This small cafe does a wonderful brunch that's worth waking up early to beat the crowds.
'brunch' on Serious Eats
Almost a year after opening, Estela still commands long waits for dinners of artful Spanish-inspired small plates. For his brunch menu, chef Ignacio Mattos doesn't slack off, but know that a meal here doesn't come cheap.
On a quaint corner of Fort Greene Park sits the friendly neighborhood frrestaurantiendly Walter's. The sister restaurant to Williamburg's Walter Foods, Walter's serves similar seasonal fare that made the original so beloved. Chef Josh Goldstein doesn't disappoint with brunch, offering tasty alternatives to the usual eggy brunch dishes.
Weekend brunches should be stress-free, but crowded old standbys can be anything but. North River, the new kid on the East Village block, offers a calmer respite. Chef Adam Starowicz, a Momofuku Ko alum, has a brunch menu that's seasonal and crowd-pleasing.
If you don't want to endure the infamous wait to get a seat for dinner at St. Anselm, go during brunch hours, when you can often just walk right in and still have a good meal.
If you're looking for more than just standard egg dishes for brunch, go to East 12th Osteria where you'll get a home cooked Italian meal and pastries.
Last summer, Sigmund's went through a total transformation from quick snack shack to friendly neighborhood restaurant. With beer taps and a full menu, they also serve a weekend brunch of the classics—but pretzel-ized.
To some chefs, serving brunch must feel creatively stifling, but not Jon Bignelli at Alder, where he plays with our expectations or dispense with them entirely.
This week on Ask the Critic: Where can I eat brunch that's not so much like, ugh, brunch?
When I heard that The NoMad was offering a sandwiched version of their incredible chicken—foie gras, truffles, brioche, and all—on their brunch menu for only $26, I suddenly thought to myself, hey, now I can finally afford to eat Daniel Humm's roast chicken whenever the mood strikes, before my line of thought stopped with a big mental record-scratch: wait a minute. That's a $26 chicken sandwich. Could it possibly be worth the price? I saw it as my duty to find out.
In another case study of smart young chefs reclaiming Asian fusion cuisine for the better, Jonathan Wu is reworking brunch through a Chinese lens.
I don't usually eat lunch in Brooklyn—that whole "office in Manhattan" thing—but when subways are limited and buses are so packed as to be almost un-rideable, you end up wandering around your own borough quite a bit. Which brought me to SCRATCHbread in Bed-Stuy.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of their brunch—and yes, they are calling it a brunchiversary—Union Square Cafe is adding some new, fall-inspired dishes to the menu. "It's like Brunch 2.0," said general manager Sam Lipp. You will now be able to find some new, interesting egg dishes, some warm apple cinnamon rolls, and—wait for it—lobster stew served in its own gourd.
It takes a lot for me to order pancakes for fear of all the bland, leaden, and sickly sweet versions out there. Perla's are a different story, and that's before you get to the foie gras butter.
"Go big or go home," says this meat and egg monster posing as a sandwich ($15), which you can find on Perla's Friday and weekend lunch menu.
When I first heard about SCRATCHbread's "brunch in a cup," I have to admit that my brain did a few rather skeptical somersaults. But then again, it didn't hurt that the weather has been particularly fine, or that founder Matthew Tilden named this novel concept STOOPbrunch, implying that his creations are meant to be consumed while sitting outside, basking in the sun. At $5, it certainly seemed well worth investigating. I picked up all three daily specials at the bakery's window in Bed-Stuy this Sunday (for roughly the same amount of money that I would normally spend on a single sit-down brunch), and I can confidently report that these messy paper cup-fulls of hearty brunch servings are not only a steal—they kind of blew my mind.
It's $15 for a four-part brunch: a crepe with apples, cabbage, and Gorgonzola; toast with a spreadable egg yolk, tomato and parmesan; a piece of their "brunch pizza" with scrambled eggs on top; and tiramisu.
Brunch service at The Beagle hasn't been too crazy since its debut in early March, but don't expect to go wait-free for long. After opening last May, The Beagle has been turning out a brand of thoughtful, flavor-packed dishes, focusing on seasonal produce and nose-to-tail approaches to meat. Their brunch dishes, courtesy of Chef Garrett Eagleton, are no exception.
I love me a good breakfast sandwich—especially when it's a block from my place. The ham and gruyere breakfast sandwich ($12) at 606 R&D in Prospect Heights is priced as you'd expect on a brunch menu, rather than a breakfast one, but it's available seven days a week.
At Maharlika on 1st Avenue, the brunch menu is filled with an abundance of meaty Filipino favorites. But the one sweet entree offered is certainly worth considering. Mango French Toast ($13) features fresh mango tucked between two slices of bread, almost too custardy at the center.