Everyone undoubtedly has their neighborhood go-to’s, but living in New York City, we have the luxury that the bars, restaurants, and coffee shops on every corner are really, really good.
My boyfriend Robert lives in Williamsburg so quaint, high-quality eateries are a dime a dozen, but recently we’ve added 12 Chairs to our regular rotation. It hits all of my criteria: a well-curated, airy ambiance, healthy options, and a unique Mediterranean-inspired menu.
We’ve enjoyed their big fresh salads for dinners and lunches previously (I highly recommend the Greek salad and the grilled chicken salad), but I was delighted to learn that 12 Chairs also serves breakfast all day long, allowing for brunching seven days a week!
12 Chairs started as a cafe in Soho and now expanded to Williamsburg at the corner of Wythe and S 2nd. On most weekdays, the restaurant is lively but has plenty of seating between the sidewalk tables, main dining room, and bar stools. There’s also a takeout counter to grab coffees and light food items on the go.
We opted to sit at the bar to be by the action and soak up the sun. It took us a good ten minutes to soak in the expansive menu and narrow down our choices. On the breakfast side, there is a variety of omelettes, shakshuka baked eggs, and morning sweets like pancakes and challah French toast. If you’re feeling more like lunch, there are plenty of sandwiches, salads, and hummus platters to choose from.
But first, coffee. I ultimately opted for the Israeli breakfast, which conveniently comes with both coffee and orange juice. I enjoyed an iced coffee with almond milk and gave my OJ to the boyfriend. He commented that the juice was obviously fresh squeezed with the perfect amount of pulp. My coffee was well-brewed and provided the perfect pep in my step to power the rest of my day.
The rest of my Israeli breakfast was quite the impressive spread. It included two eggs any style, chopped Israeli salad, an assortments of dips and cheeses, and fresh bread with veggie cream cheese.
My one hang up was they were unable to accommodate poached eggs, but I quickly got over it once I dug into the fresh Israeli salad. The veggies were lightly dressed and well seasoned, pairing perfectly with bites of runny eggs. I’m also obsessed with dips so I loved having six different spreads to pick at. My personal favorites were the feta cheese, tuna salad, and avocado spread.
Per our friendly server’s recommendation, Robert ordered the lamb burger. His eyes lit up as an impressive towering burger was placed before him. 12 Chairs serves a generous portion of lamb topped with feta cheese, red onions, Israeli pickles, and spicy mayo all inside a crispy bun.
We loved that they kept it simple with the garnishes and let the flavorful meat stand alone. The pickles and onion added a satisfying crunch, and you really can’t go wrong with a slab of cheese. All of flavors melded perfectly together and Robert pronounced that it was the best lamb burger he’s had in recent memory, and perhaps forever.
He particularly thought that the crispy bun made a big difference. It absorbed the burger’s juice, but didn’t become soggy, complementing the dish overall.
The thick cut fries didn’t hurt either. We selected the sweet potato fries and enjoyed dipping them in all of the sauces from my Israeli breakfast. Definitely don’t sleep on a side of fries at 12 Chairs.
I was thrilled that our brunch experience was just as solid as our previous meals at one of our neighborhood staples. It can get rather busy on weekends, and rightfully so, but just grab a cup of coffee and soak in the East River views during your wait.
The Bitches say: A. Delicious, low key Mediterranean-style brunch in the heart of Williamsburg.
12 Chairs serves brunch every day beginning at 8 a.m.