Brunch is a huge part of the dining culture in New York, therefore there is no shortage of brunch places in New York. It actually can get quite overwhelming trying to decide where to brunch every weekend. As a food lover and fatty at heart, I tried to do new brunch places every couple of weeks. Brunch in New York is not only pancakes and Eggs Benedict, there are many regional inspired brunch that will satisfy any cravings you may have.
French Inspired Brunch
One can never tired of French food and French brunch is no exception. There are several French inspired brunch places in New York. Some are more well known and expensive than others but they all offer similar yet different dishes.
You simply cannot do brunch in New York without having tried this iconic place. Balthazar is a traditional French brasserie that offers amazing brunch, lunch and dinner plates. It also has a small bakery next door and is known for its bread and a variety of pastries. Balthazar is located in Soho New York but also has a London branch.
Dishes to try: Steak Frites
Reservation highly recommended for Brunch on the weekend otherwise be prepared to wait 1-2 hours.
Similar to Balthazar, Lafayette is another French restaurant + bakery located in Noho. I personally really liked their pancake and baked goods. On a nice summer day, be sure to request to sit outside and people watch like a true Parisian.
Buvette is a cute restaurant located in West Village (what isn’t cute in West Village)? Expect a long wait on the weekend.
Cafe Cluny is a cute French place in the West Village. It’s a little bit different than the more traditional French brunch places like Balthazar. The most recommended brunch menu item include the Short Rib Brava and the Breakfast Club Sandwich.
Maison Kayser is a more casual place that has both a sit down area and a bakery area with colorful desserts on display. It truly reminds me of cafes in Paris!
American Style Brunch
ABC Kitchen is one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. It is a Jean George restaurant and its changing menu focuses on local, sustainable, and seasonal produce that does not use pesticide, GMO, etc.
I’ve been there once for dinner and twice for brunch and I was always amazed every single meal. ABC Kitchen is on the pricey side but the food is totally worth it. They are also associated with the ABC furniture store next store all the entire restaurant decor is elegant and unique. Reservation is highly recommended and don’t forget to order the crab toast; it’s phenomenon.
Jane is another one of my favorite brunch places in New York City. One major props is that they take reservation (most brunch places in NYC don’t). Its french toast and “Jane Benedict” aka crab cake Benedict are to die for.
Cook shop is a little out of the way all the way on the west side, but there is usually a long line after 11am. My favorite dishes there are the Dutch baby and the quinoa bowl. They are also known for their huevos rancheros.
Clinton St. Baking Co
If you want great pancake, this is THE place to go. Located in the Lower East Side, Clinton St. Baking Co has a line out of the door even before it opens! Unless you get seated right away, expect 1.5 hour wait. The restaurant is known for their blueberry pancake, yum.
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The Grey Dog
If you are looking for a more down to earth neighborhood spot for great food, this is it. This cute Michigan University themed restaurant has everything you would want in a brunch place. There are 4 locations in New York and always a line out of the door. It’s different from other brunch places in terms of how you order. Instead of getting seated first, you wait in line to order at the counter. During your wait the waiters will try to find you a table. I’ve come here more than 5 times and some of my favorite dishes include the fish taco, seared tuna steak salad and the Grey Dog Breakfast.
Located in the Upper West Side, Jacob’s Pickle is unlike any other typical brunch places in New York. It’s known for its fried chicken biscuit sandwiches and pickles (of course). Reservation recommended, otherwise expect a long wait.
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You typically would not think of Japanese food when you think about brunch but considering how diverse New York City’s food scene is, Japanese brunch is a thing here and they do not disappoint.
Okonomi is a small and low key restaurant tucked away in the heart of Brooklyn. During the day it serves traditional Japanese ichiju-sansai set meals for breakfast and lunch. In the evening this restaurant serves ramen. The restaurant presents its food beautifully and they also taste amazing. Note that the restaurant does not take reservation so get there really early or you will have to wait a long time.
High-Collar is both a coffee shop and a restaurant. They are famous for their coffee as well as the Katsu Sandwich (limited quantity per day). Most people also come for the Omurice and their hot cake. It’s a tiny place tucked away in East Village. No reservation so expect a long wait if you go after 11:30am.
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Bessou is another Japanese brunch places offering traditional Japanese set menu for breakfast; they also have Japanese congee and shakshuka on their menu.
Chinese brunch may be another thing that you’ve never heard of but the culture of dim sum is famous in China, especially southern China. Dim Sum is a breakfast/lunch meal served with tapa-style small sized bites (dumplings, meat balls, spare ribs, rice rolls, etc) served in small steamer baskets or plates. Usually served with tea and finished with desserts such as egg tarts and sesame balls.
Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan is a renowned dim sum restaurant known for its quality and cheap prices. Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong was granted 1 Michelin star and was labeled the cheapest Michelin Star restaurant in the world. They don’t take reservation and in terms of food, they are known for their crispy pork bun (sweet & savory at the same time). For more information on Tim Ho Wan, see this review.
Mexican Inspired Brunch
Cosme is an upscale restaurant located in Flatiron serving Mexican inspired cuisine. If you come here, try the Uni Tostada, Lamb barbacoa and Egg sope and finish off your course with the Mexican Churro with Chocolate sauce. Churro with chocolate sauce is actually a very typical breakfast item in Spain.
Atla is a contemporary Mexican eatery located in Noho. They offer a different style of food compare to Cosme but equally as good. Personally I liked the Chicken Enchiladas and the Tostadas. This restaurant is a lot smaller than Cosme so expect a wait if you come during peak brunch hour.
Timna is a Mediterranean/Israli restaurant located in the East Village. It serves amazing $25 set menu of Israeli brunch ($35 if you get unlimited alcohol). You get to choose the main entree with a number of small starters, grilled pita, and coffee/juice. Don’t underestimate the portion of this set menu, I could not finish all the food.
Jack’s Wife Freda
Jack’s Wife Freda is an American-Mediterranean restaurant with several locations in New York City. Every time I go to this restaurant, there is always a huge line in front of it regardless of the location. Personally I’m not a huge fan of this place because of the lackluster service and ok food. But I am putting in on the list since it’s probably popular for a reason.
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brunch stories in @resourcemag check out the articles in the mag! … we handing copies out at @jackswifefreda today:) “For Maya making a dish worthy of both Instagram and IRL fame is less about being concerned with “coming up with a photo that looks good,” and more about answering the question “how are we going to get the guy who lives in the Bronx to come in at 5am to chop the habaneros and bring soul to the dish?” That, she says, is “what makes food beautiful.” ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️“Freda was the life of party,” Dean Jankelowitz, one half of the ownership team behind Jack’s Wife Freda—
along with his wife, Maya—tells me. “Jack,” he continues, “was lucky to find a woman like Freda.” Her legacy, one of gracious hosting with open arms, open doors and an infectious warmth, is proudly upheld by her namesake eatery. Opened in 2012, Jack’s Wife Freda is a reflection of Dean and Maya’s life as immigrants (Dean from South Africa, Maya from Israel) growing up in New York. The cuisine is more than just what they “want to see” on a menu—though it’s certainly that, too—it’s a list of dishes that, to quote the founders, “remind
us of who we are, who we used to be.” 📸: @gregneumaier
Located in Tribecca, Locande Verde is a casual/rustic Italian place with a lot to offer. Besides serving brunch and dinner, a lot of people also get married here. I am a big fan of sweets, so I loved their monkey bread, and lemon ricotta pancake. Reservation recommended as this is a trendy spot.
This cute West Village spot serves seasonal Italian food with a rooftop farm. I’ve been a couple of times and always ordered different things from the menu. Get a few of their small dishes and cheese to share, these make Rosemary’s stand out among the typical brunch places.
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Eat well, laugh often, and love much!⠀ ⠀ Join us for this month's farm dinner on Tuesday, June 20th. We're serving 4 courses of Italian fare and expert wine pairings.⠀ ⠀ All proceeds go to Rosemary's Farm. $95pp. Call (212) 647-1818 to book your seat at the communal table. Limited seats available.⠀ ⠀ #LaDolceVita ⠀ ⠀ 📷 @katieklinefelter
Baker & Co
Located in Greenwich Village, this restaurant is charming with its exposed brick wall and outdoor garden. The ingredients are fresh and often locally sourced. Go early or there will be a long wait.
Most people are no strangers to Australian brunch. I first tried Aussie brunch when I was living in London. Ever since then, I’ve been loving Aussie brunch more and more! Great news for those who love Aussie brunch, there are a tons of Aussie brunch places in NYC.
Founded in 2012, Dudley’s is a solid brunch spot in the Lower East Side. Dudley’s prides itself on serving creative cocktails, a variety of seasonal dishes, and an enticing atmosphere.
I have to admit that I found this place because their food looked so “instagrammable”. Having been to the Nolita location a couple of times, I genuinely have to say their food is not only instagrammable but also delicious. My favorite dishes include the avocado toast, the Acai bowl, and the Banana bread.
More of a coffee shop, Bluestone Lane has several locations in NYC and offers a variety of light eats for breakfast.
There are so many more brunch places in NYC that I haven’t tried and the choices do get overwhelming. But if you are looking for different types of Brunch, definitely check out some of the ones I mentioned above. General rule of thumb: go early (before 11am). All the popular brunch places get packed on the weekend after 11am, so try to go as early as possible to avoid disappointment.