These restaurants offer a little extra pizzazz with your brunch meal. Splurge at one of our fancy best brunch spots. Bring a date, your parents, or live it up with friends and enjoy decadent pastries, tricked-out Bloody Marys and luxurious plates.
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The best places for fancy brunch in NYC
Housed in luxe houseware emporium ABC Carpet & Home, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s green palace looks like a quaint farmhouse plucked straight out of a fairy tale. Like its furnishings, the restaurant’s ingredients are all locally sourced. There are hearty omelettes and other egg-based concoctions that no doubt came from very happy chickens; bright and satisfying salads you actually want to order for brunch; and French toast so fluffy, ordering it should be mandatory. Make a reservation, or be prepared to wait (and shop while you wait).—Marley Lynch
The menu at this Williamsburg gastropub changes daily, but luckily for all you indecisive brunchers out there, its Tumblr (allswellnyc.tumblr.com) gets updated every morning. Expect a frittata with seasonal fixins (ours recently came with the winning combo of marjoram, mushrooms, kale and ricotta), a gut-busting egg sandwich with homemade fries, and some picks straight outta left field. For a real eye-opener, try the Cowboy Coffee, a bracing mix of bourbon, iced coffee and cream.—Marley Lynch
Though Beso is billed as a Spanish tapas bar, the menu at this sexy little spot goes far beyond Iberia (through Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico, for starters), making up for a lack of focus with big flavors and conviviality. The three-course brunch is just $25 per person. With options like sautéed mussels, clams and calamari over penne in a spicy tomato sauce, and baked scrambled eggs with spinach, bacon and cheese, the price is a steal. Choose the soup of the day or a salad and go straight for a fruity-sweet glass of tequila-spiked sangria. And even if you’re stuffed, make room for dessert, like fluffy sopapillas or tres leches cake.
Pancakes. There are, of course, other delights to be found at this cute Cobble Hill café on Smith Street—the pretty French interior makes it the perfect spot for leafing through the Sunday papers with your one and only, and there are magazines galore to choose from. Plus, the service is good, and the french fries are excellent. But really, Luluc’s pancakes are the jewel in its brunch crown: soft and super fluffy on the inside, just a little bit crispy on the outside and 100 percent delicious.—Sophie Harris
Nestled next to the High Line, Cookshop is perfect for alfresco dining. The seasonal, locally sourced dishes and array of fresh, piquant cocktails—many of which contain bitters or muddled fruits—are not to be missed. For a decadent brunch, try the raisin and walnut French toast, served with candied almonds, blood orange and vanilla-cinnamon custard. Appetizers include smoked brook trout rillettes with pickled diakon, salmon roe and horseradish crème fraîche. Many dishes are grilled, rotisseried or prepared in a wood-burning oven, in a wide-ranging display of sophisticated food craftsmanship.—Evelyn Derico
It’s a food-world trope that big-league chefs hate brunch, feeling confined by the hallowed 11am–3pm space between breakfast and lunch. But this Food & Drink Award–winning Nolita alcove—from former Isa talent Ignacio Mattos—doesn’t slack off for the early meal. Rather, Mattos issues elegant reimagined staples made to share, though you won’t want to: whipped ricotta with citrus and coconut, a yogurt-parfait update; a fish-sauce-spiked Bloody Mary; and Bien Cuit tebirke layered with a sunny-side-up egg, crispy pancetta and aioli-topped avocado. You’ll initially damn how hard it is to spot the restaurant’s nondescript doorway, but after a thoughtful meal at the airy white-marble bar, you’ll be grateful that all those shopping-bag-toting passersby aren’t crowding your newfound brunch favorite.—Christina Izzo
Focusing on fresh, local ingredients, rustic-chic Flatbush Farm offers savory dishes, like crispy duck confit served with cheddar-and-chipotle grits. If you’re a lover of all things porcine, don’t miss the incredible crispy smoked bacon. Enjoy seasonal ales and cocktails as you soak up the warm weather in the outdoor garden patio.—Evelyn Derico
This farmer has many friends, so get there early (say, before 11am) on weekends to avoid standing in line. Rustic as an L.L. Bean catalog styled by Grant Wood, the eatery has a square-jawed directness that comes through in simple ingredients, relative affordability and straightforward dish names (the basket of assorted freshly baked breads really should be rechristened the basket of “Omigod, the zucchini bread!”). Still, the homestead has a touch of whimsy: Rumor has it that every time someone orders the Farmers’ Market Omelette, a waiter sprints three blocks to the Union Square Greenmarket to buy fresh eggs, spinach, mushrooms and cheese.—Silvija Ozols
The best brunch seats at Andrew Carmellini’s splashy Gallic brasserie are the coveted windowside tables, if only for the view—not just of bustling Noho but of the restaurant’s bountiful, gleaming pastry counter and its crazy good coconut-banana-chocolate croissants. And there’s plenty more to ogle: luxuriant plates like the house eggs, hard-cooked and deviled with trout roe; the gleaming, handsome space, punctuated by multiple archways and coffee-colored booths; and the pretty people gabbing over their niçoise salads. It’s an all-day operation—good thing, too, because you’ll want to soak up that picturesque ambience from brunch till dinner.—Christina Izzo
There’s brunch, and then there’s, shall we say, stunt brunch—the kind of “No, they didn’t!” weekend dining experience that begs for an Instagram recap. Sage’s shamelessly decadent, three-course “Bacon Brunch” definitely falls into the latter category. As absurd as it sounds on paper, the feast is almost elegant in practice, especially if you opt for the Wisconsin breakfast pizza over the admittedly appealing “Outrageous” grilled bacon-and-cheese. If you have any illusions about your off-the-charts indulgence level, the double-chocolate–and-bacon brownie—or, for that matter, a plate of chocolate-sauce-drizzled, whipped-cream-smothered French toast—will set you straight.—Hank ShteamerRead more