Dining Out: Best of Brunch


Rising rent prices around the city have been met by local officials who are taking action for low-income Bronx residents. Jeff Coltin II/The Fordham Ram

By Allison Russo

Jack’s Wife Freda
Where: Nolita and Greenwich Village
What to order: Rosewater Waffle, which comes topped with berries, thick yogurt and a dusting of powdered sugar.
If you are brunching for the Instagram, this is the place to eat. Everything, from the custom “Jack <3’s Freda” sugar packets to the striped awning, is endlessly photogenic and aesthetically adorable, and though portions are small, the food does not fail to satisfy. Drinks are overpriced, so stick to coffee and tea. The outdoor tables are nice in warm weather, though the Nolita location is on the corner in a high pedestrian traffic area. Annoyingly, this trendy spot does not take reservations so plan to wait at least a half an hour to be seated.

Jacob’s Pickles
Where: Upper West Side
What to order: Croque Madame (fried chicken, black forest ham, gruyere cheese and a sunny side up egg on a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit served with fries)
While the pickles are fantastic and of many flavors, the true star of this Upper West Side eatery is their brunch menu. They specialize in revamped comfort food like “chicken and pancakes” and “biscuits french toast.” Hop on the Ram Van and stroll up to 84th Street and Amsterdam for a truly unique brunching experience.You can walk off that fried chicken afterwards in Central Park.

Cafe Mocha
Where: East Village
What to order: Persian Croissant, a luxe breakfast sandwich filled with caramelized onions and potatoes, feta cheese and raisins.
This popular spot by NYU is a brunch cafe by day and wine bar by night. Serving standard breakfast fare as well as more adventurous dishes, nearly everything on the menu is under $10. Grab a cappuccino (or dark hot chocolate) and sit outside before the warm weather disappears for a lovely view of 2nd Avenue and guaranteed people-watching entertainment.

Alice’s Tea Cup
Where: Upper East Side & Upper West Side
What to order: Pumpkin Pancakes, a literal combination of buttermilk pancakes and pumpkin pie; Alice’s Curious French Toast, which features brandy-infused baked brioche served with vanilla creme and berries.
Alice’s Tea Cup has three locations, all of which have varying menus. The whimsical decor and creative menu give a nod to the restaurant’s namesake, Alice in Wonderland. There is a seemingly endless variety of tea, so if you’re not currently a tea-drinker, you will be after having brunch here. If you’re looking for a more traditional brunching experience, a fixed price tea service is available on the weekends starting at $27.

The Little Owl
Where: Greenwich Village
What to order: Poached Organic Eggs, which are served on cheesy fontina biscuits.
The brunch menu at The Little Owl has everything from tacos to pancakes. However, you absolutely must order the beignettes. These small doughnuts come filled with raspberry or nutella, and are covered with sugar. They have new breakfast specials every day and portions are generous and reasonably priced. For any “Friends” fans, The Little Owl is on the first floor of Monica and Rachel’s apartment building — definitely a candidate for a present-day Central Perk.