- Photo via Stefano Giovannini/Brooklyn Paper
Last week, after a year of political intrigue and in-fighting, the so-called "War on "Brunch" came to an abrupt end, with a City Council vote getting rid of a decades-old law preventing sidewalk brunching before noon on Sundays. As such, brunch places can now start serving sidewalk diners at 10am.
A bummer for a few vocal Greenpoint residents convinced that sidewalk seating obstructs church-goers, and a victory for just about everyone else. As some of the most beloved outdoor brunching spots in the neighborhood (and as examples of restaurants that actually received summonses for violation of the arcane law), Five Leaves and Lokal Mediterranean Bistro are well worth a celebratory visit. But in the interest of dividing our attentions evenly (and avoiding the lines that inevitably come along with the extra publicity), we've put together a few of the best places this summer where you can sit out front working your way through eggs and a mimosa, unbothered by either God or the NYPD, depending on who you're more worried about. Dressler, you are already sorely missed.
One of the only places in Bushwick where it's not only plausible but pleasant to sit and eat on the sidewalk, Heavy Woods
also benefits from a hearty, never-boring New Orleans-style menu (some of which comes in collaboration with Tchoup Shop)—think deviled eggs, biscuits, crab-okra hush puppies, and excellent po' boys. The platonic ideal of food that should be eaten in the humid summer sun, and washed down with a spicy Bloody Mary.
50 Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick
With a menu that toes the line between traditional pub fare and rotating seasonal dishes (the go-to here still being a grass-fed burger), Hamilton's does everything a neighborhood spot should do in 2013. With a diverse selection of 20 beers on tap and spacious outdoor benches on which to drink them, it's also the perfect place to forego traditional brunch cocktails (or coffee) and branch out into the world of beer at brunch. This is rarely a decision anyone regrets.
2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy., Windsor Terrace
- Photo via A Guy Walks Into 365 Bars
One of the fancier brunch spots in the neighborhood, Le Barricou also sort of has the market cornered on seasonally-appropriate dining, with their cozy indoor fireplace in the winter, and relatively spacious sidewalk seating in the warmer months. If the Croque Madame or Pate Sandwich is a little heavy for this weather, they're well equipped with alternatives—think a spinach and goat cheese croissant washed down with a Kir Royale.
533 Grand St., Williamsburg
As one of the most consistently beloved brunch places in the entire borough, Buttermilk Channel is most definitely not for the faint of heart when it comes to waiting in a long line for your food on a hungover Sunday morning. Well worth it, though, if your consolation comes in the form of hush puppies, popovers, house-made breakfast sausage, or something called a "cheddar waffle." And, who knows, maybe with the new, earlier outdoor brunch hours, lines here'll ease up a bit? One can always hope.
524 Court St., Carroll Gardens
Yellow Hook Grille
We couldn't make it through this without at least one
nod to Bay Ridge. Especially not one with a seating area as huge as the Yellow Hook Grille's, purportedly the largest in the neighborhood (and also one of the largest we've seen, period). Neither the food nor the drinks stray at all from tradition, but then, to our knowledge, no one's ever complained about spending a leisurely afternoon outside, eating steak and eggs and basking in the breeze coming off the water.
7003 3rd Ave., Bay Ridge.Olea Mediterranean Taverna
Fort Greene is pretty well established as one of the better, more scenic neighborhoods for outdoor brunching, but Olea (which, it must be said, is excellent for every possible occasion or time of day) earns extra points for its relatively quiet, removed location on a shady corner of Lafayette. It also earns points for its creative drink specials (often in the form of sangria), and a menu so varied and uniformly quality as to verge on intimidating. If we had to dictate, we'd say start with the traditional Turkish Breakfast, and work your way out from there.
171 Lafayette Ave., Ft. Greene
Pates et Traditions
- Facebook/Pates et Traditions
Much like Olea, Williamsburg's Pates et Traditions stands out in a brunch-saturated neighborhood for its relatively calm, secluded location, in this case on the corner of North 6th and Havemeyer, just far away enough from the Disneyland insanity of Bedford to feel pretty peaceful. It also stands out for being one of the few places we know that truly goes all-out with crepes, which are sorely under-represented as a brunch option. Traditional sweet options are served alongside a more adventurous savory menu, which includes a chicken-bacon iteration called the "Sultan." If that's not something to eat proudly, maybe even smugly, in front of every pedestrian who passes by, I don't know what is.
52 Havemeyer St., Williamsburg
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.