Picking a place to go for brunch in New York City is a matter of mood and taste. With many options to choose from you can pick your local bottomless brunch dive one weekend, and then pick a burlesque show supper club brunch the next. One thing is for sure, brunch is an indulgent meal that we can’t seem to give up. Our list of brunch experiences vary in options and style –  it’s what makes this city great. 

There are fashionable brunch spots, and then there is JoJo. Named after Jean-Georges’ childhood nickname, JoJo Restaurant offers weekend brunch in an elegant two-story townhouse. The Upper East Side location means you get to dress in your most sophisticated ensemble, while enjoying buttermilk pancakes or eggs benedict. The pretty townhouse has been renovated into a modern venue that somehow still feels friendly and welcoming. The farm to table menu offers dishes using mostly organic and local ingredients, and that includes all the beloved brunch classics. We especially recommend the Sunny-Side Up Frittata with Bacon and the delectable Buratta with Passion Fruit. Come here when you want to escape the downtown scene and have an adult brunch. The perk of brunching here is that you can go promenading in Central Park afterwards. We cannot get enough of JoJo’s for the romance of eating at an Upper East Side townhouse alone. Come here with someone who appreciates architecture and dressing up. 

JoJo, 160 E 64th St (betw 3rd/Lexington Ave), Upper East Side

For an anything but boring brunch, secure your reservation at Duane Park. The only woman-owned burlesque supper club in New York celebrates their 15th anniversary this year. Over the years the stage at Duane Park has seen some famous talent, like Lady Gaga, Brian Newman and Paloma Faith. We were lucky enough to get invited to their Sunday brunch, and truthfully we are still raving about it to our friends. Stepping in, the first thing you notice is the elegant interior, designed by English Artist Paul Etienne Lincoln. The stage features Italian hand printed wallpaper, a rising platform and even an aerial hoop. 

First, make sure to free up your afternoon because brunching here means you stay for at least two hours. The food is eaten before the show and this is also when the anticipation happens. The room was buzzing with excitement, and perhaps from being served excellent libations. We ordered the mouth watering Red Eye Steak Hash, made with filet mignon, potato hash and fried eggs. The food was filling but we made room for dessert. The cocktails here are excellent, being Moulin Rouge being our favorite.  Once the show began we were satisfied and ready to cheer on the performers. The high-energy fun includes a mix of singers, contemporary ballet, cabaret, comedy and live music. The unbelievably talented singers and bands performing at Duane Park are as much of an attraction as the burlesque dancers. The highlights of the show were performers like Bryona Ashly, a penthouse centerfold, and a Hungarian aerialist, Laszlo Major. Do yourself a favor and visit this beloved NYC staple. Bring someone who loves to have a good time. Walking in from the sunny streets and choosing to daytime drink here is unlike any other experience in the city. 

Duane Park, 308 Bowery (betw Houston/Bleeker St ), East Village

Whether you need to cure a hangover or desire a boozy brunch, Pineapple Club aims to please. The East Village bar and restaurant allows you to forget about the world and hang out in a tropical-style atmosphere, featuring two levels and a sunny atrium. The space feels like a hidden gem because from the outside you might never guess how spacious it is. Brunching here means enjoying plenty of light, plush velvet seating and two bars. As one might suspect, Pineapple Club is known for their festive pineapple wallpaper and excellent cocktails. Their world-class cocktail program, created by owners Nazar Hrab and Travis Odegard, is the highlight of visiting Pineapple Club. They take their drinks seriously, using homemade juices and bitters that sometimes take days to perfect. For an environmentally friendly touch, the cocktails are served with an agave straw. For drinks we ordered their Bloody Mary cocktail, and can confirm that it is one of the best in the city. If you prefer a slightly less spicy option, we recommend ordering the Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica. The gin and lambrusco, combined with beets and citrus, made a sensuous and light cocktail that tasted healthy.

The brunch menu offers something for everyone. We especially enjoyed the Banana Bread French Toast and Burrata with Pineapple Jam. These memorable dishes will definitely have us coming back for more. This is the perfect spot to meet a friend and linger over cocktails and conversation. We would describe Pineapple Club as our happy place. The service is friendly and knowledgeable. Come here with someone who likes a tiki-style atmosphere and discovering under the radar brunch places. If you find yourself in Williamsburg, the Pineapple Club owners are also behind Bee’s Knees & Honey Lounge in Williamsburg. 

Pineapple Club, 509 E 6th St (betw Ave A/B), East Village

When in the Bryant Park area we often found ourselves searching for the most perfect place to eat. Now the search is over. Heritage Grand Bakery and restaurant, opened by restaurateur Lou Ramirez (who is also behind Maison Kayser, Fig & Olive) is conveniently located just across the street from the historic New York Public Library and Bryant Park. This elegant spot is for fans of truly great bread, Mediterranean-style dishes and French-inspired pastries. Heritage Grand Bakery offers guests a separate cafe, a sit-down restaurant, and an upstairs event space. What drew us to this brunch spot is the fact they use local ancient grains and artisanal milling techniques. The grains come from upstate and are used in a number of their dishes, breads, and pizza. When it comes to the menu, the focus is on healthier foods, using ingredients that nourish. While their Executive Chef, Steve Pereyda, uses health-conscious baking and cooking techniques, the dishes certainly do not lack in flavor.

The brunch menu is not large, but offers very satisfying options. We were invited to come experience at Heritage Grand Bakery and were quite impressed with all of their offerings. Each dish is as delectable as the next. Our favorite part of the meal was the bread (of course,) Margherita pizza, and the Grilled Octopus. Trying a pastry or two is a must. The restaurant provides a cart with a number of options, but the truly great pastries can be found next door at their cafe. We indulged in a freshly-baked and flaky raspberry croissant with jam, rose macaron and a matcha passion fruit eclair. The eclair won us over as a favorite. In fact, we are still dreaming about it. Come here to grab a few items for picnicking in Bryant Park, or have a sit-down meal with friends and family. Bring someone who loves bread and pastries.

Heritage Grand Bakery, 8 West 40th St (betw 5th/6th Ave), Midtown

Corner Bar is literally on the corner, inside the landmarked Jarmulowsky Bank Building and chic hotel Nine Orchard. Although the brunch menu is more extensive, this spot opens at 7:30 in the morning, so you can choose to have your pancakes for breakfast instead. The interior of Corner Bar feels retro and nostalgic. It is a perfectly charming hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. For truly great Lower East Side people watching, snag a table outside. The menu is straightforward and includes items like Eggs and Toast and a Club Sandwich. We recommend ordering the Corner Bar Burger, and pair it with a Bloody Mary cocktail. Brunching here is a simply relaxing experience, but for a more livelier atmosphere reserve your spot for an afternoon cocktail or dinner. Other culinary offerings at Nine Orchard are the Dining Room and Swan Room. Come here if you feel extra fancy or would like to impress a friend from out of town. 

Corner Bar, 9 Orchard St (corner of Allen/Canal ), Lower East Side/Chinatown