Lower Manhattanites can count on the Spaniard as a go-to for after-work drinks, and a great burger. In fact, it’s our spot when we want a beer and a burger, or if a girlfriend on the prowl needs a bar packed with cute boys at happy hour. So, it’s good for burgers and men—but how’s the brunch? We went to find out.
The Spaniard is a cozy, pub-style ambiance with a menu full of beers and elevated bar food. At brunch, the ambiance is bustling: lively, but not overwhelming. It’s a great place to go with a group — especially a hungover group, since it’s super casual.
We cozied into a high top. The service on this particular day was fast, efficient, and friendly, despite the restaurant’s busy tables. Our waters and coffees arrived swiftly, and our drink orders taken.
Despite being known mainly for beer, the Spaniard has a solid bar program, and the offerings at brunch are enticing. The Orange Whip with vodka, OJ, milk, and crushed ice will no doubt have fans among the basic Bitches. The Oat Milk & Honey, with oat whiskey, honey, espresso, oat milk, and crème de cacao, and the Irish coffee are great, boozy pick-me-ups for the coffee lover.
We ordered a few cocktails, opting to go green with a green juice and the Tomatillo Bloody Mary, as well as the Paloma mimosa, which sounded too good to pass up. There are thee types of juices available: orange (orange and tangerine), red (pear, ginger, carrot, beet), and green (cucumber, spinach, lime, ginger). The green juice was refreshingly sweet and smooth—it was easy to drink, as many green juices often are not.
The Tomatillo Bloody Mary was surprisingly great, with cucumber, lime, jalapeño, cilantro, and a rosemary steak salt rim. It was like a spicy cucumber Bloody Mary with a smooth but more tomatillo-forward with a cilantro garnish.
The Paloma mimosa was a bubbly, light confection of Champagne, grapefruit, and tequila with a salt rim. I can see us having one too many of these on a late afternoon brunch.
The menu is a mix of salads, small plates, sandwiches, and enticing brunch dishes like a salmon eggs Benedict, sweet potato hash, and chilaquiles. We started with avocado toast and chia seed pudding, classically basic and healthy brunch options. The Spaniard offers a surprising amount of healthy options at brunch, including kale and chickpea salads, chia seed pudding, and green juices.
We like to know where our food comes from, so we were pleased to read that the Spaniard only sources cage-free, grain-fed eggs from happy chickens at a family farm in upstate New York.
The avocado toast was served on a thick slice of fluffy, fresh white bread, which made it exceptionally challenging to cut through, despite having a corrugated knife and being on a cutting board. It was a simple, clean, and fresh presentation of avocado toast, with the avocado mashed rather than sliced.
The chia seed pudding is the perfect light and healthy appetizer to share — plus it’s dairy-free. The almond milk seed pudding was rich in flavor, and was paired with a coconut granola. With fresh mango on top, it came together for a smooth and creamy tropical flavor.
The brunch sides are hearty and enticing, with hand-cut fries, thick-cut slab bacon, and seasonal fruit all on the menu. After much deliberation, we went with the fries. We just couldn’t turn them down knowing how good they are at dinner.
The breakfast sandwiches are a must-order at the Spaniard. The egg and cheese is served on a massive, gorgeous house-made biscuit that would make any Southerner proud. The sandwiches comes with an egg, cheddar cheese, and pickled jalapeño, and you can add bacon, sausage, or avocado should you choose.
The brunch burger is equally impressive: Spaniard’s famous burger, topped with an egg and served on an English muffin for a nice brunch-y touch. The English muffin was absolutely delicious, but the burger meat could have been a bit better. The burger is topped with a fried egg, avocado, bacon, and cheese.
Served in a skillet, the steak and eggs was the perfect portion of protein and vegetables — gorgeous, thick cuts of medium-rare New York strip, fried eggs, roasted tomato, avocado, and chimichurri sauce. It’s a great dish for those who are hearty but healthy eaters and want to stay carb-free.
Speaking of carbs, the cinnamon French toast is a do not miss — and perfect for sharing with the table for dessert. Served on a wooden cutting board, the thick blocks of brown bread didn’t look like much, but the accompanying butterscotch maple syrup made the dish. The thick, creamy, butterscotch sauce and toasted pecans turned what would have otherwise been an average bread into a delectable, seasonal dish we couldn’t resist.
The Bitches say: 4 champagne flutes
The Spaniard serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. (212) 918-1986