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bloody mary on the dock l ©  Karyn Christner/Flickr
bloody mary on the dock l © Karyn Christner/Flickr
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The Top Brunch Spots In East Harlem, New York City

Picture of Candice Mcleggan
Updated: 8 November 2016
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but busy New Yorkers don’t really want to stay home and cook, do they? Not really. Luckily, there are more than enough places to get a great brunch. Sometimes it’s great to start the day with a cocktail to go along with that tasty dish. The trendy neighborhood of East Harlem has its share of brunch hot spots, so here are some of the best that the area has to offer.
Mmm... brunch l © jeffreyw/Flickr
Mmm… brunch | © jeffreyw/Flickr
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Amor Cubano

Amor Cubano offers not only great food but also drinks and music. This restaurant is one of the most popular in this culturally diverse neighborhood and serves up a traditional atmosphere of real Cuban cooking with a hip and trendy touch. If you’re not too full after the delicious food, feel free to enjoy live music and dance the calories away.

Amor Cubano, 2018 3rd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 996 1220

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Earl’s Beer And Cheese

Earl’s Beer and Cheese doesn’t sound like a place to go for brunch, but don’t let the name fool you. Earl’s is a great choice for cheese lovers. There are all kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches, each with a little twist. You can try the Calabro mozzarella grilled cheese with miso mayo, pickles, and potato chips on an English muffin or the New York State cheddar grilled cheese with pork belly, kimchi, and fried egg on sourdough bread. It’s a cheese lover’s dream!

Earl’s Beer and Cheese, 1259 Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 289 1581

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La Shuk

Take a break from the traditional brunch and indulge in some tasty Mediterranean fare at La Shuk. Of course, there’s hummus, but each dish is so much more. For example, there is the La Shuk breakfast platter with scrambled eggs with feta, assorted eggplant salads, hummus, smoked salmon, tabouli, and pita bread. If you’re not the adventurous type and want to play it safe, this restaurant also has the sweet option of challah French toast with mixed berries or the maple almond granola brunch (plain yogurt with honey and mixed berries).

La Shuk, 1569 Lexington Ave, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 289 0089

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Cascalote Latin Bistro

If you’re a big fan of Latin cuisine and a cozy setting with a family-based staff, East Harlem offers another great spot with an extensive brunch menu, Cascalote Latin Bistro. On Saturdays and Sundays, there’s brunch offering everything from soups to starters to large plates. They even have a section of their menu dedicated to brunch tacos, available in an array of options, including veggie. For a larger plate, try the Cascalote version of eggs benedict, roasted crab cakes with sautéed spinach, guajillo hollandaise, and poached eggs. This is definitely not a place for the bland!

Cascalote Latin Bistro, 2126 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 351 6574

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If you’re looking to not only feel fancy while brunching but also eat fancy, then ABV may be the hot spot for you (and your instagrammable pics). With the exception of the brioche French toast, ABV’s brunch menu options are savory with a healthy dose of Southern-inspired delights. There are a couple of biscuit sandwich combinations, with the highlight being the fried chicken tender biscuit with pickles and spicy mayo (it comes with home fries and an arugula salad), plus there are biscuits smothered in sausage gravy with two eggs, home fries, and chives. Try the chicken liver mousse, and choose one of their select brunch wines.

ABV, 1504 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 722 8959

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Nocciola Ristorante

Nocciola Ristorante, with its relaxed and traditional Italian vibe, is the perfect place for your brunch favorites, but with an Italian touch. The omelettes are flavored with basil, wild mushrooms, parmigiano, and white truffle to name a few, and there are classics available like steak and eggs and three types of eggs benedict. Nocciola has a hefty wine list and draught beer choices as well.

Nocciola Ristorante, 237 E 116th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 559 5304

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Prime One 16

There’s been a decline in great places that offer an unlimited amount of drinks to go along with a great meal, but luckily, Prime One 16 gives brunch-goers something to smile about. If you’re looking to have more than one or two drinks, this restaurant has a $40 pre-fixe menu that includes an appetizer, an entrée, and your choice of unlimited sangria, bloody marys, or bellinis for two hours. If you’re not sure how much you will drink, these drinks are only $5 a piece during brunch time, which is great for those on a budget. A highlight from the entrée menu is the fried chicken and waffle sliders!

Prime One 16, 2257 1st Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 590 2187

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Champignon Cafe

Known for their desserts, Champignon Cafe is a comforting, family-friendly place to start your day. There’s an extensive selection of sandwiches, bagels, and spreads, including a tofu spread or sun-dried tomato and basil cream cheese. If you’re looking for a heavier option, there’s more than enough sandwiches, paninis, and wraps for vegetarians and meat lovers alike; plus, there are all kinds of delicious soups, such as lobster and crab bisque and green split pea, to make the meal complete. Champignon has over 10 kinds of brownies and bars plus cookies and cakes. Add a specialty drink and you’re good to go.

Champignon Cafe, 1389 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 987 1700