Brunch in New York is a time-honored tradition, from Manhattanite Sex and the City enthusiasts to Brooklyn’s extensive hipster population—because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good brunch? For those of us who spend our weekends outside getting sweaty, there’s nothing better than a pre or post-workout meal with friends, and there are a few spots in New York City that are worth a visit.
1. Turnpike Cafe
If you're mountain biking in Queens at Cunningham Park, you're just a few blocks away from the Turnpike Cafe, a casual kosher eatery in Queens. After some miles on the trail, you will have earned the Frech toast, which is made with challah bread and toppped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Too much sugar for you? How about the house speciaty shakshouka. That's two eggs poached in a tomato sauce with garlic and cilantro and served with a salad. Or enjoy one of the many omlettes, paninis, or wraps on the menu.
2. Rapha Cycle Club
If you want a bit more upscale and are thinking about coffee and a croissant before, during or after your road ride, then the Rapha Cycling Club in Lower Manhattan is the weekend hotspot of choice. You’ll be surrounded by dudes with much more expensive bikes than you (regardless of how expensive your own bike is), so be forewarned: you will be jealous. And you will want to buy some of Rapha’s pricey cycling gear while you’re there. Stick to the croissants and you won’t drop a ton of cash, but go for a jersey and expect your credit card to smoke a bit. But the coffee is fantastic, and the staff is top-notch. They're friendly to a fault and capable of chatting about whatever kind of cycling you’re into, from Tour de France gossip to muddy cyclocross in the park. Not feeling a full hangout? Stop at Stumptown Roasters nearby for a quick coffee and pastry—the coffee is incredible.
3. The Edge Harlem
If you’re running in Riverside Park along the Hudson and you’re uptown, The Edge Harlem is an excellent choice. At the Jamaican/British spot, you can start with one of the island brunch classics on the menu, including the jerk chicken and waffles or the plantain-crusted crab cakes. Shrimp and grits is also a favorite. If you're more interested in the English side of things, there's also a savory pie of the day to help you refuel, and a Jamaican take on fish and chips made with basa fish and a coocnut batter.
If you spend a morning running in Central Park or you’re out for a casual cruise on the Hudson River Greenway, stop for a gourmet sandwich at Wichcraft if you need something filling, fast. The sandwiches are works of art crafted with tons of tasty, fresh ingredients. It’s not a food truck sandwich—this is gourmet. Plus, in the summer when the path along the Hudson is sweltering, Wichcraft is always pumping the AC, so you can cool off between or after interval sets.
5. The Diner
For a special occasion brunch—after a friend’s birthday run along the Brooklyn Bridge, or a Sunday morning bike date perhaps?—The Diner in Williamsburg is a decadent, delicious, hip way to enjoy brunch. You can order mimosas or excellent coffee, Eggs Benedict or amazing blueberry pancakes. There’s dimly lit bar seating that makes you feel like a James Dean style badass or more family-friendly booths and tables. Of all the places we’ve mentioned, this is the most intimate and definitely the fanciest. You’ll want to wear your nicer workout gear, or make a quick change before going in, because while the ambiance is laid-back, your sweaty workout gear may make you feel slightly out of place.
Written by Molly Hurford for RootsRated.