Perhaps better known for their dinner, La Contenta in Manhattan’s Lower East Side actually has a pretty awesome and authentic mexi-brunch offering. That means you can still get a table relatively quickly, at least for the time being, compared to some of the other “hot” NYC brunch spots.
Located in a cozy space that could double as someone’s living room, La Contenta has a chill vibe that is perfect for a first date (or the hundredth), solo eaters, or catching up with a good friend. Though it has several tables, it’s a smaller restaurant so groups larger than four are probably better off elsewhere.
It was just two of us and we opted to sit at the bar to watch the magic happen. The Bloody Marias were well worth the wait as we watched the bartender craft each with the utmost care. Savory and spicy, these bloodys were just the thing to start us off.
Speaking of starters, we immediately opted in for the handmade guac because you can never have too much guac. It was probably my favorite part of the meal, not because everything else wasn’t good but because the guac was so fresh and smooth and flavorful that I could have made it my entire meal. The freshly made chips were warm and crispy, yet delightfully flaky. I normally don’t care much about chips, but these were notable.
For entrees, there were some tough decisions. We went with the Chilaquiles and the Huevos Divorciados, a satisfying mix of fluffy eggs and melted cheese and homemade salsa. The chilaquiles were very good, albeit a little dry and could have used a bit more of the delicious tomatillo salsa. The Poblano Benedict and Torta de Milanesa de Pollo also caught our eye and those will likely top the list to try on our next visit.
If you’re in the LES (or looking for an excuse to be), we recommend checking out La Contenta— you’ll be more than content with your choice!
Overall: 4 out of 5 hearts
Address: 102 Norfolk Street (between Delancey and Rivington)
Brunch Hours: 11am – 4pm Saturdays and Sundays