- 202 Café
75 Ninth Ave., 646-638-1173
Abhorred by the chefs who cook it and the waiters who serve it, overrun by Times-toting diners willing to endure hour-long waits to O.D. on cholesterol and carbs, brunch tends to disappoint. Not at 202, the jaunty café inside Nicole Farhi’s Chelsea Market boutique, where English chef Annie Wayte fuses a seasonal spirit, a global pantry, and the best of British cuisine (no, that’s not an oxymoron). A “Full English Breakfast” translates into poached egg over toast with first-rate bacon, juicy pork sausage, and candy-sweet roasted cherry tomatoes. (Order it with a latke-like disc of bubble and squeak.) Baked beans are sweet and insidiously spicy. Irresistible English-via-India chicken curry is served with fresh grape chutney and fragrant basmati rice, and the fish and chips are spot-on. The coffee is strong and smooth, the preserves are homemade, and the elegantly composed salads—should you choose to go that un-brunchlike, un-British route—are far from an afterthought.