Food & Drink

NYC's 16 Best New Brunches

Published On 03/12/2015 Published On 03/12/2015
Courtesy of Blue Smoke
Courtesy of A.J. Schaller/Corkbuzz
Courtesy of Galli
Courtesy of Michael Tulipan/Au Za’tar

Courtesy of Michael Tulipan/Amused
COURTESY OF UNCLE BOONS
Courtesy of Blue Smoke
Courtesy of Forrest Point
Courtesy of All’onda
Courtesy of Rossopomodoro
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist
Courtesy of Michael Tulipan/Cooklyn
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1. Corkbuzz Studio 13 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)

Part wine education center/part restaurant & bar, Cork's from the world's youngest female master sommelier, who's worked up everything from wine-paired Sunday Suppers, to classes such as Who's Who of French Wine, though being French, they all think they're Who. Those looking for everyday eats, meanwhile, will find shareable plates of squash-buttered prawns, bone marrow w/ blue cheese brulee, and a mint & feta lamb ragout flatbread.

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2. Galli Restaurant 98 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

This Lower East Side spot offers up Italian comfort food, like baked clams and rice balls. It also has a seriously good brunch, with dishes like the breakfast bucatini, and Italian toast with grilled focaccia, prosciutto, fried egg, and marinara.

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3. Parker & Quinn 64 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018 (Midtown)

The Garment District's Parker & Quinn inside the Refinery Hotel makes an update on the American hotel tavern mold with a mix of contemporary and vintage features: modern spherical lights next to old-timey wall paper and shiny pleated leather booths and raised seats. The fare is more elevated than an average pub, taking staples like a grilled cheese and tomato soup and sprucing them up, imbuing applewood-smoked bacon into the bisque and slathering the sandwich with red onion jam. Of course there are burgers, made with Pat LaFrieda beef, but also hummus platters and full entrees like hangar steak or porterhouse for two. And because everyone has to do their own spin on classic cocktails, the list here gets fruity: with blood orange puree in the margarita, grapefruit mist in the vesper and spiced pear in the sidecar.

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4. Au Za’atar 188 Ave A, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

For only 18 bones, hit up this new prix fixe Downtown with one complimentary drink (mimosa, bellini, sangria, or beer), coffee, and goods like the Falafel Benedict with spicy tomato sauce, or house-made hummus with shawarma. Or just keep it Ă  la carte with Chili Shakshuka Baked Eggs or a croque monsieur. OR DO BOTH.

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5. M. Wells Steakhouse 43-15 Crescent St, Long Island City, NY 11101 (Queens)

From wallpapered ceiling to a visible kitchen, M. Wells offers a vintage-chic take on the traditional steakhouse. The restaurant is doling out some deliciously juicy burgers, flavorful salads, stiff drinks and—prepare yourself—seriously impressive steaks. Plus, theres an outdoor raw bar if you’re feeling seafood. What more could you need?

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6. Amused 142 W 83rd St , New York, NY 10024 (Upper West Side)

Poached eggs and tater tots, 10 different grilled cheese sandos, a breakfast banana split, and the Bloody Brewski, are all real/spectacular at this brand-new, offbeat Uptown spot.

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7. Uncle Boons 7 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

Unlike the countless generic pad Thai and pineapple fried rice spots around town, this Michelin-starred basement bungalow serves authentic Thai cuisine broken up into drinking snacks, small plates, large plates, and dishes off the charcoal grill. The Khao Soi Kaa Kai is an absolute must -- a steaming bowlful of yellow curry-soaked noodles and an almost impossibly tender chicken drumstick. Frozen beer slushies pair well with spicier dishes, and the small, always-packed space lends itself to trading a caramelized riblet for a bite of garlic-coated pea shoots with a nearby neighbor.

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8. Blue Smoke 255 Vesey St, New York, NY 10282

If you're looking for some Southern cuisine in NYC, Blue Smoke is the place to get revamped classics like seafood and okra gumbo and shrimp & grits. Danny Meyer's meat temple definitely brings something serious to the New York barbecue table, with buttermilk biscuits, baby back ribs, seven-pepper brisket, and backyard chicken.

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9. All’onda 22 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)

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.

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10. Rossopomodoro 118 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011 (West Village)

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.

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11. The Camlin 175 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (New York)

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.

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12. Upland 345 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010 (Murray Hill)

Stephen Starr, a Philly-based restaurateur who entered the New York scene with splashy hits like Morimoto and Buddakan, is behind this airy brasserie on Park Avenue South that takes its name from the California town where chef Justin Smillie grew up. The menu, which rallies around the seasonal themes of California cuisine, features oval-shaped pizzas topped with vegetables and flavorful cheeses; pasta dishes ranging from the traditional cacio e pepe to the entirely unique chicken liver estrella; grilled, smoked, and roasted meat and seafood plates; and a fairly affordable wine list.

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13. Glady's 788 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (Crown Heights)

Glady's in Crown Heights spent its first year as an American sandwich shop before it transitioned into what it is now, a funky Caribbean restaurant. The menu is heavy on jerk, whether it's chicken, pork, seitan, or lobster. There's a huge rum selection, and you can savor the different varieties through one of the flights or go big with the Dark & Stormy slushie.

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14. Cooklyn 659 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Located in Prospect Heights, Cooklyn is a New American resto and wine bar that buys as locally as possible and is a solid better for a tasty brunch.

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15. Forrest Point 970 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (Flushing)

Forrest Point is the kind of restaurant that could only exist in a gentrified, hipster neighborhood like Bushwick. The indoor-outdoor spot sits on a triangular block between Forrest St and Flushing Ave; the outdoor patio, gated-in like a city park, seats more than 50 at its mismatching tables, while the interior is decorated to resemble a well-worn dive bar. Expect mezcal cocktails, boilermakers, and milk punch to drink, and comfort food like a cast-iron cheese burger (made with Pat LaFrieda beef) and fish tacos to eat.

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