Welcome to the Brunch Directory - a complete list of 250+ restaurants to get brunch in NYC. You could memorize this list so you can tell people you have an encyclopedic knowledge of brunch spots in the city. Or just use it to pick a place for your next midday feast.
We update this guide pretty frequently with new brunches around the city, so check back as soon as you’ve been to every place on the list (or maybe before that). Happy waffle eating.
EAST VILLAGE & NOHO
Yellow Rose is great at any hour, but starting your morning here is like greeting your weekend with a heartfelt blessing. Before you receive your orange tray of excellent breakfast tacos made with fresh flour tortillas at this East Village Texan spot, you’ll hear Willie Nelson playing through the speakers and spot a poster of Dolly Parton glamorously overseeing business from above.
Mama Fina’s is officially named Mama Fina’s House of Sisig. And that’s probably because the sisig here is what you should prioritize. The pork one is our favorite, but they serve delicious chicken and milkfish options as well. They all come served with garlic fried rice and eggs during brunch.
Cathedrale in the Moxy Hotel East Village is probably the only spot on this list where you can eat a goat cheese omelette in a space that feels like a Gothic-style church. The main dining room is huge with vaulted ceilings that make you want to shout just to hear your own echo.
Veselka is a Ukrainian spot in the East Village where you might see people who haven’t yet gone to sleep when you show up for brunch on the weekend. It opens at 9am and there’s usually a wait, because everyone seems to be on the same page about pierogies and matzoh ball soup.
You can think of Atla as a much more casual version of Cosmé. It’s from the same chef, but further downtown, and really more of a breakfast/lunch spot. While it might not be as impressive as Cosmé, it’s still a good place to go around brunch time and share some plates. We like the huevos rancheros, and the guacamole that comes with one giant chip should be on your table as well.
Virginia’s makes one of our favorite burgers in NYC. Even if you’re not a burger-at-brunch person, though, come to Virginia’s for a semi-upscale atmosphere and things like zucchini omelettes and whipped ricotta.
If you want to get pasta for brunch, you can do that at Il Buco Alimentari. But you can also get a basket of pastries here, or a plate of porchetta and eggs. This place happens to be one of our favorite Italian spots in the city, and it’s perfect for brunch with a friend who recently got a raise and wants to humble-brag/celebrate it. Or any other special occasion brunch, really.
Bar Primi is an excellent place for a group of nearly any size, especially since you can make a reservation. So come with your crew and get down with some breakfast spaghetti with pancetta and a poached egg.
If you’re looking for a quick East Village brunch experience, you should go to Smor and order some $9 toasts from the counter here. This Danish all-day cafe makes a bunch of different open-faced sandwiches with smoked fish and really good rye bread, all in a space filled with accent pillows and wood that could be described as “handsome.” Channel your inner (or outer) Scandinavian influencer and you’ll have found your new home.
Uluh is a big Chinese restaurant in the East Village that specializes in fancy, high-grade teas that might involve things like ice cream or ceremonial grade matcha. To go with your tea, there’s a list of very good dim sum and large format dishes that you’ll probably want to overeat. We especially like the pork soup dumplings and the Peking duck with crispy skin. Just be aware that a meal here can get pretty expensive - especially because you’re going to want to try a lot. So save this for a special occasion brunch for people you want to impress, or just for someone who appreciates tea.
This coffee spot has a garden in the back and serves things like huevos rancheros and an avocado sandwich with a fried egg and pickled jalapeños. It’s comfortable, and has a bunch of healthy, vegetarian options. Also - you can get an entree, with coffee and a beer, a mimosa, or juice for $21.50.
We come to David’s Cafe pretty much exclusively for their great burger. It comes with two thin patties, American cheese, spicy mayo sauce, and lots of french fries on the side. If you’re not feeling a burger, they also have a menu of French-ish breakfast options like a croque monsieur and crab cake benedict.
The Smile is a subterranean establishment that serves simple, good food like waffles with whipped cream and a harissa chicken sandwich. They take limited reservations for brunch, so we’d recommend getting here on the earlier side if you don’t want to wait for a table.
If you’re in the East Village and you want an uncomplicated brunch, come here. The menu at Post isn’t huge, and neither is the space. There’s a bar with some stools, a few seats in the window, and one table all the way in back. Don’t come with a group, but if you and a friend are looking to hang out with some biscuit sandwiches, it’s perfect - they do a few different kinds.
Hearth is an East Village go-to for upscale Italian, and has a bunch of kind-of-healthy options (but also pasta). Keep this one in mind for your next special occasion brunch.
An extremely reliable spot whose menu has something for everyone. Westville’s been serving healthy food for a while, and we love most of the things on their menu.
This place gets Southern comfort food right. Biscuits, grits, bacon and waffle benedicts? Check.
A big, impressive French bistro that’s a little upscale and always a great time. It’s somewhat expensive, but that price basically includes the excellent people watching.
Inevitably, there will be a Sunday afternoon in your New York life where, instead of human interaction, you require a big bowl of tonkatsu ramen. Ippudo in the East Village makes some of the best in the city, and it’s an excellent place for you to know about for a solo brunch. There might be a line, but go alone and show up when they open at 11:30am if you really don’t want to wait.
Loud music, a bottomless special, and Latin food. If you’re looking to embark on an afternoon of East Village day drinking, Cafe Cortadito is where you should start.
A barn-in-the-city feel, with a broad menu (pizza, pastas, market veggies, eggs, sandwiches). Vic’s is a good backup spot in the Noho area, especially if you’re confronted with a two-hour wait at Lafayette a few steps away.
An East Village brunch mainstay that’s usually busy, and has good Moroccan dishes.
A fun Caribbean spot that’s somehow just as appropriate for your 7-year-old nephew as it is for your brunch cocktail shenanigans.
LOWER EAST SIDE & CHINATOWN
This Basque spot on East Broadway is ideal for a glass of wine and some pintxos at the bar. But we also like to stop by their cafe in the morning for coffee, sandwiches, and pastries. Ernesto’s cafe has a rotating menu of baked goods, but they usually serve a solid egg sandwich and a roll topped with thinly sliced jamon. The cafe is open every day and works perfectly as somewhere to eat something light with a friend outside.
Pig & Butter
Sometimes, all you want on a weekend morning is a plate of waffles and a three-hour nap. That’s where Pig & Butter on the LES comes in. This Black-owned restaurant offers dishes like a waffle topped with bacon and bananas, fried chicken on cornbread, and a goat cheese omelet with Colombian aji. Plus, this spot on Ludlow Street has a weekday brunch service, so come here when you want to pretend like it’s noon on Saturday when it’s actually 10am on Wednesday.
One of our favorite spots for dim sum, Royal Seafood is perfect for when you want to sit at a big round table with a group. It’s just one massive room on Mott Street, and the dim sum carts circulate slowly sometimes, so be sure to grab what you want when they come around. You won’t go wrong with some pork buns and siu mai, but we especially like the spare ribs.
If there was ever a Lower East Side Eden, Wayla’s backyard would be it. It’s truly glorious, and you should do your best to sit out here in a wire-framed chair and eat things like a Thai crab omelette. We especially like Wayla’s take on the full English breakfast, which is made with their homemade Thai sausage, papaya salad, pork belly, and two fried eggs.
At surface level, Golden Diner in Two Bridges is a classic NYC diner. There’s a pastry display case on the counter, lacey white curtains, and metal stools fixed permanently to the floor. But this isn’t your standard corner diner food - a meal here might involve a club sandwich with chicken katsu and purple cabbage, or avocado toast with turmeric and Thai basil. Even though you can’t make a reservation, and lines on the weekend can get long, know that the food is worth it.
Kopitiam is a counter-service Malaysian cafe that’s perfect for a last-minute brunch with one or two other people. They have a bunch of breakfast options available all day, like Malaysian-style French toast and nasi lemak (with fried anchovies, coconut rice, and a hard boiled egg). There’s also a selection of cakes and sweet rice balls that might change your stance on ordering brunch dessert, provided you were against it in the first place.
Long before the city’s other bagel establishments came along, Russ & Daughters was the original home of downtown Jewish appetizing. It has a cool retro/diner feel, and smoked fish that will likely inspire you to Google “how to cold smoke a fish in your apartment.” It also has ridiculously long waits on weekends. So if you want to beat the rush, get there by 8:30am. We promise their bagel platters and white fish salad are worth it.
If you’re planning brunch with a larger group of friends or family members, this dim sum spot above an old bank in Chinatown is a great option. Everyone can sit at a big round table, and all the dishes (ranging from steamed rice rolls and chicken feet to sweet buns that look like piglets) are relatively affordable.
During brunch, everything here is $15. This is some of our favorite Mexican food in the neighborhood (and the whole city, actually). Order the huevos rancheros or the chilaquiles, and you’ll probably understand why. The only thing you should know: La Contenta isn’t the best for big groups, since it’s about the size of a Little League dugout.
Pig And Khao is where you go for rowdy brunch that will probably be followed by more rowdiness elsewhere, or at least a nap. And there’s bottomless mimosas for $18 (with a 1.5-hour limit). Aside from that, you’ll get really good food like a green papaya salad and sizzling pork sisig. And if you come with someone who just wants French toast, they have that, too.
If you’ve never done a solo brunch, Davelle is a great place to start. This is a small Japanese restaurant on the LES with breakfast and lunch sets involving dishes like toast with red bean paste and fried chicken with rice. Because of the size, we wouldn’t recommend bringing more than one other person here - which will be hard, because you’re going to want to tell everyone you know about it.
The LES has two peak people-watching times: midnight and noon on weekends. Cafe Katja is a great spot to go for the latter. It’s a bright German/Austrian restaurant that feels a little like a tavern in Vienna, with a big bar, beer steins, huge portions of dishes like spaetzle and gulasch, and decorative wreaths on the wall. Come for some bratwursts, or wiener schnitzel that’s served with lingonberry jam on top and a pot of spicy mustard.
“Good, thanks” is how you politely respond to strangers when they ask how you’re doing. It’s also the name of an Australian cafe on the LES where you can get a quick, somewhat-healthy brunch while staring at all the people waiting for tables at Russ & Daughters (which is right next door). A lot of their all-day options are required by law to be on the menu at every Australian coffee shop in the city - think grain bowls, mushroom toast, and smoothies - but there are also some slightly less expected dishes, like a really good plate of kimchi scrambled eggs with scallion labne.
A classic NYC restaurant that everyone needs to experience, and brunch is a great time to do it. This spot is on its own alley, and the waffles and pancakes are great.
A tiny LES neighborhood spot that’s great for watching people sit outside on the sidewalk with tiny dogs in their laps while they try to sip a latte. The food is solid -think toasts, granola, etc.
This dive bar/diner has a total mixed bag of a menu - like kebabs and also nachos. Come with a big group, order a ton of things, and you’ll be happy.
Notoriously horrendous wait times, truly incredible pancakes, and a cash-only policy at brunch. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
Made-to-order dim sum from a place that’s been at it since 1920. It’s smaller than some of the other dim sum spots on this guide, and you can count on a wait.
SOHO, NOLITA, TRIBECA, FIDI
The brunch date is something that should happen more often. It can be a quick meal with eggs and coffee if you’re not sure how things will go, or a big feast if you’re already planning to co-parent a dog with this person in the future. For the latter, head to Kimika in Nolita for Italian-Japanese dishes on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Expect options like a pastry bento box, matcha mochi French toast, and a breakfast calzone stuffed with scrambled eggs and mozzarella.
This American spot in Fidi was at the top of our Best New Restaurants of 2019 list, which should be all the information you need before planning to eat brunch here soon. Some of the impressive dishes on their dinner menu are also available on weekend mornings, but this way, you can enjoy them, along with the floor-to-ceiling windows here, during the day.
If you’re looking for a good bagel below Houston Street, there’s always Sadelle’s or Russ & Daughters - and those are both great choices. But do you really have an hour or two to wait for brunch? If not, go to Baz. It’s a little bagel spot in Nolita that looks like a vintage diner (but with tropical wallpaper and a portrait of Barbara Streisand), and you can get a good, chewy bagel covered in lox or a huge amount of whitefish salad here. There are also things like eggs and latkes, if you need something more substantial.
Do you have some out-of-towners you need to impress? Or do you just want to grab a semi-fancy brunch at a place with a view of the East River and giant mural of a sea monster? Go to The Fulton. It’s a big two-story spot in the Seaport with some excellent seafood. Start with the octopus, then get some fish and chips or go for the burger. Or if you’re the type of person who treats brunch like it’s breakfast, get some scrambled eggs with lobster. Make a reservation to be safe, but if you forget to do so, know that it usually isn’t too hard to get in here at brunch.
Hole in The Wall is an Australian cafe in Fidi where you can sit down and eat some avocado toast, an acai bowl, or some waffles with whipped ricotta. The space is bright and attractive with white walls and potted plants, and it’s ideal for when you just want to eat a quick brunch while you read about celebrity relationships on your phone.
Balthazar is one of our favorite French bistros in the city. Actually, Balthazar is one of everyone’s favorite French bistros in the city - which means it’s usually pretty crowded at brunch. It’s not quite formal, but it’s nice enough to bring your parents or have a special occasion meal. Make sure to get the basket of pastries.
This is an all-day cafe in Soho that’s also a fancy furniture store where you can buy a $2,000 throw rug or elegant ceramic vase. The French cafe food at La Mercerie is expensive but excellent, making it a nice choice for a meal with your family or someone you’re trying to impress with smoked salmon blinis. Make a reservation or prepare to wait for a bit.
Shuka is one of the more useful spots in Soho, and works well for a relatively last-minute brunch with your college roommates or parents who promise they can wait until 12:30pm to eat on a Saturday. Get cinnamon rolls or beet hummus for the table, as well as Mediterranean food like chicken shawarma and a grilled lamb sandwich.
Epistrophy is one of the most useful restaurants in Nolita: it’s laid-back but still “cute,” it’s reasonably priced, and waits are never too long. One other reason? Their brunch - a mixture of egg dishes and panini all under $15.
This is a little neighborhood restaurant/bar in Tribeca, and it has a sort of truck-stop vibe. The food is solid, the vibes are laid-back, and on Sundays in the summer there might be an outdoor pool party that may or may not involve an open fire hydrant.
If you’re dying to wait for your brunch, Ruby’s has you covered. That’s because the food is good, affordable Australian/American stuff like a quinoa bowl, avocado toast, and a burger with beet and pineapple. Just be aware that there’s usually a crowd and you might not have the most legroom at your table.
Mother’s Ruin is a bar. So why do they serve brunch every day? We have no answer for you - but if you’re in Soho before 4pm and you’re craving biscuits and gravy, this is the place. Brunch here is fun and filling, and they also make really good cocktails - it is a bar, after all. There aren’t many tables, but bar/counter seating works just fine (especially if you’re alone).
The original Two Hands is a cafe on Mott Street, but the one in Tribeca is more of a restaurant. (The menu is larger, and there’s a full bar.) The service here is still easy-going, though. For what it’s worth, there’s also a kids menu at brunch.
Same goes for the original location. This Nolita-bordering-Chinatown cafe is a brunch and lunch mainstay, and perfect for something casual.
Brunch is a great time to hit Locanda Verde. Mainly because you can actually score a table, but their bakery is excellent and it’s a nice place to throw back some eggs and some drinks on a sunny Sunday.
Go to Black Seed if you want a quick brunch that you can take elsewhere. They make signature sandwiches to order, with ingredients like beet-cured salmon and tobiko cream cheese. You can eat at one of their tables, or you can take your bagel on a walk through Nolita. There might be a line, but it moves pretty quickly.
The Dead Rabbit is NYC’s very own drinking castle, and it’s usually one of our first recommendations when people ask about bars in FiDi. On weekends though, they serve brunch. The two-floor space is so huge that you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a table, and there are a bunch of Irish-inspired dishes like a full Irish breakfast, a soda bread sampler, and corned beef hash.
Raoul’s is a classic NYC restaurant. It’s definitely more of a nighttime place, but if the idea of bright decor, avocado toasts, and overpriced eggs makes you want to die, Raoul’s brunch is for you. It’s dark, it’s a little sexy, and most importantly, they serve their otherwise-hard-to-get burger.
Such a simple cafe with such unreasonable waits for a table. If you can get in, you’ll enjoy Middle Eastern brunch dishes (like shakshuka) that were pretty much made to be photographed.
A solid spot for American comfort food and maybe some oysters. And maybe a stiff drink while you’re at it. You should know it’s a bit on the pricier side, with all the main plates costing over $20.
You can expect a not-insignificant wait at brunch here, but good Cuban sandwiches and eggs await.
This is a hardcore Tribeca brunch situation. Come for above-average pancakes and even better people watching.
Sadelle’s is where you go for a deluxe brunch that involves things like towers of bagels and smoked fish, and servers wearing white lab coats. This Jewish deli food is both flashy and genuinely great, and you can count on there being a line (we’d suggest making a reservation).
Pretty good tacos, and a very pleasant fake courtyard to enjoy them in.
Egg Shop gives the people what they want, which is apparently eggs. Have them many different ways - on a sandwich, in a bowl, you name it.
As long as you don’t come to Estela expecting to be nice and comfy, you’ll have a great time with the creative food and full brunch cocktail list.
WEST VILLAGE & GREENWICH VILLAGE
La Contenta Oeste is the larger second location of one of our favorite spots on the Lower East Side. Which actually isn’t that impressive of a statement, considering the fact that a luxury steam room would be larger than the first La Contenta. In any case, this West Village outpost is reliably good for things like chilaquiles and Mexican omelettes. And they have a bunch of brunch cocktails if you’re looking for that sort of thing.
Brunch spots are to the West Village what people in creepy Elmo costumes are to Times Square: they’re everywhere, and they’re going to take your money. Fairfax is an upscale but comfortable spot owned by the same people behind a few other West Village establishments like Fedora and Joseph Leonard, and they have a great Cuban sandwich. Nothing on the menu is more than $18, and the space feels a little like you’re sitting in an interior designer’s living room.
The Malt House is a pub in Greenwich Village, and their brunch food is pretty decent. They also have TVs for your sports-viewing pleasure, and a bottomless brunch deal where you get two hours of unlimited drinks for $27 (as long as also get an entree).
Primarily, this place is a bar. Although it’s a well-designed bar with very nice booths, and they do serve a full lunch, brunch, and dinner menu. So feel free to eat a casual meal here. The food is a step up from whatever they serve at the pub near your house, although it does tend to get crowded.
Boucherie is a huge restaurant in the West Village with an old-school French menu. That means that you can come here for brunch and have some duck confit - although they also have a croque madame and other egg dishes.
If you generally like all-day cafes, you’ll really like Banter. It’s a coffee shop in Greenwich Village where you can sit and order a meal from someone with an Australian accent. They do things like eggs, granola, and smashed sweet potato on toast. The space is small (but attractive), and it gets pretty busy. If you don’t want to wait for a table here, get some brunch on a weekday. They’ll have the same menu.
What do the French call French toast? Not just toast, if that’s what you were thinking. They call it pain perdu, and A.O.C. serves it along with everything else you’d expect on a standard brunch menu. The real selling point, however, is the patio. There’s room for large parties, and you can’t see it from the street, so it’s a nice little escape from the dirty puddle you stepped in on your way there.
High Street On Hudson does a lot of things well, but it does breakfast foods - specifically breakfast sandwiches - best. If a next-level Egg McMuffin kind of creation isn’t your scene, they also do some excellent lighter options.
Quality Eats is a cool, casual neighborhood steakhouse that looks and feels nothing like a steakhouse. Brunch here includes everything from short rib hash to steak and eggs - it’s a great time to try this place in all its weekend morning glory.
Hudson Clearwater’s menu reads like the Greatest Hits Of Brunch Foods: brioche french toast, eggs benedict, huevos rancheros, plus healthy options and cocktails. This is a back-pocket West Village move, especially if you have a picky eater with you, and especially during the summer when the back patio is open for business.
The West Village location of Jack’s Wife Freda has all the charm of the original, only it’s on Carmine Street.
Sotto 13′s food is probably on the better end of the boozy brunch spectrum, and it’s designed to be shared with a group. Just know that drinks are not unlimited.
A place to enjoy many things, from oysters to sandwiches to eggs and bacon. Jeffrey’s Grocery is somewhere we’d eat any time of day.
Home to possibly the most latte photographs in NYC, thanks to lots of natural light and white walls and tables. But to think that Bluestone is just a place where people take pictures is a mistake. The breakfast/brunch food here is solid, including many gluten-free options.
The Mediterranean menu here is simple, delicious, and very reasonably priced.
A West Village classic, on the best West Village street. Extra Virgin is always crowded for a reason. That reason is french fries with gorgonzola fondue.
Ever seen that diner on 8th Avenue with the Coca-Cola logos on its sign? That’s La Bonbonniere, and it’s an eggs-and-pancakes institution.
A very small restaurant that attracts a very large crowd. This place is best for solo outings or brunch with one other person.
People who like attractive furniture and nice clothes will probably feel at home in Rosemary’s. This restaurant has the aesthetic down, and the food is better at brunch than it is for dinner.
Elephant & Castle is a simple West Village restaurant that’s probably best known for serving French toast topped with eggs benedict and apples. All of their dishes are under $20, and there’s a dedicated “burger station” section of the menu.
Is the food at Buvette excellent? Yes. Is it the most absurdly cute cafe in the city? Probably. It’s almost always wildly crowded here, and the service can be hit or miss.
Tartine is a solid place to have an omelette with your own bottle of Champagne. Unfortunately, there are only about five tables where you can do so. Prepare to wait in line.
MEATPACKING DISTRICT & CHELSEA
The original Pastis opened back in the late ’90s, and was the sort of place where you could see Lindsay Lohan eating a shrimp cocktail. Then, it closed, but now it reopened down the block. The French bistro food is pretty similar to the old spot, but the whole place is a little more touristy-feeling. Use Pastis for an upscale brunch with some out-of-towners who won’t mind paying $22 for an eggs benedict with Parisian ham.
RH Rooftop is a good choice if you’re looking to have an upscale brunch (inside or outside). It feels like a sceney Meatpacking spot, because it is. One perk: while you wait for your table, you can wander through the furniture store with a drink, sitting on expensive couches while pretending that you’re touring MTV around your crib.
The Commons is a counter-service coffee shop in Chelsea where you can get a casual, quick brunch. Unlike some all-day cafes, this place actually has its own brunch-specific menu with sandwiches, a tortilla hash, and some nice brunch cocktails. Use this on a day when you’re already late for your post-eating plans, but refuse to eat a banana and/or leftover piece of pizza from last night.
If you’re familiar with the original Seamore’s in Nolita, you’ll know what to expect here. It’s a bright space with some outdoor seating, and they do a lot of affordable seafood. So if your ideal brunch includes fish tacos or lobster benedict, come here. Just be aware that it will probably be crowded and that most people will be taking pictures of their food. And for those of you who don’t like seafood, there are a few non-fish options like a burger and avocado toast.
This place is retro-motel-themed, although aside from a few brass desk lamps and a vintage phone in the bathroom, it mostly just looks like the sort of place where you’d want to bring a date. Or, if you’re alone, you can sit at the big bar in the middle. For brunch, expect things like breakfast fried rice with kimchi and bacon, shakshuka, and huevos rancheros.
The original Empire Diner was an actual diner. But that place closed a little while back, and, since then, a few different people have tried to do something different with the space. We happen to like it in its current form. They do breakfast until 4pm every day, and the food is what you’d expect to find at a somewhat upscale American spot in Chelsea - granola, avocado toast, biscuit sandwiches, etc.
Almost every coffee shop has avocado toast. Citizens of Chelsea included. Come here when you need a quick, possibly healthy brunch in Chelsea.
Cookshop is always a good move if you’re with your family or someone you love as if they’re part of your family. The food is very vegetarian-friendly, and they take reservations for brunch. Walk-ins are an option too, but know that there will be a wait.
This is one of the most over-the-top restaurants in the entire city. If you’re into absurdity, come on down and watch the show.
FLATIRON, GRAMERCY, MURRAY HILL, NOMAD
Sona in Flatiron is a fantastic place for anyone looking to see what Indian fine dining currently feels like in NYC, and how it’s evolved from its white tablecloth beginnings in the latter half of the 20th century. This restaurant - partially owned by Priyanka Chopra - is sleeker than it is formal, and serves a long menu with sections dedicated to Mumbai classics and globally-influenced dishes. For brunch, expect options like summer corn bhel, egg and cheese dosas, or a pastrami naan sandwich.
You’ll probably need to make a reservation for a Sunday brunch at Mari Vanna, which includes a menu of Russian dishes like liver pancakes, homemade beef blinis, and a whole section dedicated to caviar options. If you want an unusual party brunch in Flatiron that feels like a mashup of American Pie and the average grandmother’s house, this is it.
On the weekends, this Japanese yakitori restaurant in Nomad serves an excellent breakfast set. For $26, you get a bowl of shoyu ramen, three yakitori skewers (made with chicken thigh, chicken breast, and short rib), and a drink of your choice. If that’s not filling enough, you can also order an appetizer, like a salmon salad topped with avocado or some hamachi.
If you don’t need sausage or bacon at brunch, try abcV. It’s a vegetarian restaurant, although, to be clear, this is not your average place that doesn’t serve meat. abcV is from the same people behind ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, and they make things like smoothies, acai bowls, and dosas. And it’s some of the best vegetarian food you’ll find in NYC.
This is the newer sister restaurant to Citizens of Chelsea, and both places serve kind-of-healthy dishes like a wellness bowl and overnight oats. In addition to these things, it’s likely you’ll find several people smiling at you for no reason.
There aren’t a ton of options for dim sum in Murray Hill, but Little Alley is a solid choice. They specialize in Shanghainese food, and have a decent selection of dumplings, buns, and shumai. Although you won’t see them wheeling these things around on a cart. This place is on the smaller side, and, while the dining room isn’t especially vibey, it’s good for a casual meal, and your parents would probably like it. The food itself might not be quite as good as what you’ll find in Chinatown or Flushing, but if you live around Murray Hill it’s worth checking out.
Keep this place in mind the next time you need something quick and casual and a place you can actually sit down and hang out at. As long as you’re OK with simple bagel sandwiches and ricotta pancakes you order at a counter.
We love Upland all the time. But we especially love Upland at brunch, when you can not only get the perfect pastas and pizzas, but also one of the best burgers in NYC. Make sure there’s one of each on your table. (And that you have a reservation.)
It’s hard to get a table here for dinner, so consider stopping by for brunch. It isn’t as busy, and they still serve their uni tostada. They also have churros with Mexican hot chocolate and a shareable skillet of lamb barbacoa. Brunch here is pricier, but it’s also some best Mexican food in the city.
Unless you come early, you’ll wait for brunch at Ruby’s. That’s because the prices are fair, there are healthier options, and there are also a bunch of different burgers and pastas. Come here with the sort of person who takes the ritual of brunch seriously, and convince them to split the chicken sandwich with you.
So, you’re getting brunch with someone who has an allergy or a dietary restriction. All their gluten-free/meat-free/dairy-free needs will be covered at The Little Beet Table.
A menu full of standard brunch classics (benedicts, burgers - you know the drill). And a bottomless brunch special.
Marta’s brunch pizza menu is exactly the same as their regular pizza menu. But they’re also got some non-pizza options like a goat cheese frittata, ricotta pound cake, and a potato breakfast scramble with pancetta jam available on weekend mornings.
MIDTOWN EAST & UPPER EAST SIDE
Eli’s Table is the restaurant version of a famous NYC deli (Zabar’s), so you should expect to see everyone from infants to 97-year-olds at 9:30am on a Sunday. They serve Jewish classics, but also things like oatmeal and grapefruit, a smoked fish board, and a chopped liver sandwich.
The Daisy is the seatbelt of restaurants - it’s safe and overall pretty standard. Come here when you’re not trying to leave the UES for things like brioche French toast and breakfast board with bacon, sausage, chorizo and more protein options that will remind you why you eat meat. It’s usually easy enough to get a table here without waiting, and they have outdoor seating on the sidewalk when the weather is nice.
The Milton is a simple British pub on 2nd Avenue where your meal comes with a complimentary drink and it won’t be hard to get a table. This is a good choice for Upper East Side people who don’t want brunch to be a huge production, but still want to eat well-cooked eggs or a burger.
If you like the Quality Eats downtown, you’ll like the one on the Upper East Side as well. They serve the same menu, and the only difference is really the space. This location is a little bit brighter, and you’ll see more families here. Order the monkey bread egg sandwich and the grilled bacon.
Let’s say you got ambitious and started your weekend morning with a long walk through Central Park. If you need to something to eat afterwards, try Le Charlot. It’s an old-school type French place, although it isn’t fancy like Daniel or Le Bernardin. This place is more of a bistro, your waiter might have a French accent, and you will likely see some diners who have been eating here once a week for several decades.
Toloache’s Mexican brunch is solid, and if you’re in that area and need a decent meal, it’ll do the job.
These days, there’s a location of The Smith in every neighborhood.
We can always count on Uva, and brunch is no exception. The brunch menu has so much on it you may think you’re at the Cheesecake Factory. And we’re definitely not mad about it.
A British gastropub on the Upper East Side that’s a great choice for brunch when you don’t want to deal with people. You might have to deal with some Premier League soccer fans, but they’re quite nice. Unless you’re a fan of a rival team.
An Upper East Side restaurant with a downtown atmosphere and very good food. This is a more serious restaurant that probably won’t become part of your every-weekend routine, but when there’s an occasion for it, brunch here is great.
HARLEM, WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, & INWOOD
If you’re looking for chicken and waffles on a weekend morning in Washington Heights, get them at Uptown Garrison. The perfectly cooked buttermilk fried chicken at this all-day bar just one block from the A train is served with a coat of sweet chili honey. Plus, the pancakes here come with a side of strawberry jam.
Whether you’re celebrating your birthday or the dissolution of your marriage, Bocaditos Bistro is the best place to have a party brunch in Inwood. The flower-covered space here is big enough for groups and five different chandeliers that you can imagine yourself swinging from.
The name of this place actually does a pretty good job of explaining what it is. It’s a restaurant/bar on a corner in Harlem, and it’s pretty much always busy, so it’s a good place to be social. The space is nice and big with lots of windows, hardwood floors, and a working fireplace, and the brunch menu has stuff like chicken and waffles, crab benedict, and French toast sticks. And if you’d like the option to drink alcohol like it’s water, there are two brunch deals. For $25 you can get the “Life is Harlem” mimosa bottle, or you can pay $40 for the prosecco bottle.
Melba’s is a soul food restaurant in Harlem that makes fried chicken and waffles better than almost any other spot on this directory. Technically they’re eggnog waffles, but they just taste like really good waffles. We also really like how tender the short ribs here.
La Cantina is ideal for a casual group brunch in Harlem that’s really more like lunch. This causal Mexican restaurant opens at noon, and they serve Happy Hour specials on both food and drinks all day on the weekends. Get a $7 margarita, a few appetizers, and some fish tacos and you’ll feel like you’ve gotten a ton of food without spending that much money.
Sylvia’s is a Harlem institution, and one of the founding members of our Brunch Greatest Hits. This place has great Southern dishes like fried catfish, chicken and waffles, and mac and cheese. Plus, it’s a good time and there are a ton of seats. They also have a Sunday gospel brunch every week with live music and a bottomless deal.
Tsion Cafe is a place where you can get a combination of Ethiopian and Israeli food. There’s shakshuka, French toast, and a vegetarian plate that comes with injera. This is a cozy neighborhood spot, and there’s a great little back patio. If you’re looking for brunch in Harlem and you’re with a vegetarian, this is the place. Although they also have things like chicken and a burger.
The Grange feels like a farmhouse, and it’s perfect for when you want to remember what life outside the city is like. This place is big, with high ceilings, a huge bar, and plenty of tables. So feel to stop by with a group a friends or all five of your children for some comfort food. Although if you’re eating alone, you can always just grab a bar seat and eat deep fried brioche French toast or homemade granola.
BLVD makes food like jumbo shrimp and grits, bacon biscuit sandwiches, and a rib-eye steak with eggs. It’s a little pricier than your average brunch spot, but the dining room is in the basement of a townhouse and your parents will probably like it here.
Harlem Tavern has a big indoor area and an even larger patio. And that’s why you come here. The food is really just solid bar food, but you’ll want to hang out and day drink on the patio when the weather is nice. Or, if it’s not so nice, you can sit inside where there are plenty of tables and TVs. This place feels almost like a park or a town square, and it’s a fun spot to drink or grab brunch with a group.