The spring season is in full swing — time to take your brunch outside. From trendy restaurants to more budget-friendly locales, there are plenty of places in the Big Apple to grab a patio seat and enjoy this midday meal. Here are twelve of our favorite spots to indulge in eggs benedict, banana pancakes and a Bloody Mary—and maybe even a cityscape view. Hit up one of these brunch spots this weekend. By Sarah Shaker.
For beautiful people watching on a downtown-cool corner, head to Gemma for brunch. This Italian restaurant at The Bowery Hotel serves breakfast dishes like Baked Eggs with avocado and prosciutto, as well as pastas and main course entrees for your favorite afternoon meal. Bring along your pup, as this dog-friendly spot allows your little furry friend to sit beside your outdoor table as you dine.
359 Columbus Ave at 77th Street
New York, NY 10024
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This chic, ever-popular Upper West Side haunt serves up some of the best Mediterranean-style food in the city. The brunch menu is extensive has something for everyone, from a breakfast burrito to a jumbo egg sandwich to chocolate hazelnut crepes. Come on Sunday and enjoy a complimentary coffee or cocktail with your meal. Large glass doors open up to outdoor café seating on the patio, which receives plentiful sunshine. While you sip on your bellini, you’ll also have a view of the Museum of Natural History. Isabella’s is a brunch hotspot, so we suggest you arrive before you’re hungry. You may even spot a celeb or two.
Wally’s Square Root Cafe
584 Myrtle Avenue
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Looking for a more casual, down-home spot to get your fill of hearty, carb-y favorites? Try this Brooklyn joint. Wally’s is a neighborhood corner spot that serves up their fantastic breakfast menu all day long. You can pick up their “Not French Toast” which is made with sweet brioche, or their “Green Eggs & Ham,” eggs scrambled with pesto and spinach placed over ham and grilled challah. They also serve Brooklyn’s own, Kitten Coffee.
21-52 44th Drive
Long Island City, NY 11101
Brunch is wildly popular at this quaint, Long Island City restaurant with a cozy, country feel. Their market, selling homemade jam in mason jars, will leave you wondering: Are you sure we’re still in New York City? LIC Market’s rotating menu serves local and seasonal ingredients. The decent prices and delicious fare make the inevitable wait for a table well worth it.
Stone Street Tavern
This Financial District block may be known for its happy hour mingling after work, but from April to November, this lower Manhattan haunt features a weekend brunch for an equally social crowd. Try the Bananas Foster French Toast or order lighter fare like the savory Spinach Egg White Omelet.
There’s always a wait, but it’s well worth it for a taste of French cuisine on Juliette’s always cool Brooklyn rooftop. Order traditionally with a Tartine Croque Madame or go gourmet with Crispy Duck Confit with poached eggs, wilted baby frisee, toasted walnuts, green apple and brioche croutons. For something sweet, Roasted Banana Stuffed French Toast with toasted walnuts and maple syrup is your go-to order.
Chef Jesse Davis’ menu makes this neighborhood spot a gem for locals. Enjoy brunch outdoors at Locale with indulgent dishes like Sugar Dusted French Toast Stuffed with Nutella or Poached Eggs with Buttermilk Biscuit and Country Gravy. Cure your hangover with these hearty plates or keep your weekend imbibing going with their list of daytime cocktails, like a Mango Mimosa.
The Pitch and Fork
This Upper East Side restaurant heats their outdoor space during the chilly months and makes for a great destination in the spring for brunch al fresco. If you’re looking to get tipsy, try their Pitch Madness Brunch Special. For just $27 you can enjoy any brunch plate with unlimited brunch cocktails, including Mimosas, Champagne or Bloody Marys.
Brunch in NoMad at Tavern 29’s rooftop beer garden. Wake up with the Hangover Burger, a 10 oz patty topped with fried egg, bacon, cheddar, crispy shallots and served with fries or stick to your bikini diet with a Vegetable Omelete with roasted red pepper, tomato, avocado and goat cheese served with a house salad.
One of our most anticipated openings of 2013, The General will be opening their 80-foot garage door windows at the front of the restaurant this spring and summer to dine at outdoor tables or to easily evoke the feeling of sitting outside while seated indoors. Whether brunching on cereal-inspired donuts or savory plates like Duck Hash with a poached egg from Chef Hung Huynh, this trendy restaurant is one of the newest brunches to hit the downtown scene this season.
FOUR at Yotel
FOUR at Yotel offers an all inclusive non-stop cocktails and small plates brunch for $40 per person every Saturday and Sunday from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. Brunch plates include Chilaquiles, French Toast and Cod Sliders. Boasting one of Manhattans largest outdoor terraces, FOUR features 5,000 square feet with dramatic views of the city skyline for an unmatched visual outdoor brunch. A new terrace menu is set to launch early June including Pastrami Egg Rolls with Chinese mustard and The DohYO Burger made with Pat LaFrieda No. 7 hanger blend.
Hornblower Cruises and Events Infinity Yacht
The $20 million renovated Hornblower Cruises and Events Infinity yacht is a stunning new way to take in views of the New York City skyline while brunching. On one of three decks boasting 360-degree views, enjoy a summer Sunday at the Infinity yacht’s Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise, departing from Pier 40 at 12:30 p.m. Sip on summer cocktails while dining on a full brunch buffet featuring seasonal dishes, and a dessert station to the tunes of a live jazz band on board. Check their calendar to purchase tickets for a Sunday brunch aboard this season.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.