To be honest, there’s really no way to summarize brunch options in New York with only 5 choices. There’s so many categories – fancy brunch, boozy brunch, casual brunch, dance party brunch – the options are literally endless.
But it’s my duty to narrow it down for you lovely people, so when you read this list, you know exactly what’s recommended and for what reason. Read on to check out my top 5 brunch picks in this crazy city and what they’re perfect for!
1. For a very “New York” Brunch: Sadelle’s
Varieties of smoked fish that come artfully presented in their signature tiered stands, homemade bagels, oysters, and all the necessary condiments to boot, Sadelle’s is like having brunch at the home of your Jewish grandmother that you never had. It’s elegant, but still has a vintage-y laid back vibe, and the marble tables give it an extra Insta-worthy touch. The SoHo location doesn’t hurt either; there’s so much to do in the area afterwards, if you ever decide to leave. Bonus: it’s one of blogger Marianna Hewitt’s favorite places to eat when she comes to NYC, in case you needed another reason to check it out.
2. For a “Let’s Get Lit at 1pm” Brunch: Bagatelle
I don’t care how 22 I sound by suggesting this place – if you want a legit party for your brunch, look no further than Bagatelle in Meatpacking. It starts out pretty tame and mild, and suddenly, while you’re innocently eating your french toast, they close the blinds and it feels like midnight inside. The DJ plays amazing music that makes you feel like you’re in the South of France, and the servers are presenting bottles to tables in full superhero costumes. It’s a trip. And most importantly, the food is actually good. I personally hate when you go somewhere for the scene and the food is shit. It’s lazy. But that’s not the case here. The French owners that manage the place know how to bring good food to a fun ambiance and bring some “joie de vivre” to your weekend.
3. For an epic “Bottomless” Brunch: Barbounia
An never-ending flow of champagne cocktailsfor an additional $19.95? Umm yes please. Barbounia is lively, pretty, and makes you feel like you’ve just stepped into a glamorous tent in the Sahara. The cuisine is Mediterranean-inspired, so it’s not necessarily classic American brunch fare, but it’s delicious and that champagne deal is just boujie af. Check it out if you want something a little different but still looking for a good boozy option.
4. For a “Southern Comfort” Brunch: Infirmary NYC
Kid you not, I’ve never been disappointed by a meal here. Step inside and step right into cajun-style cooking and cocktails that make you feel like you could be on Bourbon St in New Orleans. From po’ boys to gumbo, this place has it all, and the service is friendly and fairly quick. Also, if you love spicy anything, you’ll love it here, because they certainly do not shy away from the spice factor on any of their dishes. Must-try dish: the Crawfish Artichoke Dip. It is beyond, ya’ll.
5. For a “Pinky in the Air” Upscale Brunch: The Carlyle Restaurant at the Carlyle Hotel
3 courses for $65 per person, which includes one glass of prosecco. Not exactly a bottomless brunch, but if you’re looking for somewhere super upscale, this is a Manhattan staple that is sure to impress the out-of-town guests or snoopy in-laws. Elegant, classy, and right off Central Park, this brunch is sure to satisfy the palette and boujie feels. Get the Oyster Platter as an appetizer to get the biggest bang for your buck, if you care.
So there you have it, my dears. Five picks to satisfy the various brunch needs one might face in NYC, from super fancy to no frills. An honorable mention must also be given to Mel’s Burger Bar, which doesn’t have the most groundbreaking food, but has an insane 3-hour all you can drink deal that basically stands the test of time. Let me know if you visit any of these places, if you haven’t already, and tell me what you think. Bottoms up!
Xx – Raele