I spent nearly every weekend this summer brunching my way through the city. Whether you’re looking for a good place to share mimosas with friends or somewhere to have a quiet meal alone, here are seven of my favorite places to brunch in New York:
1. Le Moulin a Cafe
I’ve had two very different experiences at this adorable French cafe on the UES. I’ve been with friends and have been alone. I must say that both experiences were great. The front portion of the restaurant is home to the bakery while the actual sit-down restaurant is in the back. The wait staff are all super friendly and the environment is very laid-back. All-in-all, Le Moulin a Cafe is a great place to meet friends for omelettes and french toast, but it’s also a great place to get some writing done. They also do a great French Kiss!
Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely adore Veselka. It’s my go-to comfort spot, regardless of the time of day. Although the restaurant is well-known for its pierogi and Ukrainian fare, they also do a great brunch. This is the perfect place to sit with a book and a plate of eggs benedict when you’re looking for a quiet moment alone in the city.
First of all, this place is gorgeous. It’s probably the most formal place included on this list, but still manages to have that quintessential laid-back, French vibe. I had brunch here with a friend who commented on the specificity of the menu. We loved the fact that each menu item felt special. I ordered the soft scramble au pistou with brioche and tomatoes on the vine. It was delicious and unlike anything I’d ever ordered at brunch before. Most importantly, Lafayette has incredible pain au chocolat. They’re perfectly flaky and not oily like so many pastries are in the U.S.
4. Vin et Fleurs
So, we actually found this place by chance. My friends and I had plans to meet for brunch at a place a few blocks over, but arrived to find a 1.5 hour wait for a table and ended up going to Vin et Fleurs instead! It’s a tiny little place with a front patio and lots of greenery. Everything on the menu is relatively healthy, but I decided to go for the yoghurt parfait which was rather unique. What I loved mostly about Vin et Fleurs was the atmosphere. It was cozy yet modern and had food which was healthy, yet comforting.
Feast is the perfect place to take a big group of friends for brunch. The decor is straight out of Pinterest, with an infusion of grandpa chic accessories. Yes, grandpa chic. Each member of your group pays $26 for brunch. This includes a drink (definitely get the mimosa), one full plate (I had the croque-madame), and five small plates to share. While the food is good, I will warn you that that sharing portions are very small. But for $26, you can’t really complain.
6. Buttermilk Channel
I ventured out to Brooklyn specifically to try Buttermilk Channel. I had heard great things about it and definitely wasn’t let down. It’s a popular place and they don’t take reservations, so expect to wait for a table. Despite often being crowded, the dining room didn’t seem too loud or uncomfortable. The decor almost reminds me of the dining room in an old house or inn, which was a nice surprise. I ordered the pecan pie french toast, which was honestly too rich for me. If you love dessert, though, I say give it a try! I’ll stick with eggs benedict.
7. Maison Kayser
There are three Maison Kayser locations in Manhattan, but my personal favorite is the UES location on 3rd Avenue. This is a great place for a quick, relatively inexpensive but high quality brunch. The menu is short, but you really can’t go wrong with a choice of tartine, cocotte, or assiette. I highly recommend dipping a madeleine in your coffee and sharing one of MK’s amazing pastries with a friend before going on a walk around the neighborhood.