Whether you count down the hours until brunch starting Monday morning, or you wouldn’t touch a two-hour wait for eggs with a ten-foot pole, brunch is a part of life in NYC that’s hard to escape. And Williamsburg might as well be Brunch Disneyland - it has pretty much every kind of food and setting you could ever want, and the patios are plentiful (it will get warm sometime, PROMISE). With all those options, Williamsburg brunch can be an overwhelming prospect. Where do you go? This guide is here so that you always know the answer to that question, and so that when you do encounter that two-hour wait, you know where to turn.
Some restaurants just get it. They go beyond the call of serving you overpriced omelettes and really make you feel like we’re all in this journey called life together. Rabbithole is one of those restaurants - they take pride in all the little things that contribute to you having an ideal eating experience. Case in point? They serve brunch every day of the week, until 5pm. The coffee and the drinks are strong, and the pastries are made in-house. The menu is long and covers every possible craving besides maybe Cheetos. And there’s a beautiful back patio with big umbrellas, so you don’t burn your fragile skin. This place takes care of its customers.
When will the brunch bubble burst? We can’t as a society go on like this - making our entire weekend plans around it, waiting three hours for it, going hangry for it. But in the meantime, you’ll find us brunching at places where the meal feels less like an event and more like a, well, meal. Brunch at Allswell is something you can just show up for - excessive planning/strategizing not required. You might have to wait a few minutes - but never too long - and the menu is an appealing mix of breakfast-y and lunch-y options. We dare you to try something besides avocado toast (the chicken sandwich and burger are both winners).
There’s a pretty good chance that your first brunch experience in Williamsburg happened at Juliette. People mob it for its atmosphere: part French bistro, part well-kept jungle. You’ll want to be eating on the roof if it’s warm, but the plant room (actually covered in vegetation) is a very good second-best if it’s not. As for the menu - it’s totally serviceable, French-ish food. But the food isn't really why you come to Juliette anyway.
Brunch should be a comfortable experience. What’s the point of getting out of bed and maybe even brushing your teeth only to go sit in a rickety chair that digs into your butt when you move and eat off a table that rocks so much that every time you try to cut something it’s an exercise in balance? Brunch at Meadowsweet ensures a meal that won’t have you wishing you were sitting on your couch right now. And it’s not just comfy - the food is excellent, and brunch is a great way to try the place on a leaner budget.
Hangover so bad you don’t know whether to cry or vomit or eat your weight in tater tots? Choose door number three, and do it at Jimmy’s. Breakfast is served all day, so even if you can’t manage to get out of bed until 5pm, you can still call it brunch. This is next-level diner food done right, with an unpretentious, super laid-back environment to match. You come to Jimmy’s to throw down over the kind of food that will both hurt and cure you - not to Instagram your ricotta pancakes.
Want to eat a steak at St. Anselm? How original. At 7pm, go ahead and line up with the other four hours worth of people. But brunch (which they insist on calling “lunch” despite the presence of eggs) is the sneaky time to get your hands on that Butcher’s Steak. We’re not promising you’ll be seated immediately, but if you arrive on the early side of brunch hours (they open at 11am) you have a much better chance of eventually getting a table than on any night.
You don’t have to love fried chicken, or waffles, or even the combination of the two, to appreciate brunch at Pies N Thighs. You do, however, need to love very bad-for-you food that tastes incredibly good. Even if you insist on ordering the one salad on the menu, do yourself a favor and get a donut. We might have said that nicely but it’s actually an order.
No, we’re not talking about a Chinese proverb or a yoga studio for children. House of Small Wonder is a street-level treehouse (literally, trees grow through it) that’s part European cafe, part Japanese restaurant. And unlike most Brooklyn places that would like to claim the title, this place actually has the right to call itself a “hidden gem” - you probably wouldn’t be able to find it without the Internet (or go Internet-free and just look out for the exterior wood paneling). The menu includes everything from egg scrambles to french toast to sashimi bowls, so Boring Betty and Adventurous Allison in your group will both be pleased. And if you find yourself wanting brunch alone, there’s also free wifi to keep you occupied.
Egg definitely belongs in the Greatest Hits of Williamsburg Brunch. It’s been a staple since it opened many years (OK, like seven years) ago, serving high-quality, simple-but-still-interesting dishes that have earned the place a cult following. Who doesn’t want to eat an egg in a hole topped with smothered cheese? No one we know.
This is the see and be seen capital of North Williamsburg brunch. The Moroccan food also makes for one of the better and more interesting brunches around. Which means that if you don’t come here with the expectation of ridiculously long waits, you’re going to walk away very sad. Or at least very hungry. Here’s what to do: put your name in, then go directly across the street to Bakeri to get a coffee and pastry while you wait. It’s like being rewarded for patience.
Provided you have no plans for the rest of the day, Italian food and brunch are a perfect combination. Add to that a huge, partially-covered, beautiful patio and you have yourself a full-on agenda. Pasta, mimosas, and exposure to the sun: the ultimate cure for the Sunday Scaries.
We’ve hit The Brooklyn Star quite a few times since our review, and have figured out the key to this place: brunch. That’s the time when The Brooklyn Star truly excels with its highly tasty Southern comfort food. Get the Johnny Cakes (fruit-packed pancakes), which come with perfectly scrambled eggs and a perfectly fried hash brown patty. If you want to get seated right away, be there right when it opens at 12pm. Otherwise, your best bet is to wait a couple hours until the first rush dies down.
Cafe Colette is best for two things: eating a burger and eating outside. They have sidewalk seating for when the weather’s really nice, and a greenhouse garden space where you can be amongst nature but not freezing when the weather’s not really nice. Not feeling a burger? They have plenty of egg-oriented options, as well as a fried chicken salad - aka your one real opportunity to eat a salad joyfully.
Maybe you’ve been around the Williamsburg brunch block. Maybe you’ve had it with the crowds of people and the sameness of all the food and the rickety, fake-vintage chairs and the fedoras. Maybe you’re THIS close to boycotting Williamsburg brunch altogether. Get a breath of fresh air at Llama Inn. Its awesome design is the perfect complement to the awesome, Peruvian-inspired food: beef tenderloin stir-fry covered in fried eggs, bananas, and french fries, anyone?
We’ve always wished we lived closer to Walter Foods. Not because the food is revelatory, but because it’s an excellent neighborhood restaurant, with an excellent back patio. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows each other, people have standing orders, and the food is always exactly what you need it to be. If you don’t live in Williamsburg, there are probably more impressive (but not necessarily more enjoyable) places you could choose for your brunch in the neighborhood. But if you do live nearby, it’s about time you got yourself a standing order here.
Reynard offers what is probably the most sophisticated brunch in Williamsburg. Not “sophisticated” in the pinkies-up kind of way, but in the kind of way that your parents would be highly impressed with, or in the way where it would be an excellent pick for a celebration meal. It’s a gorgeous space, with giant windows that let in tons of light, and the menu is slightly upscale takes on standard brunch fare. Get the Dutch pancake.
If you’re looking for a brunch experience beyond typical brunch food, we commend you, and we will send you straight to Okonomi - where you can get an awesome traditional Japanese breakfast or lunch. The meal is called “Ichiju Sunsai,” and it consists of a rice bowl, a miso soup, a piece of fish, and three small sides - it’s all decided for you, except for the fish, and it’s light, healthy (they don’t use any butter or oil in their cooking), and affordable. The experience feels special and communal, as you’re one of only twelve customers in there, and you’re all eating the same thing. This weekend, do something different - go to Okonomi. Just be prepared for a wait.
You probably know that Diner is one of those restaurants you really need to try already. You probably know that it has a legendary burger. But what you might not know is that it’s an excellent place for brunch in Williamsburg, whether you’ve never been or you’re a regular. Just like at dinner, the brunch menu changes daily - and while we advise you start with scones or donuts and a Bloody Mary, you really can’t go wrong. And yes, the burger is always available.
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