There are few relationships as polarizing as the ones New Yorkers have with brunch. On the one hand, there are delicious, Instagrammable feasts to be had. On the other, wait times longer than a Lord of the Rings movie. Is avocado toast and a hot flat white worth two hours of standing in line? These six NYC restaurants prove that it is.
Vinegar Hill House
When it comes to brunch these days, Brooklyn reigns supreme. And there are few restaurants who do it as well as Vinegar Hill House. Head just north of Dumbo and over the cobblestone streets, where you’ll be warmly welcomed by the restaurant’s rustic, one-of-a-kind space. Equally of note is the food. Don’t miss their sourdough pancakes or cheddar grits.
72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Though an excellent choice year-round, the appeal of The Smile is strongest in the colder months, when their garden-level space offers a dark and cozy respite from the winter winds outside. The NoHo restaurant’s menu focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. For weekday breakfast (served until 4:30 p.m. for all you late-risers out there), you’ll find egg standards and top-notch pastries. On the weekend, dig into their semolina waffle with house-made apple butter and whipped cream. For those on the run, there’s always The Smile To Go, down on Howard Street in SoHo.
26 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Owned and operated by the ever-charming Sarah Schneider and Demetri Makoulis (read our interview with them from way-back-when here, Egg Shop filled a void when it opened in early 2014: all varieties of eggs offered all day long. Get yours in the morning between two buns or in a bowl. For first-timers, might we suggest the Egg Shop B.E.C., made with cheddar, bacon, tomato jam, and pickled jalapeño. Once you get your feet wet, you can graduate to an El Camino “Cruiser,” which serves a sunny-side up egg with spicy stewed pinto beans, chipotle braised pork, crispy potato, sour cream, salsa aguacate, cilantro, and pickled onion.
151 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
Fair warning: expect a two-hour wait if you show up at prime time. If that idea sends a shiver down your spine, use it as inspiration to wake up early and beat the crowds. Besides, Dimes‘s menu lends itself to healthier living, with options like carob acai and finio porridge.
chia pudding and cherry strawberry bowls.
49 Canal St, New York, NY 10002
An American bistro in Carroll Gardens, Buttermilk Channel made a name for themselves with their fried chicken and waffles for dinner. For brunch, keep the sweet-and-savory thing going with fried pork chops and waffles, or stick to something more traditional, like a plate of buttermilk pancakes or pecan pie French toast.
524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
In the summer, the windows of Little Prince, located just a short walk from SIXTY SoHo, open right onto the street. Its warm-weather appeal is obvious, indeed. Year round, though, the restaurant continues to draw people in for rich morning classics like French toast with baked apples and scrambled eggs with bacon and greens.
38 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
Photo courtesy of Anthony Delanoix