What you get: say yes to ricotta beignets with honey + unique egg dishes + brunch salad + five variations on the Bloody Mary
Hundred Acres knows its way around a brunch menu. This trendy Soho hotspot on Macdougal Street is liveliest on weekends when young and old gather outside its open French windows to wait for a table. The long dining room accommodates a hungry brunch crowd while the bar operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, prepping pretty coffee drinks and a generous offering of brunch cocktails including Creole and Mexican Bloody Mary variations, as well as the typical mimosa and bellini.
Brunch starts with shared plates like deviled eggs with bacon relish or the pastry board with muffins, cakes, scones, and peach jam. My date and I enjoyed a dish of perfectly fried ricotta beignets with honey and powdered sugar. After that plate of pure sugar we shared a healthy brunch salad with farro grains, fresh kale, roast pecans, queso fresco, and soft-boiled egg in a sweet vinaigrette. Another great (and filling) choice is the traditional chilaquiles with radishes and lime crema.
The Bloodys are creative, although the whole grain mustard and pickle variation was on the salty side. Fans of the mollusk will be eager to taste the briny Hampton Shore Bloody Mary with clam juice and shucked oyster.
If you like rubbing shoulders with trendy Soho socialites or if the name of the restaurant reminds you of Winnie the Pooh, this is the Sunday brunch spot for you.
38 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
Brunch on weekends from 10:30am to 3pm.
What you get: French-inspired daily egg dishes + waffles + croissants with sweet butter and jam + amazing coffee
Buvette is one of those unmissable New York brunch spots. A charming bistro in West Village, it’s always been a favorite of mine. I had amazing salmon scrambled eggs here last summer before boarding a plane to Paris. This weekend, I made a trip back and was instantly nostalgic for Europe.
Jody Williams’ French-inspired bistro is unashamedly European. The marble bar counter, tin ceiling, and polished pewter coffee pots introduce luxurious little touches to the typical West Village dining experience. Cutlery is tiny and so are the tables. Maneuvering coffee cups, small plates, silverware, and dishes of omelettes and pastries is like solving a jigsaw puzzle, a true French experience if there ever was one.
After our two foamy cappuccinos, my boyfriend ordered a mouthwatering ham and gruyere omelette with roasted tomatoes and sage. I tried the poached egg with cooked kale, green lentils, and pecorino cheese. For “dessert” we split an order of croissants with strawberry jam and sweet butter. The pastries were buttery and warm, but the real winners were the egg dishes.
Buvette may be a great brunch spot, but it’s open all day, serving a light lunch and small plates with wine pairings in the evening. The right-hand wall of the dining room features a large blackboard with a chalk-drawn map of France and its wine regions. I’m looking forward to sampling their wine selection one night very soon.
42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Breakfast/brunch is served weekdays from 8am-4pm, weekends starting at 10am.
I’d be silly not to mention Buvette’s Paris location in Pigalle. Although I never made it over here during my time in Paris, it’s on the top of my list for the next visit 😉
What you get: New York diner-style bottomless coffee + blueberry buttermilk pancakes + biscuits + baked goods + long lines
Clinton St. Baking Company may have opened only 14 years ago, but it seems like an old-timey fixture from Manhattan’s Automat era. For years, this Lower East Side local diner and bakery has served up stacks of pancakes and steaming mugs of coffee. Word gets out, and this breakfast spot is as popular as ever.
At 9am on a rainy Wednesday, there’s already a 30 minute wait for a table inside the packed diner. French tourists, businessmen, and local Lower East Siders rub shoulders in the tiny bakery entrance and on the tree-lined sidewalk. Once inside, you’re met with smells of syrupy pancakes and frying bacon.
I met up with my friend Sara, a New Yorker turned Parisienne and a fellow brunch-lover. Over piping-hot bottomless coffee we chatted about expensive Manhattan apartments, difficult French idioms, and the differences between New York and Paris.
The restaurant is simple and busy with a brisk turnaround. Breakfast favorites like omelettes, scrambles, buttermilk biscuits, hash browns, and French toast are featured. A crowd favorite is certainly the thick stack of blueberry pancakes with a rich maple butter syrup. Prices are reasonable and portions are American-sized (big).
After a good-sized brunch, a walk around the eclectic neighborhood will help to walk off all the bacon and biscuits you’ve consumed. The nearby Frankie Shop has great coats and dresses.
Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant
4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Breakfast/lunch served Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm, Saturday 9am-4pm, and Sunday 9am-6pm. No reservations for breakfast or lunch.