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Eat and Drink

Brunch restaurants in NYC offering up multicultural meals

New York City is diverse -- shouldn’t your brunch be too?

If you’re looking for variety in your brunch beyond Eggs Benedict, French toast and coffee, step outside your comfort zone this weekend and explore a different type of cuisine. There’s a whole world of options out there, from Portuguese to Jamaican to Thai fare.

These seven options are a good start to mixing up everyone's favorite weekend meal.

Sizzling sisig at Pig and Khao

If the clever name doesn't draw you in,
Photo Credit: Pig and Khao

If the clever name doesn't draw you in, the Filipino- and Southeast Asian-influenced brunch menu at Pig and Khao, 68 Clinton St. in Manhattan, most definitely will. The sizzling sisig (pictured) -- pork and spices topped with a whole fried egg -- is easily the most attractive item. Other popular options include the bahn xeo, a Vietnamese fried pancake made with rice batter and turmeric powder and stuffed with shrimp and bacon, and the sizzling corned beef hash, which is similar to the sizzling sisig but marinated with Thai chili.

Pig and Khao also has an extensive beer, wine and cocktail menu that features standard drinks, like bottomless mimosas, alongside more Southeast Asian-inspired alcoholic beverages like the Bangkok Fire made with whiskey and Thai chili-infused honey.

Chicken piri-piri and waffles at Lupulo

Spice up your mid-morning at Lupulo's Saturday and
Photo Credit: Lupulo

Spice up your mid-morning at Lupulo's Saturday and Sunday brunch with chicken piri-piri and waffles (pictured), chef George Mendes' Portuguese take on the classic Southern comfort meal. In true piri-piri fashion, the poultry here is grilled -- not fried -- with a spicy marinade and served with buckwheat waffles and a small side salad. The fried eggs with linguica, Portuguese smoked pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika, is another appetite-filling option that comes with toast and hashbrowns. Need some booze to get you through the morning after? At Lupolo, 835 Sixth Ave., in midtown, you'll also want to try the namesake Bloody Mary, with house-made piri-piri Bloody Mary mix (seeing a pattern?), or the Sagres, a lager named for a small coastal town in southern Portugal.

Ackee and saltfish at Miss Lily’s

You haven't had an authentic Jamaican breakfast until
Photo Credit: Miss Lilys

You haven't had an authentic Jamaican breakfast until you've tried Miss Lily's ackee and saltfish (pictured), a hearty Caribbean meal that's both sweet and savory. In most preparations the ackee, a lychee-like fruit native to tropical countries, and saltfish are boiled together with sauteed onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices. At Miss Lily's -- in SoHo at 132 W Houston St. and the East Village at 109 Avenue A -- the dish comes with sweet plantains and steamed cabbage.

Choose from various other uniquely Caribbean brunch options including the coconut pancakes or Jamaican rancheros -- sunnyside eggs, plantain chips, stewed peas and ranchero sauce. For $35, diners can get their meal of choice with two hours of unlimited cocktails.

Middle Eastern eggs at Cafe Mogador

Middle Eastern cuisine is probably the most popular
Photo Credit: BelleSavransky/DIA-NEW-YORK

Middle Eastern cuisine is probably the most popular option when it comes to multicultural brunches. Many restaurants across the city have tapped into this trend, but Moroccan-themed Cafe Mogador, 133 Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg, really does it best. As expected, eggs and hummus feature heavily on the menu; the Middle Eastern eggs (pictured) are a great go-to option and come with sides of hummus, tabouli, Arabic salad and pita bread. For something more hearty, the Mogador burger, topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles and served with fries, is a deeply satisfying option. Cafe Mogador has a second location at 101 St. Marks Place in the East Village.

Ichiju sansai at Okonomi

Leave all your preconceived notions about brunch at
Photo Credit: Okonomi

Leave all your preconceived notions about brunch at the door and try something completely different at Okonomi, a menu-less Japanese breakfast place at 150 Ainslie St. in Williamsburg. The meals here are served in a Japanese style called ichiju sansai, a set meal consisting of rice served with miso soup, roasted fish, vegetables and an egg. Everything is cooked in hot water, or roasted without butter or oil. Customers can choose from a daily selection of fish prepared four different ways. Other than that, everyone's meal is pretty much the same, following the Japanese tradition of a healthy and balanced diet. Breakfast at Okonomi is served every weekday until 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays until 4pm.

Dosa waffles at Paowalla

Many things come to mind when we think
Photo Credit: Paowalla

Many things come to mind when we think of Indian food, and brunch might not one of them. At Paowalla, 195 Spring St., discover what a true South Asian meal looks like before noon with dishes like the Bombay wada pao, fried potato sliders with mint and tamarind chutneys, or the eggs kejriwal, Indian "brunch toast" topped with eggs, cheddar cheese and coconut chili chutney. The menu also includes some wild fusion options like dosa waffles (pictured), made with rice batter and served with jaggery syrup and pineapple. Round out your meal with some stuffed paratha, freshly baked naan or roti, and a sampler of three different chutneys for the table to share.

Habesha breakfast at Bunna Cafe

You won't find meat or dairy at Bunna
Photo Credit: Anders Ahlgren

You won't find meat or dairy at Bunna Cafe, a vegan Ethiopian restaurant located at 1084 Flushing Ave., right on the edge of Bushwick, but the brunch here is so delicious you might not even notice. The Habesha breakfast (pictured) is a well-balanced meal that consists of duba firfir (crumbled flatbread cooked with squash and spices), kosta (sauteed swiss chard), butecha (a vegan scramble of ground chickpeas, onions, peppers and spices) and cashew milk yogurt.

For cocktails, choose from exotic-sounding drinks like the Shai Correnti, made with Ethiopian spiced tea and bourbon, or the Melkam Maracuja, made with rum, sage shrub, passion fruit and turmeric. Bunna means "coffee" in Amharic, and its an integral part of Ethiopian culture. Stick around long enough and you may witness a coffee ceremony where the beans are ground up in front of customers and served for free.


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