We love brunch anytime of year, but with fall well underway, we find ourselves indulging in hearty weekend meals more and more. Thankfully, there are so many terrific brunch options these days, from Mexican huevos rancheros to Argentinian breakfast empanadas. There’s Pulino’s stellar lineup of breakfast pizzas and Café Mogodar’s poached eggs, pita and haloumi cheese. From the Upper West Side to Park Slope, we’ve honed in on the best in brunch, right down to the mimosas.
Address: 372 Graham Avenue between Skillman and Conselyea (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 782-8171
If it’s huevos rancheros you’re craving, don’t waste your time or your taste buds on the second rate versions at the average diner. Instead, opt for authenticity at Mesa Coyoacan. Beyond the classic Mexican wake-up call of fried eggs and corn tortillas smothered in a spicy tomato sauce , the restaurant offers are a number of Latin-inspired egg concoctions to choose from, including eggs with chorizo. (Mesa Coyoacan uses organic, cage-free eggs.) For Mexican soul food, try the molettes, which is a little like Mexican bruschetta, Molettes are composed of grilled bread with a black bean spread, topped with chorizo, Oaxaca cheese, and pico de gallo.
Address: 282 Bowery at Houston
Phone: (212) 226-1966
We New Yorkers take pride in our pizza, but it’s not often you find a brunch menu with a focus on breakfast pizzas. In fact, at Pulino’s there are six different pizzas to choose from, ranging from sweet to savory. One of our favorites is the patate, topped with eggs, potato, sausage, mozzarella, fontina and grana. If you’re partial to eggs and bacon, try the pancetta affumicata, crowned with eggs, bacon, crème fraiche and caramelized onions. If you like sweets in the morning, order the nutella pizza, inventively composed of figs, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and nutella. Or try the pie with honey roasted pears, ricotta and almonds. You can’t really go wrong.
Northern Spy Co.
Address: 511 East 12th Street
Phone: (212) 228-5100
At Northern Spy Co., the emphasis on seasonality is apparent in all aspects of their menu, with more than a few fall brunch favorites. Off the drink menu this fall, there’s the Northern Shandy, composed of Sixpoint Sehr Crips Pilsner and apple cider from Red Jacket Orchards. We opted for the Concord grape mimosa, but the Fuji-apple mimosa was on par, too. While it’s tempting to get caught up in a liquid brunch, there’s great food, like the kale salad with cheddar, delicata squash, pecorino, almonds, and two baked eggs. The best card they’re holding is fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits with pork-sausage gravy. (Really, that’s the way to go.)
Elephant & Castle
Address: 68 Greenwich Avenue between W.10th and 11th Streets
Phone: (212) 243-1400
We’ve eaten our fair share of twists on eggs benedict , but this was our first encounter with eggs and apples benedict. Elephant & Castle’s version is served not an English muffin, but on French toast with maple syrup. That’s right, One forkful yields perfectly runny eggs, crisp apple slices, and French toast, which sounds strange, but works. There’s another version on the menu served on potato pancakes, which is our personal favorite. For omelet lovers, we suggest the apple, cheddar, and walnut omelets this time of year. Finish breakfast with not a cup, but a “bowl of hot chocolate.”
Address: 33 Avenue B and 3rd Street
Phone: (212) 228-4461
In the battle of the prix-fixe brunch menus, Poco isn’t backing down. At $24.95, you not only get three cocktails, but also an impressive selection of food to boot. Where to begin? Well, there’s a truffled mushroom omelet, lobster benedict, lobster mac-n-cheese, chorizo hash, and the list goes on. In lieu of the standard fried egg sandwich, Poco’s got a grilled skirt steak and cheese sandwich sans the eggs. Between two thick slices of French baguette, you’ll find fried eggs, skirt steak, avocado, lettuce and tomato. On the sweet side, the Poco Cakes come slathered with Nutella, whipped cream and wild berries.
Address: 101 Saint Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A
Phone: (212) 677-2226
There are plenty of breakfast options in the East Village, especially along St.Mark’s Place, but few boast traditional Moroccan fare. In fact, Café Mogador is famous for its breakfast menu and perfect for those who prefer savory to sweet in the morning. Start with the mixed platter for the table, a generous spread of hummus, tabouli, salad, and babaganoush, accompanied by warm pita. Our first pick is the halumi and eggs with poached eggs, roasted tomatoes, halumi cheese, and olives. Throw in a side of home fries and a Bloody Mary and call it a day.
Good Enough to Eat
Address: 483 Amsterdam Avenue at 83rd Street
Phone: (212) 496-0163
Sometimes we crave the simple comforts of old-fashioned Americana cooking. Good Enough to Eat specializes in the subject, especially where breakfast is concerned. For fall, there’s an apple pancake, stuffed with tart apple
slices and dusted with cinnamon-sugar. The crowning touch is a dollop of sour cream and apple-raison compote. For pumpkin lovers (that’s us), try Good Enough To Eat’s pumpkin French toast – homemade pumpkin bread topped with a pear and cranberry compote. Off the drink menu, try the Cinnamon Kiss, a blend of hot chocolate, cinnamon schnapps, and Godiva liqueur. When you’re done with breakfast, you’ll need a nice, long nap.
Stone Park Café
Address: 324 5th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 369-0082
As seafood lovers any time of day, we sometimes find brunch lacking.
After all, steak, eggs, and potatoes typically dominate the brunch scene. But not at Stone Park Cafe in Park Slope. Their menu features an old school brunch item, the Hangtown fry. , This oyster-bacon omelet was first invented during the gold rush and we think it’s overdue for a revival. There’s several versions, but Stone Park make theirs with Vermont cheddar, bacon, and tempura oysters. And if you’re sick of smoked salmon, they’ve got smoked bluefish cakes crowned with a poached egg and a caper hollandaise. Both are worth a departure from the usual brunch suspects.
Address: 152 Stanton Street
Phone: (646) 602-2004
If you’re sick of the usual brunch standards, you might consider heading to the Lower East Side for an Argentinean take on breakfast. First things first, order some homemade empanadas for the table. There’s several to choose from, including chicken, corn, beef or cheese, but leave room for the Parrillada – the mixed grill for two. What arrives tableside is the chef’s selection of skirt steak, short ribs, chorizo, flank steak and morcilla, along with salad and your choice of mashed potatoes or fries. And consider tacking $9 on to your bill for the unlimited mimosa brunch.