Wed Dec 7 2011
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
RECOMMENDED: All our listings for the best brunch in NYC
The unpretentious vibe of this neighborhood restaurant makes it a popular weekend haunt for the downtown crowd. Hearty Southern-inspired brunch entres like vanilla-brandy French toast ($15) and eggs with biscuits and gravy ($12) are accompanied by a complimentary drink (mimosa, sangria, juice or soda), and the menu rotates regularly to include fresh, seasonal ingredients. Groove to live bluegrass music or grab a drink at the bar while you wait for a table. 47 E Houston St between Mott and Mulberry Sts (212-625-1712, nolitahouse.com). Sat, Sun 10am--3:45pm.
Formerly known as Bagatelle, this see-and-be-seen brasserie serves brunches with a background soundtrack of fist-pump-worthy Top 40 and European beats. The combination attracts a crowd still dressed for a night out: The party gets under way around 3pm, when bottles of Cristal flow as model-look-alike revelers in miniskirts and teetering heels mix and mingle. Indulge in Nutella-drenched Belgian waffles topped with fresh berries ($18) to soak up the spirits during this daylong drinksfest. 409 W 13th St between Ninth Ave and Washington St (212-675-2400, brasseriebeaumarchais.com). Sat, Sun 11:30am--5pm.
The promise of an unlimited champagne and cocktail brunch explains why this Provenal bistro is perpetually packed. For $29, choose one of the many French-inspired entres and guzzle bottomless beverages like Bellinis, mimosas and kir royales. Don't be fooled by the restaurant's country-farmhouse-chic decor; it's a veritable watering hole during the weekend, when the enclosed garden provides the backdrop for some serious daytime boozing. On Sundays, DJs start their sets around 3pm, and late risers can chow down on brunch until 7pm. Reservations are a must. 8 Little W 12th St between Ninth Ave and Washington St (212-463-8345, paradounyc.com). Sat 11am--4pm, Sun 11am--7pm.
Garage Restaurant and Cafe
Cozy up to a warm stone fireplace while dining to live jazz at this Greenwich Village hangout—aptly named for its previous life as a garage. Nosh on weekend brunch specials like the Applewood smoked bacon and Vermont cheddar omelets and a choice of beverage ($17) or shell out $6 more for unlimited mimosas, screwdrivers and bloody marys. Check online for the rotating weekly lineup of jazz performers such as Howard Williams Jazz Orchestra, Dylan Meek Trio and Dre Barnes Project. 99 Seventh Avenue South between Christopher and Thompson Sts (212-645-0600, garagerest.com). Sat and Sun, 11am-4pm.
Maybe it's just the culture of Down Under, but Bondi Road understands the importance of starting your day off with a kick: Pair the seafood with bottomless screwdrivers, greyhounds and more. The restaurant has a reputation for attracting the LES's prettiest girls, so you may get your fill of eye candy, too. 153 Rivington St at Suffolk St (212-253-5311, moolifegroup.com). Sat 11am--5pm, Sun noon--6pm; $20.
The Sunburnt Cow
This casual Aussie dive-bar-cum-restaurant is the ideal alternative to the trendy weekend brunch scene: Those prioritizing the hair of the dog over grub can pull up to the bar, while bigger groups convene on the deck, which has a retractable roof for warmer weather. Though the cash-only menu is limited, it's the $18 endless brunchspecial—any entre and all you can drink—that keeps customers coming back for more (and more) Moomosas and Foster's. The scene livens up at 1pm, when DJs arrive to spin '80s classics. 137 Ave C between 8th and 9th Sts (212-529-0005, moolifegroup.com). Sat 11am--4pm, Sun noon--4pm.