NY: The best cheap places
A bacon-egg-and-cheese on a roll is a Saturday late-morning standby, but the righteous brunchtime subs at this beloved Carroll Gardens market-café are a welcome upgrade from that bodega classic. We’re talking Balthazar ciabatta loaded with scrambled eggs, salty Cabot cheddar and arugula, or a Taylor pork roll with American cheese on a Martin’s potato bun, delivered straight to the cozy dining room. And a New York brunch isn’t complete without bagels: Here they’re hand-rolled by Park Slope’s Bagel Hole and jacked with Acme whitefish, Samaki organic lox and Ben’s cream cheese.—Christina Izzo
The Creek and the Cave
For a chill dining experience filled with burritos, tacos and fantastic huevos rancheros, visit this Long Island City restaurant and comedy theater, which houses two stages and a separate dining area. At each table you’ll get unlimited tortilla chips and homemade salsa. Check out the patio or the downstairs bar and performance space, which hosts a variety of acts. The kitchen serves all kinds of savory Tex-Mex standbys, but for a twist, try the “yoga” burrito (avocado and fresh goat cheese) or the seafood burrito (fried shrimp or fish with wasabi sauce).—Evelyn Derico
> Long Island City
This dinner-focused spot opens its doors to the daytime crowd for a weekends-only $15 prix fixe. Coffee plus one cocktail is included with each entrée—choose from hearty favorites such as banana-bread French toast or smoked-salmon breakfast pizza—or upgrade to bottomless booze for just $14 more. Even if you’re recovering from late-night shenanigans, the atmosphere has the perfect amount of bustle without being annoying. Sit near the entrance for a front-row seat to the live-music duo, performing soulful acoustic covers of Hall & Oates, Michael Jackson and Jewel.—Jessica Lundgren
This Southern-accented breakfast-only abode has no parallel in Billyburg or beyond—which means you can expect a bit of a wait to get seated. Once you do get in, perch on mismatched chairs at a paper-covered table (crayons are provided), wake up at a leisurely speed to the old-time folk music on the sound system, and scarf down a cheap meal that may include eggs Rothko (a slice of brioche with a hole in the middle that accommodates a sunny-side-up egg, all of which is covered with sharp cheddar) or a terrific country-ham biscuit sandwich. If you must have dessert at breakfast, finish with a bowl of caramelized grapefruit and mint.
Come for the huevos rancheros (and the biscuits and the cheese grits), stay for the Bloody Marys. Okay, stay for three or four Bloody Marys: Enid’s has one of the best around, garnished with an olive and a mothereffing caper berry. Though there’s often a crowd, the staff kindly provides free coffee while you wait—and McCarren Park is right around the corner, so once you’ve got a good buzz going, you can decamp for the grass and catch up on some sleepy time in the sun. (Random eye-candy bonus: cute bartenders!)—Carla Sosenko
Jack’s Wife Freda
Israeli-born Maya Jankelowitz met her South African husband, Dean, while working at Balthazar, and the patrons at their charming, sunlit Soho nook look like holdovers from that late-breakfast bastion—i.e., tiny-waisted ladies who brunch, and the men who love them. But the Jankelowitzes’ café offers Jewish-tinged bites as warm and comforting as anything your bubbe ever made you: rosewater waffles with Lebanese yogurt and honey, and the hard-to-pronounce but easy-to-eat green shakshouka (eggs baked in a chili- and cumin-spiced tomato sauce). With one (or three) refreshing cantaloupe mimosas, chowing down next to hoards of lithe brunch ladies ain’t so bad after all. In fact, it’s pretty damn great.—Christina Izzo
Delectable two-bite tacos—available anytime—are the main draw at this Mexico City–style Williamsburg staple, but the brunch menu is every bit as crucial. Spring for sauce-drenchedchilaquiles (green or red), huevos toluqueños (scrambled eggs with chorizo and soupycharro beans) or egg-stuffed enfrijoladas (described on the menu as “brunch’s version of enchiladas”). Any of these options pair exceedingly well with La Superior’s signature beverage, the spicy-sweet marvel that is the tamarind margarita.—Hank Shteamer
Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for: Grateful Brunch. Each weekend, Gowanus’s go-to seafood haunt spins tunes by jam-band icons the Dead while serving delectable, super soft lemon-and-ricotta pancakes, hot-sauce-spiked chicken and waffles, smoked-trout omelettes and more. The nautical decor, lack of lines out the door and friendly staff make for a decidedly laid-back and stress-free experience—especially for a spot that does brunch this damn good. And best of all? There’s nary a hippie in sight.—Tim Lowery
A peaceful respite from Soho’s shopping-bag-toting hordes, this light-filled Nolita bar feels especially welcoming during daylight hours, when it’s scarcely populated and gives off a friendly neighborhood vibe. Its cheap but filling dishes—try the chicken and waffles, or the salad of shaved brussels sprouts and bacon lardons topped with two perfectly poached eggs—leave you cash to spare for expertly crafted cocktails. The daily special of tequila, lime and blood-orange jam is eye-openingly tart.
This bottomless-booze brunch spot in the East Village is well known, and for good reason. The atmosphere is fun (and by that we mean it can get a little wild), the food is good, and there’s outdoor seating when the weather is nice. For $26.95, patrons get an hour and a half of Bloody Marys, mimosas or white sangria. Menu favorites include thick-cut French toast with fresh berries, the Poco Benedict and a truffle mushroom omelette. Be prepared for a long wait during peak hours, and make sure your party is all there or they won’t seat you. And bring cash! —Tazi Phillips