We know Eggs Benedict is a New York City brunch staple. Even if we're too drunk at brunch to the point where we don't know exactly what a hollandaise is, we know what the dish itself calls for.
If you never knew the eggciting origins of the finest brunch cuisine around, the story of Eggs Benedict is probably more fascinating than you might expect.
The much consumed brunch staple dates back to the early 18th century, where Pope Benedict XIII obsessively requested the particular eggs and Hollandaise combination so much so that it inherited his name.
Another version of its origin comes from 1894, when stock broker Lemuel Benedict ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a side of Hollandaise” while he was brunching at the Waldorf Astoria.
They were so taken by the dish that they added it to their regular menu, but paired it with ham and English muffins instead.
No matter where it started, this decadent dish should be celebrated properly. So we’ve mapped out the best places to score some Eggs Benny in NYC.
1. Inwood Bar & Grill (4892 Broadway)
Up in the low 200’s lies the often-overlooked neighborhood of Inwood, an almost suburban area at the foot of the University Heights Bridge. Only a block away from the 207th stop on the A line is the area’s most recent hotspot, Inwood Bar & Grill.
Their boozy weekend brunch offers an interesting twist on the classic plate. You can stick with the classic Benedict or get their Florentine variation with spinach, artichokes and red peppers or the juicy Steak Au Poivre, adding in a New York Strip Steak with asparagus and peppercorn.
2. Queens Comfort (40-09 30th Avenue - Queens)
For this kitschy Astoria eatery, the type of food you’ll find here is right in its name. Rich, down-home feel-good favorites are tossed up with new flavors and cooking methods, and their Eggs Benedict are among their coolest creations.
With a NOLA kick, the "King Creole Benedict" layers fried tilapia and Cajun-seasoned shrimp to their eggs and Hollandaise between two slices of Cornbread.
Their gut-busting "Breakfast Lasagna Benedict" piles on breakfast sausage, bacon, spinach, tomato and mozzarella for a more Italian-inspired creation.
3. Kellari Taverna (19 West 44th Street)
Here at Kellari, a bigger brunch is certainly a better brunch. This authentic Mediterranean bistro makes you feel like you’ve walked right into a Greek market, complete with very noticeable fresh fish and produce displays besides the airy, wood-accented dining area.
Their three-course prix fixe brunch menu, nicknamed their "Big Fat Greek Brunch," features an oversized version of the decadent dish with a heaping side of flavorful french fries. Along with it comes a window of bottomless booze too. What’s not to like about that?
4. Colonie (128 Atlantic Avenue - Brooklyn)
This rustic eatery in Brooklyn Heights brings a number of innovative ideas and dishes when it comes to what they serve up fro brunch. Grab a seat up against the exposed brick under the chic white hanging lights and get your taste buds ready.
The finger-licking "Biscuit Benedict," their version of the celebrated egg special, used a buttery biscuit to house their poached eggs, smoked ham and potatoes before the smother it in creamy Hollandaise. Trust me. You’ll be using your napkin plenty.
5. Bouchon Bakery (10 Columbus Circle)
Nestled in a scenic space on the third floor of the Time Warner Center is the acclaimed Bouchon Bakery, a quaint brunchers delight with an amazing view of the budding greenery around Columbus Circle and Central Park South beyond it.
Their classic Eggs Benedict is impeccably served with crispy toasted English muffins, fluffy poached eggs, strips of flavorsome ham and topped with their house-made Hollandaise sauce. If you’re a fan of the original, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
6. Rabbithole (352 Bedford Avenue - Brooklyn)
Tumble into the wonderland of Williamsburg to experience a Victorian-themed eatery that Lewis Carroll would feel right at home in. Adorned with antique looking glasses and hanging candle chandeliers, it’s a vintage excursion through and through.
Head outside back to their quaint secret garden and get a plate of their more floral Eggs Benedict, which uses a fluffy herbed biscuit with spiced bacon to compliment the usual poached eggs and Hollandaise. Just try to keep your head on after that first bite.
7. Lovely Day (196 Elizabeth Street)
If you thought Thai wasn’t much of a brunch cuisine, you’re not alone. But the chefs at the quaint Lovely Day, a Nolita spot with budget-friendly food that thinks way outside their main cuisine’s usual bubble, mixing Thai with American flavors and favorites.
Part Thai, part American, all kinds of flavorful, the "Lovely Day Eggs Benedict" serves up the usual poached eggs and Canadian bacon with a Thai tie-in, a ginger potato hash brown that is alone worth getting the celebratory selection.
8. Mike’s Diner (22-37 31st Street - Queens)
Right off the colorful and bustling Ditmars Blvd sits a 24/7 Astoria staple that locals have been fans of since 1928, solidifying it as one of Queen’s most beloved food authorities. And the breakfast here certainly shows it.
Among its extensive breakfast and brunch offerings, Mike’s offers an interesting West Coast take on the dish with their "California Eggs Benedict," a lighter offering of turkey, avocado and sliced tomato atop the eggs and creamy Hollandaise. Que fresco![Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]