Brunch is a way of life for New Yorkers, and this not-quite-breakfast/not-quite-lunch weekend meal is offered at several restaurants throughout the city. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to whittle down the list to find the best. Monica Minier, a concierge who works at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, is here to help. Here she shares her top seven brunch spots in the city.
“Brunch is just a meal everywhere else, but brunch in New York is an experience that must be tried at least once,” Minier said.
First up, she recommends a trip to Prune, a neighborhood favorite in the East Village that boasts a young, friendly staff.
“Standout menu items include their famous Dutch-style Pancakes with pears, or, for something more savory, I love the Spicy Stewed Chickpeas,” Minier said. “The food is always fresh and flavorful, and the Bloody Marys are frequently on ‘best of’ lists and are not to be missed.”
Be advised that the restaurant does not take reservations for brunch. Minier suggests arriving early so you don’t have to wait an hour, or longer, to be seated. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am-3 pm.
At Jane in Greenwich Village “there is always a crowd outside, but luckily they accept reservations [for brunch],” Minier said.
What to try? Minier recommends the Benedict Jane, which has crab, crawfish and spinach, and the Avocado Toast.
“The bacon is always extra crispy too, just like I like it,” she said. “A complimentary cocktail comes with every brunch entrée, and I really enjoy the White Peach Bellini.”
Even though the downtown eatery is always busy, Minier noted that patrons can expect attentive service from the cheerful staff. Brunch is served on Sundays from 9 am-4:30 pm.
Located near Union Square, “ABC Kitchen might be my favorite restaurant for any meal, especially brunch,” Minier said. “The gorgeous, airy space, which includes vintage plates and utensils, is curated with objects from ABC Carpet & Home.”
At the restaurant, Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten treats foodies to an extensive menu of seasonal, New American cuisine.
“ABC Kitchen’s best dishes are those that focus on vegetables,” Minier said.
Her must-have items also include the Roasted Kobocha Squash Toast with fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar; and the Buttermilk Pancakes with lemon curd.
On the cocktail front, Minier recommends the Vodka Thyme Lemonade and the Basil Lime Daiquiri, both of which she calls refreshing and light.
“Service is impeccable and although the restaurant is always busy, it always feels relaxed,” Minier said. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-3 pm.
Other noteworthy brunch spots include Duet Restaurant in Greenwich Village. If you’re looking for a weekend brunch spot for you and 10 or more friends, Duet offers a reasonably priced $39 prix fixe family style weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3:30 pm.
If your weekend plans include fewer people, the restaurant also has an extensive selection of à la carte options—from Nutella sandwiches and mouthwatering omelettes to hearty oatmeal and smoked salmon and black bread.
Those in the mood for a Bavarian brunch can head to Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The expansive BK beer hall is a great setting to sit back and enjoy live music and hearty grub.
During Sunday brunch, patrons can feast on the likes of Bauernomelet—think bacon, onions, leeks, potatoes and Emmenthal)—the Wild Mushroom Frittata on Ciabatta and more while they listen to the Koran Agan Trio, which plays at the venue every Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.
Back in Manhattan, visitors can dine in high style at the legendary Waldorf Astoria New York. The famed hotel’s Peacock Alley features a lavish brunch, which uses ingredients—including honey and vegetables—from the hotel’s rooftop garden.
The experience includes the opportunity to try dishes created at the hotel, such as the Waldorf Salad, Eggs Benedict and Red Velvet Cake. Selections also include a raw bar, smoked fish and meat carving stations in addition to delectable desserts. Brunch is served every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Who says you can’t have sushi for brunch?
Those who crave the Japanese staple can head to SushiSamba in the West Village for the restaurant’s three-course prix fixe brunch. Entrée selections include tried-and-true brunch fare with a twist, such as Lobster Eggs Benedict with miso-yuzu hollandaise, Housemade Quinoa Waffles with kuromitsu and vanilla-cinnamon butter, and Foie Gras-Wagyu Sliders.
When it comes to sushi, brunchgoers can choose from sharable bites like the Ezo—soy-marinated salmon, asparagus, red onion, chive, sesame, tempura flake, wasabi mayonnaise and soy paper—and the Rainbow Dragon with freshwater eel, red bell pepper, cucumber, mango and avocado. Brunch is served Saturdays from 11:45 am-4 pm and Sundays from 11:30 am-4 pm.