Win Son Bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I went to Win Son, a Taiwanese American restaurant in East Williamsburg, many, many years ago, and what I remember is that I don’t remember much about it. I’m sure things were reasonably good, but nothing stood out in a way that made me want to travel back for more. Win Son Bakery, the restaurant’s all-day cafe, on the other hand, grabbed me by the balls instantly. I fell in love with everything that was on my plate. I stuffed myself silly with an egg sandwich, two donuts and a rice roll, all in one sitting. It was incredibly indulgent, but I couldn’t help myself, because the flavors were terrific.

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La Pecora Bianca in Soho

La Pecora Bianca is what I call a “pretty person” restaurant. Like its customers, the restaurant itself is physically attractive, styled to resemble some sort of beautiful sea-green Italian bistro. Its heated outdoor booths are some of the most well-built ones I’ve ever come across. If outdoor restaurant dining becomes a permanent thing in New York, this is the kind you would want in your neighborhood. Sometimes when I’m walking my dog in the cold I’ll pass by La Pecora Bianca and I’ll be impressed by the warmth that emanates from the heat lamps. The crowd is typical of who you would expect from the Soho shopping set – attractive, wearing expensive clothes and day drinking. I didn’t have high expectations for the food here since pretty people restaurants tend to be more style than substance, but I actually had a pretty great brunch at La Pecora Bianca.

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NYC Outdoor Dining – Sunday in Brooklyn

Manhattan is where you grind it out during the week, but Sundays are meant for Brooklyn. Brooklyn is where you go casual and bring your dog and your newspaper to hang out in a park and drink oat milk turmeric lattes. And there is a restaurant that is literally named for this vibe called Sunday in Brooklyn in Williamsburg. It had one of the loveliest dining rooms to brunch in, but now you can catch the vibe on their outdoor patio.

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Gran Tivoli Brunch in Nolita

Gran Tivoli is one of those places that is more of an evening spot, but it’s worth visiting during the quieter brunch hours. The brunch menu is a lot more interesting than the typical pancakes and eggs set list. You have some of that, but there’s also excellent grain bowls and hearty, Italian dishes like pasta and lamb shoulder. So whatever mood you’re in, whether you want to nibble on some charcuterie, or you want to dig into a huge sandwich, there’s something to fit your mood here, and it will taste great.

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Middle Eastern Brunch: Shuka and 19 Cleveland

Middle Eastern food is experiencing a surge in popularity these days, particularly downtown. And like many new-wave ethnic restaurants, the food is more refined and inventive than what you might find in a more traditional restaurant. Two additions to this recent wave of modern Middle Eastern restaurants are 19 Cleveland and Shuka, both of which chose to set up shop in the Soho area. Expect to rub elbows with the trendy, fashion-y types who like their avocado toast with a little sprinkling of za’atar on top.

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