Planning a trip to the Big Apple? No getaway is complete without indulging in the best meal of the day — brunch! So in between shopping and museum-hopping, be sure to plan an extra special outing to one of the best brunch restaurants in all of NYC. Check out our top five favourites below.
Known for its top notch New American cuisine and sweeping views of Manhattan, the River Cafe is located just beside the Brooklyn Bridge along the East River. Though it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, you’re going to want to visit on Sunday between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm to participate in its weekly brunch extravaganza. Nothing like your ordinary brunch menu, the River Cafe has everything from fresh seafood (in the form of Peconic Bay Scallop Ceviche and Chilled East and West Coast Oysters) to Filet Mignon, a French Omelette, and more! This spot is also known for putting a luxe twist on brunch classics, such as the Waffle Eggs Benedict made with poached eggs, an oatmeal waffle, smoked ham loin, and a lemon hollandaise. Another fine example of this? The Golden Pancakes, which are topped with gold-dusted milk chocolate, caramelized hazelnuts, and smoky bacon. As if you needed another reason to go, the River Cafe even offers caviar service with German and Californian caviar.
Enjoy a pitstop in trendy Tribeca, where you’ll find Locanda Verde, one of the city’s premier Italian bistros. Brunch is served on weekends only between 10 am and 3 pm, so be sure to get there early! This Italian spin on traditional brunch is sure to blow you away. Pastries are made fresh each day and range from rhubarb pineapple ricotta danishes to mini cinnamon sugar donuts. There’s a variety of breakfast-inspired dishes, including the likes of zucchini frittata, scampi and grits, lemon ricotta pancakes, and hazelnut-crusted French toast, as well as a multitude of lunch-appropriate savoury items like a shaved porchetta sandwich or fire-roasted garlic chicken. And what brunch date would be complete without a little midday cocktail? Locanda Verde serves the Bloody Mary Della Casa (hot peppers and mortadella are added for a little kick), Tre Stelle (a citrusy version of the beloved bellini), and Betitas (made with gin, St. Germain, and beetroot).
For an ultra hip dining experience, look no further than the Lower East Side’s Stanton Social. This three-level bistro is at once chic, upscale, and hipster — and it’s got a brunch menu to match! All dishes are designed to be shared, which will come in handy considering you won’t have to choose just one item on the menu. Starting off with something sweet, you can’t go wrong with the Oreo Cookie Pancakes or Les Doughnuts (which come with three dipping sauces — caramel, chocolate, and berry). Moving onto the savoury, Stanton Social has everything from Maryland Crab Cakes and Philly Cheesesteak to Crispy Barrio-Style Chicken Taquitos, Potato Latkes, and the Social Mac and Cheese, made with smoked tomato, house-made ricotta, charred kale, and chorizo. As you can see, you will find a little bit of everything at Stanton Social.
A high end diner within Midtown Manhattan’s Parker Meridien Hotel is what awaits you at Norma’s. Located mere minutes from Central Park, Norma’s is a must on your brunch tour of NYC. Norma’s specialty is breakfast and brunch, boasting an international menu filled with everything from eggs and french toast to bakery baskets and lox bagels. If you’re someone who likes a bigger menu filled with exciting and unique options, then we guarantee you’ll love Norma’s. Some of our personal favourites? The Mango-Papaya Brown Butter Cinnamon Crepes, the Colombian-inspired Arepa, the Red Berry “Risotto” Oatmeal, and of course, the Donut Even Go There French Toast, which is stuffed with cheesecake, rolled in coconut, and topped with orange drizzle and vanilla ice cream.