The only thing that's gotten us through all these years of braving endless lines, shit-showy scenes, and all manner of other hazards to partake in New York’s best brunches? That's right: Bloody Marys.
A ton has changed in the Bloody scene since last year, which is why we went back to the tomato juice-and-vodka-soaked drawing board and came out kinda drunk/with this list of the 10 best new Bloody Marys the city has to offer.
Wash down the Venetian-meets-Japanese-style eats (especially the pancetta- and fontina-layered version of the bacon, egg & cheese) with an outstanding Bloody Mary that stays true to the restaurant’s global mash-up mission by melding togarashi (that’s a peppery Japanese condiment) and balsamic, adding a chile-salt-sesame rim, and garnishing with a pickled carrot, cucumber, and olive.
While waiting for your soft-baked eggs with avocado and jalapeño cornbread, get down with their Bloodless Maria, which skips the tomato juice (stay with us) and instead uses organic tomato vodka (!), Carpano Bianco vermouth, Worcestershire sauce, and celery bitters.
Great wine and charcuterie keep locals perched on bar stools in the evenings, but in the daytime it’s the eggs Benedict with Nueske’s bacon and the Bloody Mary -- brightened with hot sauce and freshly grated horseradish -- that keeps them most satisfied. You should also contemplate a post-brunch ration of burnt marshmallow ice cream at OddFellows next door.
You should have already gone here at night for the burger, but it’s now possible to also visit this always-jammed West Village bar during the afternoons for an equally gluttonous sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich (heaped on an English muffin) and their Happiest Bloody, wherein sherry and celery bitters marry with vodka, gin, tequila, or aquavit (go with the gin). Technically the ingredients transform the drink into a Bloody Snapper, but technically we don't really care. This thing still drinks like a Mary.
Lower East Side
Russ & Daughters Cafe's glorious Nova smoked salmon calls for drinks just as desirable. Among the quartet of Bloodies on offer at this Lower East Side comfort food joint, spring for the one infused with caraway and tricked out with pickled vegetables and rye croutons. Though, to be fair, none of them are a bad move. (Really, no Bloody ever is a bad move, but that's for another story another time.)
Pizza is the star at Rossopomodoro, the West Village outpost of a popular Italian chain. That holds true at brunch, too, with a decidedly Italian-style Bloody Mary, which unites San Marzano tomatoes with garlic, rosemary, and basil. Bonus: each glass is accompanied by a little "sidecar" of vodka-chasing kölsch beer. Enjoy it all with an appropriately egg-topped pie.
A few different versions of the Bloody Mary grace the menu of this Mediterranean-influenced spot. The one to try: the over-the-top salt- and brown sugar-rimmed Southern Mary. The blend of bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup is on point -- follow it with an order of soft-scrambled eggs with mascarpone.
Inside the Puck Building, the new brunch at the Chefs Club by Food & Wine (no, it’s not just you; the name, referring to the acclaimed food publication, is confusing as hell), features a Bloody Belle made with Iberico ham-infused bourbon (wuuuuuuuuut???), tomato, spices, and lemon verbena. Pair it with the Benton’s ham-strewn eggs Benedict. Or pair it with another Bloody Belle. Either way. (Or both ways!)
Part of the Wisconsin-loving Happy Cooking Hospitality group, this sliver of a West Village joint turns out the unconventional salsa-like Green (Bay) Bloody Mary. To create it, those typical red tomatoes are shunned for green tomatillos and pickles for pickled cucumbers. Spiked with hot sauce, it makes a fitting companion to the smoked whitefish toast.
Lower East Side
The tequila-forward Bloody Maria -- packing an attractively liberal punch of hot sauce -- provides the perfect fiery support to a menu studded with chilaquiles, poblano Benedict, and chorizo & eggs.
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1. All’onda22 E 13th St, New York
2. Cafe Clover10 Downing St, New York
3. The Camlin175 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn
4. The Happiest Hour121 W 10th St, New York
5. Russ & Daughters Cafe127 Orchard St, New York
6. Chefs Club by Food & Wine275 Mulberry Street, New York
7. Vic's31 Great Jones St, New York
8. Rossopomodoro118 Greenwich Ave, New York
9. Bar Sardine183 W. 10th Street, New York
10. La Contenta102 Norfolk St, New York
Located right near the heart of Union Square is All'onda, a Japanese and Venetian hybrid restaurant housed in a rustic duplex building. The first floor has a spacious bar (complete with sake) where you can drink or dine without having made a reservation, and the second floor is dimly-lit with cozy booths and wooden rafters. The menu is limited, but the smoked uni bucatini is a must-try.
Focused on health and ALSO being delicious, this corner joint worked with a nutritionist to create dishes like cauliflower “steak” with romesco and veggie chutney, roasted oyster with truffle and pickled shallot, and actual, no-air-quotes-necessary steak, with Brussels sprouts and olive oil potato puree.
Named after the river in Ireland where one of the owner’s husbands grew up fishing, this sleek Kent Ave spot is perfect for when you're not sure what exactly you want to drink (or eat). There's an impressive selection of 100+ bottles from all over the globe to choose from, plus a number of great by-the-glass options, and the menu offers plenty of small, interesting bites (there are lots cheese and charcuterie options, and oysters are just $1 all day every day). The Camlin also does brunch, serving up the classics like eggs Benedict and some of the city's best Bloody Marys.
Brace yourself: there is no actual happy hour at The Happiest Hour. But don’t fret, the Happiest Burger more than makes up for it, really. The double-patty, double-cheese, California-style burger is better than an In-N-Out Double Double and comes topped with a similar Russian dressing as the West Coast fast-food fave. The bar's resort vibes shine in its cocktail selection, which includes the Frozen Painkiller, a twist on the Tiki classic that pairs rum with crème de Pêche de Vigne liqueur and coconut, lime, and orange juices.
Around the corner from the iconic Lower East Side appetizing shop of the same name, Russ & Daughters Cafe serves everything you love about the original (pastrami-cured salmon, whitefish salad on a bagel, caviar) in a sit-down luncheonette space. Cafe-specific dishes like babka French toast and halvah ice cream cater to the brunch crowd, as do Jewish classics like knishes, latkes, and matzoh ball soup. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, R&D Cafe is proof that Jewish noshes are the perfect anytime food.
Located in the Puck Building, Chefs Club, created by Food & Wine, pulls from the magazine's roster of Best New Chefs to head the kitchen and serve up eats like pastrami flatbread; seafood pan roast with grits, Carolina roe & paprika; and Colorado lamb chops with cotechino, endive & faro.
From the creators of Cookshop and Hundred Acres is Vic's, a locally sourced Italian-Mediterranean menu complete with house made pastas and pizza made with flour from upstate, cooked in the wood burning oven. Be sure to try one of their different versions on the Bloody Mary (we love the over-the-top salt and brown sugar rimmed Southern Mary) and find out what's new on the menu.
What started out as a pizza counter inside Eataly is now a full-service Italian restaurant in the West Village. Rossopomodoro is known for its soft but charred Neapolitan-style pizzas, which emerge hot and fluffy from the gold-tiled wood-burning oven in a matter of minutes. A host of elegant pastas, including sea urchin linguine and tagliatelle Bolognese, round out the menu, as do cocktails with distinctly Italian ingredients like Aperol, Campari, and limoncello. The corner restaurant is surprisingly large with four separate dining rooms and a bar area, and luckily, the atmosphere is nowhere near as tourist-ridden as its Flatiron parent.
Opened by restaurateur Gabriel Stulman, Bar Sardine is part of the Happy Cooking family of restaurants that includes Perla, Fedora, Joseph Leonard, and Jeffrey's Grocery Restaurant and Bar. On the menu you can expect light bar food that rotates seasonally, with the exception of the hearty Gruyère grilled cheese or the Fedora Burger, both of which remain popular staples. The bar is in the center of the snug room, and drink rails line the walls of the windows where you can sip on great cocktails, a beer, or a glass of wine.
Wanna be plied with all types of Mexican dishes/cocktails? In particular if those Mexican dishes/cocktails include stuff like poached lobster in chile morita butter sauce, a tostada loaded with plenty of blue crab meant, crispy kale, and celery root purée -- and the El Easy Rider cocktail loaded with reposed tequila, Ancho Reyes, star anise, grapefruit juice, and Mexican mole bitters? Thought so. Head here.