For New Yorkers, brunching is a way of life. If you are in the city on a Saturday or Sunday, people come out in droves to get their fix, whether sweet or savory. The following brunch places are my favorites at the moment (let’s be real, this is an ever-changing and ever-growing list as I eat my way through this city).
Lafayette is a brasserie in New York, complete with a pastry shop, cocktail bar, and tons of seating with dark chocolate leather booths and French café chairs. Notable menu items: almond croissants, French toast with grilled pineapple, and overflowing cups of fries.
Do not let the name fool you – this place has classic American brunch written all over it. This restaurant is huge, with many rooms that you stumble upon as your host weaves through the bustling crowd. Notable menu item: cornmeal flapjacks with blueberry syrup and salted butter (if a corn muffin and a pancake had a baby, I think I found it).
A bright blue exterior on a quiet corner of SOHO ushers you into Shuka, a beautiful restaurant that is reflective of the vibrant menu. Ask to be seated in the room in the back, which is extremely well lit! Four words: chocolate babka French toast.
Neighborhood: West Village
On one of the busiest streets in the West Village, Boucherie spills out onto the sidewalk with lots of little wooden French café chairs. This is a great opportunity to people watch if it is a nice day and you are seated outside! Notable menu items: toast avocat et tomate and croissant aux amandes (yes, I have a thing for almond croissants!)
Cuisine: New American
Neighborhood: East Village
Another sprawling quintessential American brunch spot, Narcissa is lively and buzzing. Notable menu items: French toast bites, iced cinnamon buns, and biscuits and gravy. I admit, you might need to go on a sugar detox after plowing through this list!
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Freemans is tucked down an alleyway under twinkling lights. This cozy colonial American fanfare is replete with an extensive cocktail list and an array of tasty food options for anyone from the health conscious (house-made granola, quinoa bowl) to someone who wants that traditional American comfort food (buttermilk pancakes, five cheese macaroni.)
Friend of a Farmer
When you step into Friend of a Farmer, it is almost like being at grandma’s house. There is warm floral wallpaper everywhere, and ceramic roosters sitting atop a fireplace. The restaurant boasts as being a part of the farm-to-table movement, which is reflected in its extensive omelette list. Notable menu items: pumpkin pancakes and fresh baked breads medley.
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Uva, with its brick rustic interior makes for a quiet and intimate brunch spot, away from the loud clinking of plates and chatter downtown. Ask to be seated in the back, where there is a covered garden! Notable menu item: the apple and cinnamon pancake. It is one pancake the size of the plate and it is deep dish, filled with little bits of apple with the top embedded with a couple of apple slices. Doggie bag as well as a wheelbarrow to roll you out of the restaurant is encouraged.
Cuisine: Coffee Shop
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
If you are looking for something quick, while at the same time enjoying a beautiful space in the heart of the museum mile, visit Bluestone Lane. The restaurant has many vegan and gluten free options, housed in an old church across from Central Park. Notable menu items: coffee, avocado toast, and banana bread.
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Oh my goodness, this brunch place is amazing. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with a floor to ceiling bar, loud vibrant music, and the smells of sticky sweet syrup. Maison Pickle is known for its selection of French dip sandwiches, as well as its fresh baked bread, made in house. CJ and I split the pickles, which were delicious, and then I had the maple butter French toast while he had the lumberjack stack. His meal was comprised of three eggs, three sausages, three strips of bacon, and three pieces of thick cut French toast – all for 19 dollars! That is honestly a steal for New York brunch, especially because that one meal really could’ve been shared between the two of us.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of New York brunch. Come hungry!