It’s been one whirlwind of a year fueled by countless Bennys, mimosas, and almond milk lattes. We’ve endured epic New York wait times to try out the hot spots and braved various locales with questionable health department letter grades, all in the sake of brunch. We’ve seen food trends come and go like cronuts, matcha tea, and avocado toast.
It’s been a great first year for Bitches Who Brunch New York and we’re so happy that you’ve been with us for every bite. We proudly crowned our Best and Worst Brunches of 2014 and have now summed up our top brunch bites in the city that never sleeps. Brunch on, Bitches!
Best French Toast: Not only did we give the West Village’s Market Table a coveted A+ review, we also deemed it the best French toast in the city. The orange blossom French toast was topped with blackberry sauce, almond butter, and vanilla cream, and the decadent serving was perfect for sharing with a group.
Best Pancakes: The pancakes at Reynard were thin and light yet fabulously decadent with the creamy topping. We enjoyed our flapjacks at this relaxed restaurant despite being a trendy hotspot housed in a trendier hotel situated in the trendiest Brooklyn hood.
Best Eggs Benedict: Our favorite entrée at Colonie, a quaint Brooklyn Heights restaurant with seasonal, local fare, was easily the biscuit Benedict, featuring a crispy house made biscuit, smoked ham, poached egg, and a unique, creamy Hollandaise. Other Benedict renditions tend to use softer biscuits, but the texture of this crispier version contrasted with the softness of the egg made this dish a standout.
Best Grits: Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s acclaimed Harlem eatery, Red Rooster, is worthy of the hype for its excellent Southern-style eats. The shrimp and grits were the best we tried all year with a thick consistency, perfectly cooked shrimp, and a rich, complex salsa verde topping.
Best Biscuits: The Bitches love our carbs so it was tough to deem a winner for best biscuits. Jacob’s Pickles in the Upper West Side specialized in biscuits, beer, and pickles and is worth the wait. The biscuits were warm and fluffy, complemented by fresh jams, butter, and honey.
Best Breakfast Sandwich: With all of our brunching, we’ve sampled a lot of sammys, but Café Cluny’s breakfast club sandwich undoubtedly came out on top. It’s served with fried egg, bacon, tomato, avocado, and spicy mayo, so it’s a glorified BLT with egg, and everything you could ever need in a breakfast sandwich. Don’t come here without ordering this.
Best Bloody Mary: Montmartre, the first French restaurant in the Little Wisco empire, has a variety of Bloodys and the unique Bloody Caesar hit the spot. It contained vodka, oyster, and shrimp and was spicy with a trace of ocean flavors.
Best Mimosa: Miss Lily’s, a Jamaican joint with locations in Greenwich Village and the East Village, has a great affordable bottomless deal on top of some of the best jerk chicken in the city. The One Love champagne cocktail combined bubbles and passion fruit for a unique take on a mimosa that wasn’t too sweet.
Best Avocado Toast: Avocado toast has been taking the New York City brunch scene by storm and our favorite was at The Fat Radish in the Lower East Side. The avocado toast was served on 7-grain toast with eggs drizzled with hot sauce, giving the dish an extra kick. The eggs were served soft-boiled instead of the usual poached, the avocado was seasoned to perfection, and the spicy eggs added a special element to a classic.
Best Eggs: Maialino deservingly won our Best Brunch of 2014 title and the scrambled eggs were a crown jewel. The Cacio e Pepe, a soft scrambled eggs dish with Pecorino cheese and black pepper, was inspired by a top pasta dish at the restaurant and was cooked and seasoned to perfection.
Best Lox: Russ & Daughters Café, spurning from the iconic Russ & Daughters delicatessen, specializes in classic Yiddish fare such as smoked fish, bagels, and caviar. We particularly enjoyed the Pastrami Russ, which contained pastrami-cured salmon, Muenster cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, and a pickle served atop a soft pretzel bun.
Best Brunch Pastry: Andrew Carmellini’s Lafayette in NoHo is absolutely charming and its various pastries can’t be missed. We sampled the boulangerie basket, which featured a selection of assorted pastries and bread from the bakery including chocolate and plain croissants, whole wheat carrot muffins, apple cinnamon muffins, and date and pecan bread. Best of all, you can even grab them to go with a coffee from the takeaway counter!
Best Doughnut: The pork belly doughnut at North River immediately caught our eye and we likened it to the breakfast version of an Ippudo pork bun, which is a big deal. The bizarre salty sweet combination totally worked and we’re still dreaming of this doughnut.
Best Brunch Salad: The kale salad at Northern Spy Food Co. has a cult following and with reason. It’s served with cheddar, summer squash, almonds, Pecorino, and two baked eggs. It was so simple and far from fancy, but the flavors were perfect together.
Best Beignets: Beignets deserve their own category for we Bitches with a sweet tooth. Our top pick is the beignets with Nutella and raspberry at The Little Owl in the West Village. These balls of airy dough, sugar coated exteriors, and sweet sauce were cooked flawlessly and so soft that we were tricked at first into thinking the beignets were stuffed with a light cream filling.
Best Fried Chicken: The chicken biscuit at hip Williamsburg diner Pies-N-Thighs was delicious, but the star of the show was the hearty slab of fried chicken smothered in housemade hot sauce and honey butter.
Best Croque:We’re certified Francophiles and love a good Croque Madame or Monsieur, especially to sop up a hangover. The Croque Madame at Buvette was presented beautifully, with melted cheese oozing between two pieces of toasted bread and covered with a generously sized egg and a mouthwatering portion of extra thinly sliced prosciutto. Talk about a breakfast sandwich.
Best Breakfast Pizza: Isa in Williamsburg is famous for its wood-oven pizzas and the breakfast pizza did not disappoint. This beauty of a dish was served with a runny egg, Fontina cheese, pancetta, and salsa verde. It was satisfyingly greasy and we couldn’t get enough of the smoky, crispy crust.