NEW YORKER’S FAVOURITE BRUNCH SPOTS
Breakfast and brunch is very much a local favourite and constitution in New York City, especially at the weekends when time is most definitely on your side and one can take advantage of rooftops and bottomless mimosas.
Being a total fan of breakfast and brunch, my most favourite meal of the day, I persisted in gathering what the locals would go for a fine brunch in the city! There are many more than featured, but I ran out of days so here are the five I was able to squeeze into my trip…
Nomo kitchen offers a very much rustic American menu with Mediterranean influences bought to the table by Chef Carlos Betancourth. Nomo Kitchen housed in the swanky Nomo hotel is extremely photogenic in terms of cuisine, décor and the stunning entrance.
The ingress is completely covered by a leaf topiary, pruned to perfection creating a tunnel like archway, right up to the door of the hotel. Upon entering the modern glass roofed room, you’ll see it floods the space with plenty of natural light, notice the elegant hanging crystal chandeliers and make sure you take some snaps of the street-art like multi-coloured hearts on the walls.
Attentive and friendly staff, make this a fabulous spot for your first meal of the day.
I was quite keen to try the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes but I don’t have such a sweet tooth and opted for some sour dough toasted bread, topped with seasoned avocado topped with a couple of poached eggs. Dr C picked the homemade Granola with natural yoghurt, which he claims is the best quality Granola he’s ever tasted, period!
Many people use this spot for a Instagram-style photo shoot so just simply ask them to move as you do not want to miss your booking! Additionally this place is fancy schmancy so you may want to dress up smidgeon. I wore a wrap dress and flat sandals! Don’t go overboard though!
Absolutely recommended and soon as possible as remember this place is popular amongst locals and guests of the hotel and the guests staying here will not be accommodated!
- Breakfast/Brunch Hours: Breakfast 7am-11am and Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm Breakfast 7am-11am and Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm
- Address: Nomo Hotel. 9 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013.
- Contact: +1 866-486-5557
- Website: Nomo KItchen
- Reviews: Read What People are saying about Nomo Kitchen
Before I go any further this hands down is my favourite brunch stop in New York. It isn’t actually a hotel, despite it’s misleading name, however I assure you this will soon be forgotten.
Up a flight of stairs, you enter an unexpected oasis of a light and airy rooftop, comprising vintage inspired light fittings, beautiful green and black accents.
The glass ceiling, which was pulled back immediately fills the area with copious amounts of light. The benches, tables, chairs and bar are super cutesy and in keeping with the theme. Additionally brunch is served whilst you relax and listen to a 20s style Jazz Band.
I’m talking a very talented lead vocalist, a Bass player, a saxophonist, dressed in all the right Gatsby era inspired gear, bow ties, canny hats and shades, brunch has never been such a classy affair.
Hotel Chantelle offers an extensive brunch menu with three courses as well as bottomless mimosas and the like. There are also healthy options to suit every palette.
I had a couple of Mimosas, the fried Burrata to start, followed by the egg white omelette with peppers, mushrooms and spinach.
Whereas Dr C fancied a black filter coffee, Greek Breakfast Yoghurt, Chicken and waffles with syrup followed by a cocktail, The Gunslinger.
Ensure that you carry some sort of ID with you as entry is not permitted without ID. You may look over 21 but the focus of the ID is more to do with security. Smart casual is the attire.
It is imperative to book as this place gets very busy due to the fantastic chilled jazz vibes and tasty options on offer.
- Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am-5pm
- Address: 92 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
- Contact: +1 212-254-9100
- Website: Hotel Chantelle
- Reviews: Read what people are saying about Hotel Chantelle
Jack’s Wife Freda
Another cool find with several locations in the city, is Jack’ wife Freda. This is owned by husband and wife duo, Dean and Maya Iankelowitz.
The couple originally from South Africa and Israel respectively. The couple met whilst working in the New York restaurant scene and came together to have their own NYC brunch spot as they loved the idea of brunching! The first restaurant opened up in Lafayette Street Soho in 2012 and went on to grow to another two locations, Chelsea and West Village.
We brunched at the Chelsea restaurant. The name of the business comes from and pays homage to Dean’s grandma, Freda who was an incredible cook and host. Both of these traits are equally what you get from the staff at the restaurant. Great service and outstanding food. In keeping with Freda’s ethos, everything tastes very home cooked, fresh and superbly delicious.
We started with Cappuccinos and black coffee to drink and I had the Green Shakshuka (2 baked eggs in a green tomatillo shakshuka served with challah toast0 and Dr C had Poached Eggs with Grilled Tomato and Halloumi (two poached eggs, grilled tomato and halloumi, served with sourdough toast)
Dress code is casual and if your party is smaller than six then turn up earlier rather than later I’d say as at weekends it can fill up fast!
You can book if your party size is six or greater, otherwise just turn up.
- Brunch Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:30am – 11pm Sunday 8:30 – 10:30pm
- Address: 116 8th Avenue (between 16th and 15th street)– Chelsea
- Contact: Tel. (646) 454-9045
- Website: Jack’s Wife Frieda
- Reviews: Read what people are saying about Jack’s Wife Frieda
The founder of this restaurant, Sylvia passed on 19 July 2012, leaving quite the legacy behind. For Sylvia’s isn’t ordinary brunch, it’s a Sunday Gospel Brunch. It starts around 11 am on a Sunday morning through to 4 pm in the afternoon and serves up some delicious Southern dishes in rooms that feel very much like an old house in the Southern regions but whilst listening to live Gospel music.
I also adore the story of Sylvia Woods, who was raised in South Carolina, and moved to Harlem with her childhood sweetheart Herbert and worked in a restaurant as a waitress. The owner saw Sylvia’s passion for the job and sold her the restaurant, which she ran with Herbert.
Today Sylvia and Herbert’s four children run the family business and have purchased and renovated some of the city’s blocks in Harlem and employ around 100 full-time and part-time employees as part of the new Harlem Renaissance and Harlem Empowerment Zone. The Woods family created the Sylvia and Herbert Woods scholarship Fund, which has offered 130 collegiate scholarships to Harlem and local residents. Sylvia’s philosophy was ‘each one, teach one and remember one to love and be kind and the response you receive in return will be priceless.
Sylvia’s is one of the most famous gospel brunch institutions in New York. Sylvia’s has been around since 1962, serving up classic hearty Southern fare such as chicken & waffles, collard greens, and fried catfish.
One wall is covered with pictures of famous people who have dined at the restaurant including Barack Obama, Mohamed Ali, James Brown just to mention a couple.
To start, we were presented with the famous cornbreads, which are a little like English scones but not sweet and you spread butter and jam on these and consume whilst still warm. Pretty delicious indeed.
The Gospel music starts around 12:30 pm and trust me it can be quite the sing- a- long affair. The atmosphere is great and the food is very chicken and southern based, however not totally veggie friendly as only a few options exist on the Gospel menu anyway. However we managed fine as I took the veggie bits from Dr C’s order and combined with mine, I was happy.
Waffles, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and syrup for the veggies and add fried chicken or catfish with greens otherwise. The OJ is seriously good too.
It’s a casual place however locals dress in their Sunday best. Get ready to bop along to the tunes!
Advisable to book as the queue is huge especially after 12 pm.
- Gospel Hours : 11am-4pm
- Address: 328 Lenox Avenue, Harlem. New York
- Contact: +1 (212) 996 0660
- Website: Sylvia’s Restaurant
- Reviews: Read what people are saying about Sylvia’s Restaurant
Brooklyn Roasting Company
Technically not a brunch place but personally one of my favourite brunch places on the go, is the Brooklyn Roasting Company. Located on Dumbo’s famous Instagram central, as I call it, lies this pretty amazing roasting establishment.
In keeping with Dumbo the décor is industrial and reclaimed and this speciality coffee roaster and café serves Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic certified and sustainable coffees from throughout the Americas, East Africa, Indonesia and various islands. Brooklyn Roasting Company offers coffee, espressos and tea, along with sandwiches and pastries sourced from local Brooklyn shops.
The roastery / headquarters includes seating and WiFi. There is also another location on Washington Street.
Banana and nut muffin, plain croissants and any one of the fairtrade coffees will be fabulous!
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 6:30am-7pm
- Address: 25 Jay Street. Brooklyn NYC
- Contact: +1 718-855-1000
- Website: Brooklyn Coffee Roasters
- Reviews: Read what people are saying about Brooklyn Coffee Roasters
So, who’s up for brunch NYC style? Let me know in the comments below!
What Next: Further Reading
- A Bucket List Guide to the Best of New York City
- New York City Dining Options
- Rooftop Bars with Skyline Views of New York City
- The Bushwick Collective Street Art Tour
- A Minimoon To Do List in New York City