The Barrel Room—Wine and brunch in Manhattan’s only winery

By Danielle Walsh

Picture this: You’re dining at a winery, amid its steel tanks and oak barrels, drinking wines made on the spot, and watching cabs fly by on the busy city street. Cabs? That’s right—you’re not in Napa Valley. You’re at City Winery, Manhattan’s only fully functioning winery. And you’re there for brunch at their wine bar, the Barrel Room.

Oenophiles delight in the list of reds, whites, and rosés on tap, while cocktail lovers are placated with Bloody Marys, mimosas, and other brunchy tipples. Scrambled eggs studded with morsels of peppery pastrami makes for the ultimate hangover helper, especially when scraped up with rye toast. For those who lean on the lunch side, the hanger steak sandwich is a must, electrified with a bracing tomato jam and herbaceous aioli. Don’t overlook the sweets, either: an impossibly creamy olive oil gelato—served with crostini and dried fruit—will blow you away.

... on the side
City Winery has a barrel program where you can make your own wine with an expert winemaker. You choose the grape blend, style, and how full-bodied you want your vino, and end up with about 260 custom-designed bottles.

a little taste
Before you order, the Barrel Room brings over a taste of one of their wines, and it comes in the cutest mini wine glass you’ve ever seen. If you just can’t let it go, check out the Barrel Room’s wine shop, open during restaurant hours. You can take home as many bottles of their wine—and cute glasses—as you’d like.

on the stereo
Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf started City Winery, so the main event space has a daily lineup of live musical performers. The artists’ performances are pumped over the speakers in the Barrel Room, so you can enjoy the music while sipping your wine. And when there’s no show, classy jazz sets the tone.

Medium—expect a more low-key, relaxed atmosphere for brunch; happy hour is much more lively.


dinner: Tue–Thu 5:30 PM–midnight; Fri–Sat 5:30 PM–2 AM
brunch: Sat–Sun 11:30 AM–3 PM
Closed Monday

price range

$3 (side) to $16 (entrée)