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12 Local Picks for the Best Brunch on the Upper West Side

If you are looking for the best brunch on the Upper West Side then you have come to the right place.

Not only have I lived in NYC for 30+ years, but I have been living in Harlem for the past couple of months.

So, it’s super easy for me to catch the 1/2/3 and enjoy the best Upper West Side brunch of all time – or Upper West Side breakfast if I feel like getting up early.

Also, because I LOVE brunch – and breakfast food in general – I never miss the chance to indulge in delicious French toast, light/fluffy pancakes, and my personal fave, Shakshuka.

You’ll also be glad to know that the Upper West Side is positively exploding with amazing brunch spots that you need to try right this minute.

Therefore, grab a moist towelette and get ready to drool because these brunch spots on the Upper West Side are bananas-level awesome.

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Best Brunch on the Upper West Side

1. Barney Greengrass

If you’re looking for a brunch place on the Upper West Side that makes you feel like you’re at a Jewish deli then look no further than Barney Greengrass.

It’s one of the many places you must eat in NYC since they have been serving up epic, Jewish-inspired fare since 1908.

Unlike many of the other NYC brunch spots on this list, this place is CASH only. So plan accordingly.

This place is also nothing fancy. So, stroll up in your sweatpants and enjoy a wonderfully friendly environment where you can dig into omelets, bagels, and more.

In particular, the smoked fish platter is excellent, with the nova being the star of the plate. So, if you like fish then give this spot a try.

Address: 541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Price: Most entrees are $20.00+ each.

2. Miriam

Me sitting behind a table in a blue fleece with a plate of Shakshuka and a bowl of humus with olive oil and water with mint on a table in a light and airy dining room.

God how I love Miriam. Let me count the ways. Because, no joke. This brunch restaurant on the Upper West Side serves some of the best hummus I have ever had.

It is rich and creamy and simple and served with homemade pita bread that is served to you warm and in a cute little brown bag.

See, Miriam is a great Israeli restaurant that started in Park Slope and has since made its way to the Upper West Side.

As a result, they serve killer falafel, pita bread, hummus, and more. I tried the Shakshuka and it was okay. not my fave not terrible. But, when I return I will definitely try something else.

All in all, a top contender for the best brunch on the Upper West Side. Just make a reservation since this place is popular. I also love that they put fresh mint in your table water.

Address: 300 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

Hours: Brunch is served on weekdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on weekends from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Price: Most entrees are $20.00 each.

3. Jacob’s Pickles

Four giant pieces of French Toast covered in powdered sugar and strawberries on a white plate. It sits on a wooden table with a silver knife and fork on either side.

If you’ve been in the neighborhood for even five minutes then you know one of the best things to do on the Upper West Side is to have brunch at Jacob’s Pickles.

After all, this brunch place on the Upper West Side specializes in Southern comfort food. So, you’ll find things like fried green tomatoes, cheesy grits, mac and cheese, or a hot chicken biscuit on the menu.

As one of the most frequented brunch spots on the Upper West Side, it has a fun atmosphere where you can sip on a Bloody Mary and dig into a delicious biscuit.

Sadly, they only take reservations for parties of six or more. So, you will have to wait, sometimes up to an hour and a half if you stop by on the weekend.

Local Tip: We went for Restaurant Week and loved the biscuits, Deviled eggs, French toast, and Oreo Ice Box cake. The portions are insanely big so be prepared to take some home.

Address: 509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 12:00 am and on weekends from 9:00 am to 12:00 am.

Price: Breakfast entrees are $15.00 – $20.00.

4. Zabar’s

A view of the Zabar's cheese department sign printed on a wheel of cheese with stacked boxes of purple and blue boxed crackers.

Let’s be very clear, Zabar’s is 110% not a restaurant. It is a high-end grocery store that is an institution in NYC.

In fact, they have been around since 1934 and have been run by the same family for over four generations.

Today, people come here when they want to have brunch at home since they can get high-quality, coffee, bagels, baked goods, cheese, meats, and coffee here.

I love the plain bagels (Absolute Bagels are better FYI) and the latkes. But, the clear stand out is the Nova smoked salmon and any fish product.

That being said, I usually get the Delancey Chocolate Russian Coffee Cake, the black and white cookies, and the plain bagels.

Address: 2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Open from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm, except Sundays when they are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Price: Varies

5. French Roast

If you hate crowds and don’t want to go to the best brunch on the Upper West Side that EVERYONE knows about then try French Roast.

It’s a classic bistro that screams, “I’m an old-school French restaurant” with slightly used tile floors, ceiling fans, old-time beer signs, cute Champagne bottles, and solid French fare.

It’s a great place to just relax as you catch a re-run of Law & Order on the TV.

In terms of the brunch fare, the eggs Benedict is great, as are the burgers which are all well-cooked and served on a brioche bun.

This is also a perfect spot for al fresco dining when the weather outside is nice.

Address: 2340 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, Saturday from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, and Sunday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Price: Most entrees are between $16.00 and $19.00 each.

6. Old John’s Diner

Aerial view of a spinach and mushroom omelette with homefries on a white plate with blue accents and a side of white toast with packets of butter and jam atop a table with the paper menu for old john's. This is a pick for the best brunch in NYc.

If your idea of an Upper West Side brunch is well-priced diner fare then you cannot beat Old John’s Diner.

Firstly, the food is great. The service is also fast and efficient. You’ll also love the vintage booths and the subtle 1950s diner vibes.

Secondly, they take reservations, accept credit cards, and serve expresso-based drinks. Oh, and did I mention that Old John’s has upscale brunch options like Shakshuka and avocado toast?

It is a little popular so reserve a table on the weekends. Other than that, we ordered the French toast and the mushroom/spinach omelet.

Both were great and I would come back. You can also visit Lincoln Center while you’re here since this Upper West Side brunch spot is very close by.

Address: 148 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023

Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Price: Most entrees are $15.00 to $17.00 each.

7. Tiki Chick

Vibrant pink exterior of Tiki Bar with a hula girl on top in a pink circle and the name of the bar on a blue sign beneath her.

Be forewarned that Tiki Chick is a not-so-low-key party brunch on the Upper West Side.

So, if you’re looking to snuggle up next to your boo with jazz softly playing in the background then give this place a hard pass.

However, if you and your gal pals are seeking out a tropical-themed, boozy brunch in NYC where you can get like a dozen different varieties of frozen margaritas then beeline it over here.

Just grab a shark-shaped cup filled with rum punch/dark and stormy and enjoy a party that regularly extends out onto the sidewalk patio in front of the restaurant.

Yes, the brunch menu is small with like six sandwiches to choose from. But, this place is pretty unusual since they serve donut sandwiches.

I usually get the donut sandwich with egg and cheese since it’s really good.

Local Tip: The sandwiches here aren’t really a full meal so be prepared for that. Also bring a second liver. LOL.

Address: 517 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Brunch is available Friday through Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Price: Sammies are $5.00.

8. Maison Pickle

Aerial view of a white , round plate at Maison pickle with three slice of Challah French toast with syrup and powdered sugar. They sit on a wooden table at one of the best brunch places NYC has to offe.r

If there’s one thing the Upper West Side is known for its gastronomic delights. And Maison Pickle serves a bunch of them.

This French-inspired, retro-chic restaurant is always bustling with patrons waiting to feast on an exquisite range of brunch items.

As a result, reservations are highly recommended unless you’re willing to endure lengthy wait times for a table.

Additionally, the atmosphere of the dining room is lively, with the buzz of conversation permeating through the air.

But, when it comes to brunch on the Upper West Side, you have to order the Challah French toast.

Generously topped with maple syrup/butter or berries and cream, this is the stuff that foodie dreams are made of. It’s crispy on the outside with a hint of sweetness that is pure perfection.

Be warned – the portions are generous. So, get ready to share. Just don’t forget to order the pull-apart bread. It is served in a cast iron skillet and topped with a giant pat of herb butter.

It’s a treat for the taste buds and a must-order for the table. Just save room for dessert since their renowned 24-layer chocolate or Funfetti cake is one of the best desserts in NYC.

Local Tip: I was kind of shocked there were no egg entrees on the menu. I mean, the Deviled Eggs appetizer was good, but they’re no omelet.

Address: 2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Brunch is served on the weekends from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Price: Entrees are around $21.00 each.

9. Dagon

Dagon is a vibrant restaurant that is filled with lush, ornamental plants and soothing pastel hues.

Frequented by locals looking for the best brunch on the Upper West Side, the atmosphere is alive with the savory aroma of hummus and oversized flatbreads.

So, Dagon is very much NOT your run-of-the-mill eatery. Instead, it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for a slightly high-end brunch that includes an innovative Mediterranean menu.

Specialties include brisket shakshuka, the merguez benedict, and the kubaneh. It’s this amazing, pull-apart bread that is generously filled with zesty za’atar and creamy feta.

Local Tip: The flatbread is not my fave and I would steer clear of that. They also offer one hour of unlimited mimosas for

Address: 2454 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Price: Entrees are around $24.00 each.

10. Absolute Bagels

A tan hand is holding a plain bagel. The two halves sit on top of one another and you can see the white cream cheese in the middle with a wooden table in the background.

Home to some of the best bagels in NYC, Absolute Bagels is the perfect brunch place on the Upper West Side if you want something simple.

Just head to the counter of this chill bagel shop and order a giant bagel smothered in scallion cream cheese.

You can even pair your food with a Thai iced tea since the owner, Sam Thongkrieng, started this shop when he relocated to NYC from Bangkok in the 80s.

Once in the city, he spent many years honing his skills at Ess-A-Bagel before he finally opened Absolute Bagels. That’s why this is now a much-beloved bagel shop all across the city.

So, do expect a line out the door if you stop by on the weekend.

Address: 2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Price: $5.50 for a bagel with a fancy cream cheese.

11. Thyme & Tonic

Exterior of Thyme and Tonic. Large white letters with the name of the restaurant sit on an almost moss-like green surface that hangs above an outdoor seating area with vibrant pink walls and wooden beams that connect to the roof.

Thyme & Tonic stands unrivaled as the leading destination for gluten-free brunch. It is also one of the best restaurants in NYC for vegans since they have so many plant-based options.

Now, the entire menu is crafted with gluten-free dining in mind. However, everything is delicious, so no need to worry about the taste.

So, delight your palate with a savory Chick’n sandwich or indulge in a giant latke, available with your choice of traditional lox or plant-based salmon.

Additionally. their extensive bar is renowned for its exquisite cocktails like the Cucumber Mezcalita. Yup, it’s super refreshing.

There’s also a lively ambiance that is enhanced by white wooden booths, to the enchanting flower-adorned patio. If your day’s plans allow for leisure, consider a carafe of their signature margaritas or dive into the DIY mimosa situation, featuring a full bottle of Prosecco.

Address: 474 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

Hours: Brunch is served on Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Price: Most entrees are between $17.00 and $20.00.

12. Tom’s Restaurant

Me sipping on a cup with soda and a lemon. I have a blue fleece and a gray winter hat on. I have an omelet and home fires on a plate in front of me and wheat toast on the table next to me. I ma sitting in a red booth with a tan coat hanging next to me.

This is probably one of the most famous places for brunch on the Upper West Side – and it’s not because of the food. Although, the food is really good which is why Tom’s made this list.

No, if you are a human of a certain age you will recognize this place from the iconic, NYC-based sitcom Seinfeld.

See, Tom’s Restaurant was used for the exterior of the diner where Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and George used to eat.

There’s even this giant portrait of Kramer to the left as you enter the restaurant. Anyway, this is a low-key diner with well-priced food.

It’s nothing fancy but the staff are lovely, the service is quick, and you can order breakfast all day.

We went with the cheese omelet and pancake and loved both. You can also visit St. John the Divine afterward since it is right down the block.

All in all, this is the best brunch on the Upper West Side if you’re looking for some solid diner food.

Address: 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Price: Entrees are between $15.00 and $20.00 each.

Map of the Best Brunch on the Upper West Side

Map of the best brunch on the Upper West Side with twelve blue dots to represent these spots.

That wraps up this guide to the best brunch on the Upper West Side.

Did your picks for the best brunch spots on the Upper West Side make the list? If not then let me know.

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