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. Red Lantern Coffee and Bike Shop
If you’re riding anything resembling a fixed gear or a singlespeed, or if your tattoos are visible in your running shorts, you’ll be right at home at Red Lantern Coffee and Bike Shop. It’s a little on the grungy side, but in Brooklyn, it’s one of the hippest cycling spots around, and the coffee is freaking fantastic. It’s a great spot to stop after mountain biking over in Queens at Cunningham Park—especially if you need a minor bike repair while you chow down on an awesome sandwich and enjoy a latte.
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: 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. Covo Trattoria
If you’re running in Riverside Park along the Hudson and you’re uptown, I probably don’t need to tell you about Covo Trattoria, since you’ll sniff it out if you’re hungry and running anywhere near it! They’ve got an awesome, big brunch menu, and it’s the perfect spot (with outdoor seating on nice days!) to go to eat with a few of your running friends—and if you really want to earn those Eggs Benedict (so good!), you can run the steps in Fort Tryon or trails at Innis Hill Park before hopping onto the smooth pavement at Riverside and running down.
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.