Brunch may be a New York institution, but too often the perfect brunch experience gets messed up by long lines, watered-down mimosas and substandard eggs. Ugh. But don’t despair, dear bruncher: With our guide to the best restaurants in NYC for brunch, you can discover under-the-radar and overlooked joints by browsing the full list of spots for the best brunch. NYC also has plenty of options to narrow it down by borough (looking for the best bagels in your neighborhood?). Plus, whether you’re looking for top-notch mimosas, Bloody Marys or unique cocktails, we have your day-drinking bases covered with our list of boozy and bottomless brunch spots. In short: Read on, and own brunch.
Enrique Olvera’s Mexican blockbuster has been a tough reservation to snag since its opening in late 2014—a #squadgoals dinner starring Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Adele this past November likely hasn’t helped matters—but it’s less of a chore to enjoy the smash hit during brunch service. Pull up a stool at the sleek, blond-wood front bar for a serrano-fuesed Bloody María and inventive Mex plates like seafood-stuffed avocado (take that, avocado toast) and duck enmoladas dolloped with crème fraîche.
The glowing Noho café from Andrew Carmellini—the man behind perpetually crowded downtown spots the Dutch and Locanda Verde—is like the 2016 answer to that bustling Sex and the City–era favorite, Balthazar, with booths as buttery as béarnaise and an A-list clientele that includes Anna Wintour and Gwyneth Paltrow. Lush bistro eats are the go-to—think beef tartare with Tabasco aioli and soft-scrambled eggs with chèvre and truffle vinaigrette—punctuated by pâtissier Jennifer Yee’s acclaimed breads and viennoiseries.
Eateries under the Major Food Group umbrella, the one that brought us Sadelle’s and Dirty French, are equal parts sustenance and scene. This Meatpacking number, a people-watching glass box tucked beneath the High Line
, is no exception: It’s a glossy Italian-coast concept set with coconut iced coffees and rock-shrimp frittatas. Brunch is a mash-up of the restaurant’s heavyweight breakfast and lunch menus, including the kitchen’s excellent, upmarket take on a bacon egg and cheese, festooned with tomato sofrito, gooey fontina and green chilies.
Feeling generous—or simply hungry enough to eat for two? A section of the Sunday brunch menu at Kevin and Debbie Adey’s hyperseasonal Bushwick, Brooklyn, restaurant is dedicated to large-format plates, ranging from a dry-aged duck hash with emmer and pumpkin to pollo alla cacciatora with mushrooms and bacon to meatballs with polenta, fonduta and bread to sop up every bite. Cocktails are also tailored to groups: They are available by the pitcher, including a tequila-grapefruit Kings County Sunrise and a Bloody updated with ember-roasted tomatoes and fish-sauce-spiked Thai caramel.
Bloody Marys are to brunch what pinstripes are to the Bronx Bombers. At this dark-wood, naval-inspired Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, tavern, you can get master barman Damon Boelte’s civilized take on that time-honored hair of the dog à la carte, or bring a buddy to split the bar’s brunch-on-steroids Bloody Mary Platter ($70). The head-turning spread comprises two house Bloodys (your choice of vodka, tequila or gin), two sidekicks of pilsner and a two-tier tower set with local bivalves, fresh vegetables, shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs and a colossal king crab leg that can be tricked out with accompanying medicine droppers of mignonette. It’s a cure that almost makes your hangover from last night worth it—almost.