Just a quick update & another round of NYC photographs. Taking a look back on all my New York photos now and I realized my food photographs shared a common theme: breakfast/brunch. It would explain the additional two pounds I gained since I returned, aha. I guess it’s something about New York diner/restaurant culture that now makes it possible to have waffles whenever you want and brunch is served 7 days a week. It’s no longer limited to Sundays!
As a result, this post is dedicated to my Midtown Manhattan brunch hour (which is any hour you want it to be, really). And to all of the future brunches that I have yet to indulge in. These places are necessarily the best but I wanted to document the ones that are most common for me to end up in. If you find yourself staying in Midtown, try one of these places! And if you already have please let me know your experience in the comments.
PS. I apologize for the number of waffles, pancakes, and eggs benedict you’re about to see. I guess you can tell what my favorite menu items are. This is a pretty good/embarrassing example of how unadventurous I am when it comes to my brunch.
Rue 57 is definitely one of my go-to’s when I’m staying in the city! We came here once many years ago due to convenience from our hotel. Today, we never skip a meal here when we find ourselves in the city. It’s extremely consistent, always busy but never too busy and it’s delicious at all times of the day. I’ve enjoyed brunch here countless times and love it for a nice solo meal out or with a small group.
Portions are fairly large and can be split among friends as well. Pictured here is a waffle with berries. A common item I’ll order with a friend is their “Hangover Breakfast” which covers all your bases including eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, french ham, toast, and home fries. We’ll split the breakfast and order a couple mimosas. It’s more than enough food! If you’re solo, mingling and people watching at the bar is recommended.
Funny story fulfilling a New Yorker cliché: One-time mother and I had dinner here when we were talking about her work (she’s in the film/tv industry). Our waiter overheard us talking about some of the movies they’re filming and admitted that he was actually a screenwriter! We looked up at him quietly at first and couldn’t tell if he was being serious with us…he was. He tried multiple times throughout our meal to get her to look at one of his screenplays. It completely fulfilled the cliche that all waiters in New York are just “waiting” for their big break – even if it includes trying to get your customer to read your work!
The Applejack Diner has become a bit of a joke between me and my friends. It’s our go-to ultra casual, extremely average place when we don’t care what time of day it is. Truly, Applejack Diner is not anything special but it has put a little place in my heart! It’s there to give me my no-frills craving for ice cream at 2 am or our “I need to be served quickly before my meeting” kind of place. I must say the coffee also really isn’t good at all but we get it every time anyway. I’ve realized I’m not doing a good job of selling this place yet this post would feel incomplete without it! Ending this on a good note: The waffles are really good both at 9 AM and 1 AM – tried-and-true.
1725 Broadway Avenue, New York, NY 10019
Technically a step outside of midtown and on the Upper West Side. The restaurants by Lincoln Center I’m pretty familiar with at this point. My typical go-to around there has been The Smith (also on this list) but on my most recent trip we wanted to change it up a bit and went next door to Cafe Fiorello. Summer in New York City we try to sit outdoors as much as possible (as long as the humidity is willing to behave, of course). I had the pancakes here which are absolutely ginormous and should be washed down with a mimosa. It’s a cute little spot for a relaxing breakfast and a restaurant to take your time in.
1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Serafina is pretty much a name everyone knows in New York with restaurants all over the place. Usually staying in midtown, I’ve enjoyed brunch at Serafina before heading to the airport. Their brunch menu is filled mostly with egg dishes like my eggs benedict pictured above. Another one that sounds really good is the eggs in brioche dish! It’s very reasonably priced, especially with one of their combination orders like the “New York Breakfast” or “Serafina Breakfast” rather than ordering a la cart.
Again, just a few steps outside of Midtown and on the Upper West Side is The Smith at Lincoln Center. It’s really the neighboring door to Cafe Fiorello mentioned above but the two have very different vibes. The Smith definitely is more hip/modern and tends to be more crowded generally. So if you don’t mind that it’s definitely worth trying! I’m not a fan of the crowded outdoor seating so this is one of the few places where I prefer to be seated inside. Tables are very close together and it can be harder to hear the person at your table if seated outdoors. I really enjoy The Smith if I’m meeting a friend from across town because we all know where it is and can find it without a struggle. It’s a great meeting point restaurant!
1900 Broadway (at 63rd Street)
Have a place I should check out? Let me know in the comments! I would LOVE to hear about suggestions outside of midtown in order to get me to explore other neighborhoods. Send them my way.
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