Looking for the best brunch in New York City? This local has you covered. I have spent countless mornings catching up with friends and family over pancakes and mimosas, so I’ve tried my fair share of restaurants, bistros and cafes.
What’s more, my visiting friends often ask about the best brunch in New York City, so I finally sat down and rounded up my favorites.
Fair warning though – the best NYC brunch spots are hot commodities so try to make reservations in advance. But enough of the small talk, let’s dive into the best brunch in NYC.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
The Best Brunch in New York City
Opened in 2016, this Australian-based cafe prides itself on community and has mastered the art of Instagrammable brunch in New York City.
That’s not to say the food falls short, far from it. Not only does the brunch fare look like a million a bucks, the food is top-notch as well.
The modern interior is vibrant and bright, filled with green plants and beautiful tiled floors, creating a warm and welcoming environment.
Whenever I swing by Citizens café I’m always greeted by an eager staff member who goes above and beyond with friendly service.
The menu is well-curated, but if you’d like some suggestions, I recommend ordering the Smashing Avocado (multigrain toast, pickled onion, feta, beetroot hummus). Some would argue this is the prettiest avocado toast in NYC, can’t say I’d disagree.
The quintessential chicken and waffles joint, Sweet Chick has been rapidly expanding since opening up shop in 2013. The demand has been through the roof thanks to some of the best brunch in New York City.
Celebrities aren’t immune to the allure of Sweet Chick’s Nashville Hot Chicken. Popular rap artists are known to frequent their locations searching for the best brunch in NYC.
Nas, arguably the greatest rapper to come out of New York City, liked it so much he was one of the earliest investors in the company.
The celebrity status brings folks into Sweet Chick, but the grub keeps them coming back. The menu is replete with biscuits, waffles and grits so good you’ll be elbowing your way to the front of the line (Only the Long Island City location takes reservations).
Clinton St. Baking Co.
Clinton St. Baking Company was born in 2001 to prodigy chef Neil Kleinberg. A native New Yorker, Kleinberg honed his skills in the kitchen from a young age and opened his first restaurant at a mere 22 years old.
Having first opened their doors as a small batch bakery, Clinton St. Baking Company’s rise in popularity forced them to buy the property next door and evolve into a full fledged restaurant. Thanks to their world renowned pancakes, you’re all but guaranteed the best brunch in NYC.
The pancakes are everything you want them to be. Fluffy and airy, I like mine with wild Maine blueberries but there are also options for banana walnut or chocolate chunk that are equally tempting.
Also offering other traditional American breakfast meals, Clinton St. Baking is well placed among the best brunch in New York City. French toast, huevos rancheros and biscuits are all worthy of sharing the stage with their world-famous pancakes.
Address: 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Tartine is one of the best restaurants in Greenwich Village and after numerous dinner visits a friend asked if I recommended for brunch. Well, I didn’t know they serve brunch, so I stopped by that weekend.
I was not prepared for the flavor trip I was about to embark on. I had no idea this corner bistro cooks up some of the best brunch NYC has to offer! Between the ambiance, inviting staff and delicious fare it’s a true masterpiece.
Heck, I’m slightly reluctant to mention Tartine on this list of the best brunch in New York City because I want to keep it to myself, but I’d be doing you a disservice. They only serve brunch on the weekends and take no reservations, but it’s BYOB and the food is incredible.
Address: 253 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014
Veranda just might be the most beautiful brunch spot NYC has ever seen. The restaurant is upscale, bright and inviting and there are multiple seating areas including the main dining room that boasts a retractable roof.
But the restaurant itself isn’t the only pretty thing here, chef George Mendes really knows what he’s doing. After closing Aldea, his previous restaurant (which had earned a Michelin rating), he’s continued his mastery of Portuguese-inspired dishes.
If you’re looking for the best brunch in NYC to celebrate a special occasion (an anniversary or success in business) Veranda would be my top choice.
There is a bar, so if you’re looking for a boozy brunch in NYC Veranda has you covered. And as far as food goes, everything is great, but the Bitoque steak and fried egg is next-level.
Address: 23 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
Boozy Brunch, anyone? Meet me at Poco.
For $47 you can enjoy bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and red or white sangria along with your meal. Without fail, your meal will be surrounded by people celebrating birthdays thanks to some of the best boozy brunch in NYC.
As if the booze weren’t enough, the menu was curated by Abe Lopez from the Food Network’s TV show “Chopped.” The Spanish tapas cuisine features an award winning vegan smoked truffle mac & cheese that you have to try.
Among the plates that make Poco one of the best brunch restaurants in NYC is “The Cure” to your hangover. The dish of eggs, pico and tortillas supposedly gets rid of pounding headaches. I may or may not have put it to the test…
Address: 33 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
Although the drinks are Dante’s claim to fame to let that distract you from the delicious brunch fair. They serve a breakfast brioche (crispy pancetta, salsa pepperoncini, provolone and a fried egg) that leaves me wondering whether the food or the drinks are better.
Dante has two locations — Caffe Dante & Dante West Village, only a few blocks apart in the West Village. Each has their own schedule and menu, so compare them before heading out for some of the best brunch in New York City.
No list of the best brunch in NYC would be complete without mention of The Consulate, one of the most charming restaurants in the city. It’s an Upper West Side hot-spot, but still under the radar outside the neighborhood.
Restaurant by day, and elegant bar by night, The Consulate offers an air of sophistication that will leave you feeling like Don Draper (if the Mad Men protagonist enjoyed brunch in New York City).
And since nothing is done halfway, allow me to share that the brunch menu pairs well with the aesthetic. This NYC brunch spot offers unique twists on classics, like the burrata waffle (which is a must-order in my book).
One of the more amusing items on the menu is the hangover burger (which can be ordered void of judgment at this classy joint). And if you’re still on your way to earning the burger, you can also opt for bottomless mimosas!
Address: 519 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Further Reading: The Consulate also appears on 12 Toothsome Upper West Side Brunch Spots (Worth the Wait)!
Sunday in Brooklyn
The founders of Sunday in Brooklyn wanted to create a staple restaurant that attracted crowds all day. Not only did they want the best cocktails and dinner, they also wanted to serve the best brunch in NYC.
The restaurant is open and bright, like a living room that you could lounge in for hours. During the summer they open up their rooftop garden to guests. In the winter the dining areas have wood burning ovens to add to the homey vibe. Can you describe a better place to enjoy brunch in New York City?
But the reason they crack the list of the best brunch in New York City is thanks to the delectable bites. The biscuits and gravy are my go-to. Cheddar biscuits are smothered in a warm sausage gravy that gives diners all across America a run for their money.
They also serve the best brunch in NYC thanks to the memorable pancake. Hazelnut maple praline syrup with brown butter melts over some seriously thick pancakes. The perfectly rounded edges seem like they came out of a mold.
Address: 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Jacob’s Pickles is a casual eatery that specializes in serving some of the best southern comfort-food brunch in NYC. Expect all the classics, like fried chicken and waffles and delicious craft cocktails.
The fried chicken is particularly great and I never pass up an opportunity to order it. It pairs with all the side dishes incredibly, and the mac & cheese is nothing short of a masterpiece (seriously some of the best I’ve had in NYC).
It’s hard to go wrong with anything on the menu, which is why it’s our go-to brunch spot in NYC for out of town guests.
Note: Jacob’s Pickles is one of the most popular brunches on the Upper West Side and reservations are required. Make reservations in advance, getting a table during the weekend feels like an impossible task, so plan ahead.
Address: 509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Waking up at grandma’s house is a treat. The meals seem to have no end and the flavor made in their kitchens has no comparison. Named after the Yiddish word for grandmother, Bubby’s is no exception.
Bubby’s has been one the best brunch restaurants in New York City for more than 30 years. The owner describes dining here like the “day after Christmas” and it’s a fitting description. It’s good and straightforward American homestyle cooking in the bustling Concrete Jungle.
I’m sounding like a broken record, but brunch in NYC seems to revolve around pancakes. Bubby’s might just be the best of them all. They sell two different styles, an 1890 sourdough which are only a little bit thicker than a flour tortilla, and James Beard pancakes which follow the legendary chef’s recipe with a few adjustments.
You won’t go wrong with either one, but if you really can’t decide bring a friend so you can each get one and share.
The NYC brunch joint has a lot more than pancakes too though, take your time choosing but no matter what you do get a side of the homestyle fries, you wont regret it.
Address: 120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
Bottomless brunch in NYC? Sign me up! For only $25 you get either bottomless mimosas or aperol spritzs for 90 minutes (challenge accepted). In a city where drinks are often north of the $20 mark, it’s a small price to pay.
You’ll still have to purchase food separately but it’s well worth it. The food is incredible and reasonably priced, with no dishes surpassing a $20 price tag. The hangover sandwich (eggs, cheddar, bacon, ham, secret sauce) is delicious whether you have a raging headache or not.
The popular NYC brunch spot only serves brunch on weekends from 11-4, so getting reservations to Tara Rose is paramount. Otherwise you’ll be left peeking through the windows like a pup that’s been left outside for dinner.
Address: 384 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
Tucked away on the corner of Gay Street and Christopher Street, this cozy French restaurant is the perfect spot to celebrate a momentous occasion. Along with serving the best brunch in NYC, Petite Boucherie knows how to create an aura of magic.
The romantic ambiance in the little bistro is worth getting dressed up for, you’ll feel like you were transported to Paris! So swing by if you’re feeling a little Parisian while enjoying the plethora of things to do in Greenwich Village.
The French onion soup is notable, as well as the berry waffle. When outdoor dining, a latte pairs great with the glistening sunrays. It’s hard to not to feel like the main character in a movie at Petite Boucherie which is why it’s among the best brunch in New York City.
Further Reading: Petite Boucherie also appears on 12 Charming Restaurants in Greenwich Village Worth the Wait!
Address: 14 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
MUD aka Mudspot is a popular NYC brunch spot and one I recommend you check out regardless of whether you’re a tourist or a local.
For starters, their coffee alone is worth a visit. They started selling it out of a truck (appropriately named the Mudtruck) and after a 15 year run that developed a loyal base it was time for a brick and mortar joint.
The restaurant is small and has a retro vibe to it. It seems like the kind of place the college student would hang out in the 70’s, with it’s brown and orange tones.
However once the food comes out it’s hard to focus on anything else. It’s one of the most delicious brunch spots in NYC, with my favorite item on the menu being the french breakfast, which is a croissant breakfast sandwich.
Address: 307 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003
Fun Fact: Dylan Sprouse worked at Mudspot while a student at NYU.
Jack’s Wife Freda
You might recognize Jack’s Wife Freda from Instagram. It’s one of the most photographed brunch spots in NYC thanks to the floral arrangement that that adorns the entrance at their SoHo location. Paired with a forest green paint job and a neon sign it’s hard for folks not to snap a quick pic.
What you may not know however is that Jack’s Wife Freda also serves the best brunch in New York City. In particular the Madame Freda is notably memorable.
It’s a pressed sandwich that’s served warm and soft, and cuts relatively easily with a fork. The duck prosciutto added a nice contrast to this cheesy delight. Overall it’s a beautiful meal that you will be dreaming about for days.
At the end of our meal our server told us we can’t leave Jack’s Wife Freda without having Naom’s Malva Pudding, which is a small African sponge cake doused in a sweet caramel pudding with a side of whipped cream. It was incredible. The recommendation alone vaults their service to the top of my list of best brunch in NYC.
Address: 4 locations across New York City
Good Enough to Eat
Hey, the name of this brunch spot in NYC says it all. It’s Good Enough to Eat! Now when walking by this beloved Upper West Side joint you might not think much of it. The facade doesn’t immediately pop out at you.
But this is one of those weird restaurants where the food is actually good and not only Instagram-good (although it is pretty). The kind that keeps locals coming back year after year, rain or shine.
Good Enough to Eat has been an Upper West Side Favorite for over 40 years, never wavering on their commitment to fresh ingredients and consistently churning out high quality dishes.
This has quickly become one of my go-to brunch spots in NYC (full transparency – I live in the neighborhood) and have yet to be disappointed by any of their dishes, but I am partial to the Peter Paul pancakes (chocolate filled, topped with coconut).
Address: 520 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Rule of Thirds
If you’re looking for a unique brunch in NYC, Rule of Thirds has you covered. In a world of waffles and eggs this Japanese restaurant sets itself apart.
Styled after the famous Izakaya restaurants in Japan, which resemble a pub, Rule of Thirds provide a spot to settle in with friends for great food and conversation.
In fact, Izakaya translates to stay-drink-place and that’s exactly what I do there while enjoying some of the best brunch in New York City.
Their menu offers sets, like a Japanese breakfast set which comes with a variety of roasted market fish. There is also shareable plates like tuna & nori that will help get conversation flowing with whomever you’re sharing your meal.
Rule of Thirds also offers a pancake with a twist. It’s a Japanese Souffle Pancake which I can best describe as poofy. Like a balloon, this pancake is airy and eating it feels like you’re taking a bite out of a cloud. If you’re looking to shake up your NYC brunch habits, Rule of Thirds is a worthy addition to the mix.
Address: 171 Banker St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
If there was ever such thing as a quintessential NYC brunch spot, it’d be Little Ruby’s Cafe. The place has been a New York City staple since opening in 2002 and has a continuously growing cult-like following.
Ruby’s serves traditional breakfast fare with Australian culinary influences, attributed to it’s founders being from the land down under. Local favorites include the avo toast and the spicy sausage breakfast sandwich.
I do have to let you folks know though that Ruby’s doesn’t take any reservations and is served on a first come first served basis. If possible, come early on a weekday to avoid the lines at this popular NYC brunch destination.
Address: 3 locations in New York City
I first stumbled into Cafe LuLuc by complete accident in the fall of 2016. I’ve been back for what I consider to be some of the best brunch in NYC an embarrassing number of times ever since.
It’s a friendly French neighborhood cafe that serves incredible eats and drinks. Where Cafe LuLuc truly shines however is in serving some of the best brunch in New York City.
Offering traditional brunch fare you’ll always be able to find something appetizing. There are omelettes galore, including my brother in law’s sworn favorite – the Open-Face Western Omelette. With sausage, red peppers, scallions and red onions I can understand why Cafe LuLuc is his favorite brunch in New York City.
Something to Note: Cafe LuLuc is a cash only establishment, so come prepared.
Address: 214 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dudley’s a NYC brunch favorite run by the same folks behind fan-favorite Ruby’s. The food and ambience are of the same, exceptional quality and tastes just as delicious.
Whereas Ruby’s was created as a cafe, Dudley’s is a bistro (is that the same thing?). Like I said, very similar.
In fact, they even offer some of the same dishes! I still recommend making the stop though because it’s just that good! If you’re in the mood for a hearty brunch in NYC you need look no further than Dudley’s.
Address: 85 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
20 Best Brunch Spots in New York City (Post Summary)
- Cafe LULUc
- Rule of Thirds
- Jack Wife’s Freda
- Petite Boucherie
- Tara Rose
- Jacob’s Pickles
- Sunday in Brooklyn
- The Consulate
- Poco NYC
- Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant
- Sweet Chick
Map of the Best Brunch in NYC
And there it is my friends! The 20 best brunch spots in NYC according to yours truly! Let me know if there’s any you recommend I try – if it’s good enough I’ll add it to the list!