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As soon as the clock strikes midday on Saturdays and Sundays, New Yorkers come out in droves to congregate for their cherished ritual: brunch. Yes, some worship at the altars of Locanda Verde or Maialino, while others belong to the sects of Cookshop and Freemans; and there are even new-wave practitioners converting Brooklynites to Okonomi and Four Horsemen.
For the most devoted, the proceedings are interminable and can unfold over the course of an entire afternoon. Sins from the night before must be confessed, discussed in great detail and repented for. Bread must be broken and wine must be poured. Lengthy sermons are delivered (by whichever member of the congregation feels most strongly about Trump). And, depending on the place of worship, the event can even culminate in singing and (tabletop) dancing.
In the religion of brunch, the summer months are the holiest and most important, with crowds spilling out onto the streets and parishioners giving thanks for their eggs benedictus in the open air.
In honour of these high holidays, we’ve selected our most sacred spots across New York City, guaranteed to evangelise even the most strident atheist.
Sunday in Brooklyn Williamsburg
The name hits the nail on the head: Sunday in Brooklyn is, unsurprisingly, a very good place to spend a weekend afternoon. While the aesthetic feels like something dreamed up on a millennial’s mood board (white marble countertops, sleek mid-century furniture and splashes of colour by way of leafy green palms) the food stands on its own. The menu items are pretty zeitgeisty – think charred avocado toast with wheatgrass, toasted barley grain bowls with spicy vegetables and sambal, egg brioche sandwiches with gochujang aioli – but they manage to deliver on taste as well as Instagram potential. And in a city where brunch can be a surprisingly expensive ordeal, Sunday in Brooklyn is relatively affordable.
- +1 347 222 6722
- Go to Website
Miss Favela Williamsburg
For many, weekend brunches are a thinly veiled excuse to day drink. If this applies to you, then Miss Favela is your spot. The rustic Brazilian food served here may not exactly be described as “gourmet” (though pao de queijo, grilled steak and rice may be exactly what you’re after) but what Miss Favela lacks in Michelin stars, it more than makes up for with live samba music, pitchers of caipirinhas and a very lively crowd. We recommend that you don’t make ambitious post-brunch plans…
- +1 718 230 4040
- Go to Website
You’d be remiss if you visited New York without sampling a good old-fashioned cream cheese bagel. And while there are plenty of on-the-go options for this, Sadelle’s is perfect for when you want to kick your quintessential New York breakfast into high gear. Consider this Manhattan’s answer to tea at Claridges; except instead of quaint pastries you get towers of fresh bagels, smoked salmon and a multitude of savoury accoutrements (including caviar, should you be feeling fancy). Expect a hefty price tag – but no regrets.
Barbuto West Village
The original gangster of the downtown brunch scene, Barbuto’s spartan aesthetic works to its advantage: in the summer months the former garage opens up completely on to Washington Street, allowing diners to enjoy New York’s outdoor charm without the noise. Chef and restaurateur Jonathan Waxman arguably made his name from Barbuto’s pollo al forno, but brunchers can enjoy the restaurant’s other hits including bucatini carbonara and pizza with baked eggs and stracciatella (yes, this is an acceptable means of having pasta and pizza for breakfast). Hit the nearby boutiques afterwards to complete your enviable West Village weekend.
- +1 212 924 9700
- Go to Website
Vinegar Hill House Brooklyn
Considered by many to be the perfect date spot in New York City, the rustic and romantic charm of Vinegar Hill House is equally appealing for peaceful Sunday afternoons. Tucked away on a quiet street in Dumbo, the restaurant is home to one of the best al fresco dining places in the city. Given its somewhat out-of-the-way location, we probably wouldn’t make the trip here if we weren’t eating on the courtyard patio, so make the request when you reserve in advance. Much like the restaurant, which has remained a failsafe over the years, the food at Vinegar Hill House is classic with side of eccentricity. Our favourites are the sourdough pancakes and crab cakes eggs benedict.
- +1 718 522 1018
- Go to Website
Vinegar Hill House, Brooklyn
Barbuto, West Village
Miss Favela, Williamsburg
Sunday in Brooklyn, Williamsburg
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