Monday, August 15, 2016

Travel Tyro: Favorite Brunch Spots in NYC

I'm all in favor of sleeping in on weekends, but I'll always sacrifice some beauty sleep for an excellent brunch. Hands down the most frequently asked question I get from people visiting NYC is where to have brunch. So, here's a list of some of my favorites ranging from neighborhood favorite to Instagram famous. 

If I could only have brunch at one place for the rest of my life, I'd say Le Cou Cou without hesitation. Open since June 2016, the restaurant is owned by famed chef Daniel Rose and restauranteur Stephen Starr and serves classic French cuisine. Technically, they only serve breakfast at the moment from 7-10:30 am seven days a week, but it's worth getting up early to have one of their decadent dutch-style blueberry pancakes and a side of crispy hash browns. My friend even swears his breakfast wasn't just your run of the mill omelet. Equally exquisite are the interiors that include a beautiful bar right as you walk in the door.

Cafe Gitane

While Cafe Gitane has two locations, the one tucked into the Jane Hotel (on Jane Street in the West Village) is a hidden gem. The hotel itself feels as if you've walked straight into a Wes Anderson film, but the cafe is equally whimsical with it's Moroccan-inspired interior. The cafe has a range of dishes for both adventurous and plainer palettes from Moroccan couscous to avocado toast. The cocktails are quite good too; try the Lillith or Dark & Stormy

Two Hands is a neighborhood favorite in Tribeca and rightfully so. The Australian-owned restaurant has bright, nautical interiors (photos of the Bondi Icebergs hang on the walls) and a friendly staff that makes it a "happy, sunshine-y" brunch spot as described by my friend. I've honestly only ever had their avocado toast because why mess with perfection?  

Cafe Henrie won't necessarily set your tastebuds on fire, but this cute Instagram-famous brunch spot in the Lower East Side is the perfect place for a girl's brunch or catching up with a friend for coffee and a side of banana bread. Everyone also swears by their acai bowls, which you should take a photo of with the pink tabletops because did you really go to Cafe Henrie if you didn't? 

Laudurée might be Parisian, but this upscale Soho location is a NY staple. Besides their
endless array of macarons and pastries, the Soho location offers a full brunch menu and cocktail selection. If the temperatures are right, the courtyard is a charming escape from the city crowds. 

If you have a group of friends together, dim sum at the Golden Unicorn is a fun brunch alternative. Located in the heart of Chinatown, the restaurant is well-known among New Yorkers and has pig-shaped custard buns that are almost too cute to eat.

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