It goes without saying that New York City is jam-packed with many exceptional restaurants. With over 25,000 restaurants in the city, one is never at a loss for eating options. However, so many options can often feel overwhelming to someone visiting NYC. In this post, I'm recommending five fantastic places to enjoy brunch, each located in a different area of the city, and each of which I have tried. All five are in a comfortable, middle price range; meaning neither budget nor expensive.
12 Chairs in SOHO, Manhattan
Maison Pickle on Upper West Side, Manhattan
Cafe Sabarsky on Upper East Side, Manhattan
Sunday in Brooklyn in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Time Out Market in Dumbo, Brooklyn
I have been to 12 Chairs in SOHO several times. I first learned of this establishment years ago after returning from one of my earliest trips to Israel when I was on a quest for Shakshuka, a breakfast dish popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa. 12 Chairs started as a small cafe in the heart of SOHO, literally with a few tables and twelve chairs, as the name implies. It has now grown into a popular coffee shop and restaurant offering a menu that brings Middle Eastern flavors to Eastern European cuisine. Moroccan shakshuka, Israeli malabi, Middle Eastern knafeh, European blintzes, Yemenite jachnun, labaneh, babaganoush, matbucha, hummus, tabouli, falafels, schnitzels and more are ALL on the menu. Despite their diverse menu, they serve breakfast all day long. Located on MacDougal St., 12 Chairs is a great place to start your morning prior to hitting the MANY shops in the area or perusing Greenwich Village or Washington Square Park.
Maison Pickle, located on Manhattan's Upper West Side at Broadway & 84th St., considers itself a classic eatery offering comforting American favorites. It certainly does that but with a French twist! Their signature French dip sandwich with pan-scraped jus is a popular choice as are their variety of challah french toasts. I personally opted for their Croque Madame which was delicious. They are open for brunch, dinner, and cocktails. Maison Pickle is a great choice if you are planning on exploring Central Park or the Lincoln Center.
Cafe Sabarsky, on the ground floor of the Neue Galerie and named after its co-founder Serge Sabarsky is located on Manhattan's Upper East Side on Fifth Avenue, caddy-corner to the Met Museum. Both the Cafe and the Galerie are Austrian-inspired venues. Cafe Sabarsky draws on the inspiration of the old-world Viennese cafes which were important centers for social, intellectual, and artistic exchange at the turn of the century. The Neue Galerie above displays works by Gustav Klimt and other Austrian masters from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The cafe serves a lovely brunch as well as dinner. It offers many Austrian selections such as Viennese coffee, Bavarian ham and eggs, chilled smoked trout crêpes, crêpes with homemade jam, brioches, and various Austrian pastries and tortes. It is in an ideal location if visiting the Neue Galerie, the Met Museum, the Guggenheim, or Central Park.
Sunday in Brooklyn
As the name implies, Sunday in Brooklyn is located in Brooklyn, specifically on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. Sunday in Brooklyn is a great local, neighborhood spot serving up American staples. They have a diverse and delicious brunch menu which includes avocado toast, smoked salmon toast, pancakes with hazelnut-studded maple praline syrup, cheddar scrambles, shakshuka, omelets, grain bowls, sausage-egg-and-cheese sandwiches, and much more. This is a great option when milling around the hip neighborhood and checking out its chic boutiques and vintage shops, or strolling along its waterfront to take in the fabulous views of the Manhattan skyline from across the East River.
If you opt for a morning walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or are exploring Brooklyn at the base of the bridge, then you should consider picking up coffee or a quick brunch starter at the TimeOut Market. This market is located in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn and occupies the entire ground floor of what appears to be a repurposed warehouse directly on the waterfront, next to the beautifully restored wooden antique carousel. Spread across 24,000 sq. ft., this innovative dining destination hosts 17 eateries on the ground floor, two full bars, and art installations, all in one space. Clinton St. Baking Company is a fine go-to brunch locale offering iconic savory options like latke eggs benedict and egg sandwiches, or sweet, fluffy pancakes with a variety of fresh toppings. Bagels at Ess-a-Bagel or doughnuts at Dough are also available at TimeOut Market if those happen to be your breakfast mood.
No need to be paralyzed by indecision...
Put these 5 awesome brunches in NYC on your list of places to try. At great price points, with diverse menus, and located in five different areas of the city, you will undoubtedly be satisfied. A good brunch in New York City is THE perfect way to start your day prior to engaging in what is typically a robust itinerary with a lot of walking!