Even a city that never sleeps gets hungry in the morning. Offering everything from buttermilk pancakes to breakfast pizza, Manhattan’s restaurants excel at the most important meal of the late riser’s day: brunch.
By Ben Keene
111 E. 29th St., restonyc.com
Leave it to the expert alesmiths of Belgium to devise the best way to treat the headaches following a night of dubbels and tripels. Soak up your system’s leftover alcohol with Resto’s Hangover Pasta, a sizable helping of cheesy noodles and chunks of ham topped with a perfectly fried egg. Or, for a two-course cure, scarf down the cinnamon-dusted beignets accompanied by a chocolate dipping sauce, followed by the Pig’s Ear Salad, a marginally healthier—though no less filling—serving of squash, eggplant, carrots and greens splashed with a buttermilk vinaigrette. For those needing a little hair of the dog, order the Brewdriver (Ommegang Witte and O.J.).
282 Bowery, pulinosny.com
In a town where pizza is king, it only seems fitting that someone finally got around to serving it for breakfast. For traditionalists, this corner restaurant on the Bowery has buttermilk pancakes and semolina waffles, but the real reason to stop in is the sausage and eggs on a puffy disc of warm dough. Savory options include the Funghi, laden with eggs, mushrooms, pancetta, rich mascarpone and grana padano, while sweet tooths can choose from four pizza dolce; the simple Nutella pie is tasty, but the Ottima, a chewy oval of bread enhanced with creamy ricotta, salty bacon and wild blueberry jam, is divine.
Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E. 7th St., caracasarepabar.com
A wait is almost inevitable at this tiny East Village haunt, but patient diners are rewarded with warm, crispy pockets of Venezuelan comfort food. For the uninitiated, pelúa or a pollo arepa are savory pillows of cornmeal filled with cheddar cheese and shredded beef or chicken. Work your way up to a Mulata, oozing with black beans, mild white cheese, jalapeños and fried sweet plantains, or the Sureña, a spicy combination of chicken, avocado and chorizo generously doused with chimichurri sauce. Wash down your arepas with a cocada (coconut) or camburada (banana) milkshake, but be sure to save room for the melt-in-your-mouth quesillo, a flanlike dessert. •
Late-night nosh (…and by late night, we mean early morning): In the wee hours, your appetite occasionally refuses to make complicated decisions. Enter Corner Bistro (331 W. 4th St., cornerbistrony.com). A West Village institution, this cash-only eatery serves near-perfect burgers (with chili, cheese and bacon) on flimsy paper plates until 4 a.m. The other available options—all under $7—are also sandwiches: grilled cheese, grilled chicken and BLTs. Add an order of fries and a pint of local McSorley’s Ale to quiet your stomach until dawn.