What’s the one thing you need after a late night out at one of New York’s underground bars? Aspirin, maybe. But you could also do with a booze-filled brunch for some hair of the dog. From classic American French Toast to traditional Italian wood-fired pizzas, these best brunches in NYC are testament to the city’s melting pot of cultures.
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1. Sotto 13 | 140 W 13th Street
Tucked along the West Village, Sotto 13 serves up casual Italian fare in a bright dining area framed with a massive skylight. Bottomless brunch runs at $39 per person with an entrée and unlimited cocktails such as Bloody Marys, mimosas, screwdrivers and raspberry white-peach bellini. Hot favorites include their Spicy Fennel Sausage wood-fired pizza, French Toast and Skirt Steak Hash. For a unique experience, their Do-It-Yourself Processco Bar allows guests to enhance their glasses of bubbly with liqueurs, fruit purees, candied fruits and more.
TIP: Food portions are generous so come with an empty stomach if you must!
2. Calle Ocho | 45 W 81st St
Calle Ocho’s proximity to Central Park means a stroll is in order after your brunch feast. And you’ll need one when you’re faced with Calle Ocho’s indulgent selection of Latin American cuisines from the Latin Benedict to the Vaca Frita – skirt steak with fried rice, avocado, and fried eggs. From $20, your brunch comes with an unlimited refill of eight Sangria flavours. Gluten free options are available too.
TIP: A reservation is highly recommended.
3. Epstein’s Bar | 82 Stanton St
If you’re in New York on a shoestring budget, Epstein’s Bar is the place to be for your boozy brunch fix. While you won’t be served truffle omelets or Lobster Benedict here, you can get a stack of warm pancakes with unlimited booze selections of Bloody Mary, mimosas, or screwdrivers — all for $13.50. Simple and fuss-free, it’s the attentive service at Epstein’s that has kept many coming back for more.
TIP: Get there early, as space is limited.
4. Poco | 33 Avenue B
It’s hard to miss Poco with their crimson red exterior and hip music. At $28, you get an entree and unlimited 90 minutes of mimosas, Bloody Mary or sangria. Their drinks are strong, which is a great change from watered down brunch cocktails. Regulars to Poco swear by the Lobster Mac-n-Cheese and Poco Benedict – poached egg on a crispy arepa. If you’re recovering from a hangover, opt for The Cure – crispy tortillas with salsa served under a blanket of queso blanco and scrambled eggs.
TIP: Poco’s bustling ambiance and blaring music is perfect for a vibrant get-together, but not so much for an intimate rendezvous.
5. The Queen’s Kickshaw | 40-17 Broadway, Astoria
At this Astoria restaurant, brunch runs from 9am-4: 45pm, perfect for the early birds and late risers. The food served is vegetarian, but you’ll never guess it from the delectable layered Potato Cake to the flavourful Gouda sandwich: a marriage of guava jam and black-bean hummus with a sprinkle of picked jalapenos. Queen’s Kickshaw’s cozy atmosphere and selection of craft beers are a welcoming respite from the chaos of Manhattan.
TIP: The coffee here is equally fantastic, opt for the Pour Over ones.
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6. The Half Pint | 76 W 3rd St
Though they are known for a diverse selection of beers, The Half Pint’s serves up amazing classic American comfort food too. A popular favorite is their fried chicken and waffles – crispy, succulent and the hearty remedy to chase your morning blues away. Splurge an extra $16 for unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, and brunch punch. With large windows and lots of natural light, The Half Pint is the perfect place for people watching.
Tip: If you don’t feel like venturing out, The Half Pint provides delivery from noon.
7. La Carbonara | 202 W 14th St
This Italian restaurant embodies a distinct homey feeling with dim lights and hardwood floors. But don’t be fooled by its décor; each weekend La Carbonara comes alive with wicked tunes and a drag show! Start with the crispy frittata folded with bacon and leeks, then dive into a homemade pasta, with choices ranging from carbonara to bolognese. For $20, you get an hour and a half of champagne, mimosa, screwdriver and Bloody Marys (pourings are VERY generous).
Tip: A reservation is highly recommended.
8. North River Lobster Company | W 41st St
Fresh seafood, live music, and a free cruise around the Hudson River. Sounds too good to be true? Not at this floating lobster shack. Simply show up before their daily sail times and hop onboard for fresh Maine lobsters and staple seafood items such as Shrimp Po’ Boy and Fish Tacos. Pair your North River Lobster Company meal with mason jar cocktails or a bucket of beer. The boat ride lasts for half and hour but you are welcome to stay onboard as long you want.
Tip: Time your arrival for a sunset cruise around the river.
9. Sweet Revenge | 62 Carmine St
A tiny place in the heart of West Village, Sweet Revenge pairs each dish with an imported beer or wine for a complementary combination to your meal. For a decadent brunch, try their breakfast burrito bowl, served with generous heaps of avocados, potatoes, eggs and cheese. You can’t leave without partaking in one (or three) of their signature homemade cupcakes. My pick? The Dirty, a Valrhona Cake with Dark Chocolate Truffle paired with a Sweet Smaak Rose Moscato from South Africa.
Tip: Cozy and quaint, Sweet Revenge is the perfect place to impress that special someone.
10. Catfish | 1433 Bedford Ave
Serving classic New Orleans dishes, Catfish will steal your brunch-loving heart with their flavorful Catfish Po’ Boy or Shrimp ‘N Grits. If you’re feeling frisky, their NOLA-inspired cocktails are excellent: try Hurricane, a bracing mix of passion fruit, orange, lime, light and dark rum. The atmosphere is fun and there’s a backyard garden patio for when the weather is nice.
Tip: Brunch is served at 11am; late risers rejoice!
About The Author
Suhana Sol writes at SuhanaSol, a website focused on travel and social good. In 2013, she left Singapore and a job in marketing to pursue a new life in Canada. You can follow her adventures on Twitter.