Brunch is the quintessential New York meal. It is neither breakfast or lunch. Fresh fruit and cereal,eggs, hamburger and chips, steak or spaghetti…the choice is yours. A bloody mary or a glass of champagne is the usual accompaniment.
Some restaurants only offer their brunch menu on the weekend whilst, for others, it will be available every day. A lot of restaurants have a no reservation policy, so be prepared to queue but, be warned, New York restaurants will only seat you when all of your party have arrived!
The Spotted Pig
Restaurant, gastro pub or bar, the Spotted Pig can wear all hats. If I lived in this beautiful leafy corner of New York, I know it would become my local. Pot plants decorate the front of the restaurant and overhead a spotted pig marks the entrance. Inside the feel is of an old fashioned tavern.
At this time of the year, we were able to be seated when the restaurant opened at 11am . It didn’t take long for the friendly staff to bring our first bloody mary!
Chef April Bloomfield believes in fresh, local produce. Vegetarians are well catered for with some fabulous salads on the menu but for us, it was the chargrilled hamburger with roquefort cheese and shoestring fries that stole the show! My husband declared the poached eggs with corned beef hash a winner as was the frittata with ramps and ricotta.
The Spotted Pig
314 West 11th Street @ Greenwich St
New York 10014
Tel: 212 620 0393
Brunch: 11am – 3pm, weekends only. No reservations
The lure of Locanda Verde’s famous sheep’s milk ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast drew us to Robert de Niro’s trendy Greenwich Hotel, where Locanda Verde is the hotel’s bar, cafe and italian influenced taverna. There is also a takeway bar inside the restaurant for those who can’t wait for their coffee and pastry. Tall french windows overlook the busy side walk,where on a beautiful day, you can sit and watch the passing parade. By night, the bar is busy and diners are filling the tables.
The truffled honey drizzled over the sheep’s milk ricotta to it another level whilst my husband loved his eggs with cotechino hash, spinach and tomato hollandaise. No bloody marys this time as we were headed to the 9/11 memorial.
377 Greenwich St @ N.Moore St
New York 20013
Tel: 212 9253797
Brunch: All days of the week. Reservations available
The Breslin Bar and Dining Room
As we walked into the Breslin Bar and Dining Room, we instantly thought we were back at the Spotted Pig. Similar in design and layout, even to the point of carved and painted pigs decorating the walls, we were not surprised to learn that both restaurants are owned by chef April Bloomfield and her partners.
Situated in an emerging area , it is part of the Ace Hotel on 29th Street. Just around the corner is the newly opened NoMad Hotel with it’s signature restaurant supervised by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara from Eleven Madison Park, getting rave revues
The meal of choice at the Breslin is the chargrilled lamb hamburger (surprise!!) with feta and cumin mayo but this time it came with with thrice cooked chunky chips that hubby declared to be the best!
The Breslin Bar and Dining Room
16 West 29th St @ Broadway
New York 10001
Tel: 212 6791937
Brunch: All days of the week. No reservations
Having read Gabrielle Hamilton’s book ‘Blood, Bones and Butter’, our travelling companions were keen to try her restaurant, Prune. Open only on the weekend for brunch and as another with a no booking policy, we arrived to join the queue. Thankfully it didn’t take long for a table to be free.
Prune is a small, unassuming restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere created by it’s simple distressed wooden tables and mirrors. The chef can be seen working in the small open kitchen.
We were all very excited to be given a bloody mary menu with ten different variations to choose from. I wasn’t sure about the beer chaser but….this could be a long brunch!
Cereal and fruit dishes, eggs and omelettes are all made with a twist. We tried the eggs en cocotte, a coddled egg served with savoury chicken, and the heuvos rancheros- the baked eggs in tomato,garlic and chilli served with black beans. Soft scrambled eggs were also delicious especially with the grilled lamb sausage. The choice is hard.
But what ever you do, don’t miss the Dutch style pancake with sour cream and blueberries!
54 East 1st Street ( between 1st & 2nd Ave)
New York 10003
Tel: 212 6773221
Brunch: 10am – 3.30pm Weekends only. No reservations
Unfortunately we didn’t have time for brunch at Balthazar this trip but the coffee drinker in the family did often disappear and return with a takeaway from their boulangerie. This restaurant was always buzzing and the food looked great. It’s certainly one I will visit next trip.
80 Spring Street @Crosby St
Tel: 212 9651414
Breakfast all days with a brunch nenu on the weekend from 10am . Reservations can be made
Though we didn’t try these restaurants, they all come highly recommended for brunch.
120 Essex St on the Lower East Side ( Essex Street Market)
Brunch here is reputed to be an experience! Just reading the menu takes forever, let alone making a choice
Open from Wednesdays to Sundays, it is advised to go during the week as it can get very crowded. No reservations. They do not take groups of more than four people.
Clinton St Baking Company & Restaurant
4 Clinton St on the Lower East Side
Known for their light and fluffy pancakes, my daughter recommends loves the blueberry pancake with warm maple butter. Again it can get very busy on the weekend so go during the week. No reservations
113 MacDougal St near Washington Park
Brunch is a weekend only affair served from 11am – 3pm but reservations can be made. Famous for their Black label burger with caramelized onions and pommes frites.
Tel: 212 4753850
What are your favourite brunch spots?
Read more about New York:
What to do in New York
Walking New York’s High Line
The 9/11 Memorial in New York
Lunch at New York’s Eleven Madison Park
Eating in New York
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
New York’s Grand Central Station