Where To Get A Fancy Weekday Breakfast
An obscenely attractive French cafe in Soho, a charming Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg, and more spots for a breakfast meeting or morning staycation.
Maybe your mom or college BFF is in town and you want to spend a morning luxuriating over $25 eggs in a beautiful room. Maybe you called out sick because the vibes are off and the only way to correct things is to dress up a little and drown your emotions in hot chocolate and pastries at 9am on a Tuesday. Or maybe you're just sick of eating cereal every day. You don’t really need a reason to turn breakfast into a special occasion. When the mood strikes, these are our favorite places to make the most of our mornings.
Fancy breakfast is all about escaping your humdrum routine, and there’s no better place to pretend you live in palatial fake France than La Mercerie. This space is stunning, and you can either have a full breakfast or just hang out feeling glamorous while you enjoy a warm-from-the-oven pain au chocolat and a perfect latte. If you’re feeling something more on the savory side, the buckwheat crêpe complète is a must. Even things that sound kind of plain, like a warm rice porridge, are wonderful here.
A regular locale in Gossip Girl fanfic (don’t judge our reading habits, thanks), Cafe Sabarsky is the perfect place to start your day, especially if the phrase “Hey, Upper East siders” lives rent-free in your brain. This Viennese cafe is on the first floor of the Neue Gallery, across the street from Central Park. Breakfast is our favorite meal here, and it always starts either with a kaffe krème or an einspänner. For a savory breakfast, try the bavarian sausage served with a warm soft pretzel and a side of grainy mustard. If you’re a sweet breakfast person, get an order of Kaisershmarren, a fluffy caramelized pancake that gets chopped up and served with stewed fruit.
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photo credit: Jason Varney
This fashionable Eastern Mediterranean restaurant is literally in the Ritz, so you know it’s fancy. The dining room is bright and beautiful, evoking a seaside vacation even in the dead of winter. If you want to go all out, get the eggs “el camino” and add Ossetra caviar. There’s also a $24 avocado toast, because of course there is. You can get basic things like eggs benedict, but we prefer options that lean more heavily on Mediterranean flavors like the menemen, olive oil pancakes, and shakshouka.
Corner Bar makes the most worthwhile egg dishes in New York City, and they’re served in a cute, cozy space that makes you feel like you’ve turned back the clock a few decades. The breakfast menu is small enough that you really can’t go wrong, but we’re deeply obsessed with the oeufs au plat, a pair of sunny-side-up eggs swimming in a peppery chanterelle broth. The brouillés, which are topped with bottarga and crème fraîche, prove the old adage that you can tell everything you need to know about a chef by the way they soft scramble their eggs.
You’ll see plenty of things at Sadelle’s that you can also get at any diner like bagels, french toast, and omelets. But they’re all Queer Eye-like makeover versions of those dishes. A single bagel order is presented on an afternoon tea-style three-tiered tray with cucumbers, tomatoes, and a fish of your choice. Get the whitefish salad that tastes like it was made right before you sat down. It’s always a scene at this spot from the Carbone team, and when you come for breakfast on a random Tuesday morning, you feel like an A-list celebrity in a tracksuit is bound to walk in any minute.
photo credit: Teddy Wolff
It’s worth visiting Locanda Verde in the morning just to see the way the sunlight streams through the curtains, bathing the dark wood interior in an otherworldly glow, reminding you that your apartment will never look this good. The coffee here is a classic Italian-style dark roast, and we love their cappuccinos. Lemon ricotta pancakes are the main attraction, but don’t skip the savory-leaning dishes like the uova a piacere, which reminds us of an upscale diner breakfast. Round out your order with a few items from the rotating selection of pastries.
photo credit: Teddy Wolfe
The line to get into Buvette for brunch is notoriously long, which is why we love to come here for weekday breakfast. We’ve never had anything at this tiny, cozy restaurant we didn’t love, but we tend to gravitate towards a waffle or croque situation. Better yet, bring a buddy, get one of each, and share. Buvette is our top pick for a romantic breakfast spot, because yes, morning dates are a thing.
photo credit: Noah Deveraux
Viral laminated pastries aside, Lafayette makes a pretty solid breakfast that definitely feels elevated. A more low-key fake France option than La Mercerie, this is another spot where lemon ricotta pancakes should really be on your table. Get them with a side of extra-thick, heavily smoked bacon to balance things out. They brew La Colombe coffee, and you can bring anything from the bakery section to your table—yes, even the TIkTok-famous suprêmes. And if you’re eating at a table, you can skip the bakery line.
photo credit: Noah Devereaux
If you’re currently in a fight with New York City and would like a quiet break from the crowded subway platforms and tourists who think it’s OK to not jaywalk, head to Okonomi. This Williamsburg restaurant has been around since 2014, and there’s still nothing else like it. The 12-seat space, with its open kitchen and piles of handmade ceramics, feels homey and serene, and the Japanese set breakfast (the only thing on the menu) is simple and perfect. It comes with a piece of roasted fish, a bowl of rice, miso soup, a few pickled vegetables, and a sweet, creamy cube of omelet. Add uni if you’re feeling fancy, and be sure to make a reservation.
You may recognize Angelina Paris from the social media accounts of Parisians who like their hot chocolate extra thicc. At their first US outpost, you can get that same delightfully luxe drinkable chocolate experience, but there’s more to Angelina than sweet stuff. This is also a great spot for a fabulous breakfast when you want to dress up a little. You can order breakfast à la carte, but we prefer the two breakfast sets, which take decision-making out of the equation. The smaller Parisian Breakfast comes with mini croissants, bread with butter and jam, juice, and a bowl of their famous extra-thick hot chocolate. The Angelina Breakfast has all the same elements, plus eggs.
A restaurant connected to a high-end gym franchise makes perfect sense for a bougie morning meal that’s sort of healthy. Electric Lemon, the rooftop hotspot perched atop the Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards, is actually pretty great. We especially love the flax pancakes, which are exceptionally fluffy and get a pleasant textural contrast from flax seeds strewn throughout the batter. They also have a ton of very appealing cold-pressed juice blends on the menu and pretty decent coffee for when you need one drink for energy, one for hydration, and one just for fun.