Why it’s worth it: The perfect day in Manhattan consists of brunching and shopping…in Soho of course. If you’re looking for a pretty restaurant serving pretty food to pretty people, and more specifically, a charming, market-to-table venture, with an adjacent vintage cocktail bar, we’ve got you covered: Chalk Point Kitchen.
Vibe/layout: This 70-seat ‘straunt bolsters the country-in-the-city scheme, in an airy and lush space with white-washed wooden plank walls lined with vintage mirrors and tchotchke-packed shelves. The farmhouse feel of CPK complements the locally sourced and organic menu; however, the most defining aspect of CPK is its downstairs bar, the Handy Liquor Bar, which is a classic, sophisticated and timeless cocktail bar with a fun twist: a fireplace and every 90s childhood game you can think of… yes we’re talking Hungry Hungry Hippos and Operation.
Ideal meal…brace yourself: Start with smashed avocado on toast ($6) & homemade blueberry muffins ($6); feast on the banana croissant french toast ($11); wash it all down with the Collect Pond ($13), a refreshing mixture of pear vodka, St. Germaine, apple juice and ginger beer
F.Y.I.: The full-fledged piano bar below CPK, the Handy Liquor Bar, is named after Thomas Hardy, one of the first expert barmen in the US in the 1800s.
People behind the ‘straunt: Nightlife operator Matt Levine (Sons of Essex) and Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori (Arthur on Smith) teamed up to open CPK, one of our favorite brunch spots in the city.
Why it’s worth it: The name “Bubby” may mean “Grandma” in Yiddish, but to many hungry New Yorkers it means brunch. Known for their all-day/night brunch and commitment to farm-to-table ingredients, Bubby’s is the best way to kick off your morning or cap off your evening. This family friendly, Southern comfort ‘straunt located in the hip neighborhood of TriBeCa won’t leave you hungry.
Vibe/layout: The gaudy floral wallpaper, white-washed walls, rough-hewn wood tables and place mats filled with food trivia lay the canvas for the country kitchen vibe of this friendly, cozy and simple ‘straunt. Bubby’s maintains a simple two-room layout, the back room for larger parties and the front room awash with light from large glass windows. If you’re looking for good ole home-cookin’ without innovations, Bubby’s is your place.
Ideal meal: We’ve taste-tested the eggs benedict ($22) and the matzo ball soup ($10)…but any dish is outshined by the buttermilk biscuits (which are heavenly) ($6) and Bubby’s notorious pies. The pies, which are baked fresh on site, are the stars of the show. The crust is tender and nicely flakey and our favorites include chocolate peanut butter and apple crumb ($9).
F.Y.I.: From the day Bubby’s opened in August of 1990 as a wholesale pie company, Bubby’s set the standard for traditional American food, cooking everything from scratch and using many traditional family recipes from the best sources of ingredients available.
Why it’s worth it: Small plates served in a chic, swanky setting are a major trend in NYC, and The Stanton Social capitalizes on it. The Stanton Social doesn’t have designated entrees or apps, but instead has scores of dishes to be shared, offering ‘straunters a chance to taste a plethora of items. A glitzy and trendy spot, The Stanton Social is a place to see-and-be-seen.
Vibe/layout: The first floor of this ‘straunt’s posh three-tiered space boasts a vast, tall and dimly lit dining room with brown banquettes, romantic dark wood and suspended glass lamps. Not in the mood to eat small plates, and just want a drink in the setting? No problem, the upstairs lounge is a shrine to wine.
Top three sharing dishes: French onion soup dumplings ($14), old school meatballs ($14) and potato & goat cheese pierogies ($10)
The French onion soup dumplings are out of this world. The nice doughy-dumplings with French onion soup oozing out will not disappoint.
Be sure to save room for the warm balls of yummy goodness dusted in cinnamon sugar…aka the warm doughnuts.
F.Y.I.: Chef Chris Santos is also the owner of Beauty and Essex, another clutch LES brunch and dinner hot spot.
Why it’s worth it:Good Enough to Eat (GETE) is the perfect brunch spot for a family outing on the UWS before exploring the American Museum of Natural History or spending the afternoon in Central Park. The atmosphere is fun and loving and the American comfort food menu is expansive.
Vibe/layout: GETE rocks that small country kitchen feel, with exposed brick and wooden tables, chairs and shelving, filled with random tchotchkes, Vermont farm paraphernalia and children’s drawings. The rustic farmhouse decor is warm and welcoming and GETE has all sorts of seating options, including booths, breakfast nooks, bar seating and outdoor seating.
Ideal meal: Good Enough to Eat French Toast ($10.75)…Did we mention that they make their French toast with cinnamon swirl bread (a third-grader’s dream)?! Also, don’t miss the buttermilk biscuits and luscious strawberry butter, which come with an eggs dish!
F.Y.I.: You can’t miss GETE’s cow theme…so be sure to notice the portraits of cows in the restrooms, Angus Warhol and Henri Mootisse.
Why it’s worth it: Ridiculous pancakes, obviously. Once you get past the mammoth brunch line, which resembles a packed subway car on the weekends, you must devour Clinton Street Baking Company‘s signature blueberry pancakes. Talk about starting your day off right, when it comes to pancake craving, Clinton Street satisfies. They are the. best. pancakes. we’ve. ever. eaten.
Vibe/layout: This cozy, intimate and charming little 32-seat eatery exudes a warm and homey atmosphere that make up for the large crowds and close tables. Upon entering, the front portion of the ‘straunt is a takeaway pastry and coffee bar featuring delicious treats.
Ideal meal: Wild Maine Blueberry Pancakes ($14) – Three large, incredibly light pancakes topped with blueberries and powdered sugar. The warm maple butter brings this pancake-condiment combo to the next level, making it a warm, buttery sweet delight.
The people behind Clinton Street Baking Co: This ‘straunt was founded in 2001 by the husband-and-wife team Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, who we will now refer to as the king and queen of pancakes.
Why it’s worth it:Jeffrey’s Grocery is enjoyable and bumping at any time of day and is the perfect place for your next date, dinner with your parents or solo-dining experience.
Vibe/layout: Although this ‘straunt can get loud and rowdy at times, it sill feels like a charming, intimate, neighborhood diner, featuring a handsome wooden L-shaped bar that seats a dozen overlooking a minuscule kitchen, while high communal tables and smaller dining tables add an additional dozen seats. This homey corner space exudes a worn rustic-chic ambiance with high pressed tin ceilings, wooden floors, exposed brick and cookbooks scattered on distressed wood shelves.
Ideal meal: Crispy salmon ($25) – The salmon filet comes in a corn broth with shrimp and a ton of vegetables. Trust us, order it.
‘Straunt tip: Grab a drink at The Garret (speakeasy above Five Guys), feast at Jeffrey’s Grocery and then enjoy some ice cream from Big Gay Ice Cream to end the evening.
F.Y.I.: Gabriel and Gina Stulman, Jeffery’s owners, are also the couple behind Joseph Leonard (across the street) and Fedora (close by). When Jeffrey’s Grocery first opened, it was a kitschy little cafe that also tried selling groceries. Since then, they ditched the faux store-front, upgraded the chef and made the most out of the space.
Why it’s worth it: This relaxing yet stylish spot serves delicious, fresh and local southern inspired food, not to mention the best cinnamon buns we’ve ever had. Hundred Acres is a great spot for grabbing brunch with family and friends.
Vibe/layout: This ‘straunt has three rooms: the spacious front dining room boasts large French doors that open to the street; the middle room is filled with over sized photographs expanding the space to feel like a vast farm-house; the back room is a charming garden that makes you feel like you are in your own backyard.