For the Francophile:
42 Grove St., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-255-3590
Eggs frothed with an espresso machine’s milk-steaming wand and draped with prosciutto; a deconstructed Belgian-waffle “sandwich” (call it le lumberjack); a croque monsieur to end all croque monsieurs—this is brunch at New York’s only gastrothèque, a word coined by chef-owner Jody Williams. She also has a knack for inventing detail-perfect, transporting atmospheres from plain cloth—or in this case, the shell of the original Pink Tea Cup.
For the Egg Obsessive:
157 Second Ave., nr. 10th St.; 212-539-1900
Here is a Sunday brunch that’s everything you might hope for from Wylie Dufresne, the man who once confessed a love of eggs so great that he’d like to pour hollandaise over his head, then rub it all over his body: pizza bagels topped with tiny slices of “pepperoni” fashioned from egg yolks. Bacon-egg-and-cheese gyoza. And pastrami hash with poached eggs so gorgeously rich and creamy it must be tough for Dufresne to resist the urge to massage them into his scalp.
For the Thai-phile:
7 Spring St., nr. Elizabeth St.; 646-370-6650
Uncle Boons pulls off the neat trick of creating the illusion that Thai people actually do brunch. The new menu is short and sweet and effortlessly brunchy. The pat kra pow, a short-rib stir-fry with jasmine rice, eats like a chile lover’s dream of steak and eggs. The kai kaeng kiew wan is a green-curry eggs Benedict with roti instead of a Thomas’s English muffin. And the condensed-milk toast, listed inconspicuously under “sides,” is simple but transcendent.
For the Tapas-crawler:
El Comedor at El Quinto Pino
401 W. 24th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-206-6900
The recent expansion of this standing-room-only tapas bar might be the best thing to happen to Spanish brunch since the tortilla española. With the new room comes an extravaganza of eggs (scrambled with sea anemone; fried with chorizo taquitos and crushed potato chips; a Ciderhouse cod omelet), plus the formidable El Doble, a double Idiazabal-cheeseburger, garnished with cornichons and “salsa especial.”
For the Carbivore:
95 Commercial St., nr. Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint; 718-389-0640
Chief among the charms of this Middle Eastern–inflected oasis: Every bun, pastry, and pie is baked in-house and exceedingly delicious. This applies to the warm, flaky, sesame-seed-flecked snacks chef Sara Kramer stuffs with cheese or lamb; to the flatbread anchoring scrambled eggs, pickled peppers, chickpeas, and red Russian kale; and especially to the wildly fragrant cardamom sugar bun, which puts the average cinnamon roll to shame.