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Published on July 9th, 2012 | by Dipsology


Best Brunch Cocktails

Boozy brunch is New York institution.  For those of you equally focused on the booze as the brunch, this list is for you.  The classic Bloody Mary’s are here, of course, but we’ve also included some not-so-standard choices, as well as a few key food recommendations.  We hope you enjoy.  And, as always, please let us know what you think in the comments below!

A cozy place on 1st and 1st (the nexus of the universe), they do a killer brunch: think sausage and oysters, huevos rancheros and a fried Monte Cristo sammie.  We recommend coming hungry – and thirsty! – and sampling as much on the menu as possible.

Who: Whoever you woke up next to, or 1-2 choice friends (not a good place for larger groups, see note on When below)

What: Chicago Matchbox Bloody Mary, which comes with a veritable garden of pickled veggies and a beer chaser.  Also, their champagne cocktails are great.

When: Brunch served from 10am-3:30pm on weekends.  Get here early because as of 12pm there is a 1.5-2 hour wait, yes, even for parties of 2.

Where: 54 1st Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue

Pro tip: If you can’t peel yourself out of bed in time, get yourself on the list and head down the block to Bluebird for some coffee and a muffin to tide you over.

Make sure you take the full tour of this LES destination to take in the requisite antlers, stuffed pheasants and dioramas.  Grab a seat at the bar while you wait for your table and get the liquid part of the meal started early.

Who: Erstwhile bed partners, groups of friends, chic out-of-towners

What: Freemans cocktail.  Rye, lemon, egg white.  It’s a fantastic way to start the day.

When: Brunch is served 10am-4pm on weekends. There can be a long wait, so earlier is better, but they since are open til 4 you can also come on the later end and sneak in before the kitchen closes.

Where: End of Freemans Alley off Rivington Street between Bowery and Chrystie

Pro tip: Order the artichoke dip. No matter what else you get (and the poached eggs, tomatoes and grits are very good), get this too.  You can thank us later.

View Freemans’ full profile and menu

This west side outpost of the East Village staple is pint size but delicious.  A long bar runs the length of the room, with small booths along the wall.  Cuisine is refined Southern – think fried chicken and waffles, and don’t forget to save room for the Pecan Fig Pie.

Who: Significant other, small groups of friends

What: Crosby Collins.  A twist on the classic Tom Collins, this one is made with gin, Cocchi Americano, lemon and topped with soda.  A refreshing way to start the day.

When: Brunch served Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday til 6pm.  They aren’t super packed – yet – so for the moment you can be relaxed about timing here.

Where: 70 Prince Street, at the corner of Crosby

With their killer selection of bourbon and whiskey Char No. 4 is a go to spot for locals, and definitely a reason for Manhattanites to get on the F train and head to Cobble Hill.  Their down home comfort food and cozy atmosphere don’t hurt either.

Who: The large booths are great for a larger, rowdier group when brunch is less about recovering and more about starting (or finishing!) the weekend off right

What: Chipotle bourbon Bloody Mary with housemade pickle.  Trust us.

When: Brunch is served 10am-3:30pm Saturday and Sunday.

Where: 196 Smith Street, between Baltic and Warren

View Char No. 4’s full profile and menu

Andrew Carmellini’s kitchen is serious – and the pies are famous.  Make sure you are appropriately lubricated to appreciate them.

Who: Good for groups, including out-of-towners and family

What: Aperol Fizz. Brueckelen gin, Aperol, Lillet, passionfruit, tangerine, Cremant.  This Fizz mixes bitter with citrus with sweet to create an easy cocktail that’s a nice alternative to the perpetual mimosa or bellini.  Added bonus: Brueckelen gin is made in New York, so you’re also supporting local business.

When: The wait here is usually not so bad, plus they take reservations!

Where: 131 Sullivan Street at the corner of Prince

Pro tip: Get the breakfast sandwich with homemade bologna.  It’s the real deal.  Also, the fried chicken and honey-butter biscuits.


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