Brunch is one of our favorite meals only because it starts late, happens on a weekend, and may include a little morning aperitif. The Upper West Side has some of the best spots for gathering the posse on a Saturday or Sunday before an afternoon in Central Park, or the American Museum of Natural History. The following Upper West Side brunch spots are sure to please your palettes. Let’s eat!
570 Amsterdam Ave (between 87th and 88th Streets)
Most known for their generous oyster happy hour, the Mermaid Inn delivers during brunch hours too. Try their fluffy Greek yogurt pancakes served with powdered sugar, bananas and strawberries. Or the beer battered shrimp po’ boy (pictured below). This bad boy is served on a grilled brioche bun and served with lettuce, tomato and tarter sauce. Popular brunch cocktails include their house bloody Mary made Tito’s vodka, and The Fresca, made with hangar one mandarin, st. germain, lemon & soda.
45 West 81st Street (between Central Park West and Columbus)
Bottomless sangria. OK, got your attention, didn’t we? Brunch is served with a Cuban/Latin twist so expect entrees to include traditional ingredients of the culture, like Pico de Galle, avocados, salsa, and chipotle. Expect the “most amazing” rolls with passion fruit butter when seated, and then have fun choosing from eight sangria selections. But, as their menu advises (under “house rules”), to drink slowly as they pack a punch. Gotta try it! Calle Ocho will also be participating in Winter 2019’s NYC Restaurant Week!
Amelie Wine Bar
566 Amsterdam Ave (between 87th and 88th Streets)
This sleek French wine-bar opened towards the end of 2017, and has gotten nothing but positive reviews ever since. Amelie’s brunch comes with a free mimosa, and top picks include their lamb burger, pictured below, as well as a delicious ravioli stuffed with Comté and cottage cheese and poached with butternut squash, shiitake chips and sage brown butter. You can also choose from a variety of eggs and omelettes, a meat and cheese plate, and their warm pistachio crusted goat cheese ball.
Here’s the original post we wrote when Amelie Wine Bar first opened.
201 West 79th Street (corner of Amsterdam)
Here we have another top-notch chef with a coveted “3-star” review from the New York Times. And “best chef 2003” award from New York Magazine! The graduate from Culinary Institute of America has certainly made his mark, and how lucky is the UWS to have him. This neighborhood French spot has tasty food and a stunning interior. Rave reviews for its food, service and a not-too-bad wait time. The spicy lamb sausage scramble with tomatoes, onions and cream caught our eyes. Listed on the menu is “cure 81 ham,” which we found out means that it’s extra, extra lean, and cut in a spiral. The things we learn! Nice Matin is located in the Lucerne, one of the nicest hotels on the Upper West Side.
313 Amsterdam Avenue (between 74th and 75th Streets)
One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Manhattan. It’s a cute and cozy spot with lots of rustic charm. Their espresso is strong but smooth, they make amazing egg-sandwiches and paninis, and their prices are extremely fair for the location. The owners are also extremely friendly and accommodating. I’ve been to Piccolo Cafe for every meal of the day!
509 Amsterdam Ave (between 84th and 85th Streets)
The expansive brunch menu at Jacob’s Pickles offers moist biscuit sandwiches, both breakfast and lunch style, bakery items like their famous chicken and pancakes, and tempting sides including their buffalo mac and cheese. To wash it all down they’ve got a nice long beer list with great brews from around the country. And their lists of spirits and cocktails is impressive to say the least.
541 Amsterdam Ave (between 86th and 87th Streets)
The ultimate Jewish deli in NYC puts you in the mind of an endearing Mom and Pop establishment. It’s fairly small with neutral colored walls. It almost reminds you of the 70’s. It’s a Jewish deli that is known for its smoked fish. If you’re not able to have a sit down and eat at the establishment, the humble deli offers online ordering (although they do not accept credit cards…which oddly is in line with their aged aesthetic). So, if you have some cash on you, Barney Greengrass is a place you should definitely check out.
476 Amsterdam Avenue (corner of 83rd Street)
The ultimate place to bring your dog. Fred’s is a classic Upper West Side bar and restaurant, and a very charming place to eat. The owner is a really nice guy and he frequently shoots the breeze with the regulars. His staff are really nice as well. They have a prix-fixe brunch menu for $18.95, which includes a house bloody Mary, bellini or mimosa (or you can get a juice or coffee instead). Some popular brunch picks include their Huevos Rancheros and burgers.
Be sure to visit Fred’s for dinner as well and get their mac and cheese!!
Ella Kitchen & Bar
249 Columbus Ave (between 71st and 72nd Streets)
This Mediterranean restaurant specializes in small and shareable plates. Their brunch menu includes some yummy egg dishes like their Ronda Eggs (pictured below): poached over grilled filone, with olive oil, tomato sauce, red peppers and fresh basil. Also choose between several omelettes and eggs benedicts, guacamole tartare, and a $21 bottomless brunch which includes bloody mary’s, mimosas, cavas and bellinis.
More interested in a liquid Sunday? Here’s our list of the best BOOZY brunch spots!