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How to have brunch in New York like the locals do

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Doing brunch is a favorite New York past time, especially in the hot New York summer when most restaurants have outside seating. New Yorkers relish sitting outdoors while enjoying a lazy weekend brunch.

Check out these five New York cafes where you can enjoy a delicious brunch like most new yorkers do:


Though many New York restaurants serve a great brunch, a favorite with New Yorkers and tourists alike is the French inspired Bistro called Pastis which is located in the extremely trendy meatpacking district. The décor at Pastis is made up of distressed mirrors, brass railings and rustic tables and chairs. All this along with the important newspaper rack lends it the air of a brasserie in Paris. It is a favored people watching spot as it is frequented by models, actresses and the other beautiful people of New York. The brunch menu at Pastis features traditional French plates such as ‘Eggs a la Basquiase’ and ‘Croque Monsieur’.

Location : 9th Avenue, At Little W 12th Street

Balthazar, Soho

Before Pastis opened its doors its sister restaurant Balthazar located on Spring Street in Soho held sway over the Brunch scene in New York City. Though this restaurant also has the ambience of a French brasserie, the food served here seems better than that at Pastis. Balthazar does take reservations for brunch but the restaurant is always teeming with people especially on the weekends and sometimes the wait for your table can be as much as an hour. While you wait for your table, you might as well visit the excellent Balthazar bakery next door and indulge in some of its heavenly baked goods.

Location : 80 Spring Street, Between Broadway & Crosby Street

Dos Caminos, Soho

For those who would like something other than a brunch with a French twist I suggest you head out for a brunch with a Mexican flavor at any one of the three Dos Caminos restaurants located in Manhattan. The brunch fare here has a bit of spice and features dishes like the excellent ‘wild mushroom and huitlacoche omelette’ on the menu. Dos Caminos throws in an additional choice of a traditional margarita or their deceptively potent Prickly Pear margarita with brunch along with the traditional choices of a Bloody Mary, Mimosa or Coffee. The restaurant even has a kids menu which is be helpful for people traveling with young children.

Locations : 475 W Broadway/373 Park Avenue South/825 3rd Avenue

Normas, Midtown West

Normas at the Parker Meridien doesn’t traditionally do a brunch but the restaurant has often been voted by various restaurant guides as the best breakfast spot in NY. Norma’s serves breakfast until 3pm so technically the breakfast qualifies as brunch here. It is advisable to make a reservation before heading out to Norma’s. The restaurants is famous for having on its menu a Lobster Frittata which carries a hefty price tag of a $1000 but the other items on its menu have more down to earth price tags. Another specialty of the brunch at Norma’s is the delicious freshly squeezed orange juice.

Location : 118 W 57th St

Patois, Brooklyn

If Norma’s has the distinction of having the most expensive breakfast item on its menu then one should head out to Smith Street in Brooklyn to have one of the most reasonable brunches in New York City. Smith Street is often called the restaurant row as it has a several good restaurants such as Café Luluc and Saul. My personal favorite is a charming little French restaurant called Patois which does a brunch on Sundays. The Patois brunch features hearty portions of dishes such as ‘Duck confit with poached eggs’ and ‘steak and eggs ’and a delectable French toast which is served with seasonal fruits. The Patois Brunch includes unlimited champagne mimosas and all this indulgence comes at an unbelievable price of only $12!

Location : 255 Smith St

Photo of eggs Benedict at Balthazar café originally posted by star5112

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer anjeeta nayar

Anjeeta Nayar is a professional freelance writer and blogger based in New York City. She relocated to the Big Apple from Mumbai two years ago. She loves New York City for its incredible buzz and energy. It really is the city that never sleeps and there is always something to do and see here. In addition to being a writer and blogger, she is also an avid traveler with London and cities in S.E.Asia being the places she enjoys visiting the most!

4 responses to “How to have brunch in New York like the locals do”

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  1. Jessica Moh says:
    April 15th, 2008 at 11:31

    They are simple eggs or ham!

  2. ACurtis says:
    December 30th, 2010 at 17:16

    Re: Norma’s
    The food brought me back time after time despite the absolutely horrific service I received at this brunch spot. My most recent trip broke the camel’s back and I’ll never come back to Norma’s. Waited an extra 15 minutes for my reservation, excessive waits for cold food, and my waiter was a ghost for the meal. For the extreme prices, I can name tons of better brunch spots with far better service. SKIP

  3. Anjeeta says:
    January 3rd, 2011 at 04:51

    I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience at Norma’s perhaps they have begun to rest on their laurels and have become a bit slack..dangerous in a city like NY where excellent brunch places crop up everyday.

  4. Anjeeta says:
    January 3rd, 2011 at 04:54

    An update to my posting- Patois has now shut shop.

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