With its tree-lined streets, narrow alleys and historical charm, the West Village is an idyllic place for brunch. To guide your path, here are 10 brunch spots in the West Village that our inspectors acknowledged as exceptional.
What It Is: Chef Dan Kluger’s first foray serving up flavorful farm-to-table dishes in a sleek, urban-rustic setting.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Named after the Bronx street that his father grew up on, Loring Place is where chef Dan Kluger serves up delicious, stylistic, and locally sourced Californian cuisine to a downtown crowd. And yet, none of this comes as a surprise as the chef has showcased his talents for years and been the recipient of much acclaim in the city."
What to Order: Pumpkin danish with maple and cream cheese; cheddar waffles and eggs with smoked ham and cherry pepper hollandaise; whole wheat toad-in-the-hole with fried egg, avocado and lime; and a grandma-style pan pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
What It Is: Outdoor seating and rustic charm from the team behind Emporio and Aurora.
What Our Inspectors Say: "The kitchen doles out honest, unfussy Italian rendered with a deft hand and deep attention to ingredients."
What to Order: Eggs Benedict with spicy pork ragu; frittata with sautéed kale, butternut squash and goat cheese; Nutella French toast; ricotta gnudi with radicchio, kale, truffle cream and hazelnuts; and Prosecco on draft.
What It Is: The charming gastrothèque hosts a lively crowd and serves Gallic dishes.
What Our Inspectors Say: "While carb addicts can barely fit into these wee seats, it's worth the squeeze for Chef Jody Williams' famously rustic cooking. Inside, everything comes alive with jazz and chatter."
What to Order: Buttermilk waffle sandwich with sunny-side up egg, bacon, Gruyère and maple syrup; salmon rillettes with butter lettuce and radishes; and fresh squeezed Bloody Marys.
What It Is: Outstanding food in a renovated 1844 townhouse co-owned by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Even a good chunk of years into its charmed existence, it's still the case that one feels very lucky to score a table at Graydon Carter's Waverly Inn—though it's not for the privilege of mixing with the A-List crowd so much as the absolutely outstanding food."
What to Order: Deviled eggs and caviar; pistachio-raisin scones with Vermont butter; pork belly B.L.T.; and grapefruit juice.
What It Is: Joey Campanaro’s cozy restaurant nestled on one of the neighborhood’s most iconic street corners.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Straddling a picturesque corner of the West Village, with a name that could charm the pants off the grizzliest city diner, The Little Owl has a lot going for it. Light pours in from the windows and bright flowers dot the quaint room, while thoughtful service staff ushers you through your meal."
What to Order: Beignets with Nutella and raspberry sauce; pork enchiladas and poached eggs with salsa verde; crispy Cornish hen with Brussels sprout home fries and lemon-sherry jus; and sparkling Negronis.
What It Is: Senegalese chef Alioune Ndiaye has been serving up Provençal cuisine here for over two decades.
What Our Inspectors Say: "At first glance, Le Gigot transports guests to an inviting little family-owned bistro—the kind you'd only find in La Ville-Lumière. The service exceeds expectations with uncharacteristic warmth that brings a welcoming vibe to the nostalgic dining room."
What to Order: Eggs Florentine; bouillabaisse with saffron fish broth, shrimp, scallops, Arctic char, red snapper, calamari, mussels and rouille; omelette paysanne with bacon, onion, garlic and pommes fondantes.
What It Is: Bright, welcoming Philly spin-off serving elevated sandwiches and pastries.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available, with a focus on grains, sandwiches and wickedly good homemade breads. This airy and entertaining corner space is bright and welcoming, with a fully open kitchen and small side counter to view the action within."
What to Order: Sage-black pepper biscuit sandwich with egg, malted breakfast sausage and aged cheddar; avocado tartine with watermelon radish and kale; grain bowl with freekeh, bitter greens, beech mushrooms and sunny side-up egg; and pear cider from the Finger Lakes.
What It Is: Fashionistas and food lovers alike find solace at John Fraser's restaurant serving up refined vegan and vegetarian fare.
What Our Inspectors Say: "The words 'fun,' 'sensual' and 'vegetarian' aren’t always found in the same sentence, but this vegetable-centric restaurant shows what can happen if preconceptions and piousness are left at the front door. This isn’t about abstaining from anything—it’s about savoring."
What to Order: Tofu scramble with black lentils, vadouvan curry and delicata squash; Nix Benedict with homemade thyme muffin, kale sofrito and charred tomatoes; and eggs "freestyle" with malted potatoes, whole grain toast and blueberry jam.
What It Is: Chef/owner Jonathan Waxman’s ode to simple Italian fare inside a chic and airy garage space.
What Our Inspectors Say: "On colder days, the wood-burning oven in the open kitchen provides a focal point in what is a fairly utilitarian space, but one with an appealingly laid-back feel, which is helped along by confident service and a plethora of regulars. The kitchen offers something for everyone, with many of the dishes big enough to share."
What to Order: Frittata with cauliflower, leek and arugula; Crespella pancakes with pear, mascarpone and honey; prosciutto panino on rye brioche and fried egg; and a selection of cheeses fit for wine pairings.
What It Is: Danny Meyer's trendy restaurant housed inside the famed Whitney Museum.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Located by the entry to the popular High Line, the stunning, modern restaurant is a work of art in itself, with lovely floor-to-ceiling windows, sleek red chairs and a beautiful semi-open kitchen. Talented Chef Suzanne Cupps oversees the operations here, and the results are anything but ordinary."
What to Order: Roasted banana squash with stracciatella, arugula and Guajillo chiles; soft scrambled eggs with maitake mushroom ragu; and carrot cake with hazelnut granola and cream cheese frosting.