Stylish SoHo is home to some of New York City’s top spots to start the morning. From fabulous French pastry shops to cozy cafés and ultra-chic brasseries, the breakfast and brunch scenes in this neighborhood are among the very best in town. Start the day right in one of NYC’s chicest neighborhoods with a delicious meal (while you feast your eyes on all of the fashionable people around you). Make one less decision before 8am and choose your morning spot from Culture Trip’s list of the best restaurants for brunch and breakfast in SoHo, New York.
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Balthazar is the city’s famed French bistro. Helmed by Keith McNally, it’s the kind of flashy SoHo haunt that slings everything from buckwheat crepes filled with eggs, ham and gruyère to thick slabs of brioche french toast topped with a tangle of applewood smoked bacon. For those looking for something a tad lighter, the teeny to-go bakery attached to the restaurant next door offers a straight-out-of-France selection of viennoiseries, scones, muffins and freshly baked bread.
Breakfast might be the only time you can easily snag a reservation at Le Coucou, the first US restaurant from international chef Daniel Rose. Fortunately, rising early is worth it for the French pastries made in-house and dishes such as a gruyère omelet or fruit-studded clafoutis. During weekend brunch, you can try some of the best small plates from the dinner menu, including the quenelle de brochet in lobster sauce.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
It’s the birthplace of the cronut, yes, but Dominique Ansel has many other delicious breakfast goodies on offer as well. The DKA, Ansel’s spin on a kouign-amann, is a crackly, flaky, caramelized pastry rolled in sugar. There are croissants, milk bread piped with Nutella, quiche and the Perfect Little Egg Sandwich: egg, cheese and herbs squeezed into a mini brioche bun. Seating is limited, but you can always take your pastries to go and station yourself on one of the benches lining Spring Street. If you want to score a cronut, you’ll have to be in line by 6am.
Jack’s Wife Freda
Crowds spill out of the perpetually packed Jack’s Wife Freda on weekends, but the best time to snag a seat (without a protracted wait) is weekday mornings. Inspired by the owners’ family backgrounds, the hotspot serves what they describe as “South African Israeli Jewish grandmother cuisine.” Breakfast options range from a green shakshuka – two baked eggs swimming in green tomatillos – to a plump rosewater waffle lined with Lebanese yogurt, berries and honey syrup.
Breakfast in New York City simply isn’t complete without bagels. From the team behind Carbone and Parm, Sadelle’s leans toward pizzazz when it comes to breakfast: triple-decker towers – similar to what you’d find at high tea – are flush with lox, sable, whitefish salad and a host of bagel accoutrements. The bagels are crisp yet soft and doughy inside. Sadelle’s signature bagel is an Everything 2.0, which includes a smattering of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dehydrated garlic, fennel seeds, salt and caraway seeds. If bagels aren’t your thing, opt for the blueberry pancakes or cheese blintzes.
12 Chairs Cafe
This cozy MacDougal spot rustles up flavorful Mediterranean and Eastern European breakfast dishes. Eggs are the star of the show at 12 Chairs. Choose from a roster of omelets, shakshuka and an Israeli breakfast packed with two eggs any style, Israeli salad, assorted cheeses and dips, as well as orange juice and coffee.
The always charming Café Select specializes in Swiss-style breakfasts, from muesli pancakes to rösti (round, crisp hash browns) and bratwurst. SoHo shoppers fatigued from the morning’s activities can often be spotted sipping tiny cups of coffee or an Aperol spritz at the French-style outdoor tables.
If SoHo has become synonymous with fashion, then the NoMo SoHo hotel is the hospitality version of Manhattan chic. Crystal chandeliers steal the limelight in the upscale restaurant and bar, while all the rooms have large windows and a bright, streamlined design. Breakfast ranges from lemon ricotta pancakes entangled with mixed berries and candied pistachios to banana french toast piped with Nutella.
Housed inside the Roman and Williams Guild, La Mercerie certainly doesn’t seem like a traditional restaurant. Everything inside – from the stylish chairs to the plate your oeuf à la coque is served on – is for sale. Grab a seat in the sun-drenched room or order a coffee and croissant at the kitchen counter to go.
Ladurée is unquestionably famous for its delicate, brightly colored macarons, but the French import hosts an immaculate tea room, complete with a hidden outdoor patio, at its SoHo location. Opt for a prix-fixe breakfast with a mix of French pastries, coffee and hot entrées, or order à la carte. The mini viennoiseries, such as the rose croissant and pain au chocolat, systematically touch down on every table.
To round off your visit, book a stay at one of the best hotels near SoHo through Culture Trip.
Alex Wexelman contributed additional reporting to this article.
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