An afternoon meal here is well worth the wait.
80 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012
Step into Balthazar and you will find yourself in a Parisian brasserie so authentic that it has remained one of New York’s favorite dining destinations for 15 years. Even with wall-to-wall tables, reservations are almost impossible to snag. But an afternoon meal here is well worth the wait. With a bakery next door creating fresh French delights daily, we assure you you’ll have some of the best baked goods this side of Paris.
Clinton Street Baking Co.
4 Clinton St.
New York, NY 10002
I have two words for you: pancake month. Offering special flavors such as poached pears, Japanese pumpkin, crunchy banana, caramelized pineapple, chocolate chunk and almond frangipane, this is the breakfast marathon you dream of. The rest of the menu, which includes brioche French toast and a smoked salmon scramble, keeps this tiny 32-seat spot packed. Using the freshest ingredients, hand-mixed in small batches, husband and wife team Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman have created a restaurant that consistently tops the best brunch lists in New York. Totally worth the two-hour wait.
40 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019
Sarabeth’s omelettes marry fillings of taste and texture to make you wish you had ordered two, and her baked goods are unforgettable. This is American comfort food with the occasional twist. With a brunch this good, it’s no wonder reservations are so difficult to come by, so in honor of thirty years of filling hungry stomachs, Sarabeth Levine just opened her fourth and now largest location on 39 Greenwich Street in Tribeca.
25 East 77th St.
New York, NY 10075
The posh restaurant by none other than Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the Upper East Side’s Mark Hotel is as elegant as its patrons, and the food is something to talk about. The rear dining room, set under a glass skylight, makes for the perfect backdrop to enjoy a relaxing brunch in an upscale scene. With options such as homemade granola and crushed raspberry yogurt parfait, truffle pizza or the brunch rendition of smoked-salmon pizza with an “everything bagel” crust, you’ll struggle with what to order.
Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien
119 West 56th St.
New York, NY 10019
Norma’s is best known as the home of the $1,000 omelette (eggs, lobster and approximately $995 worth of caviar). Don’t think it’s not worth it though. With a menu that reads like a book of cute one-liners (“Rabbit Food,” “Breakfast—if you party like a rock star”), the food doesn’t lack in taste or sophistication. We suggest the rustic Eggs Benedict with artichoke and porcini-truffle sauce or the apple and redpear crêpes.