The Best Outdoor Brunch Spots In NYC guide image


The Best Outdoor Brunch Spots In NYC

Lots of places serve brunch, but not all have outdoor seating. These are the best spots that have both.

Maybe you love brunch. If so, you probably already know some places to have it outside. But let’s say you don’t. The waiting, the decision-making on a weekend, the usually-overpriced food you could (maybe) make at home—those are all completely acceptable excuses to avoid brunch. But if the weather's gorgeous on a Saturday morning and a bowl of cereal just won't cut it, all those excuses can go out the window. All the places in this guide offer great food in the open air.


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144 2nd Ave, New York
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These days, there are only a few of the East Village’s Ukrainian, Slovak, Hungarian, and Polish businesses left. Veselka, a Ukrainian diner that opened in 1954, is one of the best-known, and it still somehow retains the magic of an old-school neighborhood joint. There are unlimited coffee pours, and the service is remarkably fast. Our favorite approach is to come early, grab a seat at one of the many outdoor tables along 9th Street, and order some potato pierogi, stuffed cabbage, or an omelette with kielbasa.

photo credit: Dane Isaac

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Ruta Oaxaca



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New York isn’t necessarily known for great chilaquiles, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few versions worth seeking out. Ruta's spicy and partially-soggy chicken chilaquiles in salsa is one of the best we’ve had. If you're in Astoria but can't quite find this place, just look for the hard-to-miss hot pink covered outdoor patio. Come here when you want to catch up with a friend, or bring a group around 2pm and drink a bunch of mezcal cocktails. If you can’t make it on a weekend, know that Ruta serves their daily brunch until 4pm.

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Brunch at Win Son Bakery in East Williamsburg involves food that's more exciting than your usual Saturday morning short stack, and they have a long, covered porch for eating outdoors. This counter-service Taiwanese cafe from the people behind Win Son (across the street) has fan tuan, mochi doughnuts, and one of the city's best BECs on the menu. Think of this place as a neighborhood coffee shop that happens to serve food so good it’ll make you angry and confused, like a dog confronted with a mirror.

Since Atla is in a corner space in Noho, there are a lot of outdoor tables set up along both sides of the restaurant. This place is a great choice for brunch that behaves more like lunch than breakfast. And that lunch-y brunch will probably cost you more than you'd spend at your average neighborhood brunch spot. So save this place for a special occasion or the next time you want to have a religious experience with chicken soup. This all-day Mexican restaurant also makes a great shrimp taco and some aguas frescas that make us wish they had a to-go window.

Leland Eating & Drinking House sits on a quiet corner in Prospect Heights, and it's where you should go with a group when you can’t decide on one cuisine. The weekend brunch menu is full of dishes found all across the Eastern Hemisphere, from a crispy squid sandwich and babka french toast to pork sisig and a grilled flatbread with marinated chickpeas. There's a sidewalk patio and a few outdoor shacks called “cozy cabins” out front.

The brunch date is something that should happen more often. If you’re not sure how things will go, it can be a quick meal with eggs and coffee, or, if you’re already planning to co-parent a dog with this person, it can be a big feast. For the latter, head to Kimika in Nolita and request one of the tables surrounded by tall plant stands for a little privacy. Expect options like a pastry bento box, matcha mochi french toast, and a breakfast calzone stuffed with scrambled eggs and ricotta.

Station House is a tavern-style bar near Forest Hills Stadium that serves high-quality pub food, and they have both covered seating and a few tables set out on the sidewalk. Their entire menu is available during brunch, which means you can get breakfast-y things like steak and eggs and also something called the Decadent Burger. It’s appropriately named, since it comes topped with brisket, fried onions, and Boursin cheese.

Miss Lily’s is a fun Caribbean spot that’s somehow just as appropriate for your 7-year-old nephew as it is for your day drinking shenanigans. We like mixing and matching things here, and we suggest you combine the curry sauce from the cod fritters with the rice and beans or get some festivals to go along with the oxtail stew that's full of fall-off-the-bone meat. When you sit outside, you can look at all the people doing activities in Tompkins Square Park while you remain stationary with your third rum punch.

Guevara’s, a vegan cafe and specialty foods store from the people behind Mekelburg’s, is where you’ll find some of the best plant-based brunch food in the city. They serve a breakfast torta with king trumpet mushroom bacon as well as plant-based lox bagels, picadillo empanadas, coconut ceviche, and posole—and nothing costs more than $15. We recommend hanging out all morning on their pleasant patio and grabbing some conchas to go on your way out.

If you’re going to brunch outside at Jacob’s Pickles, bring a handful of Tums and a big group of friends—then order a bunch of heavy Southern comfort food with reckless abandon. They have french toast and omelets, but what you come here for are the otherworldly biscuit “sandwiches” that are really just huge piles of food that happen to include bread on the top and the bottom. You won’t have room for anything else, but not getting something pickled here would just be disrespectful.

Baklava pancakes. That’s not a sentence, but it’s what you should be ordering at Ovelia when you’re there for brunch. This is a good Greek restaurant in Astoria with a huge space and a patio on the sidewalk. In addition to the honey-heavy baklava pancakes, Ovelia serves things like a BEC on pita. Bring your kids, bring your friends, bring your significant other and get mad at them for not wanting the pancakes. (Get the pancakes.)

When it comes to Mexican breakfast options in Brooklyn, this place should immediately spring to mind. This Bed-Stuy restaurant serves Oaxacan-style dishes like giant memelas topped with fried eggs, tetelas filled with everything from hibiscus flower to black beans, and tlayudas covered in a ridiculous amount of mushrooms. Come here for a laid-back brunch on the first-come, first-served patio, and bring a book in order to look like the mysterious, misunderstood soul that you are.

Walking into Yellow Rose for a weekend morning meal feels like pulling over at a delicious pit stop in Texas. Before you receive your tray of excellent breakfast tacos, you’ll hear Willie Nelson playing through the speakers, spot a poster of Dolly Parton glamorously overseeing business from above, and notice the bags of stone-ground grits and heirloom beans on a shelf in front of a saloon-style swinging door. Grab a seat on their sidewalk patio the next time you’re craving bacon and egg tacos on fresh flour tortillas.

You can think of Bunny’s food as an ever-revolving door of Turkish and German staples. And much like at dinner, the Sunday-only brunch menu at this Bed-Stuy spot changes often to show off seasonal produce. Between 11am-4pm you’ll spot parents reaching across their patio tables to hand coloring books and bites of currywurst to their children. If you’re looking for a quiet neighborhood gem where you can eat mackerel toast and casually catch up with friends, come to Bunny.

For a casual brunch outside with your roommate or a morning date with the best breakfast burrito in Brooklyn, stop by Ursula before noon. This Crown Heights spot offers chorizo, bacon, vegan, and vegetarian breakfast burritos Wednesday-Sunday, all of which come with either red or green New Mexican chile. If you’re there in the afternoon, pick up a stuffed sopapilla with pork or beef, and no matter what, add a side of chile sauce.

Visiting this Mexican spot any time of the week guarantees you a multi-layered and meat-packed cemita that you’ll be dreaming about for days, but stopping by for brunch means you can choose from a range of weekend-only dishes like a breakfast burrito, breakfast tacos, and a cemita with onion rings, scrambled eggs, and chorizo. This Woodside restaurant has a few patio tables where you can enjoy a laid-back brunch from 10:30am-3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Every Saturday and Sunday between 11:30am-5pm, this South Bronx spot hosts a bottomless brunch including mimosas, sangria, and live Hip-Hop DJ sets. Between rapping Jay-Z lyrics and rocking in your seat to hits by Lil’ Kim, you can order dishes like chicken and waffles, rum cake french toast, and shrimp and grits at Beatstro. Keep in mind that this place gets crowded, so make sure to follow their Instagram and stay up to date on all their brunch events.

The Bonnie is one of our favorite bars in Astoria for several reasons. It’s fun for groups, has a backyard with picnic tables, and the weekend brunch menu has much better food than you’d find at most other bars that open at 10am on Saturdays. Expect dishes like shrimp and grits, a brunch burger with a fried egg, and bacon-topped tater tots. This place is really busy on weekends, so make a reservation ahead of time if you plan on bringing a group.

Sek’end Sun is a casual neighborhood bar right by the Broadway subway station in Astoria. For brunch, they have a range of dishes like french toast with hot honey fried chicken and a BEC with arugula. Come here during the brunch and sit in the big backyard with a date or a friend you haven’t seen in a few months. There’s a big neon sign out there that says “Queens” just in case you briefly forget where you are.

Sunday In Brooklyn is synonymous with brunch. Their brunch menu is longer than their dinner one, brunch is served every day, and they serve a signature BloodyMary with mezcal and sambal. Stop by this Williamsburg spot for a triple stack of fluffy pancakes with hazelnut maple praline or a BEC with gochujang aioli on the sidewalk patio Monday through Sunday.

You can order off the Golden Diner breakfast menu from 10am-5pm every day except Monday. That means you can combat a hangover with matzo ball soup and Korean fried chicken wings, or pair breakfast burritos and honey butter pancakes with soju cocktails in the afternoon.

Melba’s serves dark meat fried chicken and eggnog waffles with strawberry butter and maple syrup. This Southern spot in Harlem also serves lots of other dishes worth ordering, but if you’re not already sold on brunch here, then you might be reading the wrong guide.

The current brunch menu at Chez Ma Tante has 17 dishes on it. In other words, it has 16 more options than you really need. That’s because this Greenpoint spot serves the best pancakes in the city, which you can order on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am-3pm.

When you go to Comfortland for brunch, get the “McGruffin” biscuit sandwich. It’s got a fried egg, grilled sausage patty, and a layer of melted cheese—all of which create a combination of sweet and salty flavors that’ll make you wonder why “pastry sandwiches″ don’t have their own tier in the food pyramid. This place serves some of the best meaty breakfast sandwiches, colorful donuts, and deep-fried eggy things you can order from a takeout window, and there are a few sidewalk tables where you can eat.

The Best Breakfast Sandwiches In NYC guide image

NYC Guide

The Best Breakfast Sandwiches In NYC

You could pick up food on the way to Domino Park, but if you don’t want to have to protect your BEC from errant volleyballs and clouds of spray-on sunscreen, just get an outdoor table across the street at Mekelburg’s. At brunch, which they serve every day starting at 8am, you can get things like spicy, sweet, lightly fried chicken over waffles, and some of the best chocolate babka in the city.

The partially-covered patio at this Middle Eastern spot in Fort Greene has brick walls and a bunch of hanging plants, and it’s a great place to drink harissa Bloody Marys on a weekend afternoon. Along with a few dishes from their dinner menu, like sweet whipped ricotta that could be an appetizer or dessert, they serve some brunch-specific things, like french toast with labne mousse and a savory pancake topped with a soft-boiled egg.

If Miss Ada is fully booked, head down the block to Evelina. They have a bunch of sidewalk tables where you can pair a white negroni with any of their excellent pastas. If rigatoni carbonara sounds like it’ll ruin any hopes you had of walking around Fort Greene Park after brunch, there are lighter options like avocado toast topped with smoked salmon, too.

Thai Diner isn't just one of the best brunch spots in the city. It's one of the best restaurants, period. They have a bunch of indoor and outdoor seats, so stop by on a weekend and order a breakfast sandwich with Thai sausage served in a roti or disco fries topped with massaman curry.

You won’t find $15 mimosas or Dua Lipa’s next outfit at La Bonbonniere, but you will find some very good bacon, blueberry pancakes, and egg sandwiches. If that’s all you really need, then head to this West Village diner any day of the week.

All brunches exist somewhere on a very long spectrum. At one end, you have the places you go when you’re just trying not to vomit into your eggs. At the other, you have the places you go when the brunch itself is the start of the party. Llama Inn is an excellent choice for the latter—a slightly upscale, very fun Peruvian spot that would be perfect for an outdoor brunch involving ceviche and plenty of spritzes on tap.

Anyone who finds it tough to keep a cactus alive for one-tenth as long as the internet says they last will be at a total loss when they step into the backyard of this American spot in Greenpoint. It’s filled with as much as many plants, trees, and ivy as a modest greenhouse, and it’s one of the most pleasant places to eat outside in Brooklyn. And if that alone isn’t enough to convince you, then the BEC biscuit and bottomless mimosa situation should.

The front patio at Harlem Tavern might be even larger than the tavern itself. Covered in picnic tables and big umbrellas, it’s perfect for when you can’t decide if you want an extended boozy brunch or day drinking with intermittent food orders. They open at noon every day.

Walk around Williamsburg on a weekend afternoon, and eventually you’ll run into a bunch of people loitering outside of a spot on the corner of Withers Street and Union Ave. The place is Reunion, and these people are waiting for the opportunity to dip fresh challah in shakshuka. Now that this Israeli spot has expanded its outdoor seating, you might not need to loiter quite as long, especially if you come on a weekday. Reunion opens every day at 9am.

Sweet Afton is a bar in Astoria that serves brioche french toast sticks, breakfast burgers, and homemade biscuits. That’s already reason enough to eat here year-round, but they also have a nice garden in the back and seating on the sidewalk out front, both of which are great for when you want to order another round of frozen strawberry margaritas after you’ve finished eating.

Esme is the outdoor brunch for brunch haters. Their back patio has plenty of shade, and they make simple, very good brunch food. The pancakes are some of the best in NYC, the avocado toast will actually fill you up, and the cocktails are strong and not too expensive.

Bronx Ale House opens every day at 11am, but brunch is only served on weekends. So if you want to pair this Kingsbridge bar’s great beers with some breakfast tacos or eggs and biscuits covered in sweet sausage gravy, you’ll have to go Saturday or Sunday between 11am-3pm.

Krupa Grocery is the kind of neighborhood restaurant that has you pulling out your phone to check your StreetEasy app in the middle of brunch. Which is to say, if you don’t already live in South Park Slope/Windsor Terrace, Krupa Grocery is worth traveling for. The back patio is great, and they make the kind of food you probably couldn’t make in your apartment, like chicken liver pate with pickled egg and a hot shrimp burger.

Find yourself wanting brunch outside at 4pm on a weekend? We support you. And so does Rabbithole. This Williamsburg spot serves brunch until 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and you can enjoy it on their back patio.

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