Our Picks for the Best NYC Brunch Spots of 2019 and Beyond; Fun NYC Brunch Spots to Step Up Your Brunch Game
I think we can all agree that not only is brunch one of the best meals EVER, but that NYC brunch spots really are some of the best in the world.
Am I right?
I mean, not only do you get to sleep in but you can choose from an assortment of breakfast inspired options that include pancakes, french toast, waffles, eggs, and basically any other piece of carb awesomeness that you can think of (sorry Dr. Atkins, this post ain’t for you).
But the Real Question Is:
Where are the best New York City brunch spots at? I mean, no one wants to be all hangry and aimlessly wander through the New York City subway saying, “Please sir, I want some brunch!”
That’s Where I Come In:
Whether you’re taking mom out for a special Mother’s Day brunch, or heading out with 20,000 of your fave family members, for an amazing Easter Brunch in NYC, or just brunching it up with your favorite gal pals for the best boozy brunch in NYC, we can agree that not all branches are created equally.
Hard to Believe.
But yes my friends, even New York City has some heinously awful brunch spots that SUCK, with a capital S.
So What Do You Do? (Besides add some of these places to your New York City Itinerary in 24 hours)
Never fear (straps on lame ass cape), Girl with the Passport is here to answer all your questions about fun brunch spots in NYC.
I’ve lived here for over twenty years so I should know at least something about the best brunch in NYC.
So Without Further Ado:
Let’s check out some of the best brunch places in New York City. So whether you’re looking for a cheap brunch NYC or a boozy brunch NYC or a romantic brunch NYC or a lively brunch NYC, there will be something on this list that will TOTALLY tickle your fancy.
***Check out these amazing, car-free getaways from New York City if brunch is a little too mainstream for you. ***
1. Tavern on the Green (Central Park)
Tavern on the Green, located right in the beautiful central park, offers is an amazing NYC brunch spot. First opened in 1934, then reopened in 2013, this restaurant has become a historic, New York City landmark and brunch icon.
From the moment you walk in, to your first sip of their freshly made mimosas, you will be in awe of the decor, the service, and the decadent menu. My personal favorites are the Eggs Benedict Florentine and the Tavern Burger, all washed down with perfectly made mimosas of course.
But it Gets Better:
The interior of the restaurant is lined with enormous windows, providing ample natural light and stunning views of central park. Garden seating is also available and offers the same weekend brunch menu.
If you are looking for a classy weekend brunch in New York City, Tavern on the Green is a must. Just be sure to make a reservation and adhere to the smart but casual dress code because it’s fancy schmancy!
2. Russ and Daughters (Multiple Locations throughout Manhattan)
By: Mona Molayem of Mona Corona (Check her out on Instagram)
When considering some of the best brunch spots in New York City, a classic bagel and lox spread should not be overlooked. Russ & Daughters is a true staple in NYC and might even be the a possible contender for the best brunch Manhattan.
This iconic restaurant should be high on your list of what to eat in NYC since they have mastered the subtle art of smoking fish.
While their original location (opened in 1914!) is a traditional New York City deli to-go counter, offering smoked fish, caviar, and of course bagels, the Russ & Daughter’s Café on the Lower East Side (with another location in the Jewish Museum on the Upper West Side) is a sit down restaurant.
The Best Part is:
This location offers all the classics of the counter plus a variety of egg dishes and a selection of Jewish deli staples such as matzo ball soup and potato latkes.
But It Gets Better:
The café even has a bar for those in search of a boozy brunch and presents a selection of signature cocktails; champagne, wine, and beer; and my personal favorite, an assortment of infused of Bloody Marys.
My ideal brunch at Russ & Daughters consists of a classic board with nova smoked salmon, chive cream cheese, an everything bagel (with tomato, onion, and capers), and a side of wasabi infused row. Top it all of with a smoked pepper infused Bloody Mary and you have the perfect New York City brunch.
Here’s the Deal:
If you’re visiting Brooklyn, you must try the quaint and cozy NYC brunch at the French bistro, Le Barricou, in the trendy East Williamsburg district. It might even be the best brunch in Brooklyn.
You can expect a line during the weekend, (like most local favorites) but the enormous baked pancakes topped with berries, freshly squeezed fruit juices and delicious mimosas, all make this top NYC brunch spot well worth the wait.
If you’re a dessert aficionado like me, don’t forget to order the pastry basket filled with chocolate and almond croissants, with a blueberry danish thrown in there for good measure.
It Gets Better Though:
There are other authentic French staples on the menu like frittata auvergnate, croquet madame, and more.
The friendly staff and vintage décor really set this Brooklyn brunch spot apart from the competition. Expect to find a library with antique furniture that is illuminated by a working fireplace and a rustic bar that is perfectly set amongst a sea of candlelit tables.
This is the perfect brunch spot for either a romantic date, catching up with your girlfriends, or solo diners who want to get some writing done.
But the best part?
4. Jack’s Wife Freda (SOHO or Greenwich Village)
5. Sugar Freak (Astoria, Queens)
Here’s the Deal:
My friends and I passed Sugar Freak multiple times before deciding to finally walk in! Funnily enough, we woke up too late for this other NYC brunch place so we wandered into Sugar Freak instead.
It was 10:45 am and the restaurant was already super busy so we sat at the bar while waiting for a table. And while I thought it was a candy store, it turned out to be a Louisiana style, Creole restaurant that serves amazing Southern Comfort food!
The Only Problem?
This restaurant features so many delicious brunch items and fun drinks that’s it is hard to pick out just one thing to order. My favorites include the hush puppies, biscuits & gravy, shrimp creole with cheesy grits and beignet Benedict!
The Truth Is:
I had never tried a beignet before, so I was eager to dive into my dish. My beignet benedict was the perfect combination of savory and sweet, with praline bacon that was blended to perfection with a hollandaise sauce that sat atop on a poached egg that in turn rested upon a homemade beignet.
We loved the beignet so much we ordered a plate of five for dessert!
6. 230 5th Avenue (Midtown)
My favorite New York City brunch midtown is definitely 230 Fifth Ave!
First of all:
The food is delicious and served buffet style so that you can serve yourself as much eggs Benedict, french toast, and pancakes as you want.
On the downside though:
Alcohol isn’t unlimited, but a good-sized pitcher of mimosas costs only $7, a total steal.
But That’s Not Even the Best Part:
Brunch is actually served on a rooftop that is dotted with these adorable little igloos, making it a great, rooftop brunch NYC option! You can head up there, relax in an igloo, and chat with friends or make new ones while taking in the city air.
If it’s cold don’t worry because the restaurant provides you with blankets and robes to help keep you cozy! Perfect for a chilly winter day in New York City.
7. The Smith (East Village)
The Smith is my absolute favorite brunch spot in New York City (and one of my favorite restaurants in NYC)! It has been my go-to brunch spot since I moved to the city over eight years ago.
Truth Be Told:
It has become my default choice for gatherings with friends, birthdays, holidays, etc. Basically, any excuse to eat at The Smith and I’ll take it!
The Best Part is That:
They have four different locations (NoMad, East Village, Midtown and Lincoln Square) so no matter where you are in the city, you can get your foodie brunch fix.
Here’s the Deal:
This restaurant serves American fare options that range from healthy to hearty to downright indulgent. Personally, my favorite location is the one in the East Village. It’s bright and airy with a beautiful design; a location that is always bustling with people.
The Best Part Though?
You can make reservations for brunch! Yes, brunch reservations NYC are hard to find! My current brunch obsession is their Ranchero Scramble which includes perfectly scrambled eggs, black beans, cheddar, avocado and chipotle salsa that is set atop some freshly made corn tortillas.
Truth be Told:
I would happily brunch at The Smith every single weekend!
8. PS Kitchen
9. Citizens of Chelsea (Chelsea)
10. Egg (Brooklyn)
What is Egg?
This restaurant is really Instagram friendly with white walls, flowers, and chalkboard menus. They also serve all day breakfast, which is a huge selling point in my opinion.
We had a fairly standard breakfast plate but also got some biscuits and a pitcher of mimosas. Let me warn you ahead of time, they do not skimp on the alcohol at this place. That was a very generous mimosa (and an excellent wake up in the morning haha).
But the Best Part:
The biscuit! My mind was blown. It was a perfect combination of fluffy dough and savory flavor that it made me want to order ten more (but I have restraint so I did not!).
The atmosphere in the restaurant is super chill and very inviting. We sat there for a couple of hours, enjoying our delicious meal (and drinks!) while people watching. This restaurant is also great for people eating alone, couples and even families
The streets surrounding the restaurant have some really cool street art, so be sure to take a walk around the neighborhood after you’ve finished your delicious brunch.
11. Union Fare
Right down the street from the iconic Flat Iron Building, lies one of my favorite, cheap NYC brunch spots, Union Fare.
With a chic modern, industrial style decor:
Union Fare oozes charm from the moment you walk inside.
The real magic happens once you sit down and gaze through the variety of items found on their elaborate menu. Between quinoa bowls, Benedict boards, omelettes and pancakes, everyone will find something to love in this fun, friendly, and totally casual restaurant.
Union Fare even has a small bakery area where you can buy…wait for it… a birthday cake croissant!
Seriously one of my favorite foods in all of NYC!
To find this aforementioned piece of food heaven, turn right, as you enter the restaurant, and you will see a counter emerge before you with a glorious assortment of decadent pastries.
Go here now!
For the bargain basement price of $4 (credit cards only) you can buy a decadently, delicious croissant that comes in amazing flavors like birthday cake, fruity pebbles, matcha, red velvet cake, and so much more (feel free to ooh and ahh).
Just one bite of this flaky, buttery pastry and a magical cream filling starts oozing out, making you wonder, “Should I have another?”
And yes. The answer is always yes.
12. NOMO Kitchen
Not only does this hotel restaurant have a menu of delectable brunch items that forever and always make me swoon, but the decor here is absolutely stunning, making this brunch spot in Ne work City a total Instagrammer’s paradise.
The entrance to Nomo Kitchen is covered by a topiary of neatly trimmed leaves that create a beautiful, botanical tunnel that serves as the entrance to the building.
People use this spot for impromptu photo shoots. I literally had to not so politely ask a woman to move because she has been there for a solid half an hour and I was getting hungrier but the minute.
But I digress.
There are also quaint wooden seats, tables, statues, and trees that create a fantastic patio, in front of the restaurant, where you can sit, relax, and take photos after your meal.
But once inside:
You will be absolutely astounded. Between the modern glass roof, that floods the restaurant with copious amounts of light, the exquisite crystal chandeliers, and the walls that are adorned with vibrantly colored, street art style hearts, you definitely won’t leave without taking a few (hundred) photos.
All this and we haven’t even discussed the FAB brunch menu or the helpful staff.
One word, okay actually three but Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. So good. Served with a dusting of powdered sugar, some fresh mixed berries, and a sprinkling of candied pistachios and you’ll have a hard time not asking for seconds.
The Avocado Toast with a poached egg is also really good too.
But’s let be real:
Pancakes are a bit more fun than avocado toast.
Does this sound a bit out of your price range though?
Well, you’re in luck. All the entrees served here, besides the steak and eggs, are under $20. So even if your budget is tight (kind of like your pants are after eating here), you can still enjoy some of the finer things in life and add this to any DIY NYC food tour.
Oh and dress up a smidge.
This place feels a little fancy smancy. But not intimidatingly so. Like no ball gown needed.
13. Hotel Chantelle
One of my absolute favorite brunch spots in New York City!
This gem of a restaurant, not an actual hotel, offers a delicious, reasonably priced brunch menu that is served amidst a light and airy top floor, adorned with vintage light fixtures, beautiful greenery, and a lovely glass ceiling that inundates the room with an exquisite amount of light.
As if the decor didn’t make this place awesome enough:
They serve brunch amidst a lively,20’s style band, that is fully equipped with trumpeters, saxophonists, and a lead vocalist, who croons into a vintage microphone while dressed in a snazzy bow tie, a cabby hat, and a cool pair of shades.
Sprinkle in some fantastic wall art to create the perfect Instagram spot.
Plus, this restaurant is also located right down the street from Black Tap and the first street outdoor street art gallery; making this my new go-to brunch spot,
Not sure what to order?
When it comes to brunch orders, I’m a bit predictable and tend to order Eggs Benedict nine times out of ten.
Hotel Chantelle offers a variety of dishes from healthy options, like an acas bowl or avocado toast, to decadent delights like truffle egg fondue and fried burrata.
But no matter what you order, I promise that you won’t leave hungry.
Friends that Brunch Together Stay Together
Umm, so I don’t know about you but I am now infinitely more motivated to get my butt out of bed and check out brunch New York City style.
I Don’t Know About You But:
I am so down with any excuse to eat carbs, glorious cards, until my stomach explodes or until they have to wheel me out of the restaurant, whichever comes first.
On a Mildly More Serious Note:
These ladies are amazing and totally found some of the most epic spots for brunch in New York City. I mean after I read this I literally had to order from Seamless because I was so damn hungry.
No matter who you are or what you like, there is a brunch on here for you and your gal pals too. So even if you have that weird friend who is carb free, gluten free, sugar-free, and
Go forth, do New York City Sunday brunch, and nurse your food coma to the best of your ability. At the very least, brunch will help ease the inevitable sting of the ever-looming Monday Blues, at least a little bit.