Where Miami Meets Manhattan


On weekends, you can find me here.

Calle Ocho does not mess around when it comes to boozy brunch.

You know a brunch place is serious when you are immediately presented with house rules. When they immediately place a basket of delicious, freshly-baked latin breads in front of you and ask you which sangria you would like to have first.

Here are their rules (from their website):

  1. Please enjoy one glass of sangria at a time. Don’t worry, there is plenty more where that came from!
  2. Complimentary sangria is served during the course of your meal, not forever (unfortunately!). If that last bite of burrito has been sitting on your plate for 3 hours, you’re kind of toeing the line of “forever”.
  3. If one person gets cut off, so does the rest of your table. So please ask your boyfriend to save his awesome tabletop dancing skills for another day.
  4. Management reserves the right to discontinue serving any patron at any time. (Boring, we know. Our lawyers made us put this one in.)
  5. Sangria is served in 20oz glasses, so don’t be sad if you don’t get to all the flavors. We still think you’re a champ!
  6. No sangria is allowed outside the restaurant.
  7. Please don’t forget your children here. We WILL put them to work.
  8. We encourage our guests to enjoy a fun, leisurely sangria brunch, but please also be mindful of our additional reservations. Your fellow brunchers would also like to enjoy the sangria (and perhaps a bite to eat).
  9. Please drink responsibly.
Bread Basket | Free

I’ve been to Calle Ocho four weeks in a row. I’ve ordered the same thing at Calle Ocho four weeks in a row. I’ve been more than happy with my food, drink, and service at Calle Ocho four weeks in a row.

It is really rare to find a boozy brunch that has high quality (READ: non-watered down) drinks, complimentary delicious bread baskets, consistently good food, and attentive customer service. Calle Ocho manages to provide all three despite a huge dining room, a free-for-all bar area, and a reservation list booked at least a month or so in advance.

Fresas | Free/Unlimited

Calle Ocho has a list of eight sangria to choose from–four reds and four whites, listed from sweetest to least sweet. I would recommend sticking to either red or white if you plan on making it through the rest of the day without a massive headache (besides, with four options for either, you have more than enough to choose from). My personal favorites are Fresas, Spanish Harlem, and Roja.

Vaca Frita | $23

As I mentioned earlier, I have ordered the same thing at Calle Ocho for four weeks straight.  Why you ask?

Because it’s delicious.

I mean, look at that, how would you not want to eat that every single time? The menu describes the dish as “Cuban skirt steak, Latin pork fried rice, avocado, fried eggs.”

I can assure you that there is no better combination. The tomatoes and onion underneath the avocado serve as a pico de gallo that pairs well with the rice and steak. The rice, egg, and meat go perfectly together, and provides just enough food to soak up the ridiculous amount of sangria you’re going to digest.

Ropa Vieja con Huevos | $21
Sorbets (Guava, Passion Fruit & Coconut Ginger) | $6

The Ropa Vieja is the dish my friends always seem to order. Something about a fried egg, avocado, crispy sweet potatoes with a ropa vieja hash seems to speak to them. I can assure you that this dish is equally delicious.

Pudín | $8

However, despite all the delicious food and drink that Calle Ocho brunch offers, the one thing I had not tried before was dessert.

Our fantastic waitress presented us with the dessert menu, and I immediately knew what I had to order–the bread pudding while my coworkers went with the sorbet.

I tried both, and clearly, I picked the better option.

I knew Calle Ocho wouldn’t let me down.

Have a favorite boozy brunch in New York? Share your recommendations below!


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