NYCGuide

The NYC Brunch Hit List: The Best New Brunch In NYC

All the new places for when you wake up on the weekend and actually have the energy to leave the house.

The NYC Brunch Hit List: The Best New Brunch In NYC guide image

Weekends are a great time for trying new things, like learning to ride an electric Citi Bike or forming a flash mob to recreate that scene from The Wiz. Both of those activities sound fun, but if you’re looking for something a little easier, go get brunch from a place on this list. All of these spots recently opened or just started serving brunch, so if you like doing new things involving eggs or pancakes, this is where to start.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Wenwen review image
8.2

Wenwen

$$$$

You're not going to find Wenwen's brunch menu on their website, and you'll only the occasional mention of it on their Instagram page, but this Greenpoint Taiwanese restaurant is open for brunch on weekends from 12-3pm. If you haven't been able to try one of their famous BDSM chickens (they only do five a night), the chicken sandwich on the brunch menu is your best chance at getting a taste. Other weekend items include tater tot dan bing, a cured salmon salad, and savory soy milk.

Little Flower Cafe in Astoria serves excellent food and some of the area’s best coffee. It’s worth traveling to from any borough. We highly recommend the Firni Doughnut and the gochujang chicken sandwich with tart pickles, slaw, and a creamy mayo, all smashed inside of a pillow-soft bun. Stop by for a leisurely afternoon meal with one other person, or just park yourself with a book and consume one excellent cup of coffee after another.

Vegan Hood’s fried chicken has marvelous, expertly seasoned skin, but the pea protein faux chick’n underneath doesn’t taste like an afterthought either. It only gets better from there—the super cheesy mac and cheese is nice and gooey with some smoky spice to it, and the greens are brimming with flavor. Come by at brunch to enjoy these plant-based soul food classics in a lively room covered in flowers.

When you hear that a restaurant serves two very different types of food, you probably think of fusion-style mashups. That's definitely not what you get at Syko, a Windsor Terrace takeout-only spot where half the menu is Korean and the other half is Syrian. Their everyday menu is chock full of perfect hangover foods, but they only have their excellent chicken popper cups and Spam breakfast sandwiches on the weekends. After you eat that perfect square of rice, nori, Spam, and omelet, you'll want to get back to bed pronto, so prepare accordingly.

Corner Bar is an American bistro run by Ignacio Mattos, the chef behind Estela, Altro Paradiso, and Lodi. At brunch, you can get well-executed entrees like vol-au-vent, boudin blanc, and saumon fumé. You can also enjoy a real scene—the kind where the person next to you might have sunglasses on during the meal. This place is in Dimes Square, but it draws a somewhat fancier crowd than the other places in the surrounding neighborhood.

The Noortwyck, a “seasonally-driven” spot opened by two EMP alumni, serves ambitious brunch dishes like a breakfast sandwich on a Japanese milk bun with cheddar Mornay and matcha pistachio babka french toast. The setting is stylish yet low-key, and the food tastes like it has a graduate degree in haute cuisine. Since the menu changes so often, you’ll want to become a regular. We recommend doing just that.

Located in the Beekman Hotel, Daniel Boulud’s newest restaurant is inspired by the bistros of Lyon. Come at brunch and choose from six egg dishes that involve things like black truffle and Tomme de Savoie. To round out your meal, get the chilled watercress velouté and the escargots that are fried in a tempura batter and paired with pig trotters. This restaurant will remind you why everyone knows Boulud’s name in the first place: for cooking French food better than most people on this planet.

If you’re ever looking to eat food inspired by popular dishes from around the world without having to step into a Cheesecake Factory, Lore is the restaurant for you. Run by two chefs with the stated goal of “uniting cultures,” this Park Slope restaurant serves a menu that has both a kimchi uttapam and banana pancakes on it. And they actually pull it off. There are no gimmicks; the food is to-the-point, executed well, and sophisticated enough to have the floor at the UN. If you want, you can even get an omelette, kimchi, daal, french fries, a dosa, and bacon on one plate.

Citrico Cafe isn’t a party restaurant, exactly, but there’s a bright bar in the center that sets the tone, and everyone’s always having a good time. At brunch, you can bet the music will be loud (there might even be a DJ), but it never gets too rowdy—even with a great bottomless deal available. Go for classic brunch fare like pancakes and chilaquiles, or work your way through a taco menu with filet mignon and baja fish on it.

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