Best of NYC Brunch (Part 2)

Best Brunch for a Classic French Café Vibe: Flea Market Café

Despite the flea market gewgaws that decorate the walls, this French style café has a very cool East Village vibe going on. But unlike what you might find at a café on the Champs Élysées, the staff here is extremely amiable.  While the food isn’t stellar, it’s certainly satisfying and exactly what you expect. I’ve turned my friend into a religious patron of this place…her favorite item is the waffles with fruit and nutella. Depending on if I’m craving sweet or savory, I usually go with their enormous and fluffly caramelized apple pancake or the eggs Florentine. It’s the perfect place to spend a hungover weekend afternoon with friends while rehashing the events of the previous night. And while you recall how much you actually spent at the bar last night, you don’t have to worry about breaking your budget on brunch: $11 includes coffee/tea and fresh orange juice.

131 Avenue A between 9th and 10th

212-358-9280

Best Brunch To Satisfy Your Inner Lush: Essex

In my opinion, Essex provides an interesting paradox. It’s the ideal place to get a lot of hair from the dog that bit you last night: $18/entrée includes 3 screwdrivers or mimosas (with only $3 for each additional cocktail). But if you find yourself in such a desperate state, you definitely won’t be able to wait out the line. Instead, plan ahead and make a reservation. Is it worth the effort? Definitely! Those crispy potato pancakes with sautéed apples and honey cream sauce have your name written all over them, my friend.

120 Essex St. at Rivington

212-533-9616

Best Brunch for the Indecisive: Virage

It’s around noon on a Sunday, my head is fuzzy and I’m sitting across from a friend who is in a similar condition. We are starting at our brunch menus and one question plagues me…it hasn’t nothing to do with how much I drank last night. The question is: sweet or savory? I can be pretty indecisive when it comes to choosing and that’s why I love Virage. Brunch begins with a basket of homemade muffins that satisfy my sweet tooth and leave me free to enjoy the best eggs Benedict I’ve ever had. This might seem like an exaggeration, but I’m obsessed with their vegetarian version of this dish. It’s made with avocado slices and roasted red peppers on slices of English muffin and topped with two perfectly poached eggs smothered in hollandaise sauce. In fact, I love this version so much I (very) often try to replicate it at home, even going so far as to make my own hollandaise sauce. But when I just can’t muster the morning strength for the feat, I go to Virage and enjoy this beauty while alternately sipping on the Mimosa, fresh OJ and tea included with the pre-fixe brunch menu. This brunch is the perfect escape from making any decisions, because it’s got a bit of everything.

118 2nd Ave at 7th St.

212-253-0425

Best Brunch To Indulge: Café Lalo

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Central Park West on a weekend morning or afternoon, I would definitely recommend stopping by Café Lalo. I know it’s been a little over-exposed after its feature in You’ve Got Mail, but it’s still got a wonderfully warm, European feel to it. Though famous for their desserts, Lalo also has a great selection for brunch. Their international brunch menu has a (mostly) Euro theme to it, whereby you can order a combination of items common to a particular country.  For example, the British breakfast consists of steamed eggs with fresh herbs, Devon cream, a scone and fruit preserves. There is also a plethora of sandwiches, salads, fruits, oatmeal choices, frozen yogurts, smoothies and other beverages available – many with an eye toward healthful eating. This is probably so you won’t feel as guilty indulging in one of their scrumptious slices of cake.

201 W. 83rd St. between Amsterdam and Broadway

212-496-6031

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2 Responses to “Best of NYC Brunch (Part 2)”

  1. grace Says:

    totally went to flea market cafe today, had the carmelized apple pancakes, soo goood. im a pancake fiend. good recommendation!

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