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New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

January 1, 2012 5:59 AM

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The savory Biscuit Sandwich at Clinton Street Bakery. (Image from www.clintonstreetbaking.com)

The savory Biscuit Sandwich at Clinton Street Bakery. (Image from http://www.clintonstreetbaking.com)

We’ve already provided you with our top picks for New Year’s Day Brunch specials. Here’s a look at our all-time favorite spots for the long, lazy, indulgent weekend-afternoon meal chased with café latte or a Bloody Mary – a great tradition of New York City life.  By Valerie Stivers.

alma New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

Take in the view as you enjoy your brunch at Alma. (Image from http://www.almarestaurant.com)

Alma

187 Columbia Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 643-5400
www.almarestaurant.com

Take the water taxi to Pier 6 (location of the city’s best playground; check schedules) in the a.m., then walk 10 minutes down Columbia Street for the gooey, eggy, cheesy goodness that is Mexican brunch at Alma. More plusses: an outdoor roof deck with spectacular views of lower Manhattan and the big boats in New York harbor, and margaritas.

balthazar New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

Feast your eyes and your stomach at Balthazar. (Image from http://www.balthazarny.com)

Balthazar

80 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 965-1414
www.balthazarny.com

Restaurateur Keith McNally’s first cult property is many things: divine French bakery, web-industry hotspot, former celebrity hangout, but first and foremost it’s a pitch-perfect French bistro with a brunch menu that includes brioche French toast and caramelized onion-and-goat cheese tart. The juice is fresh-squeezed, the latte comes in bowls, and shopping along Broadway or in Soho and Nolita is just steps away.

La Bonbonniere

credit james and james getty images New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

(file photo credit: James And James/Getty Images)

28 Eighth Ave
New York, NY 10014
(212) 741-9266

This old-school greasy spoon in the West Village is emblematic of a certain kind of casual, un-precious hash slinging that feels particularly New York. The eggs with home-fries and toast are cheap and basic, the owner’s cat curls around the chair legs, and the big plate glass window is great for spotting off-duty celebrities like Tim Robbins.

clintonstreet New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

The savory Biscuit Sandwich at Clinton Street Bakery. (Image from http://www.clintonstreetbaking.com)

Clinton Street Baking Company

4 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10022
(646) 602-6263
www.clintonstreetbaking.com

The slightly Southern-fried menu at this youthful Lower East Side hot spot offers a free-range, organic take on all the classic brunch dishes: blueberry or banana walnut pancakes, buttermilk biscuit sandwich, eggs benedict, truffle-fried eggs with asparagus. Prices are reasonable and, conveniently, the same menu is served for breakfast on weekdays, without the lines.

The Coffee Shop

29 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003
(212) 243-7969
www.thecoffeeshopnyc.com

The aspiring models who work the floor here are only half the draw at this big, high-turnover brunch place that’s also a pretty good 24-hour restaurant in central Union Square. New Yorkers of all types wait in line for sidewalk seating and affordable American Nouvelle dishes like Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine (spinach), Eggs Norway (smoked salmon), strip steak & eggs, overstuffed omelets, and California wraps.

locandaverde New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

Chefs whip up tasty fare at Locanda Verde. (Image from http://www.locandaverdenyc.com)

Locanda Verde

377 Greenwich Street
New York, NY
(212) 925-3797
www.locandaverdenyc.com

The restaurant in the new Greenwich hotel in Tribeca (owned by Robert DeNiro) has the city’s hottest brunch at the moment. The chef is emerging Italian star Andrew Carmellini, and pastry chef Karen DeMasco has a following of her own. Dishes come out on wooden planks, or in little terrines, and the big, lofty room is pleasantly buzzy and happening.

Prune

prune bloody mary1 New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

(credit: Prune)

51 East 1st St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 677-6221
www.prunerestaurant.com

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton is one of the people who brought Alice Waters’s fresh, seasonal, simple style to NYC, and her tiny East Village restaurant is still a foodie mecca for all meals, but most especially brunch. Fans of the Bloody Mary will have their minds blown by the vodka bottles frozen into blocks of olive- or celery- ice melting slowly on the bar. Arrive a bit before the restaurant opens at 10a.m and you’re likely to get a table with ease.

sarabeths New York’s 8 Best Brunch Spots

The dining room at Sarabeth's, facing Central Park South. (Image from http://www.sarabethscps.com)

Sarabeth’s Central Park South

40 Central Park South New York, NY 10019
(212) 826-5959
www.sarabethscps.com

This grand dame’s Central Park location guarantees high prices, but if you’re at a loss in midtown or near the park, Sarabeth’s is a highly reputable breakfast destination with a quirky menu and a specialty in “sweet breakfasts” like lemon-ricotta pancakes and pumpkin waffles. To get the heaping American-brunch experience, order plenty of sides.

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