Finding brunch in the West Village is like looking for hay in a haystack. It’s everywhere. And a lot of it should be fed to horses.
Don’t settle for horse food.
Some of these places are new, and some have been around for decades. Rely on all of them to provide a good brunch in a comfortable setting.
La Bonbonniere is an old-school diner where nothing’s artisanal and most of the pictures on the wall have been taped there. Keep it simple when you’re here and get pancakes, eggs, and bacon. La Bonbonniere is cheap and cash only, and it's one of the reasons the West Village can call itself a neighborhood.
When you brunch at Frankie’s, you can also order from the lunch and dinner menu. That means you can technically get a side of bacon then crush it up and sprinkle it into your pasta like it's MSG. Or you can order meatballs and put them in an omelette. Get creative. There’s also plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, so the waits shouldn’t be too long.
The best seats in the entire West Village might be the ones outside Extra Virgin. They’re on an elevated porch, so you can both literally and figuratively look down on people while you eat banana French toast. If you get seated inside, it’s not the end of the world. Bring a date. That’s what Extra Virgin’s for.
Tartine isn’t fancy or modern. It’s a laid-back neighborhood spot that’s been open for over twenty years. On weekends, there will probably be a wait. But Tartine is BYOB, so that gives you time to buy a bottle of wine. We suggest you pick up something sparkling, chug half of it, then fill the rest with orange juice. That’s a BYOB mimosa, and we’re ashamed you didn’t think of it first.
If you go to Jack’s Wife on a weekend, expect a bunch of barely-twenty-somethings crowding the entrance. Obviously there’s avocado toast and kale salad, but they also have shakshuka and haloumi. What sets Jack’s Wife Freda apart, however, is the attention to detail. They have their own sugar packets, and you can doodle on the menu. You feel younger here. Especially when you’re doodling on the menu.
Sometimes you want to know for certain that no one’s going to dance on your table. In the Meatpacking District, that’s a real hazard - but you’re probably safe at Santina. It’s still fun here, but no one's gonna step in your eggs. Plus, the windows are huge and the food is actually good. It’s on the pricier side, but the servers wear white pants and bright polos, so you’ll never be the worst dressed one in the room.
Come here for a slightly upscale Italian brunch in a space that feels like a garage (because it used to be a garage). Bring your friends, bring your parents, really just bring anyone who isn’t going to get so drunk you won’t be allowed back for dinner. There’s outdoor seating, and when the weather's nice they roll up the garage doors. Skip the breakfast foods and get the chicken. That’s what eggs taste like when you give them time to get good.
High Street bakes their own bread, so you should probably get a sandwich for brunch. Try the corned beef, or, if you want something with eggs, get the breakfast one on a biscuit. It’s called “the bodega”. And don’t think too hard about that biscuit. The owners are from Philly and they make tripe taste good, so we forgive them for thinking bodegas have biscuits.
Jeffrey’s won’t be the cheapest place you go for brunch, but it won’t be the most expensive. It’s somewhere in the middle, and that’s why we like it. It’s good for a semi-casual dinner with friends and great for a hungover brunch with those very same friends. The bar’s also pretty long if you happen to be brunching alone. The menu is seasonal and seafood-heavy, so if you’re allergic to shellfish, bring your EpiPen. You might want a clam roll.
We like the Cafe Gitane in the Jane Hotel because it doesn’t get too crowded. Does the lack of a crowd indicate a lack of quality? Not really. They serve the same food here as they do at the Gitane on Mott. Plus, the dining room is large, the ceilings are high, and the Rusty Knot around the corner has a Singapore Sling waiting for you.
Westville serves all the food you could realistically make at your house, but are, realistically, never going to. Essentially, it’s a really good diner disguised as a neighborhood restaurant. The 10th street location is tiny, but it’s a great place for a one-on-one with a friend. If you’re with a big party or by yourself, we suggest the newer one on Hudson.
While you were busy trying to place their sort-of-English accents, Australians put up a whole string of New York City cafes. Bluestone on Carmine is one of them. Most of the food is healthy-ish stuff like granola, avocado toast, and gluten-free banana bread. The space can get crowded, but you’ll also feel like you’re dining inside a photo shoot. The attractive people will only reinforce this feeling.
Cafe Cluny is good for a lot of things. You could bring your grandmother there, or you could even bring a date. It’s kind of perfect for either. Maybe it’s the quaint dining room or the vague French-ness of the place, or maybe it’s the simple food that’s good and reliable. Either way, Cafe Cluny is definitely, without a doubt, the perfect place to bring a date who is also a grandmother.
If the old Perla was built for dinner, the new Perla Cafe was built for brunch. We hear ourselves saying that, and it doesn’t sound the best. But give it a chance. Go there in the daytime on a weekend. There are plenty of windows, and everything is upholstered in the same pleasant earth tones they probably use in the most luxurious insane asylums (for the calming effect). Also, the food is modern Italian, and it’s very good.