Brunch is king in NYC
Brunch. This six letter word brings both excitement and anxiousness. Why? Because brunch in NYC is a sport, and it must be played accordingly. Getting a 4-top at the most sought after brunch spots involves either stalking OpenTable a week or more in advance or waiting an hour and a half or more. So yes, you need to be strategic about your brunch game. Keep reading for five of my go-to brunch spots in NYC that have never let me down.
Related reading: A Guide to NYC Restaurant Week
I first discovered Freemans soon after I moved to NYC over three years ago. I fell in love with the place immediately. The restaurant is located at the end of Freemans Alley in LES, and it feels like you're being transported to a different world where the hustle of NYC no longer exists. The rustic American restaurant makes you feel right at home, and the food options are varied and affordable. The Poached Eggs (pictured above) comes with cheddar cheese grits that are the perfect kind of savory.
Need an appetizer? The Hot Artichoke Dip is a crowd pleaser. If you have a large party, you'll be seated upstairs and the lighting is spot-on for those of you (like me) who can't eat before they snap a pic for the 'gram. Freemans is great for just drinks and dinner as well.
Freemans // End of Freemans Alley
2. Jack's Wife Freda
During my stint living in Greenwich Village, right off the West 4th stop, Jack's Wife Freda opened its second location on Carmine Street. If you haven't been to the area by West 4th, DO IT. Carmine Street is lined with restaurants that are sure to please everyone. I was beyond thrilled to finally have an even more convenient Jack's Wife Freda to go to.
At times, it can be difficult to get a table since reservations can only be made for six or more, but the wait is worth it. The American-Mediterranean cuisine isn't your typical brunch fare with Freda's Matzo Ball Soup and Grilled Haloumi on the menu. You'll also find that Jack's Wife Freda uses a lot of colors in its dishes, which is why it's one of the most Instagrammable brunch spots in the city. Shout out to the Peri-Peri Chicken Wings for being on point.
Jack's Wife Freda // 50 Carmine Street
3. Jacob's Pickles
Have you seen anything more glorious than this Bloody Mary? I didn't think so. Jacob's Pickles is legendary for its comfort food brunch, and is worth the hike up to the UWS. Like Jack's Wife Freda, Jacob's Pickles doesn't take reservations for parties smaller than six, but don't let that stop you.
Grab a Bloody BLT, which contains a Jalepeño pickled egg, and some pickles while you wait. You'll work up an appetite for some of the largest brunch plates I've ever seen — like the Chicken & Pancakes pictured above! Try to grab a table by the front windows; the lighting is perfect for 'gramming.
Jacob's Pickles // 509 Amsterdam Avenue
When I find something or someplace I like, I tend to go back again and again. I'm a huge creature of habit. It's why the deli across from my office knows my exact coffee order as soon as they see me. Jane is no exception to my obsession. I order the Benedict Jane every time I'm here: poached eggs on top of crab and crawfish cakes with spinach and tarragon hollandaise sauce.
Each brunch entree includes one complimentary cocktail, and if you like your Bloody Mary’s spicy, go with that. Luckily, Jane takes reservations for all party sizes, but if you walk by, you'll typically see a crowd of people waiting outside. That's how you know it's worth it!
Jane // 100 West. Houston Street
Can a Williamsburg brunch at the Wythe Hotel sound anymore appealing? Reynard isn't your typical lobby restaurant. It has its own character and feel that's unique, but cohesive with the Wythe Hotel. The American restaurant is styled very much like a Parisian café, is brightly lit, and inviting. Plates here are simple, but packed full of flavor like the Poached Eggs with (Salmon) Roe. Reynard is perfect for impressing someone or for something casual, as well as everything in between. Before you leave, get a view of the city from the rooftop bar.
Reynard // 80 Wythe Avenue