Food & Drink

New York City’s Best New Brunches of 2015

Published On 12/31/2015 Published On 12/31/2015
Courtesy of Urbanspace Vanderbilt
Courtesy of Urbanspace Vanderbilt

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt

Midtown East

Midtown food hall UrbanSpace Vanderbilt opened this year with over 20 vendors (among them Roberta’s, Dough, and Delaney Chicken) and launched brunch shortly thereafter. Can you seriously name anything better than a food hall brunch? THINK OF ALL THE OPTIONS. Standouts include Roberta’s Speckenegg pizza and Red Hook Lobster Pound’s Lobster Claw Bloody Mary.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist



This modern Jewish deli and bakery from Major Food Group is your go-to for on-site hand-rolled bagels and truly breathtaking towers of smoked fish -- plus salmon Benedict, omelettes, and egg sandwiches.

Courtesy of Kate Burr

The Clocktower


For those times when regular old eggs and bacon just won’t cut it (i.e., most Saturday mornings), this English spot inside the EDITION Hotel offers an impressive full English breakfast with two eggs, toast, garlic & herb pork sausage, bacon, and black pudding... plus an equally great smoked Royale Benedict (you know, in case you’re not already full. Also, do you need to see a doctor?).

Courtesy of La Pecora Bianca

La Pecora Bianca


Mark Barak’s new Italian spot is doing big things with eggs (namely, baked eggs with spicy tomato sauce, scrambled eggs with mashed avocado, and poached eggs on toast with prosciutto or salmon) in addition to a brunch-only, grass-fed short rib and brisket burger, and an Italian-inspired bloody mary bar.

Courtesy of Marcus Nilsson



Sure, hungover-you is probably not crazy about the idea of small plates for brunch, but hear me out. This Obama fave (one visit makes it a “fave,” right?) is now doing brunch with items like French toast with crème anglaise (or, vanilla custard), and an egg, pancetta, and avocado sandwich. And yes, you can order that fantastic burrata at brunch.

Courtesy of La Gamelle

La Gamelle

East Village

Croque-Monsieurs (and -Madames!) should really be on every brunch menu. This French LES spot is doing both exceptionally well, alongside a number of egg and charcuterie dishes.

Courtesy of Jackie Gebel

Quality Eats

West Village

Quality Eats' new brunch menu features a seriously delicious short rib hash, in addition to one of the best new steak and eggs dish in the city (with the bavette cut), plus a number of other poached, fried, and hardboiled egg dishes. And don’t forget that grilled Nueske’s bacon...

Courtesy of Black Seed Bagels

Black Seed Bagels East Village

East Village

Same beloved Montreal-style bagels, brand new location (that pays homage to our dearly departed De Robertis) and new menu options -- like smoked ham and Gruyère with onion jam and sour pickles, and a sandwich made with Mile End smoked bacon.

Courtesy of L'Amico



Laurent Tourondel’s rustic Italian eatery has a lot of solid late-morning egg dishes, like an enormous omelette soufflé cacio e pepe, in addition to smoked ham pizza with Taleggio and soft boiled eggs and smoked salmon pizza with mascarpone, capers, and red onion.

Courtesy of Black Tap Burgers & Beer

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

South Village

Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori’s burger and milkshake spot is doing a very serious brunch burger, with bacon, egg, Swiss cheese, and truffle mayo on a croissant. Brunch cocktails are also available, including a spicy bloody mary and sangria.

Courtesy of Jackie Gebel

Black Tree BK


Locally sourced sandwich maven Black Tree opened its Brooklyn outpost earlier this year, bringing with it a truly wonderful breakfast ramen featuring fried egg, cheese, and crumbled turkey sausage.

Courtesy of Sasha Turrentine

Colonia Verde

Fort Greene

Don’t call it a comeback. Or do! I’m not the boss of you! After a fire forced this cute Latin American restaurant in Fort Greene to close, it triumphantly returned with brunch this summer (with backyard seating when it’s warm out!). Menu highlights include Cochinita Chilaquiles with coffee-rubbed pulled pork, tomatillo salsa, and Cotija cheese and pancakes “El Bizcocho” with Mexican chocolate syrup.

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1. Urbanspace Vanderbilt 230 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (Midtown)

Just minutes from Grand Central Station, this 12,000sqft space is the mecca of New York food halls, featuring over 20 counter-serve eateries. Looking for pizza? The Bushwick-based dough-throwers at Roberta's have you covered. Craving cookies? The folks at Ovenly likely have a batch fresh out of the oven. Liquiteria, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Sigmund's Pretzels (among other city favorites) are all featured as well, meaning that it shouldn't take you more than a lap or two around the iconic building to get a taste of New York's top eats.

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2. Sadelle's 463 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

During the daytime, this elevated Jewish bakery and appetizing restaurant from Major Food Group serves hand-rolled bagels that are of the highest quality: they're parboiled with barley-malt syrup and rise slowly in the oven before taking their crisp, compact shape with a glossy finish. While the bagel sandwiches, like house-cured salmon on an everything bagel made with fennel, are what you’re here for, the homemade babka, cheese blintzes, and sticky buns certainly hold their own at brunch. In the evening, Sadelle's transforms into an candlelit brasserie, featuring a menu that puts an emphasis on freshly baked bread and fish entrees, as well as traditional Russian caviar and vodka.

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3. The Clocktower 5 Madison Ave, New York City, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

Located within the EDITION hotel, this restaurant from Chef Jason Atherton and restaurateur Stephen Starr plates high-end British-American fare in a classically designed space. Diners can schmooze in one of three dining rooms decked with golden-framed vintage photos, with the opportunity for a pre- or post-meal game of pool at a purple-felt pool table. And about that meal: you'll be choosing from entrees as decadent as bone-in strip steaks and côte de boeuf.

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4. La Pecora Bianca 1133 Broadway, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

Located in a historic NoMad building, La Pecora Bianca is reminiscent of an Italian farmhouse, albeit an upscale one. While it's one of those all-day power restaurants that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, definitely go when you’re in the mood for pasta: spaghetti, lasagna, risotto, and other specialities are all made in-house, and available in gluten-free varieties. The drink menu is as Italian as the food, with more than 100 bottles of wine, plus Aperol Spritzs and Negronis.

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5. Estela 47 E Houston St, New York, NY 10003 (Nolita)

From sommelier Thomas Carter, Chef Ignacio Mattos (formerly of Isa), and Mark Connell (Botanica), Estela is a tiny Houston St walk-up focusing on carefully constructed small plates like burrata with radishes, raw scallops with fennel, and beef tartare. Part-bar, part-restaurant, Estela is also known for a serious wine list.

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6. La Gamelle 241 Bowery, New York, NY 10002 (East Village)

In the space that once housed his Bowery Diner, and then the pop-up/prelude to this restaurant Chez Jef, Mathieu Palombino has now unleashed this French brasserie with all the goods you’d want in something like that, including pot au feu, steak frites, and duck confit with sweet garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom jus, and frisee. Okay, almost all the goods you'd want (sorry, frisee).

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7. Quality Eats 19 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Michael Stillman's Quality Meats spin-off in the West Village offers great affordable steaks (all under $29!) and fun plays on standard steakhouse sides, like creamed spinach hush puppies. The"Wine Stack" program allows you to choose three wines that'll each be stacked, in separate glass chambers, to form one bottle. If you can't get a dinner res, try going for lunch during the week for one of the steak sandwiches.

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8. Black Seed Bagels 176 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Black Seed subscribes to the Montreal school of bagel-making, meaning its bagels, which are smaller than the quintessential New York ones, are rolled by hand, boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood-fired oven. Sandwiches made with a variety of smoked fishes and speciality spreads -- like the house-cured beet lox number with horseradish cream cheese -- continuously draw weekend crowds in search of their morning bagel fix.

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9. L'Amico 849 6th Ave, New York, NY 10001 (Midtown)

The menu at Laurent Tourondel's L'Amico features Italian-inspired dishes, served in a casual setting. Two copper-clad, wood-burning ovens act as the centerpiece of the open kitchen, so diners can watch the parade of pizzas (we love the guanciale-topped clam pie), pastas, and rustic mains make their way to the dining area. Eating alone? L'Amico's bar area invites solo diners to enjoy a more quiet experience of the space and cuisine.

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10. Black Tap 529 Broome St, New York, NY 10013 (Soho)

Black Tap is rolling seven burgers deep with creations like the steak au poivre prime steak burger (with blue cheese and green peppercorn sauce), the lamb burger (with Swiss and homemade pickles), and the falafel burger (with tahini, pickled onion, feta, and hummus). Michelin-starred Chef Joe Isidori’s burger & milkshake spot is doing a very serious brunch burger and cocktail list, too, including a spicy Bloody Mary and sangria.

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11. Black Tree BK 261 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

The Brooklyn extension of LES's Black Tree is larger than the original and features and eight-person communal chef's table with a unique tasting menu. Like the original, Black Tree Brooklyn's menu offers up a different animal each week.

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12. Colonia Verde 219 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205 (Fort Greene)

Colonia Verde's the place to go when you're feeling especially carnivorous -- they've got Latin American-style buttermilk fried chicken, grilled steaks, and slow-braised pork shoulder.



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