Few places in the world offer the variety of options to enjoy a great brunch as does New York City. A multicultural meeting ground with countless regional cuisines, it is where the culinary world shines at is brightest. Each season brings with it a different trendy spot, maybe two. However, there are many dining destinations that, year after year, continue to engross the lists of the best places to enjoy a traditional brunch buffet.
Lately at the top of the list: Bagatelle. This modern bistro in the Meatpacking District is perfect if you are looking for excellent French food in fun and youthful atmosphere. Also French and in the Meatpacking District is Pastis. A favorite corner for actors and models, this establishment has been featured in more than a few films and TV series. Its Parisian décor and outdoor terrace make it the right place “to see and be seen”, a loud and frenetic vibe, and ideal for a late Sunday breakfast.
Pastis. / Photos: Sylvia Paret.
If you want to continue in this area, the ultra modern Standard Hotel offers beautiful atmosphere and excellent service at the Standard Grill Restaurant. During spring and fall, the outdoor terrace is a good place to meet and talk, while enjoying a classic “American Bistro” menu with a few innovative touches.
Perhaps the most traditional French menu for brunch is at Balthazar. Located in bustling SoHO, it is the place of choice, not only for high-end tourists, but also for locals who want excellent French cuisine without having to fly to France. Although the music is extremely loud and tables are not easy to come by, brunch at Balthazar is worth the wait and the noise.
Balthazar. / Photos: Sylvia Paret.
Norma’s at Le Meridien Park continues to be at the head of the list of the best brunches year after year. Favored by celebrities and wealthy Europeans, at Norma’s even the orange juice is outstanding. The delightful menu and superb service make getting a table, a task that can sometimes take hours. Park Meridien is famous for its omelets and holds the record for the most expensive omelet in the world: its price says it all: $1,000 for the best eggs, lobster and caviar.
With two locations in New York, many consider that Sant Ambroeus Downtown offers the most delicious Italian cuisine and the best environment for a weekend brunch. A favorite with Italian expats, it boasts an authentic gelato and espresso bar.
If you are seeking the more serene atmosphere of the Upper East Side, hotels like The Carlyle and The Mark are certainly wonderful options.
The Boat House, located inside Central Park, and with the best views of the lake, will surely awake your romantic side. It is ideal for loving couples that want to rekindle their relationship, begin a new one, or just roam the park with family and kids in tow, especially on those beautiful, balmy days in New York in spring.
For many, going to the Waldorf Astoria is an opportunity to visit the historic Manhattan hotel, but the extensive menu at the hotel’s restaurant, has made their brunch one of the most famous in the city. The buffet is so extensive that only in desserts, there are more than 100 items: a real treat for even the most overindulgent customer. ■