and back again, here are our recommendations on where to get brunch in The Big Apple.
Greenwich Village (Manhattan): The Little Owl – 90 Bedford St.
In the historical Greenwich Village, this small and cozy brunch spot is somewhat famous already given that it sits underneath the well-known building shot in the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. TV show.
With large windows, beautiful, antique-stamped gold ceiling, small, windowed kitchen and elevated waiting area—yes you get to feel like a king or queen looking out over the kingdom—makes this neighborly American bistro an ideal setting to enjoy some eggs Benedict or meatball sliders.
Recommendation: The Beignets. These delicious fried donuts are covered in a light film of sugar, drizzled with a raspberry sauce and served with Nutella—a combination that makes for a heavenly taste.
Tip: The Little Owl only serves beer and wine. Weekend brunch is entirely open for walk-ins, no reservations. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Williamsburg: Egg – 109 N 3rd St. (Berry & Wythe)
As both a restaurant and small store, Egg offers organic, free-range dishes with ingredients straight off of its farm in Oak Hill, New York. Its store items consist of hand-crafted, home-schooled goods like coffee and jams that are sure to enliven any at-home breakfast. Egg’s sunny interior invites a lively atmosphere despite its small size.
Though this popular weekend brunch spot is moving to a larger space this month, it is unlikely to loose its penchant for making simple and delicious dishes. It just needed a little more wiggle room to maintain its sunny disposition.
Recommendation: Eggs Rothko. An easy-cooked egg in a slice of brioche topped with cheddar cheese, a side of broiled tomatoes and a choice of vegetables or meat. Tastefully simple.
Tip: Egg is cash only and you should expect a wait on weekends. Brunch begins at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Brooklyn: Le Petit Café – 502 Court St.
Though the outside of Le Petit Café is in line with the look of an endearing French café, the interior complete with a extravagant forest-like décor, a garden, high ceilings and beautiful knickknacks found around the main dining areas, is what makes the café so impressive. With dishes like the ‘Polenta Breakfast Special’ or the eggs Benedict, prepare to feel transported as you enjoy your brunch in a tranquil setting.
Recommendation: Polenta Breakfast Special. Eggs, jalapeno, cheese, scallions and beans served with warm polenta
Tip: It is cash only and two can dine for around $30. Brunch starts early, around 6 a.m., and though this might be a tad early for a few of us, more power to you early birds!
East Village: The Smith Restaurant & Bar – 55 3rd Ave.
One of three locations, The Smith in East Village is a casual American Brasserie with a brunch menu that features familiar bistro dishes like the ‘Croaker’ or the classic eggs Benedict. You can enjoy an elaborate cocktail at the “subway” tiled bar or have your meal in the expansive dining room. There are other rooms for private parties too if you are celebrating something special or want to do your brunch in style.
Conversation with good friends in a relaxed atmosphere? An easy peasy brunch affair.
Recommendation: Buttermilk Waffles or the Steak + Eggs. Whether you’re craving savory or sweet, waffles with strawberries or steak with home fries, The Smith can satisfy your fancy.
Tip: Brunch is only served on Sundays. This is also a good time to do a family brunch.
Between Greenwich Village & SoHo: Jane – 100 West Houston St.
For regular brunchers, Jane is the quintessential NYC brunch spot—a casual American bistro ideal for a date or a meal out with friends. A warm atmosphere, modern décor and a relaxed ambience might well make you feel like you’ve stepped into a classic New York film scene.
The menu features popular dishes like the Benedict Jane, Benedict Johnny and Bloody Marys. Enjoy a complimentary drink with your entrée whether this is some fresh-squeezed OJ or a cocktail.
Recommendation: Vanilla Bean French Toast. From what we’ve heard, this dish is to die for. With thick slices of brioche toast, crème brulèe batter and Vermont maple syrup, your taste buds will be soaring.
Tip: Make a reservation for brunch, as the restaurant can get oh so busy. Alcoholic beverages aren’t served before 12 p.m. Brunch is served on Sundays
Brooklyn (Clinton Hill): SoCo – 509 Myrtle Ave.
For any of you craving a different kind of fare, one that can often be found far south of NYC, Southern Fusion cuisine might be right up your alley. “So Jazzy, So Brooklyn” SoCo offers a mix of Cajun, Creole and soul food for a brunch that may leave you full but quite satisfied.
Whether you are envisioning chicken and waffles or some classic mac and cheese, this large, industrial-meets-organic restaurant and bar is the perfect place to spread out and enjoy a hearty brunch and a cocktail concoction from the extensive list.
Recommendation: Buttermilk Fried Chicken. An authentic red velvet cake waffle with organic fried chicken and a dusting of powdered sugar. Top it off with some syrup and enjoy!
Tip: Try to make a reservation beforehand. Brunch Saturdays and Sundays 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Do you have any favorite brunch spots in NYC? Our taste buds are dying to hear them, so let us know below!