Best Power Breakfasts in NYC

April 12, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

Take your business breakfasts to the next level at one of these morning power scenes in NYC, where you just might see a mogul or two dining at the next table.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
French · West 60s · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

“Jean-Georges style” extends to its “less formal” but “still stellar” front dining area, known for “superlative” New French fare and “on-point” service in a “smart” setting with a “lovely” terrace; “substantial savings” over the main room include a prix fixe lunch that’s “an outstanding deal.”
Ai Fiori
Italian · West 30s · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

A “Michael White triumph” on the second floor of the Langham Place Fifth Avenue Hotel, this “classy” Italian delivers Riviera-inspired dishes, including “sublime” pastas, via a “polished, unobtrusive” crew; the “glamorous” setting feels “so magical” , you almost don’t mind the “astronomical” tab, especially if it’s a “special occasion.”
Maialino
Italian · Gramercy Park · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

“Danny Meyer does things right, as usual” at this “love song to Rome” overlooking Gramercy Park, where “sublime” farm-to-table Italian fare and “stellar wines” come in “delightful” , “buzzing” digs via a “welcoming” pro staff; scoring a reservation can be “challenging” (though the “bustling” front bar welcomes “drop-ins” ), and while prices run “high” , at least “the tip is included.”
Locanda Verde
Italian · TriBeCa · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.2

“Energetic” is the word on chef Andrew Carmellini’s “grand-slam” TriBeCa Italian offering a “delectable” , all-day menu to a “swinging” clientele basking in its “trendiness factor” ; despite an “overcrowded” , somewhat “frantic” scene at prime times, reservations can still be “hard to get.”
Norma's
Brunch · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

“Lavish” breakfasts and brunches are the specialty of this Midtown American in the Parker Meridien, where the “memorable” morning fare arrives in “large, easily shareable” portions; no kidding, the tabs are “out of this world” (e.g. that $2,000 frittata) and it’s a “bit of a tourist factory” , but it's still a “highly recommended” experience.
Balthazar
French · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.1

Keith McNally’s “legendary” SoHo brasserie “still delivers the goods” with its “magnifique” French fare ( “blissful” breakfast, “oh such wonderful” breads) and atmosphere straight out of “Belle Époque Paris” ; it’s “always buzzing” with “locals and tourists alike” , plus a “celebrity or two” , meaning the “tight quarters” can be a “madhouse” – but that’s part of what makes it “a New York classic.”
Sadelle's
Bakery · SoHo · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.3 · Service 3.9

The Torrisi crew has “rocked the brunch world” with this SoHo “scene” , an “ode” to “classic” Jewish appetizing appreciated for its “lux” towers of house-cured smoked fish, “fresh-from-the-oven” bagels, “to-die-for” sticky buns and more; the “airy space” becomes candlelit and “less crowded” at dinner, when the menu switches to seafood and European specialties.
The Breslin
British · NoMad · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

“Haute comfort food” reigns at April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s “NY version of an English pub” in the Ace Hotel, dishing up “elevated” , “unapologetically hearty” fare (including a “perfect” lamb burger) to the “hip throngs” ; despite a surplus of “attitude” , most find it “worth” the “steep” bill.
Michael's
American · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.2

“Media titans” and other “heavy hitters” collect at this “classy” Midtowner that’s known more for its breakfast and lunch “power” scenes than its “fresh” , “premium-priced” Californian fare and “pro” service; “relaxed” dinners come “without the hot crowd” , but there’s always the “lovely” room’s “fresh flowers and art” to look at.
The Mercer Kitchen
Eclectic · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.2 · Decor 4.1 · Service 3.8

Ever “chic” , Jean-Georges Vongerichten's “still buzzy” SoHo vet in the Mercer Hotel is touted for “enjoyable” Franco-American cooking offered in “dimly lit” subterranean digs; despite some “snobbish” ‘tudes and “pricey” tabs, the “great location” and “models-’r’-us” vibe keep it ever “bustling.”