NEW YORK CITY — After an enchanting date, there’s nothing like waking up in bed next to your partner and wondering: to brunch or not to brunch?
Getting out of the house can be the best way to avoid a stale conversation. But where can you go to avoid an old lover or a rowdy group of friends? Will it take forever to get your food? Will you fail to impress with your mediocre restaurant choice?
"I like to pick a place by the subway for an easy escape," one 30-year-old active dater and Williamsburg local said, "or a place that's like a bar-feel still, to make things less awkward."
"I always order us a dish to share, like fries. If she's down to split it, you know it's a good connection," his friend chimed in during one recent Saturday evening roof party. Both men declined to give their names to avoid revealing their secrets to their potential future brunch partners.
DNAinfo.com New York has some suggestions for brunches the morning after, whether you’re seeking a quick getaway, a cheap but charming gesture, or a classy post-date date, lubricated with cocktails.
Address: 14 Bushwick Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Hours: Brunch starts at 11:30 a.m. on weekends
Good for a morning after brunch because: This cozy Italian eatery is considered a great date-night spot in Williamsburg — and for brunches, the understated brick façade on Bushwick Avenue helps you feel you’ve discovered a real local gem. Whether you dine at one of the small space’s indoor tables, at the bar or in the back courtyard, you’re instantly removed from the street and free to brunch in peace.
Best to eat: Customers rave about the frittata ($7), which features three ingredients of your choice, including mushrooms, prosciutto, red peppers or smoked salmon. If you’re more in a dinner-food mood you might opt for the linguine with eggplant and ricotta cheese ($9), or sweet tooths can nibble on brioche French toast with caramelized apples ($8). A prix-fixe menu is also available for $14.
Address: 180 Franklin St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Hours: Brunch runs 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. on weekends.
Good for a morning after brunch because: A casual spot where you can get brunch first thing in the morning or roll out of bed in the late afternoon, Brooklyn Label near the Williamsburg waterfront offers a relaxed environment for first-time morning-after munchers or for longtime couples. The classic options suit vegetarians and carnivores alike, and the comforting brick walls and big windows can ease awkward interactions.
Best to eat: Locally baked Greenpoint challah French toast is a sweet option to share with your brunching partner ($10), or you can get the "green eggs and ham" with spinach and either bacon or tempeh ($12 or $14). For a light brunch special you might try the jicama orange salad ($9) or for a savory brunch special the "Green Points Benedict" is Brooklyn Label's version of eggs Benedict served with sweet Polish bread ($13.75).
Address: 111 W. 17th St., Chelsea, Manhattan
Hours: Brunch starts at 11 a.m. on weekends.
Good for a morning after brunch because: At the higher end of the spectrum, Crema in Chelsea offers a stylish meal with bottomless mimosas, in an airy space made for festive brunches. The upscale Mexican eatery draws dates, parties and people from all over the city for its cuisine, and is the place to impress a new special someone.
Best to eat: The seafood dishes are popular, including the tuna burrito and the octopus ceviche, or for the sweeter side you might try the French toast with citrus syrup and bacon. Any of these dishes come as a brunch special for $19, with unlimited coffee and mimosas.
Address: 132 W. Houston Street at Sullivan Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Hours: Brunch goes from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
Good for a morning after brunch because: If you want to keep things festive and high-energy (with plenty distractions from potentially flat conversation), the high-class Jamaican diner Miss Lily’s in SoHo offers reggae tunes, seafood dishes and décor bursting in bright colors.
Best to eat: The Jamaican breakfast ($18) is an explosive combination of saltfish, callaloo, fruit and plantains, or you might try the classic jerk chicken salad ($14) or jerk pork belly hash ($13).
Address: 769 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Hours: Brunch is offered 12 noon to 4 p.m. on weekends
Good for a morning after brunch because: If you met in a bar and feel most comfortable continuing with that theme, Harefield Road in Williamsburg offers just that. The Metropolitan Avenue bar only does food during weekend brunches, but beware — there is almost always a wait to dine at the affordable local joint.
Best to eat: The classic dishes include eggs Benedict, omelettes and chicken Caesar salad, all for a fixed price of $12 which includes coffee and a cocktail.
Address: 189 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Hours: Go whenever you like, since the spot is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
Good for a morning after brunch because: If you know your special new friend is strapped for cash, you might swing by Williamsburg’s Bagelsmith and then head to McCarren Park to bond over a low-maintenance, yet satisfying, meal. Walk up to the counter at the Lorimer Street joint (or the Bedford Avenue location), and within a few minutes you’ll have your sandwich, salad or pastry in hand.
Best to eat: Bagels of every flavor are always on the menu, as are egg sandwiches and a full pay-by-weight salad bar. A bagel with plain cream cheese is just $1.95.
Read more neighborhood brunching stories here.