kathryn, an avid and omnivorous bruncher, has been updating her encyclopedic file of New York’s best. It’s an impressive piece of work, ranging from bacon to waffles, from Harlem to the Lower East Side. Here’s a shorthand sampling, broken down into your favorite midday food groups:
• Pancakes: Clinton Street Baking Co. (“second to none!”), especially for pancakes with wild Maine blueberries and warm maple butter. Prune for its giant baked Dutch-style pancake with pears. Shopsin’s for bacon-and-egg pancakes, mac-and-cheese pancakes, and the signature Slutty Cakes (with pumpkin, peanut butter, and spices).
• French toast: Pastis, which uses brioche. Jane, which uses brioche battered with crème brûlée—and serves a generous helping of fruit compote on the side.
• Waffles: Balthazar for its sour cream–hazelnut waffle. Good Enough to Eat, which makes one with bits of bacon inside. For the Southern-style version with fried chicken, Alias and Amy Ruth’s (which has dubbed it the Rev. Al Sharpton).
• Eggs: Popover Café for its omelet with cranberry, bacon, and cheddar. Good Enough to Eat for its omelet with sharp white cheddar and slices of Granny Smith apple (known as the Gramercy Park). Blue Ribbon Bakery for its spin on eggs Benedict: the Blue Benedict, with Jarlsberg, Serrano ham, and tomato. Cookshop for sunny-side-up skillet eggs. ’ino for truffled egg toast. Barney Greengrass for a classic New York breakfast: scrambled eggs with lox.
• Bacon: Cookshop for house-made, double-smoked Berkshire pork bacon (“amazing,” kathryn promises). Balthazar for juicy, thin-cut bacon. Morandi for a unique bacon made from boar.
• Sandwiches: Prune for its Monte Cristo (a ham, turkey, and Swiss triple decker, battered and deep-fried), served with fried eggs and currant jelly. Clinton Street Baking Co. for scrambled eggs, cheddar, and house-made tomato jam in a buttermilk biscuit.
• Bread: Balthazar for its bread basket, called Le Panier, especially chocolate bread and fruit focaccia. Blue Ribbon Bakery for bacon bread and challah. Ouest for a selection “so good I wanted them to wrap it so I could take it home,” kathryn confesses.
• Doughnuts, etc.: Cookshop for buttermilk beignets. Five Points for churros (get them with Mexican hot chocolate). Stanton Social for warm caramel doughnuts and ricotta fritters with raspberry jam—quite tasty, if a bit on the heavy side.
• Drinks: Jane and Little Owl for lemonade. Norma’s for fresh-squeezed orange juice and free refills (“basically the only thing I liked there,” kathryn says). Great Jones Cafe for eye-opening-spicy Bloody Marys. And Prune for Bloody Marys with a difference, like the Chicago Matchbox—a salad in a glass featuring pickled radish, green beans, caperberries, baby turnip, and Brussels sprouts.
Clinton Street Baking Co. [Lower East Side]
4 Clinton Street (near Houston Street), Manhattan
Prune [East Village]
54 E. First Street (between First and Second avenues), Manhattan
Shopsin’s [Lower East Side]
In the Essex Street Market
120 Essex Street (between Rivington and Delancey streets), Manhattan
Pastis [Meatpacking District]
9 Ninth Avenue (at Little W. 12th Street), Manhattan
Jane [Greenwich Village]
100 W. Houston Street (near Thompson Street), Manhattan
80 Spring Street (at Crosby Street), Manhattan
Good Enough to Eat [Upper West Side]
483 Amsterdam Avenue (near W. 83rd Street), Manhattan
Alias [Lower East Side]
76 Clinton Street (at Rivington Street), Manhattan
Amy Ruth’s [Harlem]
113 W. 116th Street (near Lenox Avenue), Manhattan
Popover Café [Upper West Side]
551 Amsterdam Avenue (near W. 87th Street), Manhattan
Blue Ribbon Bakery [Greenwich Village]
35 Downing Street (at Bedford Street), Manhattan
156 10th Avenue (at W. 20th Street), Manhattan
’ino [Greenwich Village]
21 Bedford Street (near Downing Street), Manhattan
Barney Greengrass [Upper West Side]
541 Amsterdam Avenue (between W. 86th and 87th streets), Manhattan
Morandi [Greenwich Village]
211 Waverly Place (at Charles Street), Manhattan
Ouest [Upper West Side]
2315 Broadway (near W. 84th Street), Manhattan
Five Points [East Village]
31 Great Jones Street (near Lafayette Street), Manhattan
Stanton Social [Lower East Side]
99 Stanton Street (near Ludlow Street), Manhattan
Little Owl [West Village]
90 Bedford Street (at Grove Street), Manhattan
In Le Parker Meridien Hotel
118 W. 57th Street (near Sixth Avenue), Manhattan
Great Jones Cafe [East Village]
54 Great Jones Street (between Lafayette Street and the Bowery), Manhattan
Board Link: Best Brunch (Updated For 2009)