Start your perfect Saturday or Sunday in leisurely fashion at one of the best brunch places in the East Village. If the wait’s too long at legendary brunch spot Prune, there’s no shortage of worthy alternatives. Head to spacious, Southern-accented Peels for a buttermilk biscuit topped with scrambled eggs and bacon, Northern Spy Food Co. for the memorable “chicken and egg” sandwich, or Back Forty for seasonal-fruit-laden pancakes. Afterward, hit the neighborhood’s shops or attractions.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the East Village
Best brunch places in East Village
Inside this antiques-filled dining room, chef Joe Dobias (Savor NY) gives life to his wildest, and most successful, impulses: An appetizer of griddled challah smeared with chicken liver takes on a subversive (and delicious) edge when sandwiched with smoky bacon and caramelized onions. An inventive entrée features tender slices of beef served with sesame spaetzle and a gorgeous curl of bok choy, petrified in a translucent batter. The dining masses have yet to catch on—get in before they do.
After the success of their brunch-only pop-up at Resto Leon, new-wave Filipino darlings Nicole Ponseca and Enzo Lim have finally found a permanent home in the East Village. Fans of their daytime fare can revisit hits like eggs Imelda (poached eggs on pan de sal with taro leaves, coconut milk and prawns) and Sizzling Sisig (a spiced mix of shredded pig’s snout, ear, cheek and belly). New to this iteration: dinner plates, including Southeast Asian spins on American classics, like chicken and purple-yam waffles and a spiny-lobster roll laced with fermented shrimp-paste mayo. Lim, also a barkeep at Minetta Tavern, slings tropical concoctions, such as the Manileño, which mixes brandy, pineapple, maraschino, Peychaud's Bitters and lime.
Tiny, well-lit Prune is still as popular as it was the day it opened. Gabrielle Hamilton’s French mother developed this fearless chef’s palate early on: Expect creative dishes like Manila clams with hominy and smoked paprika butter, and roasted suckling pig with pickled tomatoes, black-eyed-pea salad and chipotle mayo. This is the area’s go-to brunch spot, so beware: The wait for a table can stretch over an hour.
Eating in Midtown can be tough. There are so many restaurants, and yet the prospects still seem bleak. When you find a place that’s consistent and tasty, you stick to it. one such restaurant is Norikoh, located just a few blocks south of Bryant Park. Though the restaurant’s interior is reminiscent of any Asian fusion restaurant in the city (stone walls, deep woods and the like), the food is not—it’s better. An order of shrimp cilantro gyoza ($6.75), pan-fried dumplings filled with the aforementioned seafood, scallions and celery, emerged from the kitchen piping hot and extremely enjoyable—these fresh, thin-skinned pockets went quickly. Also delicious was an appetizer of sweet bun sliders ($7), a riff on the ubiquitous pork belly bao sound in many Asian restaurants in New York. This time, though, you get to choose your meat (barbecue ribeye, braised pork belly or spicy pork). They’re garnished with pickled cabbage, cilantro and peanut powder, all of which help cut through the unctuous, fatty meat. Sushi is dependable here—a tuna avocado hand roll ($6.50) was fresh if a bit unwieldy. The namesake roll of the restaurant ($16) combines spicy salmon and jalapenos with tuna and tops it off with lemon, cilantro and tobiko. A volcano roll ($14) of crunchy spicy tuna, avocado, and cucumber topped with spicy kani salad, scallions, sesame and sweet Thai chili sauce was less successful, overwhelmed by its cloying sauce. In case you need warming, the restaurant offers an array of ramen a
Venue says: “Daily Happy Hour selections of our finest beers, sake, wines, & food 3pm-6pm”