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: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: 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.
Why it’s worth it:East Pole is the perfect combination of Upper East Side elegance and downtown fun, making it a great brunch spot for family or family friends. The ‘straunt is charming and the food is delicious and pretty to look at (which means the portions are small, but well-plated).
Vibe/Layout: This ‘straunt is housed in a historic brownstone and features outdoor tables and a dining room brightened by a skylight. The main dining room and bar are timeless, sophisticated and clean with whitewashed brick walls, vintage maps and subtle nautical accents. The tables, floors and ceilings are a mix of wood and plaster and lit with individual candles.
Ideal meal: Banana bread (and apple butter) to start ($10); Belgian corn & ricotta waffles, Phillips Farm Blueberries ($18)
F.Y.I.: Ben Towill and Phil Winser, owners of the Fat Radish, teamed up with Tom and Anthony Martignetti, proprietors of Brinkley’s, to open this UES ‘straunt. In addition, the nautical maps you see on the walls are from the Winser family’s personal collection.
Why it’s worth it: This corner-store sized, charmingly petite cafe serves simple, delicious and inexpensive French fare, not to mention the best croque madame we’ve ever had (and yes we’ve been to France). You’ll know Tartine by the green awning, sidewalk tables and notoriously long lines on the weekends.
Vibe/Layout: Tartine has all of about 15 seats and has been in the neighborhood for two decades, making it a cozy and homey go-to spot. Don’t expect much leg room though, especially if you score a table on the sidewalk.
Ideal meal: Croque madame ($14) or croque monsieur ($14)
When to go: If you have a random day off from work, or work in the area, head to Tartine for lunch or for a darling croissant.
‘Straunt tip: BYOB alert! … But it gets better….there’s no corkage fee either!