New York may be the city that never sleeps — but we love waking up to the promise of a decadent brunch. The go-to NYC brunch spots that everyone has heard of are classics for a reason: Sarabeth’s, which started out as a bakery in 1981, is still beloved for its popovers; Jack’s Wife Freda’s downtown neighborhood vibe is enhanced by a casual, walk-in policy and elevated takes on home cooking. They’re joined by brunch options from around the world like malawach, Yemenite Jewish pancakes with egg, spicy grated tomato, herby hot schug, and labneh at Café Mogador; and the prix fixe menu of regional Indian cuisine at Baar Baar – both great options for long, lingering brunches with friends.
You would need a month of Sundays to try all of Manhattan’s noteworthy brunch options (and that’s before you even venture to the boroughs) but here are some our guests have given rave reviews.
What used to be Nolita’s Michelin-rated Uncle Boon’s is now Thai Diner, which specializes in Thai-tea-flavored breakfast carbs like babka, morning buns and coffee cake (sometimes decorated with edible googly eyes), as well as Thai takes on American breakfast standards, like an egg sandwich with herbal sausage and Thai basil, wrapped in roti and served with chili jam. The lobster omelette chu chee is a spicy delight.
If you’re seeking a quiet, luxurious retreat in Midtown, look no further than Charlie Palmer at The Knick, right between Times Square and Bryant Park, for breakfast favorites including customizable benedicts and omelets, avocado toast, bagels and lox, and a perfect croque madame. But it’s our malted Belgian waffles and buttermilk pancakes that will really make you want to take a page from Enrico Caruso’s libretto and move right in.
This Art Nouveau brasserie, with its 150-year-old imported glass ceiling inside, and a skylight covered heated atrium that resembles a French plaza outside, brings a little bit of Paris to Midtown Manhattan. The traditional brasserie menu, including a raw bar, house-cured charcuterie, and plats principaux that come with frites, is brunchified with egg options and the very important Viennoiseries (croissants, pain au chocolat and tartines) for the table.
You don’t have to be passionate about pickles or fetishize French dips to dine here… but it doesn’t hurt. Variations on both of the above, plus buttermilk fried chicken, served multiple ways, and several takes on bodega breakfast sandwiches with Texas toast are crowd-pleasing indulgences that pair well with an extensive cocktail menu.
One of New York’s most romantic brunches is Le Joli Weekend at Soho’s Roman and Williams Guild, where Chef Marie-Aude Rose creates artful versions of crêpe completes and avocado-shrimp in an elegantly curated space.
For picnics at Bryant Park, pop downstairs to Jakes, right here at The Knickerbocker, for delicious take-out brunch options like homemade croissants, pastries and flatbreads, fresh fruits and custom coffees and espressos.
In 2014, the Lower East Side’s family-owned “appetizing” shop celebrated its 110th birthday by opening a walk-in only café. Ten years in, it’s not hard to imagine the spinoff will break its own century mark someday. New York has as many places to get bagels and lox as there are fish in the sea, but Russ & Daughters was among the first and remains one of the best.
This vegan and vegetarian mini-chain is the answer when you want to indulge in a big, classic brunch without the guilt. Plant-based versions of a country breakfast (with Impossible sausage) and crab cakes benedict where jackfruit, sweet potato and quinoa stand in, complement even healthier options like salads, bowls, and smoothies.
The original Caffé Dante has been at the heart of Greenwich Village life since 1915. After being bought by a NYC-based Australian couple in 2015, it’s been transformed into what Time Out has called “the world’s best bar.” While that location does have a hearty brunch menu, its chic sister location in the West Village is a stunningly beautiful place to start your New York week.
Owned by the Livanos family for more than 25 years (but in a new location, post-pandemic shutdown), Molyvos has mastered the art of the Mediterranean brunch with inventive flavors like ouzo-cured salmon and “Greek toast” with orange-scented Easter bread. For Sunday Fundays, it may be a challenge to decide between a bloody Cretin, made with anise-based spirit Tsipouro and a bottomless mimosa.
The Knickerbocker Hotel is proud to have a long and storied partnership with Waterford, makers of unrivalled hand-cut crystal drinkware and home décor since 1783. Waterford’s designs — always evolving and contemporary, yet timeless...
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