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Where to Brunch on New Year's Day in NYC

December 15, 2017 - by Merrill Lee Girardeau
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The first day of the new year can feel like an extension of New Year’s Eve. After partying all night, you might wake up groggy and gross, and all you want are pancakes and Bloody Marys. You’re not alone. Plenty of New York restaurants offer brunches on January 1, with menus full of hearty food and killer cocktails to set your brand new year straight. Book a table now; they’re filling up fast!

Society Cafe

Society Cafe  

An elegant dining room with a fireplace and a skylight, Society Cafe is aptly named. Its food, especially on the brunch menu, is surprisingly hearty and perfect for your tired and hungry party. Order up some olive oil pancakes and a frittata with goat cheese for your late-morning fix. Among the many brunch cocktails, go for the Laura Palmer on name alone. 52 W. 13th St., 212-300-4525,

David Burke Kitchen

An interior view of David Burke Kitchen.

Get yourself a carafe of Soho Bloody Marys at your New Year’s brunch when you come to David Burke Kitchen. A fine Soho spot known for its unique presentations of food, order the bacon, if only because it comes pinned to a mini-clothesline. You might also like the standout Kitchen Burger, lobster toast, or Donut Egg Sammies (That’s eggs sunny side up between halves of a donut, and they’re more than a little fantastic). 23 Grand St., 212-201-9119,


Local, seasonal, and always yummy, Almond will treat you to a perfect New Year’s brunch. Go for the Almond Hash with poached egg, potato, and duck confit, or a classic Croque Madame. Want something on the sweet side? Order the ricotta pancakes with huckleberry, and you’ll forget last year entirely. 12 E. 22nd St., 212-228-7557,

Red Rooster

Red Rooster

photo: Facebook

Perhaps Restaurant Row’s most storied member, Red Rooster is a New York treasure in Harlem. With some of the best soul food anywhere, you’ll have the gold standard in brunch this New Year’s Day. Whether you’re feeling some legendary chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, or fried chicken with collard greens and sweet potatoes, you’ll find it all in spades. You’ll hear live music, too! 310 Lenox Ave., 212-792-9001,

Toloache 50

Shrimp tacos, fish tacos, brisket, carne asada, grasshopper tacos… If you remember nothing else about Toloache, remember these tacos. Trust us, they’re some of the finest in the city. Toloache’s beautiful, two-story dining room in the Theater District provides a relaxing environment for you to tuck into your tacos and tequila. They also make a mean margarita, if you can pick among the many flavors! 251 W. 50th St., 212-581-1818,

Rock Center Cafe

Rock Center Cafe

photo: Facebook

Look out over the Rockefeller Plaza skating rink as you enjoy a special New Year’s brunch at Rock Center Cafe. $45 buys you a three-course prix-fixe meal, including appetizer, entree, and dessert. Try the fresh kale salad to start and the falafel burger with spicy chips as a main. Although the New York cheesecake is pretty tempting, we’re having the Valrhona chocolate mousse for dessert (and not sharing!). 20 W. 50th St., 212-332-7620,

Lillie’s Victorian Establishment 

With olden objects crowding the walls, Lillie’s gets an A in atmosphere. It also just happens to serve an affordable brunch! $18 gets you a drink and entree. A Bloody Mary with an avocado BLT, or a Stella with Eggs Benedict, or a white wine with farro salad. Check out their funky Theater District location this New Year’s Day. 249 W. 49th St., 212-957-4530,

Dos Caminos

Dos Caminos

We know they serve bottomless brunch cocktails at Dos Caminos, but all we’re interested in is the bottomless chips! Try them with the trio of salsas and some guacamole to start. Follow those with a trio of bocaditos (small plates) and the Tour de Tacos. Both of these dishes allow you to sample multiple dishes on one plate as you enjoy the beautiful lantern-like fixtures lighting up Dos Caminos’ Madison Square Park location. 373 Park Ave. S., 212-294-1000,

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